Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The most recent chapter of "Presidential Perspectives"--edited by Marylouise Fennell and me (sponsored by Aramark Higher Education):
With Steven E. Kocen, Senior Vice President, Business Banking Executive and Security and Facilities Manager for Heritage Bank. Steve visited campus today to meet this year's recipient of the Heritage Bank Annual Scholarship in Business, Tianna Garland. Tianna, who is from Norfolk, is majoring in business and plans to graduate in May 2016.
On a visit to campus today, Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees Chair Gary Bonnewell '79 visited with Head Athletic Trainer Joe Witt and Assistant Trainer Stephanie Masterton in the "Gary Bonnewell Athletic Training Room" in the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
The fall issue of the Intellectual Inquirer, our Honors & Scholars newsletter, is available for download from the Honors & Scholars website:

Nota Bene: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

September 30, 2015
The latest Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, Safe and Secure brochure, is now available for our campus community. This report contains information about campus security, statements about security-related campus policies and statistical data for campus crime reports. In addition, information on emergency response, evacuation procedures and fire safety are also included. 
Campus security officers have distributed the brochures to various offices and locations across campus. Feel free to pick up a copy at one of these convenient locations:
  • Office of the President, Godwin Hall
  • DeFord Gate House
  • Security Office, Bray Village (Village I)
  • Office of Residence Life, Village II
  • Jane P. Batten Student Center (Hub)
  • Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs Office, Jane P. Batten Student Center
  • Vice-President for Student Affairs Office, Godwin Hall
The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is also available online here:

I would encourage you to become familiar with the policies and procedures in this report.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The fall issue of Marlin Magazine is now available online:
Great seats for tonight's The Norfolk Forum at Chrysler Hall featuring Navy Seal "Lone Survivor" Marcus Luttrell
"Selfie" in the Boyd Dining Center with some of our students from China.

Nota Bene: Welcome SACS Visiting Team

September 29, 2015

A visiting team from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) will be in Norfolk/Virginia Beach from Monday, September 28 to Thursday, October 1, 2015 as a part of Virginia Wesleyan College's reaffirmation of accreditation. Institutions must undergo an intensive self-study and evaluation process every 10 years to maintain accreditation status and affiliation with SACS.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission on Colleges that award associate, baccalaureate, master's, or doctoral degrees.

Last spring, Virginia Wesleyan College completed a comprehensive self-study as a part of the exhaustive process. After external review of the report, the next part of the reaffirmation process involves campus interviews and an on-site visit by SACS team members - professional peers from other colleges and universities across the South. They evaluate the College's published report and preliminary external review and determine whether the college is in compliance with the standards of the Commission.  To achieve this purpose, they will be observing different areas of the College and talking with students, faculty, staff, administrators, and the Board of Trustees. 
At the conclusion of their visit, the team will provide a summary of their findings and preliminary recommendations. Later, the team will submit a final report to the SACS Board for approval.
I thank Joyce Howell for her tremendous leadership throughout the reaffirmation process. Thanks also to many of you for your involvement and hard work on this important endeavor.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Thanks to Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim for an enjoyable evening at The Chrysler Museum in honor of Gen. Jean-Paul Palomeros of the French Air Force

Nota Bene: Recent VWC Board Committee Meetings

September 28, 2015

Several Committees of the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees Committees met recently. I write today sharing reports, discussions and actions.

The Enrollment Committee:
  • Received a final Fall Semester enrollment report -- 1,442 headcount (1,306 traditional full-time, 29 full-time in the American Culture and Tourism Management Internship Program, 27 full-time in the Adult Studies Program).
  • Received an overview of the Enrollment Assessment conducted by The Dysart Group of Charlotte.
  • Participated in a discussion of new initiatives to grow traditional, residential, non-traditional, and high school dual credit/advanced scholars over the next three to five years.
  • Received an overview of the implementation of the Enrollment Growth Plan for 2015-16, including new staffing trends, enrollment management strategy, mix matrix marketing, "front loading" financial aid, the Enrollment Matrix (financial aid leveraging), funnel management, public versus independent considerations, technology, and the new enrollment call center.
A joint meeting of the Finance Committee & Buildings and Grounds Committee:
  • Received the June 30, 2015 Financial Report (a preview to the final audit report).
  • Received a final financial report on the $2.966 million Birdsong Field project.  Construction is nearly finished.  A dedication is scheduled in late October.
  • Received budget projections for the current fiscal year (FY 2016). A revised budget (now that fall enrollment is final) will be submitted to the Board at the October meeting.
  • Approved the due diligence report for the VWC/YMCA partnership facility with the authorization to proceed within the revenue parameters from the YMCA.
  • Approved a five year exclusive beverage contract (with specific conditions and enhancements) with PepsiCo.
  • Formally accepted the terms of the donation for the Greer Environmental Sciences Center and authorized the administration to negotiate (with legal counsel input) an AIA agreement.
  • Received a report on early discussions regarding the development of privatized housing on 12 college-owned acres directly across Wesleyan Drive at the front of the campus.
  • Received an update on plans to grow the Annual Fund and auxiliary revenues 
The Executive Committee:
  • Reviewed and discussed The Institutional Review conducted by James V. Koch and his associates.  The report will be shared with the full board at their fall meeting in October. After that I will communicate with our campus community.

Other Board Committees are scheduled to meet in the next few weeks. I will share a summary of those meetings in the near future.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dr. Victor R. Townsend, Jr., Professor of Biology, with six IB biology students from King's Fork High School in Suffolk today. The young ladies and their teacher, Sherri Story, visited with Vic and two VWC science students. The IB students enjoyed both the research presentations by the VWC students and working on the SEM with Vic. Thanks to Hilve Firek, Batten Associate Professor of Education, for sharing...and thanks to Vic for taking time on a Sunday afternoon to host this group of bright high-school students!
I have been so impressed by the work of the Virginia Wesleyan College Office of Community Service under the direction of Diane Hotaling (a picture of her is on the door). Our entire campus is engaged in the Coastal Virginia community! (This picture is from Marlin Spirit Day Friday)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

"Largest Drum Circle in the World" -- at the "One Love Festival" at Virginia Wesleyan College until 5 p.m. today (in the Jane P. Batten Center)
Get out of the rain and into the warmth of the 10th Annual One Love Festival Virginia at Virginia Wesleyan College today. Featuring a drum circle, concerts, children's activities, and a Town Hall Discussion about race, moderated by WHRO's Barbara Hamm Lee.
Great turnout at Virginia Wesleyan College's Boyd Dining Hall for today's Town Hall discussion "Race: Let's Talk About It" led by WHRV's Barbara Hamm Lee
Hope to see you there.
Wet and windy weekend in Coastal Virginia....

Friday, September 25, 2015

Marlin Spirit Day Decorating Contest Winners:

Best Lobby / Reception Area: Adult Studies Program
Best Door (TIE): Advancement and Community Service

Thank you to the following offices for participating this year!
All contributed to a wonderful spirit on campus!
Adult Studies Program
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Community Service
Learning Center
Residence Life
Student Activities
Vice President for Student Affairs


Alumni and friends should watch their mail boxes for the new issue of Marlin Magazine:
Big day at Virginia Wesleyan! It's #marlinspiritday and Marlin Magazine launch day. Come pick up your copy in the Batten Student Center. Pictured here with me are (from left) Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Moore, Kayla Crawley '16, and Leona Baker, Editor-in-Chief of Marlin Magazine and Director of Marketing and Communications at #VWC.

Had the opportunity to talk about Virginia Wesleyan College with Paul Peter, Steve Waters and members of the Rotary Club of Hampton Roads at breakfast this morning.
Here is a special Marlin Spirit Day message from some of your fellow Virginia Wesleyan College alumni:
Looks like Board Chair Gary Bonnewell is ready for #marlinspiritday 2015

Nota Bene: #marlinspiritday 2015

Today is Marlin Spirit Day! Marlins across the globe are donning their Virginia Wesleyan wear, carrying their Virginia Wesleyan mugs and decorating doors on campus to demonstrate their Virginia Wesleyan spirit. They will also be posting their photos and sharing their Marlin spirit on social media using #marlinspiritday.  I hope all of you will join in the fun and take advantage of the opportunity to share your passion for Virginia Wesleyan College today and every day.
Just in time for Marlin Spirit Day, the 2015-2016 issue of Marlin Magazine is hot off the press. Congratulations to the Office of Marketing and Communications for their extraordinary work on this impressive publication. Look for your copy in your campus mailbox or stop by the Marlin Grille today from noon-1 p.m. to pick up an advance/extra copy to share with colleagues, family and friends.
In addition, beginning today, the Marlin Spirit Campaign is live and ready to be shared with our alumni. Thanks to the Alumni Association Board of Directors for taking the lead in launching this campaign which will run through October 31. Here is link:
I encourage our alumni to participate in the Marlin spirit campaign and to stay connected to the College. Once a Marlin, always a Marlin.  

As always, it’s a great day to be a Marlin! 
Enjoyed the Hispanic Heritage Month educational program and celebration led by our students in the Center for Experiential Learning.
It's Marlin Spirit Day!
The Marlin Mural Team at work...
Good Friday morning and Happy ‪#‎marlinspiritday‬! Today is Marlin Spirit Day and we want to see your Virginia Wesleyan College pride. So put on your favorite VWC gear, decorate your home, workspace, and even your kids and pets, and snap a photo. Share it on social media with the hashtag #marlinspiritday.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Marlin Mural Team is in the process of creating a project in the NEON ARTS DISTRICT at 745 Granby St. in Norfolk.
Prof. John Rudel reports that The Marlin Mural Team is in the process of creating a project in the NEON ARTS DISTRICT at 745 Granby St in Norfolk. It will be completed (fingers crossed) in time for the NEON FESTIVAL Oct 15th and 16th. The MMT is working right next to a project being completed by international artist Alex Brewer aka HENCE
Great visit today with the Rev. Wayne Snead, District Superintendent for the Elizabeth River District and member of the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees.

Nota Bene: A Look at the Class of 2019

The Class of 2019 is off to a great start! Rev. Greg West (Chaplain) and Dr. Keith Moore (Associate Vice President for Student Affairs) mentioned to me at a recent Marlin soccer match that this year's freshman class seems very engaged and enthusiastic. I am pleased to share with you some information about the Class of 2019:

  • Virginia Wesleyan enrolled 438 new students, 349 of them are freshmen.
  • Virginia is the home state for 254 of our freshmen, followed by Maryland, North Carolina and New Jersey. It is impressive to report that our international students hail from China, the Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom.
  • The most popular majors at Virginia Wesleyan are business, biology and psychology.
  • The freshman class grade point average is 3.28.
  • Forty-one of our freshman students graduated with a 4.0 grade point average.
  • Finally, 125 freshmen students intend to participate in intercollegiate sports. 
With the seating of the Class of 2019, the admissions staff is now busy recruiting the next group of new students for Virginia Wesleyan. In addition to our regular direct recruitment process, we depend on alumni, clergy, faculty, staff, friends and current students to identify students who are a "good fit" for Virginia Wesleyan College. I encourage you to share your great experiences here with those you know and always promote the College to those you see as future Marlins.

Please contact me if you have a student referral.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Athletic Management Council met today with Student Athlete Advisory Committee leader Marin Crowder, senior Business major and member of the Lady Marlins Volleyball team, from Charlottesville, Va.
Enjoyable visit at the Cape Charles Coffee House this morning with Virginia Wesleyan College Trustee Rev. Alex Joyner. Rev. Joyner is District Superintendent for the Eastern Shore District of the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Nota Bene: Busch Gardens Internship Program

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to tour Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, visiting with administrators, faculty and students from our new American Culture and Tourism Management Internship Program.  
The program combines academic credit through the College’s Recreation and Leisure Studies Department with an internship at Busch Gardens-Williamsburg. Nine students from China were enrolled in the program this summer and 29 students are enrolled this fall. We anticipate that 100 students will enroll in this program annually. Enrolled students have a J-1 visa designation.
Kudos to Director of American Culture and Tourism Management Program, Dr. Bill Becker, for establishing this program at Virginia Wesleyan College and Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies, Dr. Doug Kennedy, who was very instrumental in bringing this program to VWC. They have facilitated its success. We are proud to partner with US-China Century Education Group Corp as our representative and program consultant in China.
Special thanks to Carl Lum, President of Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, and, John Harris, Vice President, for their time and commitment to Virginia Wesleyan College during the formative stages of the program. We appreciate their efforts to make this a rewarding experience for the students. I also thank them personally for their wonderful hospitality during my first visit.  
Busch Gardens in Williamsburg opened in 1975. This action packed, European-themed park with 17th century charm and 21st century technology, boasts more than 300 acres of unparalleled fun and adventure for the entire family. The park hosts between 2.5 and 3 million visitors per year with 400 full-time and approximately 4,600 part-time employees.

Busch Gardens also operates nearby Water Country USA (WCUSA), the mid-Atlantic's largest family water play park, which features the world’s latest, state-of-the-art water rides and attractions, spectacular entertainment, shopping and restaurants - all set to a colorful 1950's surf theme.  Although affiliated, no Virginia Wesleyan College students are interning there.
The International Housing Village (IHV) is the private property of Busch Gardens where students working for BG/WCUSA live during their program.  About 430 students live in the IHV in peak season. Housing is dormitory style, with four persons sharing a room. Each room has individual beds, cable television, refrigerator, bathroom and shower, hot water, heat, air conditioning, free local telephone calls and access to international calls using phone cards, and hi-speed WiFi. The IHV also has 24-hour security.
In this program, Chinese students will periodically be on campus interacting with our traditional students, visiting classes and cultural events in the community. It’s a great opportunity to expose our students to Chinese culture, and vice versa. Program participants may earn eight credits through the recreation and leisure studies courses “Travel and Tourism” and “American Culture and Leisure.” The classes are taught in a VWC classroom at Busch Gardens by Dr. Becker. Students may earn an additional 12 credits through their internship at Busch Gardens, which includes roles in retail operations, dining, customer and ride services. The theme park also provides internship management seminars on communication, supervision, training and customer service. 
The program isn't all work. While in the United States, visiting students take two field trips to Washington, DC and have opportunities to travel to New York City, Las Vegas and Orlando. They also have 30 days at the end of each internship term to travel around the country. The current students enrolled in the program will do this in January.
Expanded global opportunities and cultural exchange are an important aspect of my long term vision for the College. Our students will have a more meaningful overall learning experience here with this type of interaction.
I again congratulate Bill and Doug for this outstanding program.  Many other international opportunities exist as a result of them thinking "outside the box."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A warm welcome home at the Norfolk International Airport
In the coming weeks, I will complete my second term on the Nominations Committee of the NCAA. The committee coordinates nominations for the Division III Management Council, all general committees that report to the Management Council, all Division III sports committees and all Division III positions on the Association-wide and common committees. Special thanks to Sharon Tufano (right) of the NCAA and Kiki Jacobs, Committee Chair, for the recognition and gift at today's meeting at the NCAA Headquarters in Indianapolis. Nice to visit with Louise McCleary, NCAA Division III Director, a Norfolk native and graduate of Norfolk Collegiate School.

Nota Bene: Winter Session

Last January, Virginia Wesleyan students traveled around Greece and Rome for on-site study of ancient Greco-Roman history. Others visited New York City to pull back the curtain on the theatre industry and learn about the business of Broadway. Back home, Marlins explored "Psychology in Film, Memoir, and Science," and “Latin American Music and Dance.” Each of these adventures were taken during the College’s annual Winter Session, our three-week credit-bearing term held each January that both complements and strengthens the College’s academic program.

I have long been an advocate for enrichment programming offered during abbreviated academic terms. I recently visited with Dr. Susan Wansink, Director of Winter Session and Professor of German. We shared our mutual excitement about the value of Winter Session and discussed the many benefits it holds for the entire Virginia Wesleyan community:
  • PASSION: Winter Session allows for focus on a single academic subject without distraction from other courses or commitments. Students enjoy the concentrated format, and faculty have the opportunity to design and try something new and different.
  • PRODUCTIVITY: Winter Session is an excellent opportunity for students to either get ahead or catch up in their coursework—and sometimes it can even play a critical role in timely degree completion. In addition to four-credit courses, it provides supplemental one-credit courses as well as non-credit workshops and experiences. With more than 50 course offerings, Winter Session can also be a great time to start a double major or pick up a minor.
  • PRACTICALITY: Students enrolled full time for the fall and spring semesters may take up to five credits during Winter Session without charge beyond a $225 registration and any associated materials and travel expenses. Read more about the affordability of Winter Session.
  • PLAY: Winter Session features a series of special events, lectures and eclectic performances, most of which are free and open to the public.
Last year, a record number of students enrolled in Winter Session—687 to be exact. That’s about half the student population, and it’s no mystery why. Our faculty and staff have set the bar even higher this year with travel opportunities in London, Prague, Mexico, Hawaii, and Belize, and interesting course subjects like “Public Art as Aesthetic Intervention” and “The Harry Potter Phenomenon.”

I encourage faculty, staff and students to explore ways that we can expand this program in the future—and to ask yourselves: Where will Winter Session take you?
Busy day of meetings at the NCAA Headquarters
National Voter Registration Day (September 22) 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Jane P. Batten Student Center table (near aquarium)

Monday, September 21, 2015

With NCAA friends and colleagues
Heading to Indianapolis for an NCAA meeting. Always a pleasure flying from Norfolk International Airport. Easy in and out. Great proximity to office and home.

Nota Bene: Study Away

As you are aware, I value Study Away as an important part of a national liberal arts college experience. Lena Johnson, director of study away/international programs, recently shared with me some of our current students’ learning adventures as they study away.

From Clarity’s first plane flight while on her way to Panama and Josh’s first glimpses of the Arco de Trunfo in Barcelona, to Stephanie’s experience filling her water bottle at one of Rome’s 2,500 public water fountains (called Nasoni), I have no doubt that all of our students’ study away experiences will be transformational.

Please follow the links below to vicariously experience their adventures:

Clarity Cotman-Panama

Joshua Ford-Spain

Katie Stefano-Czech Republic

Stephanie Williams-Italy

I hope you enjoy this Monday morning reading.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The winning Virginia Wesleyan College golf team at the awards presentation for the Shenandoah University Invitational.
Virginia Wesleyan College golf captures Shenandoah University Invitational:
Good to visit with Chris Stolle, member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing the 83rd district, at today's Cape Henry Rotary Club Oyster Crush.
Fun afternoon at the Oyster Crush. With Tom Lockett, Virginia Wesleyan College Director of Food Services.
Meet our new Virginia Wesleyan College faculty and academic staff:
Enjoyable visit with Virginia Wesleyanites Bill and Faye Joseph at the 32nd annual Oyster Crush -- the charity fundraiser oyster roast -- hosted by the Cape Henry Rotary Club. Bill was Vice President for Finance at VWC for 41 years.
Amazing turnout today at the 32nd annual Oyster Crush --the charity fundraiser oyster roast -- hosted by the Cape Henry Rotary Club. With Bethany Professor Jayne Sullivan, Past District Governor of the Rotary Club.

Congratulations to our Virginia Wesleyan College fall fraternity pledge classes.
Virginia Wesleyan College women's lacrosse car wash today until 3 p.m. at Waffletown USA (corner of Shore Drive and Pleasure House Road)
A new book by Virginia Wesleyan College history professor Kathleen Casey:

Saturday, September 19, 2015

President's Suite at ODU for the big game with North Carolina State
For those interested in the Norfolk Premium Outlet Mall development at the intersection of Wesleyan Drive and Northampton Blvd.:
Special thanks to Carl Lum, President of Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, for the wonderful hospitality during our visit today. Carl and his staff have been terrific hosts for our new American Culture and Tourism Management Internship Program. Nine students from China were enrolled in the program this summer and 29 this fall. The program is expected to enroll 100 students this academic year.
Toured Busch Gardens in Williamsburg today, visiting with administrators, faculty and students from our new American Culture and Tourism Management Internship Program. Nine students from China were enrolled in the program this summer and 29 this fall. Pictured with Dr. Doug Kennedy, Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies; Dr. Bill Becker, Director of American Culture and Tourism Management Program; and John Harris, Vice President of Busch Gardens.
Our Virginia Wesleyan College e-news "@vawesleyan":

Friday, September 18, 2015

Marlin Stock 2015! Kudos to Kate and the WAC...
Forging our Virginia Wesleyan College and Virginia Beach Police Department partnership with Captain Dennis Hebert, VWC Chief Jerry Mance, and Keith Moore (Associate Vice President for Student Affairs).