Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Progress on 259-Space Parking Lot

Site work has been completed and paving will begin in the next couple of days for the new 259-space parking lot for the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. The Center is scheduled for completion in March. 

Marlins SportSplash

Catch the latest in Virginia Wesleyan Athletics in the newest edition of Marlins SportSplash: https://conta.cc/2ErsPRY

Monday, December 17, 2018

Visit with Tiffany Boyle '14

We hosted on campus today Tiffany Boyle '14, Newport News Commissioner of Revenue. A native of Miami, FL, she graduated from Virginia Wesleyan with a bachelor's degree in business administration, and went on to receive her master's degree in management from the University of Maryland University College.

Marlin Ministries Newsletter

Enjoy good news in the latest edition of our Marlin Ministries newsletter: 
https://conta.cc/2EnDnRQ

Nota Bene: Weekly Update

It's been another inspiring and outstanding year at Virginia Wesleyan University as we celebrate success on many levels--especially through two national-niche programs of distinction--which are highlighted in the just-released Annual Report edition of the Virginia Wesleyan University Magazine!

Our 2017-2018 Annual Report recognizes the contributions of donors and volunteers who have continued to make Virginia Wesleyan a priority in their lives. Our gratitude goes to all who contribute financially and otherwise to our success.  As President of the University, I want you to know that your impact is truly seen, heard, and felt across campus and beyond. As you read through this special edition issue, I hope you'll see that the support we receive allows our students to maximize their experience and time at Virginia Wesleyan and make our world a better place.

ET CETERA
Congratulations to Virginia Wesleyan University Head Men's Basketball Coach Dave Macedo on reaching his 400th basketball coaching career win--a significant milestone and achievement! We're grateful for the example of high integrity Dave sets on and off the court for his players, our students, fans, campus community, and beyond. 
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We're saddened to learn of the recent passing of three members of the Virginia Wesleyan community: Dan Arris, Phyllis Stancil Pruden, and Carole Teague '94. We're grateful for their legacies; that they will forever be part of the Virginia Wesleyan family and history. Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones. 

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A week ago I was in New Orleans attending Presidents' Day, part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) annual meeting. During my trip, I had an enjoyable visit with successful Virginia Wesleyan University alumnus Matt Chester. Matt was a political science major and played tennis for the Marlins. He went on to earn a law degree at Tulane University and is an attorney and shareholder with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz.

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In 28 years as a college/university president, I've concluded that The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) has been the best membership organization for private institutions. At VWU, we have benefited tremendously from our involvement with CIC--most recently the AARP grant for civic engagement and a Curriculum 4 (C4) Consortium Grant from the Teagle Foundation. In case you missed it, VWU was prominently featured in the Teagle Foundation's report, "In Search of Curricular Coherence."

Included here is the recently published Annual Report for 2017-2018 which describes CIC's programs and services during the past year in support of independent higher education.

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We look forward to hosting the 2019 Virginia Humanities Conference on our campus, April 12-13. The theme of the upcoming conference is "The Fluid Humanities" which provides an opportunity to start a dialogue about our changing world from various perspectives as well as discuss solutions to the challenges humans and the environment face today, all of which require the combined effort of all fields of study. In that spirit, all colleagues are invited to present their ideas on the topics suggested. More information about the conference and submission of proposals can be found here. Thank you to Diana Risk, Professor of Hispanic Studies, for coordinating this endeavor. 
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From the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU): The Department of Education has released its long-awaited proposed regulations governing Title IX and campus sexual assault. The new rules appear to offer some additional flexibility and reduced liability for institutions of higher education, while also preserving supportive services for survivors of sexual assault and adding numerous procedural protections for accused students. Although some of these procedural protections may be warranted to assure fairness for accused students, there are also concerns about the impact these new procedural requirements are likely to have on sexual assault survivors and educational institutions alike.

The official Title IX notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the Federal Register on November 29, 2018. The proposed regulations are subject to a 60-day public comment period, which ends on January 28, 2019. After the comment period closes, the Department will respond to the comments and issue final rules, which are likely to differ somewhat from the NPRM.

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Positive energy filled the air in Rose Hall last weekend during the "Move Party," held to celebrate the newly updated residence hall. Complete improvements of the restrooms in Rose Hall were completed December 7 and the refurbished facilities are now available for use. Rose Hall is the first of four residence halls in Bray Village to see improvements this academic year, and I thank the residents of Bray Village for their patience as the work proceeded.  A rotation will occur with the other three buildings during the Winter and Spring Sessions. Read more here.

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As a follow up to The Rev. Tom Berlin's recent visit to our campus, I provide some additional information on the work of the Commission on a Way Forward of The United Methodist Church. Dr. Berlin is lead pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, was a member of the Commission on a Way Forward and submitted the One Church Plan legislation to General Conference. Berlin spoke with UM News as part of "Seeing a Way Forward," a video series featuring different perspectives of church leaders on the work of the Commission. For additional resources and discussion videos, visit "Seeing a Way Forward: The Rev. Tom Berlin" and "Leaders discuss church's future in video series."


AROUND TOWN AND ACROSS CAMPUS
The 2018 December Graduates' Recognition Ceremony and Reception was held last Sunday, December 9, where more than 40 Virginia Wesleyan University students were celebrated. Among those recognized were the University's first MBA graduates. Congratulations to all! Read more, view photos, and watch the video here.

There's a new tree on campus this holiday season. A freshly planted 14-foot Leyland Cypress provided the centerpiece for this year's traditional Christmas Tree Lighting, held in a new location on campus--behind Monumental Chapel and adjacent to the recently completed Beacon. The 121-foot high Beacon continues to symbolize VWU's United Methodist heritage and the passion of those who laid our University's foundation, and also serves as a guiding light for those paving the way for our very promising future. Special thanks to Keith Moore, Jason Seward, and Kate Couch for establishing a new tradition on campus! Read more and view photos here.

Our National Championship Virginia Wesleyan University softball team will look to defend its crown for another year as the back-to-back national champs have released their slate for the 2019 season. The schedule has 38 games listed with 20 against Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) opponents and three against teams ranked in the top-30 of last season's final national poll. This year the Marlins will also have a new home to play in as the 2019 squad will be the first team to play at Tom and Betty Broyles Field at TowneBank Park. Read more here.

Last week I visited with Carolyn C. Carpenter, President of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. We discussed Virginia Wesleyan's current working relationship with Sentara Healthcare and possible areas of future collaboration.

It was nice to visit with former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell last week when attending a dinner social at Chick's Oyster Bar in support of The Comfort Crew for Military Kids.

Check out the line crew at the Virginia Wesleyan University Late Night Breakfast last Wednesday prior to the start of final exams. We had a great time!

Enjoyable evening last week at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Sciences Center for the annual Foundation Board of Directors Dinner. Pictured here with Cynthia Whitbred-Spanoulis, Executive Director of VAMSC, Lee Entsminger, President of the VAMSC Board of Directors, and Tom Broyles, Trustee Emeritus of both the Aquarium and Virginia Wesleyan University.

Special thanks to the 2018 Faculty/Staff Campaign Ambassadors: Mat Littleton, Joyce Easter, Maynard Schaus, Jason Seward '05, Heather Campbell '04, Elaine Aird '96, Randy Lott, Bryson Mortensen, Jayne Sullivan, and Craig Wansink. The Ambassadors were recognized at a reception held for those who participated in this year's campaign and will enjoy watching the Tides play next season from a Tides Luxury Suite at Harbor Park courtesy of Norfolk Southern Corporation. Thanks to all who supported the "Your Gift is Your Voice" campaign that produced $41,636.

Tomorrow, December 18, the Wesleyan Vox Vera student choir, led by choral director Bryson Mortensen, will travel to the White House to perform as part of the "Christmas at the White House" series. A special preview performance, "Sing We Now Christmas," was held December 7-8 by Vox Vera and Camerata. It was spectacular! Good luck to Vox Vera as they travel to Washington D.C. I know they will shine tomorrow as they did last weekend. Read more here.

Recently I enjoyed dinner with the Student Government Association officers At Steinhilber's Restaurant in Virginia Beach. It's always a joy to spend time with our students and I'm proud of these officers for their leadership!

Special thanks to Darrell Cuenca '07 for hosting a successful Alumni Gathering last Thursday at Deadline Brewing Project.

Finishing touches occurred last week on the front of the grandstand behind home plate at VWU's new TowneBank Park/Broyles Field. Enjoy this early evening view of the Susan S. Goode Center for Fine and Performing Arts from the light tower at Birdsong Field. The Center is scheduled for a March 2019 completion with a dedication to be held on March 30.

STAY CURRENT ON VWU NEWS AND FEATURES

HIGHLIGHTS FROM MY WEEKEND READING
  • "Truth, Facts and Liberal Education in a 'Post-Truth' Era." Association of American Colleges and Universities Presidents' Trust Chair and Rollins College President Grant Cornwell writes: "What higher education leaders owe students, and what they owe us, therefore, is a commitment of seriousness of purpose and collaborative engagement with this project of liberal education. Anything less is not simply a squandering of opportunity--a kind of negligence, a failure to put privilege to good use. Our faculty members must bring forward the very best teaching they can muster and hold students to the highest standards of rigor and intellectual accountability. Our students need intentionality, an evolving sense of purpose to their being on our campuses, to pursuing a liberal education. We can't expect students to arrive with a fully developed vision of that purpose. A liberal education is a process of discovery, of making up one's mind, quite literally." Read more in Insider Higher Ed.
  • "College orientation: Making an impact." Read about creative ways to welcome students and help ensure they stay in this University Business feature.
  • "Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accelerate Like a 'Speeding Freight Train' in 2018." Read more in The New York Times.
I hope you find these links useful to my recent columns and publications:
 
PRESIDENTIAL EVENTS
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Warmest wishes for a happy conclusion to the fall semester and a joyous holiday season.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Monthly Column: A College President's Letter to Santa, 2018

Dear Santa, 

It’s time for my annual Christmas letter to you, with many good wishes coming your way from the Virginia Wesleyan University community. I’m sure our fellow institutions in Hampton Roads join us in sending greetings. My request list this year is pretty reasonable. Yes, I know that higher education presidents always want something—and not just during the holidays—but please do all you can to help us out. 


Read more in my monthly column in The Virginian-Pilot here.



Friday, December 14, 2018

NATO-SACT Celebration of the Italian Seasons

Thanks to Major General Stefano Salamida for an enjoyable Friday evening at NATO Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation for the celebration of the Italian Seasons. Located in Norfolk, HQ SACT is the only permanent NATO Headquarters outside of Europe and the sole NATO Headquarters in North America.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Darrell Cuenca '07

Thanks to Darrell Cuenca ‘07 for hosting a successful Alumni Gathering on Thursday night at Deadline Brewing Project. Joining us for the picture is Lori Harris ‘94, Executive Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations. 

Back-to-Back National Champion Softball Unveils 2019 Slate

Our National Championship Virginia Wesleyan University softball team will look to defend its crown for another year as the back-to-back national champs have released their slate for the 2019 season. The schedule has 38 games listed with 20 against Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) opponents and three against teams ranked in the top-30 of last season's final national poll. This year the Marlins, will also have a new home to play in as the 2019 squad will be the first team to play at Tom and Betty Broyles Field at TowneBank Park. Read more here.

Collaboration with Sentara

I visited this morning with Carolyn C. Carpenter, President of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. We discussed Virginia Wesleyan's current working relationship with Sentara Healthcare and possible areas of future collaboration.