Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Join us in January for some traditional Appalachian music...

Please don't forget the Virginia Wesleyan College annual fund::

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Enjoyed visiting with Ben Unkle, President and CEO of Westminster Canterbury on the Chesapeake Bay. Discussed collaborative opportunities and the Virginia Wesleyan College/Eastern Virginia Medical School/Westminster Canterbury dementia research project funded by VWC Emeritus Trustee George Birdsong and his wife Sue.
Today's Marlin SportSplash:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Thanks to Director Sue Erickson and the faculty/staff of the Henry Clay Hofheimer II Library for the ‪#‎vwcwalkabouts‬ learning session. I enjoyed learning more about the important resources and services from Stephen, Patty, Sophie, Karen (H), Jenny, Karen (D) and Robin. We're pictured at the new 3D replicator

Friday, December 18, 2015

I enjoyed talking global studies with Virginia Wesleyan College senior Alexis Turner-Lafving. Alexis just returned from a fascinating semester abroad at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy.

Tiffany, Teri, Michael (The Skipper) and Jasmine at the Godwin Hall Christmas Lunch in the Birdsong Presidential Suite.
Godwin Hall is in the holiday spirit!

Nota Bene: Happy Holidays

December 18, 2015

The holiday season on a college campus is always special. Students, faculty and staff are busy concluding the fall semester, holiday plans and travel arrangements are being confirmed, campus special events bring the community together, and shortened days gently nudge us toward winter.

In this final Nota Bene for 2015, I wish to express gratitude to all of you as Annie and I conclude our first six months as a part of the Virginia Wesleyan College Family. Our first semester here has been busy, but energizing. It has been a true pleasure getting to know faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees and members of the greater Hampton Roads community.  

Annie and I wish each of you the happiest of holiday seasons, along with a spectacular new year in 2016. 
Congratulations to the newest class in the Virginia Wesleyan College Athletic Hall of Fame: Kevin J. Flanagan '04, Lawrence D. Hultgren, Jacquelyn Griffin Koch '04, Anna Bowers Ratcliff '93, Samuel B. Snow '77, and Laura E. Wallace '06. More:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Enjoyed the buildings and grounds staff Christmas lunch today. #vwcwalkabouts
We were proud to welcome medical microbiology students from Bayside High School Health Sciences Academy to campus today. I stopped by the biology lab in Blocker Hall this morning for a special arachnid demonstration—or "spider wrangling," as they called it. Many thanks to those who helped make this visit possible: Bayside's Luisa Ladaga Zirkle, Dr. Hilve Firek (Batten Associate Professor of Education), Dr. Vic Townsend (Professor of Biology), Dr. Maynard Schaus (Professor of Biology), Dr. Eric Johnson (Assistant Professor Biology), Dr. Malcolm Lively (Associate Professor of Education), and LeMar Callaway '18. #vwcwalkabouts

Nota Bene: DeFord and Birdsong Recognized as Trustee Emeritus

December 17, 2015

Earlier this week we recognized two remarkable leaders for their long time service to the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees. VWC Board of Trustees Chair Gary Bonnewell, left, and I expressed our appreciation to Bob DeFord and George Birdsong with Trustee Emeritus status at a dinner in the Princess Anne Room of the Boyd Dining Center.

We are grateful for their service on the Board and their generous support of Virginia Wesleyan College.

Special thanks to many law enforcement agencies for their leadership in our Virginia Wesleyan College Next Day Exercise. The program provided training to leadership personnel in planning, operational coordination and operational communication. Thanks to Dr. Keith Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs, for coordinating the event.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Great turnout of Marlins at tonight's Virginia Wesleyan College v. University of Mary Washington basketball game.

Nota Bene: New Vice President for Student Affairs Announced

December 16, 2015

With the retirement of David Buckingham, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Keith Moore as vice president for student affairs. Dr. Moore will lead Virginia Wesleyan’s Division of Student Affairs, which includes Campus Security, Counseling Services, Community Service, Health Services, the Jane P. Batten Student Center, Marlin Ministries, Residence Life, Greek Life and Student Activities.

Keith's academic and student life background uniquely qualify him to lead this division. Throughout his career, he has been a strong advocate for students from all backgrounds. His energetic and visionary leadership will be invaluable as we strengthen our commitment to engaged student learning and success.

Keith most recently served as Virginia Wesleyan’s associate vice president for student affairs. He came to the College in 1999 as the assistant director of residence life and director of intramural sports and has held additional roles as director of residence life, coach of the men's and women's cross country teams, and dean of students.

A Boston native, he has also held positions in new student orientation and housing and residence life at University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has served as president of the Virginia Association of Student Personnel Administrators and taught courses for the Old Dominion University Darden College of Education.

Keith holds an Ed.D. in higher education leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He earned an M.Ed. in educational policy and administration from University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a B.A. in politics and history from Curry College.

He is married to the former Meredith Ann Martin, a school psychologist with Chesapeake Public Schools. They reside in Virginia Beach with their daughter, Jacqueline Rose.
Please join me in congratulating Keith and welcoming him to this critical position in our commitment to student centered learning.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

This week's Marlin Athletic Club "Marlin SportSplash":

Nota Bene: The Boyd Institute

December 15, 2015
Each spring, in partnership with the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, Virginia Wesleyan College hosts a workshop for UMC pastors that yields continuing education units. The College is proud of its affiliation with the United Methodist Church. Our College is a community of faith, learning and service. VWC is both historically a United Methodist college and in vivo a United Methodist college.
To prepare for this year’s workshop, Chaplain Greg West and I have been meeting with a variety of United Methodist pastors and leaders to seek their wisdom on how to make the workshop even more helpful to our pastors. One thing we are certain of already is that we should more intentionally integrate participants of the workshop into the other programs of the College, like the Center for Sacred Music, the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, and Marlin Ministries.
Toward that end, we will expand its scope from "workshop" to "Institute" and from one event to a series of events. We will name this new entity the Robert F. Boyd Institute after a co-founding member of our Board of Trustees. It is a fitting and proper way to recognize Bob’s commitment to Virginia Wesleyan College and our affiliated denomination. 
We look forward to hosting this year’s Institute and welcoming Virginia Conference pastors and church leaders to our campus. Additional details will be forthcoming in the new year.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tonight we recognized two remarkable leaders for their long time service to the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees. VWC Board of Trustees Chair Gary Bonnewell, left, and I expressed our appreciation to Bob DeFord and George Birdsong with Trustee Emeritus status at a dinner in the Princess Anne Room of the Boyd Dining Center.
Great to visit on campus today with John O. "Dubby" Wynne, chairman of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation and former CEO of Landmark Communications.
With the retirement of David Buckingham, I'm pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Keith Moore as Vice President for Student Affairs:

Nota Bene: Emeritus Faculty of Virginia Wesleyan College

December 14, 2015

Last spring, shortly after the announcement that we were coming to Virginia Wesleyan College, I received a note from Professor-Emeritus Rick Hite. He noticed on social media that we had Emeritus Faculty dinners and programs at Bethany College and encouraged me to bring that tradition to VWC. I vowed we would and last Wednesday night, Annie and I enjoyed hosting our first Emeritus Faculty dinner with 19 in attendance.

It was a wonderful evening -- an opportunity to share the status of the College and for Annie and me to learn a bit more about the College’s history and traditions.  We look forward to continuing the Emeritus Faculty dinners in the future.

Criteria for Emeritus Faculty status varies by institution. At Virginia Wesleyan, it is a title conferred by the College for the purpose of recognizing the meritorious service of a faculty member upon or after retirement. During our 54 year history, 32 faculty have earned this distinction. They include:
Connie Bellamy
James F. Harris
Sharon L. Payne
Evelyn K. Blachman
H. Rick Hite
Stanford C. Pearson
Karen A. Bosch
Lee Jordan-Anders
Paul M. Resslar
John R. Braley III
Verne M. Keefer
William J. Ruehlmann
R. David Clayton
Charles K. Kessler
Isabelle L. Shannon
Victor I. Culver
J. Patrick Lang
William R. Shealy
Dora H. Dobrin
D. Barry Lipscomb
Patricia R. Sullivan
Ginger L. Ferris
Thomas S. Lopez
Frederick B. Weiss
Rita E. Frank
Gordon A. Magnuson
Donald G. Wolfgang
Daniel W. Graf
Nancy D. Montgomery
Margaret C. Zimmerman
Joseph H. Harkey
L. Anderson Orr

I thank our Emeritus Faculty for their loyalty to Virginia Wesleyan College and their service to our students. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I hope you enjoy my Sunday opinion piece, "The Importance of Speaking Up," in today's Virginian-Pilot. These reflections will appear monthly in the paper:

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Enjoying some holiday spirit with our talented residence hall staff.
Our new Vice President for Enrollment, David Waggoner, attended the Holiday Celebration -- a great way to finish his first week at Virginia Wesleyan
Annie and I had a wonderful time at our first Virginia Wesleyan holiday celebration. Pictured with our good friends Steve and Dawn Mansfield

Friday, December 11, 2015

Since the passing of Bill Joseph earlier this week, several people have asked how they could make a gift to the College in his memory. As many of you know, Bill's loyal and valuable tenure at the College spanned over 40 years.
Bill arrived at Virginia Wesleyan as our first business manager in September 1966. Beginning as a two-person operation, the business office grew with the College, and Bill’s responsibilities ranged from handling student accounts, purchasing supplies, and arranging campus signage to negotiating with lending banks, exterminator companies and federal OSHA officials. He oversaw the operations of food services, the bookstore (run for a short time by his wife, Faye), other auxiliary services, and the expanding physical plant. 
Memorial gifts may be made to the Bill Joseph Book Fund (that he created and supported during his lifetime) at Virginia Wesleyan's Hofheimer Library. The Joseph family will be notified of gifts received in his memory.  For additional information, please contact Suzanne Savage at ext. 8736 or

Nota Bene: 2014-15 Annual Report

December 7, 2015

The Virginia Wesleyan College 2014-15 Annual Report is hot off the press. For your reference, it is also available on our website:
Sad to share the passing of long-time former Virginia Wesleyan Vice President for Finance Bill Joseph:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

With Lina Green, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations, at the David Buckingham retirement celebration today. David was chief student affairs officers of Virginia Wesleyan College for 33 years. He was presented a Wesleyan chair and the patio behind Godwin Hall was dedicated as Buckingham Plaza.
Wonderful turnout for the retirement celebration for Vice President for Student Affairs David Buckingham
Enjoyable meeting today with one of our Western Bayside Partnership members, The Rev. Dr. Michael Daniels of Enoch Baptist Church. We discussed partnership opportunities, youth programs, and campus outreach.
Great time getting to know Kevin Sweeney (center), President and CEO of Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance. We had lunch and went on a campus tour along with Vice President for Finance, Cary Sawyer.
This morning, as a part of my ‪#‎vwcwalkabouts program, I worked plant beds and mulching with the buildings and grounds staff. Spent some enjoyable quality time with some of our best: Bob Krauss, Nate Boudreaux, Larry Barnard, President Miller, Kent Brown, Kathy Bartkus, Javi Delgado.

Nota Bene: VWC's Monumental Moments Ranks #9

December 10, 2015

The holiday season has arrived at Virginia Wesleyan, and with it has come an abundance of merriment and special events across campus and into the community. One College tradition in particular has even received some national media attention recently. I am pleased to report that the Center for Sacred Music’s Monumental Moments series earned the #9 spot this month on Best College Review’s ranking of “The 45 Best College Holiday Events.”

According to the college and university ranking service, their list was compiled based on criteria such as event uniqueness and level of community involvement—traits that are most definitely found in Monumental Moments. The series began December 3 with "The Christmas Story in Lessons & Carols," which featured Advent and Christmas scriptures with poetry, singing, and special music by the Wesleyan Chorale under the direction of Dr. Bryson Mortensen.

The Monumental Moments series will continue in spring 2016 with these collaborative presentations:

"Women's Christmas"
January 16, 12 p.m., Monumental Chapel
On this traditional date of Epiphany, 'Nollaig na mBan' ("Little Christmas") marks an Irish tradition which offers women a time apart from duties of hearth and home to celebrate and reflect on the New Year. Co-sponsored by the Center for Sacred Music, Women's and Gender Studies, and the Women's Resource Center. 

"From Dust You Have Come"
February 10, 12 p.m. & 4 p.m., Monumental Chapel
An Ash Wednesday service of scripture readings, music, reflection and the imposition of ashes. Co-sponsored by the Center for Sacred Music and the Office of the Chaplain.

Though the official ranking was based on the Monumental Moments series, the editors at Best College Review also recognized “A Wesleyan Christmas,” which took place December 4-5 and featured holiday favorites by the Wesleyan Singers, the Wesleyan Chorale and faculty soloists and instrumentalists.  

Congratulations to Dr. Sandra Billy, Director of the Center for Sacred Music, Dr. Bryson Mortensen, Director of Choral Music and Assistant Professor of Music, the VWC Music Department and all who continue to bring these special events to life. 
Check out Virginia Wesleyan College at number 9: The 45 Best College Holiday Events

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Annie and I hosted our first dinner for emeritus faculty of Virginia Wesleyan College. So much history and so many wonderful stories. Great food and fellowship.

Bill Joseph's Memorial Service

Good afternoon, I wanted to let the campus community know that the memorial service for Bill Joseph will be at Epworth United Methodist Church (124 W. Freemason Street, Norfolk) on Saturday, December 12 at 2:00 p.m. There will be a reception immediately following.

Nota Bene: Grant for Campus Planning

December 9, 2015
I’m pleased to share that the College has received a $350,000 grant to facilitate a comprehensive campus facilities condition assessment. The grant includes a space utilization study, corrective maintenance plan, and campus master plan.
This process will begin in late January 2016. The grant specifies that an outside facilitator will work with a Master Planning Committee to “identify future anticipated facility needs, new or expanded programs that might require space, the arrival experience, strategic land use, future residential needs and improvements and upgrades to existing facilities.”
There will be a series of open forums and meetings with students, staff, faculty, and our Board of Trustees to gain input on the perceived needs of the institution. In addition to the open forums, a series of interviews will be conducted with various groups to gain insight on needs in their particular areas.  Once the scope of future needs and improvements are defined, a series of options and alternatives will be created. We will then prioritize the projects. This process typically takes from nine to twelve months.
I value your input as we collaboratively work to develop plans for our foreseeable future.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The latest issue of Marlin SportSplash -- the Marlin Athletic Club newsletter:
Finals week visit to the residence halls with Chaplin Greg West, Dean of Freshmen Jason Seward, and Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Moore.
Evening visit to the Center for Enrollment Services: With Keith Moore (Vice President for Student Affairs), David Waggoner (Vice President for Enrollment), Tom Murray (Coordinator of Enrollment Outreach Center), and Jason Seward (Dean of Freshmen).
We welcome David Waggoner as our new Vice President for Enrollment:
Great to see Jesse Fanshaw '72 on campus today. Jesse is a graduate and former long-time member of the advancement staff of the College. Joining us for the picture is Suzanne Savage, Associate Vice President for Advancement.
Good afternoon,
I'm sad to inform you of the passing of Bill Joseph, Virginia Wesleyan's former Vice President for Business Affairs. Mr. Joseph worked for the College for 40 years beginning in 1966. After retiring in 2006, he served in a part-time capacity with the College. 
Though I had only met Bill a few months ago, it was clear to me that he loved Virginia Wesleyan and was committed to the College throughout his career and retirement. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family.
We will inform you of arrangements when they become available.
Our Chaplain, Rev. Greg West, and members of Marlin Ministries sang Christmas Carols on campus this afternoon. They're pictured after caroling in Godwin Hall.

Nota Bene: The Huffington Post Column/ Presidential Perspectives

December 8, 2015
I’d like to share my monthly Huffington Post column on higher education with you. It is titled "A College President's Christmas List, 2015."
I’m also including a link to this month's Presidential Perspectives, a higher education leadership series written by college presidents for college presidents. I have served as co-executive editor of this popular series for 10 years. This year's theme is "Innovative Concepts to Achieve Campus Transformation" and focuses on how institutions are innovating and embracing change to transform themselves and the broader industry. The archive for all chapters during the past 10 years can be found on our website:
I hope you enjoy.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Nota Bene: December Graduates

December 7, 2015

It was a tremendous honor yesterday to welcome families, friends and other distinguished guests of our December graduates at our celebration in the Jane P. Batten Center. The day was an incredible milestone in the lives of 43 new Virginia Wesleyan alumni and it is so gratifying to share in the excitement of this remarkable achievement.

Special kudos to keynote speaker Professor Clayton J. Drees, our 2015 Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Teaching Award recipient.  Dr. Drees reflected on his 24 years at this distinctive liberal arts college and offered five tips for success. 

Our newest alumni include:

Bachelor of Arts
Nekitell E. Ashe (Sociology)
Destiny Barnes (Business)
Melinda S. Bertram (Biology and International Studies)
Marcia L. Boomer (Business)
Shanisha Kimathy Branch (English and French Studies)
Alexis Lawson Brown (Social Sciences Divisional)
Sierra M. Camarda (Environmental Studies)
Timothy J. Cooley (History and Social Science)
Sydney Alexis Covey (Business and Environmental Studies)
Shakiella K. Daniel (International Studies and Psychology)
Jason M. Davis (Psychology)
Julie Dickson (Business)
Samantha Casey Eanes (Business)
JoyAnn C. Fletcher (English)
Autumn L. Harrell (History and Social Science)
Stephanie R. Harron (Hispanic Studies and Music)
Melissa Lauren Hazen (English)
Megan E. Hughes (Business)
Amanda Jacqueline Irvine (Criminal Justice)
Ashley Bockting Jens (Psychology)
Robert E. Jordan (Business)
Connor A. Kirkham (Communication)
Rebecca Lovett (Recreation and Leisure Studies)
Amber-Rose Marmol (English and Psychology)
De'Raya U. Mosby (Social Sciences Divisional)
Nicholas J. Moscopulos (Business)
Michelle S. Neal (Sociology)
Kiersten R. Newnam (Communication)
Cameron A. Owens (Comprehensive Liberal Studies)
George F. Purdy (Business)
Robin D. Rashti (Comprehensive Liberal Studies)
Jason Matthew Sanchez (Business)
Michael T. Scanlon (Sociology)
Ashley Nicole Shrives (Earth and Environmental Sciences)
Ashlyn Dipiazzo Vaught (Social Sciences Divisional)
Charlene L. Washington (Comprehensive Liberal Studies)
Jasmine Wilson (Criminal Justice)
Trevor Sterling Woody (History)

Bachelor of Science
Christopher C. Aneroussos (Biology and Chemistry)
Samantha Casey Eanes (Math)
Rachel K. Raham (Biology)
Dominick M. Stamps (Biology)
Shanikqua T. Williams (Biology

Congratulations to the December Class of 2015!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

It was a tremendous honor today to welcome families, friends and other distinguished guests of our December graduates at our celebration in the Jane P. Batten Center. The day was an incredible milestone in the lives of 43 new Virginia Wesleyan alumni and it is so gratifying to share in the excitement of this remarkable achievement. Special kudos to keynote speaker Professor Clayton J. Drees, bottom picture, our 2015 Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Teaching Award recipient. Dr. Drees reflected on his 24 years at this distinctive liberal arts college and offered five tips for success. The platform party: Rev. Greg West (Chaplain), Tim O'Rourke (Vice President for Academic Affairs) and Prof. Drees.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Midnight Breakfast to end Reading Day and start Finals Week
Annie and I enjoyed the VWC Children's Christmas Party in the Boyd Dining Center
Showcased the new Alumni and Parent Relations Suite to the Alumni Association Board of Directors today.
Always enjoyable visiting with the Virginia Wesleyan College Alumni Association Board of Directors. Showcased the new alumni suite and offices in Godwin Hall.
Just before "The 12 Days of Christmas"
Student fun at the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Friday, December 4, 2015

This week's edition of "@vawesleyan":
Outstanding performance by The Wesleyan Chorale, The Wesleyan Singers, The Wesleyan Jazz Ensemble, & Tapestry at tonight's "A Wesleyan Christmas" (VWC Center for Sacred Music).
Impressive concert debut by The Wesleyan Jazz Ensemble (under the direction of Jason Squinobal) at tonight's "A Wesleyan Christmas" in Hofheimer Theatre.
Students preparing to sing "The 12 days of Christmas"
Great turnout for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
With Chaplain Greg West and Archivist Stephen Mansfield at the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Marlin Milers at the start of the women's lacrosse 5k in front of the Boyd Dining Center
Danville Register's Jordan Bondurant, 2012 Virginia Wesleyan graduate, speaking at the Society for Collegiate Journalists induction
Enjoyable discussion with faculty at our final Faculty Dinner of the Fall Semester in the Princess Anne Room.
Great discussion of trends and issues with faculty of the Management Business Economics faculty.