Bethany College: A Little Piece of Magic 

BY: ALEXIS DENGLER

BETHANY W.Va- Bethany College was founded in 1840 by Alexander Campbell, a devout believer in Christ. The college was founded during the Restoration movement and is affiliated with the Disciples of Christ. Over the 107 years of being institutionalized, numerous students have walked this campus and are all a part of a special bond, which no one can quite explain.  

Today, students walk the campus wearing jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes, but back in the College’s early years, men would be found wearing full tuxes to class and the ladies would be wearing gowns. 

So much has happened throughout the years.  There are many different generations of Bethany College graduates who all know this magical place that is tucked away in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

Ashely Kanotz, class of 2006, former Director of Alumni and Affairs, said her favorite Bethany College memory would be getting her open bid from Zeta Tau Alpha, also noting the manner in which it was done. Imagine being woken up by numerous girls chanting a song about a squirrel. The Greek history traditions are one of the most important overlooked part of our campus’ community. 

Delta Tau Delta Fraternity was founded at Bethany College in 1858, their original founders’ house still stands on Main Street in the Town of Bethany. The men in this brother-hood no longer live in the house, but are located on Greek Hill along with 5 other Greek houses. 

The housing is one of the aspects of Bethany College which provides a unique experience. Students have the options of Campbell Village (CV), Greek Houses, Cochran Hall, or buildings that have been around since the early 1900s. 

Many students have stories about exciting events that have occurred in the residence halls.  Madison Ifft, a senior CV resident, said one of her most fond experiences of living in CV was the slip and slide which residents held behind CV3. Madison states, “It was super fun because it brought all different groups together.  There were even people stopping to watch us slip and slide down the hill.”

On the other hand there is Phillips Hall, which is a women’s dormitory, but has served for many other purposes throughout the years. There are numerous ghost stories about the building that students get to hear every year from Larry Grimes, Bethany Alum and Vice President of the College. 

With such a long, rich history, the stories are endless and exciting to hear about.  Many traditions still stand today, while new ones are being formed. Becca Theaker, a freshmen biology-chemistry major, from Cole Rain, Ohio, reflects on her favorite part of the traditional living Phillips Hall offers. “Being able to focus on studying whenever I feel and the old fashion style of the building is one of the parts I love the most, but I am looking forward to living with my friends next year in Campbell Village,” said Theaker. 

With all the activities going on around Bethany College, it is sometimes hard to manage a normal social life. Yes, one is secluded to a remote area with their classmates, but with school work, sports, clubs, activities, and sleep, it’s hard to have a balance. During one’s time at Bethany, there are a few things which must be done to be a certified Bethanian. 

First, one must absolutely float down the Buffalo Creek. This creek can be seen on the 6 mile road which leads into Bethany from Wellsburg.  One can access the creek behind the baseball fields at Bethany Park. The creek is the perfect place to be on a hot spring day with a bunch of friends, just be sure to have an industrial strength inner tube due to some branches and shallow, rocky spots. 

The creek float is something which is so simple, and students from each generation can relate back to that same memory of floating down the creek on a hot sunny day in Bethany, West Virginia. Ashley Kanotz says one of her biggest regrets was never floating down the buffalo as her time as an undergraduate, so take it from someone which loves this beautiful place and grab some friends and prepare for a memorable ride.

Second, walking the drunk path often. Whether one was walking from Cochran Hall to Campbell Village, down to Chambers general store, or to Bubba’s Bison Inn, a Bethanian will walk this path numerous times. It’s a nice, peaceful, non-hilly walk which can sometimes be difficult to find walking on the small campus. 

Next, walking up the numerous hills and steps. There are steps, or hills, which one must walk up in order to get their destination. Walking to campus you may have to take the steep steps leading down Greek Hill then the large hill leading you to campus. On the other hand, there is Campbell Village where students are lucky enough to choose from long winding steps or a treacherous hill (especially when it snows). Although the steps are rough, each student has nice calf muscles to show off by the end of their four years. 

Finally, one thing all Bethanians know is attending convocation makes one feel Bethany Pride more than anything. Attending convocation gives students a rich piece of knowledge and a glimpse into the traditions which Bethany was founded on and still practices today. It’s always exciting to attend a convocation ceremony, where the faculty has their regalia on, seniors are dressed in their robes, and awards being presented to fellow peers.

Bethany is a place full of magic, and it is so hard to pinpoint what exactly each person loves and appreciates about this small liberal arts college. It was founded on the ability to learn and grow as a person bettering yourself, and for others. There are various things which make it a great place to attend for the best four years of your life. 

 

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