Bridgewater College Selects New President

Church of the Brethren Newsline

Bridgewater College’s new president George Cornelius (at left) with retiring president Phillip C. Stone. Photo courtesy of Bridgewater College

Jan. 11, 2010

The Board of Trustees of Bridgewater (Va.) College announced today in a special on-campus meeting that it has unanimously selected George Cornelius as the 8th president of the college. The announcement was distributed as a press release from the college.

Described as “a seasoned leader in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors,” Cornelius will assume the presidency of Bridgewater College on July 1. He currently is secretary of Community and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where he oversees a department of approximately 350 employees and 90 state and federal programs and works closely with many of Pennsylvania’s universities, colleges, and communities.

A native and lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, Cornelius has been a member of Church of the Brethren congregations at Knobsville, Mechanicsburg, and Ridgeway in Pennsylvania, and of Wilmington (Del.) Church of the Brethren. For some years he was a licensed minister in Southern Pennsylvania District and Atlantic Northeast District.

“Our national search has led us to an individual of extraordinary experience, achievement, and commitment to excellence,” said G. Steven Agee, Bridgewater trustee and chair of the search committee. “We are confident that the vision, enthusiasm, and leadership George Cornelius brings to the presidency will foster the values and mission of the college and continue to build a bright future.”

“Bridgewater College is very fortunate to attract a person of George Cornelius’s experience and ability as its eighth president,” said President Phillip C. Stone in the press release. “I am certain that George will provide great leadership to the College in the years ahead.”

Cornelius is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a juris doctor degree, magna cum laude, from Penn State Dickinson School of Law. In previous positions he has been president and CEO of Arkema Inc., a chemical company based in Philadelphia with operations throughout the Americas; and has been vice president and general counsel of Atofina (predecessor to Arkema Inc.). Earlier he was a partner at Eckert Seamans Cherin and Mellott, a national law firm headquartered in Pittsburgh. His civic and community service has included leadership fundraising roles with United Way, Penn State, and various church-related teaching and leadership roles.

“The Bridgewater opportunity was attractive because it combines my passion for education and my interest and abilities in organizational leadership and development. The Church of the Brethren has played a major role in my life, so the fact that the college is grounded in the tradition and values of the church makes the opportunity even more special,” commented Cornelius in the release from the college.

Photos are available at .

(This report is taken from a Bridgewater College press release by Mary K. Heatwole.)

The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Contact  to receive Newsline by e-mail or to submit news to the editor. For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.


Brethren in the News

“Bridgewater Names New President,” Daily News Record, Harrisonburg, Va. (Jan. 11, 2010). Bridgewater College has named a new president. On Monday, the school’s board announced that George Cornelius, of Pennsylvania, will assume the position of the school’s eighth president on July 1.

“Vandalized Idaho church receives new organ,” KTRV-TV Fox 12 Idaho (Jan. 11, 2010). There’s music filling the Community Church of the Brethren in Twin Falls again. The church lost its old organ when the instrument was destroyed by vandals on Dec. 18. The vandals also stole and destroyed about $12,000 worth of items and equipment. Co-pastor Kathryn Bausman says the community rushed to help, however – the church got 15 different offers of donated organs, and about $2,000 in cash donations.

Obituary: Sylvia M. Arehart, News Leader, Staunton, Va. (Jan. 11, 2010). Sylvia Monroe Arehart, 87, of Stuarts Draft, Va., passed away on Jan. 10 at St. Luke’s Home for Adults. She was an active member of White Hill Church of the Brethren, serving in many capacities including Sunday school teacher and adult choir member. She served as a camp counselor at Camp Bethel and Brethren Woods for many years. She also was involved with the PTA, Church Women United, and was a charter member of the Stuarts Draft Rescue Squad. She is survived by her husband of 63 years H. Hollis Arehart.

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