Three West Liberty University students were welcomed into the Order of the Torch, Thursday, May 2 in a ceremony held at historic Liberty Oaks, the alumni house located on campus.
Senior Mike Anderson, Mount Pleasant, Ohio, Graduating Senior Michael Matthias Dotson, Middlebourne, W.Va. and Junior Alan Cline, Wellsburg, W.Va., were inducted into the men’s honorary society at a festive dinner celebration.
Dotson will receive his Bachelor of Arts in Music degree in Voice Performance on May 11 during WLU’s Commencement Ceremony. His post-commencement plans include attending graduate school at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, N.J. where he plans to earn a Master’s in Voice Performance. Dotson received a $10,000 scholarship to Westminster to assist him in his educational efforts.
Anderson, who is a music education major will graduate in December, and Cline, who is also a music major, will graduate in May 2014.
Members of the society include leading members of the faculty and WLU’s highest achieving students. Both faculty and students are chosen based upon a demonstration of excellence and leadership in three areas: the classroom academics, the campus activities and the community service.
The honorary society has a rich tradition and dates to 1932, when West Liberty was a State Teachers’ College and President J.S. Bonar organized the Torch Society to serve as the ranking men’s honorary. The organization consisted of both faculty members and the most distinguished male students in terms of scholarship, service and sportsmanship.
The Torch was reinvigorated through the efforts of current President Robin C. Capehart and is now known as the Order of the Torch. It continues to serve as the ranking men’s honorary at West Liberty University today.
By retaining the symbol of the torch, it maintains tradition and links to the rich history of WLU, West Virginia’s oldest institution of higher education established in 1837.