October 20, 2022
President Robert W. Iuliano
Good afternoon, everyone. I would like to echo the moving comments by all those before me and express my deepest thanks to Dick and his beloved wife, Beth, for their extraordinary contributions in support of Gettysburg College—and for the legacy they created here that continues to reverberate across this campus and in the hearts of so many.
Plato observed that “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”
Based on all that I’ve learned about Beth, she knew these words from Plato to be true long before studying in the buildings that surround us.
Music gave soul to her universe. It filled her church, her home, and her school.
From what I understand, Beth began piano lessons at the age of eight, and those lessons soon progressed to playing the organ before she reached high school.
The wings to her mind, music quickly revealed her potential. It amplified who she was, what she believed in, and the good she saw in everyone around her.
While she studied German and English here at Gettysburg, music was the language that brought flight to her imagination. From where it could take her—across the Atlantic to Heidelberg University in Germany during her junior year—to whom she could serve with her talents—classmates and roommates, student productions and concert choirs.
As we’ve heard this afternoon, for Beth, music truly breathed life into everything.
The half century she shared with Dick.
The career she forged as a teacher, an organist and choir director, and reference librarian.
The love she embodied as a person of deep faith, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a colleague, a friend.
And today—thanks to the generosity of Dick and the entire Paul family—Beth will remain an inspiration for generations of Gettysburgians to remember and to thank.
While Beth’s grace lifted all those around her, we all need people around us who will support our endeavors, celebrate our accomplishments, and believe in us.
In other words, we need someone in our life who hears the music we’re playing and turns up the volume. For Beth, that is Dick Paul.
In so many ways, Dick has made certain that Beth’s legacy endures. As Dr. Day noted, the Elizabeth Headley Paul Memorial Scholarship has advanced Beth’s life’s work by promoting music, learning, and creativity on our campus.
This scholarship—established in 2018 in loving memory of Beth—encourages gifted musicians from across the nation and around the world, like Jess and Ana, to follow in Beth’s footsteps at our Sunderman Conservatory of Music. The Conservatory will proudly award the scholarship for the fifth time later this spring to a deserving student musician.
Likewise, the Elizabeth Hedley Paul Library Endowment ensures the tradition of distinguished teaching and research at Gettysburg College is not only preserved but strengthened. Through this library endowment the College can support and maintain its robust scientific databases—so critical to the sharing of knowledge and to effective student and faculty scholarship.
The Musselman Library also has received Beth’s beautiful books on Pennsylvania German fraktur and other folk arts. They are excellent reference volumes for Special Collections.
Our Dean of the Library, Robin Wagner, remarked that these museum publications are particularly difficult to find, and that it is evident that Beth collected widely and with great care. Here, too, we are indebted to Beth and Dick for their generosity to the College and to their commitment that the College remains an intellectually curious and vibrant place.
Take a look around you. Look at how many Library and Conservatory staff we have with us today. This speaks volumes to how much the Pauls have meant to the people of this community.
Dick, as president, let me emphasize how immensely grateful we are to you and your family for your generosity and commitment to our liberal arts education.
And with that, we are so pleased to honor you and Beth with the addition of your family name to our Benefactors Wall.