Gift honors professor and friend

Faculty are the heart of Alderson-Broaddus College and many of the college’s students become lifelong friends with their professors.

The value and significance of one such friendship was illustrated recently as an alumni couple acknowledged a faculty member’s dedication and friendship by giving a gift honoring Dr. Timothy DeWitt, professor of music.

David and Karen Rainey’s generous gift to A-B will be used to have DeWitt’s studio named the “Dr. Timothy L. DeWitt Brass Studio,” located in Paul Jones Hall.

“How honored and humbled I am by this generous gift to A-B, honoring my work in the brass studio,” said DeWitt, in response to the recognition. “The fact that the presentation was made by Dr. Rainey and President Creehan during our 15th annual ‘Brass in the Grass’ concert this spring made it even more significant for me. On the floor of Wilcox Chapel that day were 90 brass players – current and former students, college alumni, area musicians and teachers – as well as music department colleagues, and friends. I consider this honor to be theirs as well, and I consider myself blessed to be able to do the work I do, with the people I am fortunate to call my students, colleagues and friends.”

DeWitt is in his 30th year at Alderson-Broaddus. As professor of music, he teaches high and low brass, music issues and analysis, and serves as the department’s recruitment coordinator. Under his direction, the Alderson-Broaddus Brass Choir has become regionally and nationally recognized, having toured primarily the Eastern United States and Canada, and completed its first European performance tour of Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic in the summer of 2003. DeWitt was named A-B’s Outstanding Faculty of the Year at the college’s 2006 commencement ceremonies.

Current and former students from his studio have been named semi-finalists and winners in state, regional and national solo and chamber music competitions and have been accepted (and awarded assistantships) for graduate study at major schools of music throughout the country. Former students hold collegiate and public school teaching positions throughout the eastern United States and Canada, some having performed with such prestigious ensembles as the River City Brass Band, the United States Army Bands, the United States Navy Atlantic Fleet Band (Norfolk), Pacific Fleet Band (Hawaii), and Seventh Fleet Band (Yokosuka, Japan) the United States Air Force Band of Liberty (Boston) and Heritage of America Band (Langley, Va.), the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Philharmonic Orchestra and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

The Raineys currently reside in Daniels and work in Beckley. Karen Rainey is employed by Raleigh General Hospital as a staff surgical physician assistant. David Rainey works for Access Health Ob/Gyn and is on the staff of Raleigh General Hospital. During his A-B student years, he majored in biology, chemistry and education and he was active in multiple student organizations and music ensembles, including the Brass Choir. In 1989, Karen Rainey earned a degree in sports medicine and in 1991 completed requirements for a degree in medical science (physician assistant).

As a student, she served as a resident assistant, was active in Baptist Campus Ministries, played tennis and softball, and served as a student athletic trainer for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Karen and David Rainey have three daughters: Catherine, Emily and Heather. Catherine just finished her freshman year at A-B and looks forward to starting her sophomore year in the fall.

According to DeWitt, “The Raineys represent the spirit of A-B, with their continued commitment and dedication to the campus and its mission.”

To learn more about naming opportunities to honor a faculty or staff member or alumni, anyone interested can contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 304-457-6321 or email at