Monday, April 29, 2013

Bethany Trivia

In what year did a Bison baseball player have a 1.000 fielding percentage?

Click here to see the answer and other Bethany Trivia questions

Friday, April 26, 2013

What's Changed -- and Hasn't -- in the Coverage of Breaking News

(The Huffington Post, April 26, 2013)

Media coverage of the tragic and ongoing developments related to the Boston Marathon bombings highlights the dramatic changes in breaking-news coverage as the nation prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of another horrifying tragedy in our history -- the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Much has changed, and much has not, since that grim day in Dealey Plaza. In any case, as has been true for some time now, the implications for communications students at our nation's colleges and universities are significant.

The death of JFK, who once spoke on the Bethany College campus, was a watershed event in instant, breaking-news coverage. After initial voiceover bulletins announcing gunshots in the president's motorcade (Walter Cronkite of CBS broke in on the soap opera As the World Turns) on Friday, November 22, all three networks and some local stations went live with continual, on-the-air studio updates of the unfolding events in Dallas. Coverage would last all the way through Kennedy's funeral on that Monday. Memorably, Cronkite fought for composure as he announced on the air the "apparently official" death of the young president whom he had personally interviewed for a CBS special a little more than two months before.

"Uncle Walter," like most of his broadcast contemporaries, had come to the TV newsroom from conventional journalism (newspaper) backgrounds. Fifty years ago, in 1963, the media landscape was still dominated by the printed word, and by the imperative of getting the story right before it was published in early and final editions of America's newspapers. Indeed, Americans still received their daily news from the newsprint page -- cities had several morning and afternoon papers -- and from abbreviated nightly TV broadcasts by three major networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC) featuring trusted male-authority figures, like Cronkite, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley and others. There were limited visuals. Videotape and live, remote news coverage were in their infancy. Not every TV program was broadcast in color. The idea of 24-hour-a-day news broadcasting later pioneered by CNN, or a channel devoted exclusively to weather coverage, would have seemed then like science fiction. 

Radio was terrestrial, often featuring live, original programming in contrast to today's digital, recorded formats. We had barely begun the age of human space flight, let alone launched the kinds of sophisticated, orbital satellites that now permit instant, global transmission of sight and sound. Online news sources and advertising, the hundreds of cable TV options we now have, webstreaming, and other media developments familiar to us today were decades away.

Film and still photography, not TV trucks with antennae positioned for satellite downloads, recorded the fatal shots in Dallas. Wire-service reporters initially called in the story.

Two days after the president's assassination, another shooting was captured live on TV with the stunning murder of the president's accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Television news was no longer studio-bound, but instead a live witness to history -- and in the minds of many, that weekend changed broadcasting media forever.

Fast-forward to the events in Boston of April 15. This time, the tragedy was covered from multiple angles; everyone with a cell phone was a potential witness. Indeed, digital photography, video and social media were instrumental in the tracking, days later, of the bombing suspects and the placing in custody of the surviving one. Daily coverage of the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, including the climactic manhunt in Watertown, continues. Four heartbreaking days in November 1963, in which the media were largely observers -- influential ones, yes, but in a much more limited role compared to today -- have been supplanted by instant, 24-hour coverage, commentary, opinion, speculation.

As with Dallas in 1963, much of the early reported information from the site of the Marathon was simply inaccurate. But today's media, with their blurring of the roles of reporter and commentator, with the on-air personalities becoming more and more a part of the story itself, with live TV and social media facilitating not just coverage but a national conversation about the story, make Walter Cronkite's suppressed emotion on November 22, 1963, seem like a model of restraint and dignity.

Further, what may have taken a generation for a photo to be considered "iconic" can now receive that designation in moments -- especially if it has a connotation of the events of 9/11 and the raw, vulnerable feelings of Americans, accompanied by scenes of instant, makeshift memorials, fist-pumping patriotism, the raising of a recovered American flag over Ground Zero.

Technology has ramped up the immediacy of any breaking news, and we expect that -- indeed, depend on it. Yet the lessons for students of what used to be known as journalism lead to longstanding, critical questions about whether we still require "getting it right" before going with the details of any story; what the limits should be, if any, in reporting on the workings of law enforcement (Oswald was surrounded by cameras and reporters when he was gunned down in the Dallas police headquarters; NBC's Lester Holt in Boston revealed to viewers that a police officer had yelled at him for venturing too close to barricades); what privacy victims' families deserve versus their own increasing, expected and highly visible roles in the public's hunt for justice; whether all the instant, constant coverage will continue to desensitize us not only to the horror of such tragedies but also to the agenda of prevention of terrorism and the preservation of social order. Most who lived through Kennedy's assassination were probably never quite the same afterward. Boston, admittedly a different kind of calamity, is the latest in a series. The media this time were quick to pounce with commentary on the supposed "complacency" of our nation in the intervening years since September 11, 2001.

Perhaps most compelling of all is the question of whether online and social media can, or should, ever be restrained or controlled. The accused Boston bombers reportedly learned their craft on the Internet; their demise was at the hands of dedicated, heroic police officers and a band of Big Brothers with mobile phones.

It's a conversation students and faculty should have as we brace ourselves for what might come next and which will, inevitably, not simply unfold as a story but explode.

Stand by....

#     #     #     #

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.
Melissa Davis (Senior Fellow and Senior of the Year) won a good many awards tonight at the Social Work Honors Dinner at Harder Hall. Joining Melissa and me for the picture are her proud parents & dept. chair Kathy Furbee. Melissa is also a standout swimmer for the Bison.

2013 Communications & Media Arts Awards

Joe Dumas, Jason Smith, Pat Sutherland, Scott Miller, Darin Fields, M.E. Gamble, and Mort Gamble.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bethany College Alumni Event at The Harvard Faculty Club

Thanks to Jeffrey and Nancy Seglin and J.P. Blaho for hosting tonight's Bethany College alumni and friends event at The Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

For The Record

With senior A.J. Sparks before the final "taping" (and his final edition as producer) of "For The Record" moments ago.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Service Learning Center Reception

Nice visiting with Kathy Shelek-Furbee, Chair of Social Work/Director of Service Learning, at tonight's recognition reception.

Bethany Trivia

When did Bethany College adopt an Honors program ?

Click here to see the answer and other Bethany Trivia questions

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Kappa Delta Tau Induction

With Dr. Darin Fields, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Sherri Theaker, Chair of the Department of Education, at the Kappa Delta Pi induction at the Hurl Center today. New inductees: Haylee Acree, Zachary Edmiston, Jessica Herrold, Lynsie Mandt, Skylar Williams, and Kelly Zogran. Ashley Kanotz ('06 & '12) was the speaker.

The Society for Collegiate Journalists Induction

Congratulations to the new inductees of The Society for Collegiate Journalists: A. Parker Burroughs (faculty), Jenna Clancy, Renee Jones, Emily King, Whitney Lewicki, Shannon Marks, Katrina Miller, Daniel Sabatino, Anthony J. Sparks, Taylor Verrico, and Katherine Warren. Dr. Mort Gamble, Executive Assistant to the President, and I are chapter advisors. The induction was held at Christman Manor.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Stampede

Vice President for Academic Affairs Darin Fields & Director of the Marching Band Matt White admire the uniforms for The Stampede...Bethany's new marching band. The band will debut in the fall.

The President's Awards for Excellence in Performance

Congratulations: To Heather Ricciuti, The Mary Cutlip Director of Libraries and Learning Resources...recipient of the President's Staff Award for Excellence in Performance at today's Honors Convocation in Commencement Hall.

Congratulations: To M.E. Gamble, Chair of the Department of Communications and Media Arts, and Anju Ramjee, Professor of Economics...recipients of the President's (Faculty) Award for Excellence in Performance at today's Honors Convocation in Commencement Hall.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bethany Trivia

What Bethany men's soccer player holds the record for career goals and career points?

Click here to see the answer and other Bethany Trivia questions

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bethany College senior Brittany Bizila working at the NCAA D-I Hockey Frozen Four at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh tonight. Thanks to Presidents' Athletic Conference Commissioner Joe Onderko for sending along the photo.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Nice visiting tonight with Kenn Morgan, The Jennie Steindorf Renner Chair of Fine Arts, at the Bethany College Senior Art Show in the Renner Art Gallery. On display were the works of Carl Dean Cosentino, Marcus D'Aguiar-Alexander, Brennan Davies, Elizabeth Kletzli, Kayla Smuck and Victoria Spriggs. The exhibit is comprised of various works created during their career at Bethany College. Each senior exemplified interest in different mediums, such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics and much more.

Just finished my Spring President's Roundtable with the Bethany College National Alumni Council. Meeting at The Bethany Beanery, the group was delighted to be served by 40-year Bethanian Linda Walters. Linda has worn many hats at Bethany through the years.

Friday, April 12, 2013

"Starship Tahiti: Poems" Release Party

Nice turnout in the Academic Parlour for a book release party for Dr. Brandon Lamson’s (Assistant Professor of English) "Starship Tahiti: Poems"...winner of the 2012 Juniper Prize for Poetry. Joining Dr. Lamson and I for the picture is his wife Elizabeth.

Enjoyable dinner tonight at The Bethany Club with members of the National Alumni Council. Kathy Furbee, Chair/Professor of Social Work, was the speaker. Alumni Council President J.P. Blaho (second from left) and Vice President Bruce Fahey (second from right) are pictured with Ashley Kanotz, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations, and me.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

2013 Omicron Delta Epsilon Induction

Five students were inducted into the Omicron Delta Epsilon international honor society in Economics last night in the Bethany Club. Pictured, from left: Randy Cooey, Professor-emeritus; Amber Ridings; Cameron Cooper; Peter Franklin; Allison Snyder; Renee Jones; Professor Anju Ramjee, and President Scott D. Miller.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Great visiting with loyal Bethanians Bill and Narka Ryan of Baltimore at tonight's social for the Oreon E. Scott Lecture participants at Christman Manor.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bethany Trivia

What are the Oreon E. Scott Lectures?

Click here to see the answer and other Bethany Trivia questions

58th Oreon E. Scott Lectures

The 58th Oreon E. Scott Lectures featuring Dr. Richard H. Lowery (left) on the topic "Genesis and Human Rights" today and tomorrow at our Mountainside Conference Center. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale and holds academic assignments at Lexington Theological Seminary and Phillips Theological Seminary. Dr. Lowery resides in Indianapolis with his wife, the Rev. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Dr. Richard Weis, Vice President & Dean at Lexington Theological Seminary, spoke on the topic "Nurturing the Seeds of the Future" at Oreon E. Scott Luncheon today at the Mountainside Conference Center. He's pictured with Dr. Larry Grimes, Dean of our Buffalo Seminary & Director of Church Relations.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Presidential Perspectives

(This month's issue of Presidential Perspectives, a presidential thought series, published by Scott D. Miller and Marylouise Fennell with support of Aramark Higher Education). 

This month's chapter is titled "Strategic Enrollment Planning to Educate a Diverse Workforce."

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What's a College Education Worth?

(The President's Letter, April 2013)

What’s a college education worth these days?

Amid rising costs of tuition and an economy still rebounding from recession, higher education consumers and observers are increasingly asking that question—and with good reason.

Since 1978, according to a Bloomberg report at the start of the current academic year, costs of tuition and fees at colleges and universities have increased more than 1,100 percent—“four times faster than the increase in the consumer price index.”

Although it’s tempting to view an investment in college in purely monetary terms, I’d like to offer a broader, more inspiring view of the value of a college education, more specifically, the value of a Bethany liberal arts education.

On this year’s Founders Day, March 7, we hosted West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman ’73 of Wheeling as our featured speaker. Of the many speeches and addresses I have listened to in my three decades of higher education experience, Marc’s presentation to a packed Commencement Hall was one of the most memorable.

He paid tribute to his Bethany education; it “shaped me profoundly and held me together,” he said.

“Bethany was the savior,” he noted. “Not only did it keep me from getting lost, but I had superb teachers. A tome on Bethany’s history noted that among the goals of the faculty was the desire to educate the conscience at Bethany. They did so, and I believe they still do.”

Marc read from his body of poetry and later presented an autographed  copy of his collection Green-Silver and Silent Poems, which will hold a place of honor in our College Archives.

Yet it was his delivery to a hushed audience in historic Commencement Hall on Founder’s Day that moved many of us beyond the capacity of our own words. Here was eloquent, compelling, and persuasive evidence of the power of a Bethany education—its ability to draw upon an individual’s own talents (such as the gift for capturing and relating stories that Marc referenced in his speech), and to transform lives profoundly. To hear Marc’s address was to understand how the undergraduate years of study and reflection here lead to lifelong awareness of the world in perhaps unexpected yet immeasurably satisfying ways. Education is growth, the perpetual flowering of knowledge and understanding in all of our graduates.

The worth of that cannot truly be measured, but it is certainly worth honoring as we did so by awarding Marc the degree Doctor of Letters, presented by Dr. Jessie L. Janeshek, assistant professor of English and an accomplished poet in her own right.

We continued this year’s Founder’s Day by commemorating our roots and traditions with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a number of whose representatives joined us for the day’s activities, including the annual wreath-laying ceremony in memory of our founder, Alexander Campbell.

I believe that Campbell would have been quite pleased with our Founder’s Day this year. Not only did we celebrate the beginnings of our College in 1840, but we also, through Marc’s address, dramatically reaffirmed the value of our founder’s vision and intentions for Bethany. For this is an institution that invigorates the spirit and nourishes the soul amid the wilderness of our natural surroundings and the metaphorical wilderness where we wander in search of meaning.

The worth of a Bethany education was also highly evident during this year’s March 9 Kalon Scholarship Luncheon, featuring the keynote address by Dan Verakis ‘94. Dan, senior vice president and director of public relations at Cramer-Krasselt, the nation's largest independent communications agency, credited Bethany with paving the way for his astounding career success, which has included helping major brands such as Abbott, Kraft, and McDonald’s with their communications and operational goals.

The annual Kalon luncheon is among my favorite occasions at Bethany. It unites prospective students, their families, Bethany alumni, faculty, current students, and friends in a joint examination of the qualifications for our next class of Kalon Scholars whose demonstrated service leadership and academic excellence recommend them for consideration.

As we look ahead to the conclusion of another remarkable year at Bethany —our 173rd—we eagerly anticipate this year’s Oreon E. Scott Lectures, April 8-9, by Dr. Richard Lowery, adjunct professor of Hebrew Bible at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky and Phillips Theological Seminary in Oklahoma. His wife, the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), is a previous Oreon E. Scott lecturer at Bethany College.

Alumni Weekend, May 3-5, is also fast approaching, with a special honoring of this year’s 50th reunion Class of 1963 and presentation of awards to distinguished graduates of Bethany.

We invite you to join us for these annual traditions. Thank you for your ongoing support of Bethany College, your sharing of our mission of faith and knowledge, and your emails, letters, and visits which mean so much during the busy spring season on a college campus.

I wish for each of you a beautiful spring with all of the promise of hope and renewal that it brings to the community of A Small College of National Distinction.

April's Schedule

Upcoming Events and Meetings

April 5-14 – Senior Art Show, Renner Art Gallery

April 6 – Green and White Day

April 8-9 – 58th Annual Oreon E. Scott Lectures, Mountainside Conference Center

April 12-13 – Alumni Council Spring Meeting

April 12-13 – Siblings Weekend

April 12-14 – “Spring Awakening” in Wailes Theatre

April 15-19 – Registration for Fall 2013

April 15-19 – Red Bison Week

April 18 – Honors Day and Convocation, Commencement Hall, 11 a.m.

April 18 – Spring Concert, Commencement Hall, 7:30 p.m.

April 20 – Creative Writing Workshop, Mountainside Conference Center

April 21 – Society for Collegiate Journalists Induction, Christman Manor at Pendleton Heights

April 22 – Service Learning Center Open House/Reception, Phillips Hall

April 22-26 – Greek Week

April 24 – American Red Cross Blood Drive, Agostino Room, Benedum Commons, 1-7 p.m.

April 26 – Last Day of Classes for seniors taking Senior Comprehensive Exams

April 29 – Comedian (Surprise Main Event)

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

Home Athletic Events

April 2 – Baseball v. Thiel, Bethany Park, 1 p.m.

April 2 – Softball v. Thiel, Bison Field, 3:30 p.m.

April 2 – Men’s Tennis v. Saint Vincent, Ewing Tennis Center, 4 p.m.

April 5 – Lacrosse v. Southern Virginia, Bison Stadium, 5 p.m.

April 6 – Baseball v. Thomas More, Bethany Park, 1 p.m.

April 6 – Softball v. Chatham, Bison Field, 1 p.m.

April 6 – Bethany Track and Field Invitational at Bison Stadium

April 7 – Baseball v. Thomas More, Bethany Park, 12 p.m.

April 9 – Men’s Tennis v. Penn State-Altoona, Ewing Tennis Center, 3 p.m.

April 10 – Men’s Tennis v. Thiel, Ewing Tennis Center, 4 p.m.

April 11 – Reserve Softball v. Muskingum, Bison Field, 3:30 p.m.

April 12 – Men’s Tennis v. Grove City, Ewing Tennis Center, 4 p.m.

April 13 – Softball v. Thomas More, Bison Field, 12 p.m.

April 13 – Lacrosse v. Bridgewater, Bison Stadium, 2 p.m.

April 14 – Baseball v. Westminster, Bethany Park, 1 p.m.

April 16 – Baseball v. Saint Vincent, Bethany Park, 2 p.m.

April 16 – Junior Varsity Baseball v. Saint Vincent, Bethany Park, 6 p.m.

April 17 – Softball v. Saint Vincent, Bison Field, 3:30 p.m.

April 17 – Track and Field – PAC Quad Meet, Bison Stadium, 2 p.m.

April 19 – Baseball v. Grove City, Bethany Park, 3 p.m.

April 21 – Reserve Softball v. Marietta, Bison Stadium, 1 p.m.

April 21 – Lacrosse v. Wesley, Bison Stadium, 1 p.m.

April 22 – Junior Varsity Baseball v. West Liberty, Bethany Park, 3 p.m.

April 23 – Baseball v. Muskingum, Bethany Park, 2 p.m.

April 26 – Baseball v. Geneva, Bethany Park, 4 p.m.

April 27 – Softball v. Westminster, Bison Field, 2 p.m.

April 27 – Men’s Lacrosse v. Baldwin Wallace, Bison Stadium, 4:30 p.m.

April 30 – Baseball v. Pitt-Greensburg, Bethany Park, 2 p.m.

Due to changing weather conditions, be sure to verify dates and times on the schedules online.


April 2, 9, 16, 30 – President’s Cabinet

April 2-3 – Independent College Enterprise (ICE) Board of Directors Meeting, Charleston, WV

April 4-5 – Online Consortium of Independent Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL

April 5-7 –North Central Association (HLC) Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL

April 16 – President’s Staff

April 17 – Athletic Management Council

April 17 – Leadership Council

April 24 – Boston Area Alumni and Friends Event

April 28-29 – Appalachian College Association Spring Executive Committee Meeting, Johnson City, TN

Schedule and attendance at events subject to change

Monday, April 1, 2013

Bethany Trivia

When was the college seal created and what does it mean?

Click here to see the answer and other Bethany Trivia questions