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Bethany College (Bethany, West Virginia)

For schools with the same or similar names, see Bethany College (disambiguation).

Bethany College
File:Bethany College WV logo.jpg
Established 1840
Type Private, Liberal Arts
Religious affiliation Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Endowment $77 million[1]
President Scott D. Miller
Students 1,030 (910 full-time)
Location Bethany, West Virginia, United States
Campus Rural 1,300 acres (526 ha)
Athletics 22 NCAA Division III Athletic Teams and an Equestrian club team.
Colors Green and White          
Mascot Bison

Bethany College is a private, liberal arts college located in Bethany, West Virginia, United States. Founded in 1840, Bethany College is the oldest institution of higher education in West Virginia.


Bethany's 1,300 acre campus is located in the northern panhandle of West Virginia, situated on the hilly Allegheny Plateau. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a 50-minute drive from campus. Wheeling, West Virginia; Washington, Pennsylvania; and Steubenville, Ohio, are each about half an hour away.


A liberal arts college, Bethany was chartered on March 5, 1840, by the Virginia legislature and given "all degree-granting powers" of the University of Virginia. West Virginia's secession from Virginia on June 20, 1863 recognized existing Virginia charters; Bethany College continues to operate under the Virginia charter today.

Founded by Alexander Campbell, who provided the land and funds for the first building and served as the first president, Bethany has been a four-year private liberal arts college affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ),[2] since its inception in 1809.[3] This religious body, of which Campbell was one of the principal founders, continues to support and encourage the College but exercises no sectarian control. An early center of coeducation, Bethany has admitted women since the 1880s.

The College's roots stem from the Buffalo Seminary, a center for advancement to further education, founded in 1818 by Campbell and held in the Alexander Campbell Mansion,[4] home of Alexander Campbell and Thomas Campbell, located less than a mile away from the College's present location.

The College is the birthplace of Delta Tau Delta, an international social fraternity founded in 1858.[5]

During World War II, Bethany was one of 131 colleges nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[6]

A number of campus buildings are contributing resources to the Bethany Historic District.[7] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[8] Pendleton Heights was listed in 1975 and the Delta Tau Delta Founders House in 1979.[8]

Fields of study

Bethany College offers a wide selection of studies, awarding bachelor of science or bachelor of arts degrees in more than 25 fields of study, many with options for specialization. The fields of study available at Bethany College (taken verbatim from their Undergraduate Catalog) include: undergraduate, graduate, professional, and majors in the fields of accounting, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, communication, computer science, economics, education, English, environmental science, environmental studies, fine arts, French, German, history, international relations, mathematics, music, and philosophy.[1]

Student life


Bethany is NCAA Division III recognized and is a member of the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) as well as the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Its mascot is the Bison, and its colors are green and white.

The men's soccer team won the NCAA National Championship in 1994. The Bison defeated Johns Hopkins University 1-0 in double overtime for their first and only NCAA title. In doing so, Bethany College became the smallest college in the United States to win an NCAA championship. The winning goal was scored by Pat Ricci and was assisted by Steve Lindquist. Malleh Sallah was named the NCAA Goalkeeper of the Year and a 1st Team All-American. The team was coached by John Cunningham who led the team from 1968-2001 and never had a losing record.

Greek life

Fraternities and sororities constitute important social groups for upper class men and women on campus. The five social fraternities and three sororities constitute approximately forty percent of the student body. Representatives from each serve on agencies which coordinate fraternal affairs and activities.

Social fraternities represented are Delta Tau Delta (which was founded at Bethany in 1858),[5] Alpha Sigma Phi, Beta Theta Pi, Phi Kappa Tau and Sigma Nu. Sororities are Alpha Xi Delta, Phi Mu, and Zeta Tau Alpha.

The co-ed national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega was granted a charter at Bethany in 2004. Members of Alpha Phi Omega are permitted to join social fraternities or sororities.

Campus buildings


Name Function Notes
Old Main (Bethany College) Old Main is the centerpiece of Bethany's academic buildings. Its tower dominates the campus and is the chief architectural feature noted as one approaches the College. Old Main is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was designated as such in 1970. The building is one of the earliest examples of collegiate Gothic architecture in the United States.
David and Irene Steinman Fine Arts Center The Steinman Fine Arts Center provides facilities for music and theatre. A theatre occupies the central portion of the building. Teaching studios, studio-classrooms, a general rehearsal room for the larger vocal and instrumental groups, and individual practice rooms support instruction in music.
Grace Phillips Johnson Visual Arts Center This building offers facilities for computer graphics, television, painting, sculpture and design. The Grace Phillips Johnson Visual Arts Center was formerly known as the Irvin Gymnasium (built in 1919). Renovation to its current state was finished in 1984.
Kirkpatrick Hall of Life Sciences This hall accommodates laboratories, classrooms, and faculty for the biology and psychology departments. It also has a computer laboratory.
Morlan Hall Morlan Hall houses the communication, political science, history, economics, and language department offices. Its base floor contains a cafe with local wireless service.
Richardson Hall of Science This hall provides facilities for the chemistry, physics, and mathematics departments, as well as the two primary computer laboratories. The Richardson Hall of Science is named for Robert Richardson, Bethany College's first science professor.
T.W. Phillips Memorial Library This facility serves as the hub of an academic information network that provides the campus with over 250,000 items locally (books, periodicals, newspapers, audiovisuals, archival materials) and access to information through online subscriptions to ProQuest Direct, Lexis-Nexis Universe, JSTOR, Britannica Online, and many other sources. The Center for Campbell Studies, housed in the Library, contains books, periodicals, letters, paintings, photographs, and museum pieces related to Bethany's founder and first President Alexander Campbell. The Upper Ohio Valley Collection, which includes books, magazines, maps, pictures, and ephemera focusing on the nine counties in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio surrounding Bethany, is also located in the library.


Name Description/Living Arrangements Notes
Percy B. Cochran Hall[9] Completely remodeled in 2009-10, it again serves as a dormitory with suite-style living for 72 students. Percy B. Cochran Hall, built in 1910, was named in memory of the son of M.M. Cochran, a longtime benefactor and trustee of the college. From its opening until 1971, it served as a dormitory for male students. Converted to faculty offices in 1974-75, it was closed in 2001.
Campbell Village[9] Campbell Village is a co-ed student housing unit. Each suite within contains a common room as well as four private, individual occupancy rooms. "CV", as it is referred to by students, is a four-building complex, housing 380 students, and was completed during the 2000-2001 academic year.
Ivabell Harlan Hall[9] Harlan Hall is a traditional all-male, double-occupancy dormitory, providing residence to 68 students. The residence hall was built in 1960 and was built as a gift from C. Allen Harlan.
Phillips Hall[9] Phillips Hall is the only traditional all-female dormitory; it houses 120 residents. Its doors are always open, not only to its residents but to all Bethany students interested in visiting with Phillips residents, attending scholarly lectures in the famous Phillips Hall Lounge, and watching a series of movies at Maxwell's. The hall was completed in 1929 to replace the original Phillips Hall which was a gift from Thomas W. Phillips.
Greek Hill [New Parkinson Place][9] Greek Hill is a hilltop complex with 6 social Greek houses, consisting of three fraternities: Delta Tau Delta, Alpha Sigma Phi and Phi Kappa Tau and three sororities: Alpha Xi Delta, Phi Mu, Zeta Tau Alpha.
Goodnight and Woolery[9] Goodnight and Woolery are both two story residence halls designed to promote community living. They are co-ed dormitories similar to townhouses.

Notable alumni


External links

  • Official Bethany College website
  • Official Bethany College athletics website
  • Virtual Campus Tour

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