Thursday, December 27, 2012

Changing the Campus Climate on Climate Change

(The Huffington Post, December 27, 2012)

Going green is nothing new at Bethany College, we like to say. Our school colors are green and white, and the splendor of our mountaintop campus, especially in the greening season of spring, is unmistakable.

But there’s a more urgent reason that we have chosen a green path. Along with some 700 colleges and universities throughout the nation, Bethany has joined the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC, About 400 of the signatories to the Climate Commitment have already filed action plans signifying their institutions’ goal of becoming climate-neutral in two years.

 As with so many other economic, social and cultural issues of our time, environmental awareness is a natural for academe. Not only do we have capable science and engineering faculty on many of our campuses who are actively monitoring and researching the realities of global warming, but we also have a fresh army of students who are eager to participate in an updated version of the 1970’s Earth Day celebrations of our planet.  Today campuses are experiencing a growing interest in doing the right thing environmentally—from recycling to commissioning energy-usage audits to revamping business practices to reflect greater environmental conservation and stewardship.
There are compelling reasons to do so beyond simply protesting pollution. As my colleague Dr. Marylouise Fennell and I wrote recently in a piece for College Planning & Management, “curbing emissions and using clean, renewable energy sources will not only stabilize and reduce long-term energy costs, but also attract funding while fostering new opportunities and synergistic partnerships.” Even better, perhaps, than financial incentives, the ACUPCC believes that institutions “integrating sustainability into their curriculum will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a thriving, ethical, and civil society.”

Because solving global environmental problems must be a collaborative effort to succeed, such modeling can begin on campuses. At Bethany, students worked with faculty to develop a survey that yielded useful data about campus pollution. The first comprehensive analysis of greenhouse gas emissions at Bethany, the survey instrument became a model for future data collection.

At the grassroots level, meanwhile, students embraced recycling, working with our dining service to foster food awareness and stewardship of energy resources through a series of workshops and demonstrations designed to illustrate what it costs to produce, dispense and waste food.  Over a two-day period, they collected 239 pounds of wasted food from the campus cafeteria, while promoting a food drive that secured 250 pounds of canned and non-perishable items which were donated to area needy families. Nearly all of our students contributed to the food drive.

Bethany will soon significantly increase paper recycling, collecting and shredding paper waste throughout the campus and devoting much of it to bedding for our horses at the College’s equestrian center at Wheeling’s Oglebay Resort and Conference Center.

Sustainability is the magic word, of course. The ACUPCC encourages campuses not only to foster awareness, but to inculcate it permanently in institutional practice and tradition. Assistance is available to colleges and universities in identifying financial resources, including initiatives available through government and private-sector programs, to offset the start-up costs often associated with “going green.” That’s useful in convincing governing boards to buy into the plan. Long-term, campus environmental programs pay for themselves in reduced energy costs and enhanced facility efficiency, along with stewardship of tuition dollars and public-relations benefits that appeal to prospective students and their families.

Interdisciplinary approaches that unite curricular programs toward achieving common goals also offer exciting possibilities. Encouraging departments in the natural sciences, political science, public policy, business and economics, communication and others to analyze environmental problems from multiple perspectives offers tremendous opportunities for building interdepartmental consensus, developing new programs and strengthening institutional marketing.

If recent weather patterns are any indication of climate change—and there is compelling evidence that points to human intervention as the leading factor—our colleges and universities may be the perfect laboratories in which to develop practical models and solutions for addressing complex environmental problems. Although institutions are often resistant to rapid change, climate change is a reality that higher education can and must address—locally, globally and definitively.

Dr. Scott D. Miller is president of Bethany College and M.M. Cochran Professor of Leadership Studies. Now in his 22nd year as a college president, he serves as a consultant to college presidents and boards.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Get Ready for the Online Invasion

(Enrollment Manager, January 2013 – by Scott D. Miller and Marylouise Fennell)
What if they gave a traditional classroom lecture and nobody came? Although that’s not about to happen any time soon, the growing popularity of free virtual courses transcending barriers of time and geography, coupled with online offerings from for-profit institutions, poses a plethora of challenges for college presidents.
As the next wave of students weaned on the Internet engulfs our campuses, enrollment managers and CEOs need to prepare now with strategies and answers before they begin to receive, in large numbers, requests such as these from 18-year-olds:  I’ve completed 30 units of online coursework.  Can I transfer them in for credit toward a bachelor’s degree?” 
Many educators note that MOOC’s (massive online open courses) such as MITx, a portfolio of free MIT virtual courses also offered online by Harvard, Stanford, Yale and other prestigious universities, have taken higher education by storm. Further, with the advent of sites such as Coursera, a California-based virtual learning community, this issue has taken on considerable urgency in the larger context of how traditional colleges and universities can best deliver courses to students who have been learning online since pre-kindergarten.  The American Council on Education (ACE) has just announced, in its words, an initiative next year using faculty teams to assess the content and rigor of these courses to evaluate whether they should be recommended for college credit.

Barely a year old, MOOCs differ from older for-profit distance learning programs in several ways: they are often more rigorous, offering highly motivated students a fast track to completing their undergraduate educations and allowing them to move more quickly into graduate programs and into the marketplace.  The fact that courses from elite institutions are tuition-free appeals to all students, but especially to veterans and other non-traditional learners, the fastest-growing demographic segment in higher education today. 

With similar live courses costing several hundred dollars per unit, traditional campus-based programs obviously cannot compete on cost.  A possible solution -- limiting the number of units which students can transfer in -- may simply drive them to other universities. 

We urge presidents and chief enrollment officers to arm themselves and their respective institutions now for this new wave of virtual learners who increasingly will seek a $200,000 degree for the price of a few on-campus courses. In addition to what and how many virtual courses will be accepted and from what institutions, the time required to evaluate these courses will be of great concern to faculty.

The questions to be asked, then, are:

What credits will we accept?

How many and from whom will we accept them?

Who will evaluate them for equivalency with our current courses and degree requirements?     

As they ponder these emerging challenges, presidents and senior campus leadership, including faculty, will also want to consider the larger picture of how to best deliver courses to students who are “digital natives.”

Rather than the traditional “lecture” approach, one president from a primarily residential campus in the Northeast with a distance component suggests encouraging faculty to use the MOOC approach to teaching, using digitalized multimedia, online offerings as class preparation. Valuable classroom time is then used for discussion and analysis based on students’ virtual participation beforehand.

Similarly, Yale Provost and President-Elect Peter Salovey teaches a seminar called “Great Big Ideas” in which students watch the course’s lectures online, leaving classroom time entirely free for interactive discussion.

“MOOCs really (constitute) only one part of what online tools can provide, and it may in the end not be the most important part,” Provost Salovey says.

Although there will always be the traditional undergraduate demographic that seeks and benefits from the residential experience, a growing number of students will seek the cost-effective, convenient and expeditious virtual community to enhance their educational experience.

Experienced, respected enrollment management professionals such as the Dysart Group, Inc., can suggest strategic tools and strategies to help college presidents and enrollment managers to anticipate and craft proactive responses combining the best of both virtual and traditional, campus-based learning.

“We can project trends and suggest innovative solutions to adapt the traditional classroom model to contemporary online learners,” President John W. Dysart notes.

Keeping a college education affordable and accessible to all students who can benefit from it has long been the principal challenge facing presidents and senior campus management.  The new distance alternatives make this balance both more complex and more urgent.

Thoughtful answers need to come soon, because our 17-year-old students wanting to complete most of their undergraduate education free and online are not going to wait for us to advance favorable solutions.  Instead, they are quite likely to reply, “Well, if you won’t accept my online courses for credit toward a degree, I’m going to enroll at another institution that does.”

 #     #     #

Dr. Scott D. Miller is President of the College and M.M. Cochran Professor of Leadership Studies at Bethany College in West Virginia. Now in his third college presidency, he has served as a CEO for nearly 22 years. He is Chair of the Board of Directors of Academic Search, Inc.

Dr. Marylouise Fennell, RSM, a former president of Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA, is senior counsel for the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and principal of Hyatt Fennell, a Higher Education Search Firm.

They have collaborated on nine books, including “President to President: Views on Technology in Higher Education (2008)” and “Presidential Perspectives: Strategies to Address the Rising Cost of Higher Education” (2012.) They are regular columnists for College Planning and Management. Both serve as consultants to college presidents and boards.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bethany Trivia

Who was the first female professor to be granted emeritus status?

Click here to see the answer and other Bethany Trivia questions

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bethany College President's Office Student Staff Holiday Dinner

Annie and I enjoyed hosting the student staff of the Office of the President at Christman Manor tonight for the annual Christmas dinner. Pictured (back row, from top): Amber Ridings, Carlie Fisher, Mindy Bierhals, Chelsea Benson, and Heidi Soriano. Front (from left): SDM, Johnathan Foster, Morgan Jacobs, and Annie Grogan. Clark Creel (Executive Chef) and Shawn Stewart catered tonight's event.
The “Alliance of Language Clubs” (German, Italian, & Spanish Clubs) here at Bethany College stopped by the president's house (Christman Manor) tonight as a part of their community Christmas Caroling. Christmas carols were sung in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish by Bethany College students and faculty members. Kudos to Prof. Joe Lovano and Harald Menz for organizing this wonderful Bethany tradition.
Nice visiting at lunch today with our talented chaplain, Rev. Scott Thayer, and his wife Jeannie. Jeannie works in our Department of Education in the Hurl Center. Both have been a significant part of campus life for three years.
Four-time All-PAC and two-time first team Academic All-American volleyball star Jessica Zavatchen visits with Prof. Aaron Anslow (Bethany's NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative) at the 19th annual Bethany College Faculty/Student Pottery Sale in the Grace Phillips Johnson Visual Arts Center. Zavatchen holds an impressive 3.9 cumulative grade point average!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Beta Theta Pi (Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Holiday Party)

Great turnout and enjoyable time at the Beta Theta Pi Faculty, Staff and Alumni Holiday Party at the house. 
Dr. Miller pictured with members in front of the tree.

The tree selection committee of Tyler Buchanan, Casey Hamilton and Alex Delgiorno.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bethany Trivia

In what year did a member of the women's swim team break five individual records?

Click here to see the answer and other Bethany Trivia questions

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Presidents' Athletic Conference Council of Presidents Winter Meeting

Just returned from the Winter Meeting of the Presidents' Athletic Conference Council of Presidents in Pittsburgh. It was good to see and visit with Kevin Fenstermacher, left, new Assistant Commissioner/Director of Communications of the PAC. He is a 2000 grad of Bethany. He is pictured with PAC Commissioner Joe Onderko.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holidays Highlight the Special Blessings of Bethany

 (The President's Letter, December 2012)

The holiday season at a small college is always special. Students and faculty prepare for the end of their fall semester, holiday travel arrangements are confirmed, campus special events (such as our interfaith Light Up Night on November 29) bring the community together, shortened days gently nudge us toward winter.

It’s been a wonderful year at Bethany, worth celebrating as Christmas arrives and 2012 comes to a close. Here a few highlights:

We achieved major goals in enrollment and fundraising, as well as collaborative initiatives with such institutions as Carnegie Mellon University, now a Bethany partner in six new dual-degree programs. Our strong standing as a first-tier, national liberal arts college has been reaffirmed through the latest higher education rankings. The strength and quality of Bethany’s enrollment program, along with our having achieved $44 million to date in the capital campaign, are just some of the indicators of the College’s continuing success and national prominence.

Homecoming Weekend, October 5-6, was spectacular—a classic coming together of alumni and friends, campus dedications and the honoring of those who make Bethany so special. Later that month, Bethany Trustee Vice Chair Dr. Robert McCann, CEO of UBS Group Americas, hosted 25 Bethany students at an in-depth series of leadership and career-development forums in Pittsburgh, capped by an off-the-record examination of current issues by former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Dr. Greg Jordan, chair of the Bethany Board of Trustees, summed up the importance of the day’s activities with this challenge to our students: “Get into the game…You are at a very exciting point in your life. It’s all in front of you.”

Our ability to look ahead as a college is matched only by the empowering strength of our traditions, especially those closely identified with our founding denomination, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). A highlight of the year for me was the invitation to address the congregation and friends of the National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., October 14. Convened by the Rev. Dr. Peter Morgan, Bethany College’s Director of Church Relations Dr. Larry Grimes, and the Rev. Scott Thayer, our campus chaplain and minister of the Bethany Memorial Church, the occasion was a celebration of the historic relationship between Bethany and the iconic Washington church which once counted among its parishioners U.S. Presidents Lyndon Johnson and James Garfield, the latter a former trustee of Bethany College.
In my address to the congregation, I had the honor of commenting on that relationship by saying, “Bethany College is our founder Alexander Campbell’s legacy to those chosen students who seek to free their minds from prejudice, explore the wonders of the world, and diligently, pleasurably, and perhaps even uncomfortably reflect as they learn amid the spiritually nourishing splendor of the Appalachians. To walk where President Campbell walked, to glimpse the far-reaching vision of possibility that he possessed, is an honor and privilege that defines our work at Bethany each day.” What a great day for Bethany, our friends in the Church and all who share our mission.
As the calendar year winds down to its final weeks, I hope you will join the thousands of alumni and friends who make an annual gift to The Bethany Fund.  The holiday season is often when our contributors decide to make their calendar-year-end gift to Bethany, but we welcome your support at any time.
Why does your gift matter? Contributing to Bethany helps us address some of the most urgent challenges that we and our peer institutions confront in preparing for the future. These include having adequate resources for scholarships, faculty development, campus technology and facilities, the library, study-abroad initiatives and many other needs and opportunities. Every gift, of any amount, matters and is gratefully received.

At a time when the public increasingly questions the worth of an investment in a quality, four-year educational experience such as that offered by Bethany, gifts from alumni and friends aid us in assuring our prospective students and their families that Bethany is indeed worth that investment by providing important enhancements to our learning environment. Thank you for your commitment to our success.
On behalf of the entire campus community, Annie and I wish for each of you the happiest of holiday seasons, along with a spectacular new year of 2013. We hope your plans for the new year will include a visit to the beautiful, historic mountaintop campus of A Small College of National Distinction.

Bethany Trivia

When was the Bethany Alma Mater written?

Click here to see the answer and other Bethany Trivia questions

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Kappa Delta Pi (International Education Honor Society) Induction

The honorary held its annual inducation ceremony today at the Hurl Center. Chad Barnett, Headmaster, The Linsly School, was the keynote speaker.

45th Bethany Fall Annual Art Exhibition

Professor Kenn Morgan recognizes "Best of the Show" winner Betsy Cox, pictured with "The Watcher."

Prof. Morgan, left, pictured with: Betsy Cox, center left, "Best of the Show,"; to the left of her, Merit Award Winners, April Waltz, Robert Sako, Greta Foose, Jim Watson, Bozena Plucinska. On right, Honorable Mention Awards, Calvin Matzke, Greta Foose, Judith Minder, Robert Morris and Len Smith.

Professors Kenn Morgan and Aaron Anslow are proud to carry on this significant Bethany College tradition.

2012 Pittsburgh Polar Plunge

Bethany College's Student Athlete Advisory Council joined other SAC teams from the Presidents' Athletic Conference for the Pittsburgh Polar Plunge. Our "team" is pictured with PAC Commissioner Joe Onderko and Assistant Commissioner Kevin Fenstermacher (a Bethanian) at Heinz Field.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Matthew Ricciuti, son of Heather Ricciuti, The Mary Cutlip Director of Libraries, assists me with the official Light Up of the campus during the annual ritual in Commencement Hall tonight. A near capacity crowd helped Matthew count down the Light Up.
Approximately 20 trees will be auctioned off tonight at Light Up Night. Here's one of my favorities, the project of the Sophomore Class. They made ornaments with pictures of each of the College's 19 presidents.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dr. Jason Smith, Assistant Professor of Communications and Media Arts, is the winner of the Bethany Chess Club Challenge (est in 2006) tonight.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Annie and I enjoyed hosting the final faculty dinner of the Fall Semester Tuesday night at Christman Manor.  Dr. Brandon Lamson, a first year Assistant Professor of English, center, is pictured with Dr. Darin Fields, Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty/Sarah Cochran Professor of English, at the reception preceding dinner.

December's Schedule -- Upcoming Events and Meetings

December 1 – Japan Outreach Program Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, Mountainside Conference Center, 3 p.m. (open to public)

December 2 – Kappa Delta Pi (international education society), Hurl Center, 2 p.m. (open to public)

December 2 – Fall Arts Show Awards Reception, Renner Art Gallery, Bethany House, 2 to 3: 3:30  p.m. (open to public)

December 2 – Phi Kappa Tau Chili Cook Off, Bethany Memorial Church, 3 to 7 p.m. (public invited)

December 6 – Bethany College Wheeling Area Alumni Thirsty Thursday, Generations Restaurant, 6 p.m.

December 6 – Bethany College Ensemble Holiday Concert, location TBA, 7:30 p.m. (open to public)

December 8 – Bethany College Green and White Day (for prospective students, registration required), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

December 11 – Last day of classes for the Fall Semester

December  12 – Campus Reading Day

December 12 – Moon Beam Breakfast (for students/faculty/staff), Ogden Dining Hall, Benedum Commons, 9 p.m.

December 14 – Campus Christmas (faculty/staff by invitation, RSVP required)

December 22 to January 2 – Campus Holiday

 (faculty and students are invited to breakfast or lunch with the president; contact the Office of the President to schedule)


Home Athletics

December 1 – Swimming and Diving v. Penn State Altoona and Ursuline, Knight Natatorium,1 p.m.

December 5 – Women’s basketball v. Geneva, Nutting Gymnasium, Hummel Field House, 6 p.m.

December 5 – Men’s basketball v. Geneva, Nutting Gymnasium, Hummel Field House, 8 p.m.

December 8 – Women’s basketball v. Thiel, Nutting Gymnasium, Hummel Field House, 2 p.m.

December 8 – Men’s basketball v. Thiel, Nutting Gymnasium, Hummel Field House, 4 p.m.

December 11 –Men’s basketball v. Frostburg State, Nutting Gymnasium, Hummel Field House, 7 p.m.

December 15 – Women’s basketball v. Hiram, Nutting Gymnasium, Hummel Field House, 2 p.m.

December 15 – Men’s basketball v. Olivet, Nutting Gymnasium, Hummel Field House, 7 p.m.



December 4, 11 -- President’s Cabinet

December 4 – Higher Education Leadership and Ministry (HELM), Board of Directors

December 5 – Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC), Presidents Council

December 6 -- Leadership Council

December 13 -- Athletic Management Council

December 10 – American Council on Education Global Leadership

December 18 -- President’s Staff

Schedule and attendance at events subject to change
Enjoyable lunch at the Ogden Dining Hall visiting with Necol Dunson (Director of Dining Services), Jared Levin (Regional Marketing Director, Chartwells Higher Education), Matt Reese (Assistant Director of Residential Dining Services), and Clark Creel (Executive Chef)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bethany Trivia

What is the Honors Society for History?

Click here to see the answer and other Bethany Trivia questions

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Enjoyable lunch at Christman Manor, Pendleton Heights with prospective student Julia Mattox, daughter of former Bethany student Rachel Mattox (right) and niece of Bethany grad and Trustee Rev. Janet Long (left).

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bethany Trivia

What NCAA Division I University does the Bethany College men's basketball team currently have a .500 record against?

Click here to see the answer and other Bethany Trivia questions

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Neil Christman receives a replica street sign that honors his brother, Ted, on the Bethany campus.   The sign was presented at the Atlanta alumni and  friends event at The Atlanta Athletic Club.

Thanks to Neil ('55) and Jackie Christman for hosting a well attended Bethany College alumni and friends brunch at The Atlanta Athletic Club today.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Signage was posted today at Bethany College's new indoor equestrian facility at Oglebay Resort.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Enjoyable dinner at Christman Manor, Pendleton Heights tonight with our exchange students from Heidelberg, Germany. Harald Menz, Professor and Director of International Studies; Professors Joe Lovano and Anju Ramjee, and Bethany vice presidents Sven de Jong and Darin Fields, joined Annie and me for the dinner.

Another busy week of entertaining for us at Christman Manor, Pendleton Heights. Many thanks to our wonderful CM catering director Ben Arikian (left) and executive chef Clark Creel. Always a delightful evening with these two leading the way!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Higher Education Can Learn from an Endless Campaign

(The Huffington Post, November 13, 2012)
To the relief of many in our state and nation, the 2012 political campaign has finally ended. Gone, but not forgotten, are the seemingly endless strategizing, debates, attack ads and, of course, the gaffes, missteps and surprising turns that made the run-up to this election one of the most memorable, sensational and costly in history.
Yet another, less dramatic, but highly influential element of the campaign has not disappeared; in fact, it is with us constantly, having shaped this election, and promising to shape the one after this and the one after that.
It's the data -- more precisely, what the data tell us not just about who voted but which voters conformed to expectation, which ones performed more or less on cue among the electorate and who will be targeted next time when technologically savvy political campaigners chart their strategies not with traditional bumper-sticker branding but computers.
Writing in The New York Times the day after the election, Michael Cooper characterized the competition that "pitted pundits against pollsters" as "a pitched battle between two self-assured rivals: those who relied on an unscientific mixture of experience, anecdotal details and 'Spidey sense,' and those who stuck to cold, hard numbers. When the results were tabulated, it became clear that data had bested divination."
The science of campaigning did not supersede the art of electioneering. They appeared to become one and the same. For President Obama to win, as the Associated Press on November 8 recounted his re-election strategy, it was a matter of performing "exactly the way his campaign had predicted: running up big margins with women and minorities, mobilizing a sophisticated registration and get-out-the-vote operation, and focusing narrowly on the battleground states that would determine the election."
Obama's team set their sights on those voters who could be of most use to the campaign. Voter research, identification and target marketing helped produce the reality of November 6, and will do so for all other national elections in our lifetimes.
Polls and number crunching are nothing new in elections. But as a college president, I watched the campaign with special interest this time because of the extent to which target marketing, accompanied by relentless analysis of prospective-voter data generated, reminded me of our own marketing of educational opportunity at Bethany College.
An election analogy to the marketing of my institution would go something like this:
In days gone by, politicians would walk the streets, knocking on doors, handing out trinkets, hoping to attract a critical mass of sympathetic voters.

In the past, admissions representatives would put in appearances at various college fairs, talking with anyone who stopped by our displays, handing out brochures and reply cards and hoping to attract a critical mass of future freshmen.
Now, both strategies have become more refined. Thanks to the data, politicians (or their representatives) still walk the streets and knock on doors -- but it's a matter of determining in advance which doors to approach. Thanks to their data, colleges still focus on attracting freshmen, and even use the occasional brochure or viewbook -- but it's a matter of determining in advance which freshmen we want to attract, and how.
At Bethany, our prospective-student data determine our desired student profile along with what, if any, advertising to purchase, what messages to deliver to whom (whether early-deciding high school freshmen or sophomores, or late-deciding high school juniors and seniors) and what media to employ. We still invite students and their families to campus visitation days (no social-media message replaces the personal touch by admissions counselors and faculty), but by the time their vehicles drive up to Old Main, we've already had our prospective incoming freshmen on our electronic radar for months, if not years.
As is true with some political campaigns, the college targeting strategy can overcome perceived negatives. One is cost, and the public's growing preoccupation with value for the investment of four years and thousands of dollars in a prestigious, private, liberal arts college like Bethany. Another is family history. Proud that their sons and daughters may be the first in their families to enroll in post-secondary education (true for some 30 percent of freshmen at colleges such as ours), families may nevertheless find financial-aid processes and academic expectations daunting at first.
Our solution with target marketing is to assure our audience that we have chosen to invite them over other audiences, that we want their sons and daughters to enroll at Bethany, that we will work for their success in return for their vote of confidence in our institution.
Sound familiar?
Sophisticated marketing and advertising are expensive, so the pay-off better be clear from the start. More than that, our student constituency represents a long-term investment in our institution's future. We want students who will be the best fit for Bethany, as we hope to be for them. That's not just any student, I tell our campus-visitation audiences who have been summoned with the help of advanced research... it's you.
As with deciding on a candidate in an election, the decision to attend a particular college or university is not only highly personal but it should also be an informed one. Behind those decisions are the data that connect the dots to craft the image to generate the strategy to produce the desired outcome. Higher education institutions that are not sensitive to data gathering in building their enrollments certainly need to be.
Like the election of 2012, enrolling a freshman class is one long campaign. And increasingly, we college administrators don't like surprises any better than political candidates do.
Enjoyable faculty dinner at Christman Manor last night. Among the attendees...two recent faculty honorees: Professors Joe Lovano and Anju Ramjee. Joe was recently recognized with the International Association of University Presidents Faculty Achievement Award and Anju is Bethany College's nominee for state "Professor of the Year."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bethany Trivia

What piece of Alexander Campbell is in the Bethany College Archives?

Click here to see the answer and other Bethany Trivia questions

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Homecoming 2012: Recapping a Memorable Weekend

 (The President's Letter, November 2012)

Homecoming Weekend 2012…It doesn’t get any better than this. A crisp autumn day with a bracing bite in the air, fall foliage at its peak, attendance levels among the highest in recent years…spirited reunions, a football win, alumni, student athletes and scholars honored, faculty feted and to top it all off, dedication of a new site honoring alumni involvement in their alma mater for more than a half-century.

The weekend also featured an array of athletic events, the Homecoming Parade and the traditional tailgate party adjacent to Bison Stadium. This was truly a high point of the year for Bethany.

There were some memorable highlights:

Allison Run:  Kicking off festivities on Saturday, October 6, was the 12th Annual Allison’s Run, remembering the vibrant life of beloved professor Jim Allison ’62 while raising money to support the scholarship award that bears his name.

Bado Place:  No alumni family is more dedicated to its alma mater than the Bados, three generations of whom have attended the College over the span of five decades. That made it especially gratifying to welcome family members to the dedication of Bado Place, commonly known as “Greek Hill.” The dedication was a reminder of the importance of Greek and campus life at Bethany, but also the theme of family and lifelong connections that contribute so tangibly to this great institution. Let us hope that future generations of Bethanians will be inspired as the Bados have been to associate their family life with ours.

Coach Don Ault Football Suite:  The Ault Football Suite was dedicated in honor of legendary Bethany College Coach Don Ault, continuing our tradition of upgrading athletic facilities while often honoring outstanding sports figures in Bethany history.

Buckelew Endowment: When Professor of Biology Albert R. (Jay) Buckelew, Jr., retired last year after 43 years of service, it was as if an era had ended at Bethany. A devoted professor, advisor, mentor and friend to Bethany students across the past four decades, Jay was honored in a surprise announcement about the establishment of the Jay Buckelew Endowed Fund at Bethany College. The fund will be used to further the outstanding level of teaching, scholarship and service in our biology program which is so closely associated with his career. Gifts from alumni and friends, including former students and others from throughout the country and across the generations, have been used to establish the fund. We thank all who have contributed, especially Donna L. Smith ’74 and James E. Gerb ’77 for lending their names and valued leadership to this effort to launch the fund.
Athletic Hall of Fame: During halftime of the game, three new Bethanians were formally inducted into the Class of 2012 Bethany Hall of Fame and presented with plaques. The Class of 2012 includes football player and track runner Richie Beckett from the Class of 1995, women’s basketball player Stephanie Cunningham-Roksandich from the Class of 1999 and women’s soccer player Missy Miller from the Class of 1996.

  • Richie Beckett excelled on the gridiron and on the track. He was a four-year letterman as a wide receiver and earned Second Team All-PAC in 1993, leading the PAC with 490 receiving yards in 1994 and finished his career with 93 receptions for 1,241 yards. On the track, Beckett qualified for the 1993 NCAA National Championships in the 110 hurdles and placed ninth at the national meet. As a senior in 1995, he won conference championships in the 110 hurdles, the 4x100 and 4x400 relays and finished his career with 10 All-PAC honors. His name is still in the Bethany records books for the 400 (42.74 seconds) and 1,600 (3:20.64) relays, and his time of 14.75 seconds in the 110 hurdles remained a Bison record until 2008.  Beckett graduated from Bethany with a degree in sports administration and a minor in business management. He currently resides in Richmond, Va., with his wife Charise and their five children.

  •  Stephanie Cunningham-Roksandich played in 105 games during her career on the hard court for the Bison. During her four healthy seasons (she missed all but three games of the 1997-98 season due to injury), Bethany compiled a 73-29 record, won its first PAC Championship in school history (1997) and played in the postseason four times, including the 1997 NCAA Tournament and the ECAC Tournament in 1995, 1996 and 1999.Cunningham-Roksandich owns the school record with 12 steals in a game, and in that same contest against Notre Dame (Md.) College in 1995, she recorded the first triple-double in school history with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 12 steals. Cunningham-Roksandich graduated from Bethany with a degree in elementary education. Today, she is the owner/director of the Brunswick Prep Academy and resides in Brunswick, Ohio, with her husband Robert and their three children.

  • Missy Miller ranks as the most prolific scorer in Bethany women’s soccer history, pursuing her career in 1992, 1993 and 1994. Among the school records Miller still holds are most goals (74) and points (171) in a career, with second place for career points coming in at 133 .She also tied the school record with four goals in a game, ranks second in career assists with 23 and is second for points in a season with 48. Miller resides in Markleton, Pa., with her husband Jim Mardis and son David.

A future Hall of Famer is Bethany College senior wide receiver Johnathan Foster, who has been named as one of the 147 candidates for the 2012 National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar-Athlete Awards, which also makes him a semifinalist for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy. The Campbell Trophy recognizes an individual as the best football scholar-athlete in the nation.

Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in the final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship, and will vie as finalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy.

Communicators Wall of Fame: The Department of Communications and Media Arts’ mixer October 5 showcasing the College’s second-largest major featured the addition of five outstanding communications professionals with ties to Bethany. The unveiling of the wall revealed the names of Jhamal Robinson ‘98, who became one of the youngest executives in the industry at age 25 with a position at E! Entertainment Networks and who has received four Emmy nominations, winning the award for Daytime Entertainment Creative Arts; investigative reporter Del Walters, who has been awarded more than 20 Emmys for investigative reporting and more than 100 other national and international awards, including the Walters national Edward R. Murrow Award for documentary film; and G. Ogden Nutting, H’11, publisher of Ogden Newspapers, Inc., which publishes six daily and three weekly newspapers in West Virginia, as well as daily newspapers in ten other states. Trustee Nutting was honored by the West Virginia Press Association, which named him a life member and awarded him its most prestigious recognition, the Adam R. Kelly Premier Journalist Award.

Others include Susan Ryan Lister ’89, senior specialist for global communications of Whirlpool International Corporation. At Bethany, Susan was active on the editorial staff of The Tower, was a Kalon Scholar and recipient of the Scripps-Howard Journalism Scholarship and active in Phi Mu Sorority. Also honored was Rick Jackson ’78, an award-winning anchor and reporter for more than 30 years for national and local television and radio, including PBS. Rick was active at Bethany in the Kappa Alpha Order, Pi Delta Epsilon and WVBC-Radio and TV.

We are indebted to The Driehorst Family Foundation and other contributors for their investment in technology and scholarships, to our alumni and friends around the country who generously serve as mentors to our students and to our other corporate and organizational partners who are helping us define new and innovative opportunities for our students to gain practical experience in media, public relations and other communications fields.

Donor Recognition Social: A highlight for me every year is the Donor Recognition Social at Christman Manor. It recognizes individuals who have gone the extra mile in their support of Bethany. A real treat for us was visiting with 96-year-old Bethany legend Dr. Robert Martin ‘40, who has supported so many different projects on campus. An endowed chair bears his name, and he spearheaded fundraising for the renovation of the Academic Parlour in Old Main, construction of the Alumni Walk from Christman Manor to Phillips Hall and much more.

This year’s Homecoming Art Exhibit, “A Show of Hands,” was dedicated to the memory of beloved alumna Ruth Caine ’64. In the words of the exhibition brochure, Ruth was “a passionate patron of the arts, a relentless leader of Bethany’s Alumni Council (1996-2005), and an exuberant supporter of “all things Bethany.”  As the brochure noted, Ruth’s “interests were vast, her conversations fascinating, her laugh infectious,” and her “zest for life contagious.”  We mourn the loss of this vibrant daughter of Alma Mater.

#  #  #  #

The football team recorded a stunning 42-36 overtime victory over Presidents’ Athletic Conference rival Geneva College. The Bison took a 7-point lead with 18 seconds to go in regulation, only to have Geneva tie the score on a “Hail Mary” pass as time expired. Matt Grimard connected with Ed Holmes in the back of the end zone on the Bethany’s first possession in overtime to clinch the win.

Sun, spirit, scholarship and sports: Homecoming Weekend 2012 was a time when all the ingredients assembled in just the right proportions to create a magnificent recipe.  If you weren’t there, plan to join us next year.  But it won’t be easy to replicate this near-perfect weekend. Homecoming 2012, showcasing all the best that Bethany has to offer, will be a tough act to follow.