Friday, November 17, 2017

​Nota Bene: Faculty Athletic Representatives and Team Advisors

For 27 years I have served as president of NCAA Division II and III institutions. During that time, I have developed a special appreciation for the scholar-athlete philosophy of Division III. The longer I am here, the more impressed I am with a faculty programs that play a key role in retention and persistence for our student-athletes at Virginia Wesleyan. Student-athletes make up approximately 30% of our student population.

Virginia Wesleyan has two exceptional Faculty Athletics Representatives (FARs), Dr. Susan Larkin, Professor of English, and Dr. Larry Hultgren, Professor of Philosophy. A designation required by the NCAA and ODAC, a FARs primary role is to ensure that an institution maintains appropriate balance between academics and intercollegiate athletics. We are so proud of Dr. Larkin on her selection to participate in the 2017 NCAA Division III FAR Fellows Institute in October at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis. The three-day professional development program provides a thorough examination of best practices and issues surrounding the role and responsibility of FARs and develops leadership skills necessary to carry out their responsibilities on campus and in their conference. Dr. Hultgren was also selected for this esteemed program in 2016.

Virginia Wesleyan is ahead of its peer institutions in the development of a
Faculty/Staff Team Advisors Program. Started in 2005, faculty and staff advisors provide advice, assistance and resources for our student-athletes as they strive to maintain balance in their Wesleyan careers. The advisor serves as an advocate for students participating in the sport, and provides a valuable link between student-athletes and faculty.

In addition, advisors may develop a broader involvement in the student-athlete experience and contribute to other individual and team programs and activities. The program facilitates integration of the intercollegiate programs into the undergraduate experience of Virginia Wesleyan University. Presently, each of our intercollegiate sports benefits from the presence of a faculty or staff advisor.
Thank you to our 2017-18 Faculty/Staff Team Advisors:

Chris Francis (Coach), Adam Ruh (Advisor)

Women's Basketball
Stephany Dunmyer (Coach), Dr. Joyce Easter (Advisor)

Men's Basketball
Dave Macedo (Coach), Takeyra Collins (Advisor)

Desiree Ellison (Coach), Robin Takacs (Advisor)

Women's Cross Country/Track and Field
Krista Littleton (Coach), Dr. Kathy Stolley (Advisor)

Men's Cross Country/Track and Field
Mat Littleton (Coach), Dr. Scott Hinze (Advisor)

Field Hockey
Christina Restivo (Coach), Dr. Rebecca Hooker (Advisor)

Men's and Women's Golf
Rick Bidnick (Coach), Dr. Kevin Kittredge (Advisor)

Women's Lacrosse
Kendyl Clarkson (Coach), Takeyra Collins (Advisor)

Men's Lacrosse
JP Stewart (Coach), Crit Muniz (Advisor)

Women's Soccer
Jeff Bowers (Coach), Dr. Susan E. Larkin (Advisor)

Men's Soccer
Chris Mills (Coach), Dr. Wayne Pollock (Advisor)

Brandon Elliott (Coach), Dr. Hilve Firek (Advisor)

Men's and Women's Swimming
Mike Ginder (Coach), Dr. Doug Kennedy (Advisor)

Women's Tennis
Martin Perry (Coach), Dr. Antje Schwennicke (Advisor)

Men's Tennis
Martin Perry (Coach), Dr. Antje Schwennicke (Advisor)

Women's Volleyball

Andrea Hoover-Erbig (Coach), Dr. Kellie Holzer (Advisor)

Thank you to Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Joanne Renn for her leadership to the many faculty and staff members serving in this important capacity.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Congratulations to Khory Moore '17!

Khory Moore '17 recently signed a contract to play the upcoming season with KK Jazine Nadar, a member of the Croatia-Premijer Liga, the premiere basketball league in Croatia. Read more:

Aramark Leadership on Campus

Wonderful to welcome Bruce Alperin, Associate Vice President for Marketing at Aramark Facilities Services, as a keynote panelist for The Marlin Prestige business conference this week. While on campus, he visited with Virginia Wesleyan's Physical Plant leadership. Pictured (from left): Bruce Alperin, Don Coberly, and Mike Rigby. Aramark is our Physical Plant provider.

Proud to Welcome Marlin Prestige Panelists

Proud to welcome so many distinguished speakers to campus this week as part of our student-led business conference, The Marlin Prestige. Pictured at today's "Environmental Sustainability" panel discussion: Bruce Alperin (Associate Vice President for Marketing | Facilities Services, Aramark), Sydney Covey (Sustainability Program Analyst, Hourigan Construction), and Virginia Wesleyan Trustee Ken Trinder (CEO, EOS Surfaces).


Enjoyable Lunch and Discussion

Enjoyable lunch and discussion today with Neal Kringel (center), Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, and Joe Ruddy ‘83, Chief Innovation Officer, Port of Virginia.

VWU Welcomes Back J. Andrew Edwards '98

We're excited to welcome alumnus J. Andrew Edwards '98 for his presentation "Copyright or Copywrong? How Gutenberg's Printing Press Continues to Spark Church Battles" today at 11 a.m. in Blocker Auditorium. His talk is part of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom's Reformation Series:

Nota Bene: George Birdsong, Dollar Tree Honored with Darden Awards

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the CIVIC Leadership Institute’s 2017 Darden Awards, where Virginia Wesleyan University Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong was honored with the Individual Leadership Award and Dollar Tree, co-founded by long-time Virginia Wesleyan supporter Macon Brock, received the Corporate Award. We are proud to celebrate the significant impact Mr. Birdsong and Dollar Tree have had on our community through various philanthropic contributions and service endeavors.

Mr. Birdsong joined the Virginia Wesleyan Board of Trustees in 1989. He served as Board Chair from 2007-2010 before assuming his Trustee Emeritus status. In 2016, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University and served as keynote speaker during the institution’s first Founders Day. George and Sue Birdsong, the Birdsong family, and the Birdsong Corporation were instrumental in the University’s founding. Birdsong Hall, an original building in Bray Village, was dedicated to the Birdsong family in 1968. A plaque in the building recognizes the Birdsongs as dedicated Methodists whose generosity helped establish Virginia Wesleyan.

Birdsong Peanuts and the Birdsongs made a number of significant gifts throughout the University’s history. The Birdsong Community Services Endowment Fund was established in 1995 to provide support for Virginia Wesleyan’s acclaimed community services program. They also established the Birdsong Corporation/George and Sue Birdsong Endowed Scholarship that provides assistance to deserving students. In 2015, the University dedicated VWU’s Birdsong Field in honor of the Birdsong family to celebrate their generous commitment to the facility, and the following year, established the Birdsong School of Social Science. The University did so with recognition and deep appreciation for the contributions by Harvard Birdsong, a charter member of the Board of Trustees, George and Sue Birdsong, Thomas Birdsong, III, and his wife Jane, the Birdsong family, and the Birdsong Corporation.

Dollar Tree Co-Founder Macon Brock and his wife, VWU Trustee Emerita Joan Brock, are well known for their community leadership, their generosity and vision, and they are among the closest friends of Virginia Wesleyan University. The strength of VWU today can be traced in significant ways to their guidance and support, as many programs of the University have benefited from their genuine interest in student success.

In 2006, the University named a residence hall complex after the couple—Joan and Macon Brock Village—in recognition of their generous support of student scholarships, residence hall improvements, athletics, and other programs. The Brocks have also long supported Virginia Wesleyan’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, for which Dr. Craig Wansink currently serves as the Joan P. and Macon F. Brock Jr. Director. Most recently, we announced the formation of the Joan P. Brock School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and we were pleased to recognize Joan’s father and former Board member by naming Kenneth R. Perry Field in his memory. Mrs. Brock also served for many years in an administrative role at Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., and K & K Toys.

I extend my sincerest congratulations to the Birdsong and Brock families. They are most deserving of these prestigious awards.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2017 Darden Awards

Wonderful evening at the CIVIC Leadership Institute’s 2017 Darden Awards. The Individual Leadership Award was presented to Virginia Wesleyan University Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong, and the Corporate Award went to Dollar Tree, which was co-founded by long-time VWU supporter Macon Brock. It was an honor to be there to celebrate these dear friends of the University.

With Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong and his wife Sue at tonight's Darden Awards, where George was honored with the Individual Leadership Award for his tremdendous contributions to our community and beyond. The Birdsong family has a long history with Virginia Wesleyan and was instrumental in the University's founding. 

With Ken Ruscio, President of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, David Kaufman, Chair of the VWU Board of Trustees, and Jon Pruden, Vice Chair of the VWU Board.

VWU Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong (center), CEO of the Birdsong Corporation, received the Individual Leadership honor during the CIVIC Leadership Institute’s Darden Awards. Also pictured: David Kaufman, Chair of the VWU Board of Trustees.

With Frank Batten, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Landmark Media Enterprises, Kate Meechan, CEO of Volunteer Hampton Roads, and David Kaufman, Founder/Senior Managing Director of Envest and Chair of the VWU Board of Trustees.

The Road To Championships: Track Brick Campaign

Your personalized brick could be permanently displayed at our new Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center through "The Road To Championships: Track Brick Campaign":

VWU Takes Action for TAG

Virginia Wesleyan students are taking action this week to show Governor Terry McAuliffe and members of the General Assembly how vital Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) funding is to our students, families, institutions, and communities. If you're a resident of Virginia, visit the Hub in the Jane P. Batten Student Center to send a message requesting increased TAG funding in the biennium budget. Tablets are available to make the process quick and easy!