Wednesday, June 26, 2019

"Branding effort poses challenge for region"

A current initiative sponsored by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and Reinvent Hampton Roads seeks to celebrate everything our region has in common — and perhaps to identify a new name that will serve as a unifying brand. Read more in my latest column in The Virginian-Pilot​

Marlin Nation Orientation

Welcome aboard, Class of 2023! Read more and view the photo gallery from our Marlin Nation Orientation:

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Annual NASCUMC Meeting

Honored to be elected President of the National Association of Colleges and Universities of the United Methodist Church (NASCUMC). While serving as the voice of Methodist higher education during this critical time in the Church's history, I will continue to advocate for inclusiveness of all people. NASCUMC has a vital leadership role to play in serving our diverse and valued Methodist institutions. 

Read more:

Candler School of Theology

Virginia Wesleyan University is pleased to have an articulation agreement with Candler School of Theology for students interested in the ministry. Pictured touring the Candler campus with Jan Love, dean of Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and former West Virginia Wesleyan President Pam Balch. Jan is an internationally recognized leader in church and ecumenical arenas and a scholar of world politics, particularly issues of religion and politics, conflict transformation, and globalization.

Monday, June 24, 2019

UMC Associate General Secretary for Global Education and New Initiatives

For many years I’ve had the pleasure of working with Amos Nascimento, Associate General Secretary for Global Education and New Initiatives of the United Methodist Church, on a wide variety of global issues. He heads the International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities (IAMSCU).

Annual Meeting for NASCUMC

Enjoyable evening with longtime colleagues and friends at tonight’s annual meeting reception and banquet for the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church (NASCUMC), International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities (IAMSCU), and Association of United Methodist Theological Schools (AUMTS). Pictured with (Above, left), from left, Mark Hanshaw, Associate General Secretary for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry; Greg Bergquist, General Secretary of GBHEM; and Jake Schrum, retiring President of Emory & Henry College. (Above right) With Gerald Lord, retired Associate General Secretary for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. (Below left) With Ken Yamada, retired long time Associate General Secretary for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. (Below, right) Roger Ireson, now retired and long time General Secretary, Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Have had the pleasure of working with Roger since the 1980s.

Nota Bene: Weekly Update

We welcomed our incoming first-year students and their families to campus on Friday, and again today, for Marlin Nation Orientation (MNO)!  A guiding philosophy for MNO is to offer engaging activities that will leave our guests feeling invigorated and immersed in Virginia Wesleyan culture. The program is carefully designed to facilitate a smooth transition to the campus experience and to equip new students and families with tools to be successful at Virginia Wesleyan. We are expecting 450 new Marlins this fall.  My thanks to all who worked tirelessly to make it a success. Please be sure to give our newest students and families a warm Wesleyan welcome! 
Last Tuesday was a historic day for Virginia Wesleyan as we broke ground to launch our newest construction project, Coastal 61 at Oxford Village. The new eight-building, 248 luxury-apartment community, located on the north side of campus on Wesleyan Drive, is expected to open in 2020. We are proud to embrace both sides of Wesleyan Drive, expanding our presence as we expand our programs and enrollment. 
The luxury community will showcase one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging from 833 to 1,395 square feet. Each apartment will feature an open floor plan, fully equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, custom crown moldings and trim, spa-inspired bathrooms, over-sized walk-in closets, and private patios and balconies. It will also include a rooftop sky park, a two-story clubhouse, resort-style swimming pool and high-end landscaping. The community will be open to the public and is also envisioned as a living space for VWU students, faculty, and staff.
This project is in collaboration with the Franklin Johnston Group (TFJG), led by VWU graduate Taylor Franklin '04, President and Chief Operating Officer of TFJG. During the ceremony, it was wonderful to visit with leaders of our City. Among others, we thank former Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms, Virginia Senator Bill DeSteph, and Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer for their ongoing support of this public-private partnership. View photos and read more here.

It is a pleasure to share that after serving as interim head coach of the Virginia Wesleyan men's and women's golf teams during the 2018-19 academic year, 1985 Virginia Wesleyan graduate Pam Fisher has now been named head coach. We officially welcome Coach Fisher home and look forward to her continued involvement on our campus. Read more here.
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Beautiful renovations are now complete on the Shafer Room, thus concluding the private dining wing improvements in the Boyd Dining Center.
During the past nine months, donor-funded comprehensive renovations have occurred in the Princess Anne Room (President's Dining Room), Main Foyer, and Shafer Room (Board of Trustees Room).
The finishing touches are being applied to the Shafer Room, restoring it to its original use as a Board of Trustees meeting room. It was a great location to host the Parents Council on Friday! We still await a few final items including portraits of each of the 10 VWU Board Chairs and a multi-media podium. The Shafer Room will also be available for meetings for use by groups such as the President's Leadership Council, Academic Council and others who benefit from the board-style room.
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Improvements to the Jacklyn and Raymond D. Pearce Suite in the Jane P. Batten Student Center have also been finalized. Images of campus life and adjacent community adorn the walls, and the furniture has been transformed into a conference center-like setup with complete multi-media.
The updates were done based on feedback from the campus community on utilizing the space for presentations, workshops, and meetings of a collaborative and interactive nature, and funded by Mrs. Pearce. An adjacent room to the Pearce Suite has been renovated to be a kitchenette and conference room, servicing the Athletic Department and the Pearce Suite. The room is named the Karen Yount-Merrell Conference Room in honor of the Pearces' niece.
Congratulations to these Marlins on the move! Nicole (Hoskins) Jones '06, Andrew Petrey '15, and current Virginia Wesleyan MBA student Hunter Walsh were selected for CoVaBiz Magazine's 2019 Millennials on the Move. Read more at

It was great to visit with friends from YMCA last week, first on our campus at YMCA Camp Red Feather 
as we kicked off another summer of this wonderful program benefiting children of South Hampton Roads. Camp Red Feather utilizes the Frank Blocker, Jr., Youth Center, which is nestled in the Wilson Arboretum near Lake Taylor. As many as 250 children per day take advantage of this program that runs through late August.
On Thursday, I visited the
 Armed Services YMCA (AS-YMCA) of Hampton Roads on Lakeside Road and learned more about the services they provide to 8,700 families in our area. VWU and the AS-YMCA are exploring collaborative opportunities.

It was also delightful to visit with friends and spend time at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Sciences Center (VAMSC) twice last week: first, at the 
 VAMSC Foundation Board of Trustees Meeting and again the next day during the Batten Professional Development annual luncheonFunds from the Batten Educational Achievement Fund are awarded to Aquarium staff members for professional development and to college students for internships. Both meetings were held in the scenic McLeskey Promenade at the Center.
There is still time to enroll in Summer Session courses. Let VWU help you get ahead or catch up. For more information, visit the
 Summer Session website.


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Have a great week!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Orientation Coffee Chat

Enjoyed Coffee Chat this afternoon at Marlin Nation Orientation with Jason Seward, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, and incoming students and their families. Feeling caffeinated and excited for the upcoming academic year!

Marlin Nation Orientation

It's a beautiful day in Virginia Beach as we welcome the first of our three new student orientations. Vice presidents (from left) David Waggoner, Keith Moore, and Mort Gamble join "The Highlighters" and me as we welcome guests to Coastal Virginia. We expect 450 new traditional students this fall.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Batten Professional Development

Back at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Sciences Center today for the Batten Professional Development annual luncheon. Funds from the Batten Educational Achievement Fund are awarded to Aquarium staff members for professional development and to college students for internships. We heard presentations by each of the recipients. Pictured with Sal DaBiero, President of the VAMSC Foundation Board of Trustees. We both serve on the VAMSC Board and the Batten Professional Development Committee. The luncheon was held in the McLeskey Promenade.