Thursday, March 31, 2016

It's a Great day to be a Marlin!
Enjoyable visit today with Bob Boyd, Regional President, BB&T. Bob and BB&T have been good friends and supporters of Virginia Wesleyan College for many years.

Nota Bene: Renovation of Sentara Leigh Hospital

March 31, 2016
I recently attended an event to celebrate the newly renovated and expanded Sentara Leigh Hospital on Kempsville Road, just a few miles from campus.  Sentara Leigh Hospital is a part of Sentara Healthcare and is the primary emergency provider for our campus.  We appreciate the positive relationship we have with Sentara on a broad variety of issues and services.
Sentara Healthcare is a not-for-profit health care organization serving Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. It is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, and provides services to more than two million residents in the Hampton Roads region.
Sentara operates more than 100 sites, including ten acute care hospitals with a total of 1,911 beds, nine outpatient care campuses, seven nursing centers, three assisted living centers, and about 380 primary care and multi-specialty physicians. Sentara also provides health coverage plans, home health and hospice services, physical therapy and rehabilitation services, and specialized services, including Nightingale which, in 1982, became the region's first air ambulance.
Two years ago, Sentara Leigh Hospital began the long-awaited journey to build a new state-of-the-art facility. Completed recently, the campus renovations will enable the Hospital to better meet the needs and expectations of our community offering comprehensive services for area residents with specialization in orthopedic, cardiac, advanced imaging, general surgical, gynecological, obstetrical and comprehensive breast care services.

Highlights of the transformation include:
  • Two five-story patient towers replacing the 1977-era patient wings
  • A two-story atrium lobby that will welcome visitors and patients to renovated outpatient areas and public space
  •  A multi-story parking garage with 400 spaces
Congratulations to Terrie Edwards, President, Sentara Leigh Hospital, and Howard Kern, President & CEO, Sentara Healthcare, on a beautiful, first class facility that will serve this community well for many years to come.
Kudos to Josh Currier!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Talking about the college presidency with ODU President John Broderick's graduate class on leadership and the presidency.
David Waggoner, left, VWC Vice President for Enrollment, and I enjoyed meeting today with Virginia Wesleyan College graduates Bonnie Sutton, President & CEO of the Access College Foundation, and Cheryl Jones, Program Director of ACF, and their offices in Norfolk. Eleven Virginia Wesleyan College graduates work at Access College Foundation. The Foundation's mission is to provide students, who may not have the opportunity to attend and complete college.
Great to visit with Virginia Wesleyan College grad Charlie Russell '72 at today's Eastern Shore Christian Businessmen's Association Prayer Breakfast. Charlie is President of WESR radio and the Shore Daily News.
Great to visit with George McMath, trustee of Virginia Wesleyan College from 1984-98, at the Eastern Shore Christian Businessmen's Association Prayer Breakfast in Accomac today.
Thanks to Robert Marsh, Jr., President of the Eastern Shore Christian Businessmen's Association, for an enjoyable morning with his from of outstanding Eastern Shore leaders.
Featured speaker at the Eastern Shore Christian Businessman's Association Prayer Breakfast in Accomac, Virginia.

Nota Bene: Symposium on International Education

March 30, 2016

This Friday, April 1, educators will gather at Virginia Wesleyan for the first annual Symposium on International Education. With a theme of “Think Globally, Teach Locally,” the symposium will highlight challenges facing students and educators worldwide.

Serving as the symposium’s keynote speaker is Fred Mednick, founder of Teachers Without Borders. Mednick founded Teachers without Borders in 2000 in order to connect teacher leaders to information and each other, worldwide, so that they may improve the quality of life in their communities. Today, the organization’s members represent 184 countries. Mednick is also an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, he has advised the leadership of The Organization of American States, and he leads academics for the International Institute for Education for Development. Watch his TED Talk, "
Rebuilding Education From Below the Ground and Up."

Also presenting is Beverly Ann Chin, Ph.D., Chair of the English Department at the University of Montana. She is a former president of the National Council of Teachers of English and a highly respected leader in literacy standards, curriculum, instruction, and assessment. She served on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, an organization dedicated to certification of accomplished teachers. She was the senior project consultant for the 2011 Writing Framework of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—the Nation's Report Card. Chin enjoys working with students and educators and presenting at conferences throughout the world. She has worked with schools and universities in Japan, Thailand, China, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Ukraine, Germany, England, France, Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, Guam, and Czech Republic.

A screening of
Girl Rising, a global campaign for girls' education, will also take place as part of the symposium on Monday, April 4 with a discussion led by Mednick. The documentary It's a Girl: The Three Deadliest Words in the World, about "gendercide" in India and China, will be shown on Tuesday, April 5 with a discussion led by Chin. Both screenings are free and open to the public and begin at 6 p.m. in Blocker Auditorium.

Special thanks to Batten Associate Professor of Education Hilve Firek for bringing this powerful event to our campus along with the Education Department, the Office of Academic Affairs, and the Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Congratulations to Marissa Coombs, first women's track and field All-American in Virginia Wesleyan history. With Coach Krista Littleton and AD Joanne Renn.
Kudos to Rolanda Taylor, a sophomore from Norfolk, Va., who posted a pair of ODAC top marks while competing at the Commonwealth Duals and was named Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Track Athlete of the Week. She won the high jump by eclipsing 1.59 meters (5' 2.5"), which ties with W&L's Maggie Kleber for the top height in the conference. She added a second place showing in the triple jump by bounding 10.50 meters (34' 5.5"), good for solo position atop the ODAC charts. She added a fourth-place performance in the long jump, hitting the sand at 5.07 meters (16' 7.75").

Nota Bene: Works in Progress - A Regional Interdisciplinary Conference of Feminist Scholarship

March 29, 2016
Welcome back from spring break. I hope your break was enjoyable and that you are refreshed and ready to complete the semester.
This Saturday, April 2, Virginia Wesleyan will serve as the host site for Works in Progress, an interdisciplinary conference of feminist scholarship. The event will feature many of our own faculty and students as well as guests from Christopher Newport University, Hampton University, James Madison University, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, and William & Mary. Presenters will share work in various stages of development—focused on women's and gender issues—in exchange for feedback and consultation from other interested scholars.

The conference will begin with a keynote address by Dr. Elizabeth Losh, Associate Professor of English and American Studies at William & Mary. The day will then be divided into three sessions, made up of 11 panels and nearly 50 presenters.

Panels will include: Subjugated Knowledge: Women in August Wilson’s Plays; Feminist Issues and Activism in Hampton Roads; Culture and Politics; Women Writers, Trauma, and Subversion; Boundary Waters: Journeys and Transitions in Beth E. Brant's "Swimming Upstream"; Defining the Experience of Black Womanhood: Reconceptualizing the Strong Black Woman Cultural Construct; Feminist Approaches to Global Crises; Leading and Establishing Yourself; Systems and Influences; Violence Against Women; and Uncovering Our Own Legacy: Representation and the Hampton Roads LGBTQ Community.

A number of Virginia Wesleyan faculty members and students will participate in the conference in variety of ways. Among them are:

Faculty Panel Chairs
Richard Bond, Batten Associate Professor of History
Kathleen Casey, Assistant Professor of History
Kellie Holzer, Assistant Professor of English
Taryn Myers, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Adam Ruh, Lecturer in English
Sharon Payne, Professor Emeritus, Social Work

Faculty Presenters
Rebecca Hooker, Batten Associate Professor of English
Alison Marganski, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Adam Ruh, Lecturer in English
Kathy Stolley, Professor of Sociology

Student Presenters/Posters
Adrian Benn
Katherine-Anne Christy
Brianna Graham
Gabrielle Henderson
Alexandria Houston
Ashley Jens
Shyail Owens
Connor Pederson
Sarah Pybus-Elmore
Kelsi Robins
Dillon Rudiger
Madison Thomer
Shanikqua Williams

Panel discussions will take place throughout the day in the Women's Resource Center, the Floyd E. Kellam Jr. Social Science Lab, and Clarke Hall (9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.).

Special thanks to Susan Larkin, Director of the Women's Resource Center and Associate Professor of English, for spearheading this collaborative event along with the Women’s and Gender Studies Department, Women’s Forum, and Women’s Resource Center.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Marlin Ministries Team with Rev. Seonyoung Kim, York River District Superintendent of The United Methodist, at chapel service tonight on campus. Rev. Kim is on campus for the Robert F. Boyd Institute. She is a member of the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees.
Thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Rev. Scott Davis at today's Robert F. Boyd Institute. A 1984 graduate, Scott was Chaplain of the College from 1988 to 1997. Joining us for the picture is current Chaplain Greg West.
With Rev. Seonyoung Kim, York River District Superintendent of The United Methodist, and Dr. Mort Gamble, Vice President for Advancement, at the Robert F. Boyd Institute. Rev. Kim is a member of the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees.
With institute namesake Bob Boyd, Chaplain Greg West, and Bishop Timothy Whitaker as we open the Robert F. Boyd Institute.
Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker, keynote speaker on topic "The Future Identity & Mission of the Church, at the Robert F. Boyd Institute
Virginia Wesleyan graduates, now pastors from the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church, attending the Robert F. Boyd Institute.
Chaplain Greg West speaking to pastors from the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church attending Virginia Wesleyan's Robert F. Boyd Institute.
Dr. Mort Gamble, VWC Vice President for Advancement, with author Rev. Dr. Wayne Lavender ("Who Will Care for the Orphan"), at Virginia Wesleyan College's Robert F. Boyd Institute.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Pleased to share details of our new Early Assurance Program with Eastern Virginia Medical School:
From our family to you -- Wishing you peace, love and happiness at Easter and always.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

Congratulations to our campus Annual Fund winners for this year -- Mat and Krista Littleton.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Talked enrollment and growth initiatives with Ashley Kline of The Marlin Chronicle. Ashley is a freshman Psychology/Religious Studies major from Town Center.
A special evening back at Wesley College in Dover, Delaware, taking part in the inauguration of Robert Clark as President of the College. Great to visit with so many wonderful friends from our time there. Pictured, the four living Presidents of the College: William Johnston (2008-15), Bob Clark (2015- ), Jervis Cook (1977-83), and me (1997-2007).

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Look for our detailed announcement of new expanded Early Assurance Program opportunities available to Virginia Wesleyan College students desiring to attend Eastern Virginia Medical School. Pictured with EVMS President Richard Homan at the signing today at VWC. Joining us for the signing Vice President and Dean of the School of Health Professions C. Donald Combs, VWC Vice President for Enrollment Services David Waggoner, and Associate Dean for Academic Support Debbie Hicks.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Annie and I enjoyed the Empty Bowls Charity Dinner tonight in the Boyd Dining Center. This has been a wonderful partnership between Virginia Wesleyan College and the Ceramic Designers Association. Thanks to VWC alum Robyn Bailey for the invitation.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

With Campus Compact president Andrew Seligsohn at the celebration of the Campus Compact 30th Anniversary Action Statement at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston. Over 360 Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors have already signed the Action Statement, a document containing strong language about the public obligations of higher education that commits campuses to taking specific steps to deepen their engagement for the benefit of students, communities, and the broader public.
Campus Compact celebrated the more than 360 signatories on its Action Statement during a Summit of Presidents and Chancellors today at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston. On behalf of Virginia Wesleyan College, I am among the presidents who signed the Campus Compact 30th Anniversary Action Statement, a document containing strong language about the public obligations of higher education that commits campuses to taking specific steps to deepen their engagement for the benefit of students, communities, and the broader public. The document concludes with a commitment by each signatory to create a Campus Civic Action Plan to be shared publicly.
In Boston with 360 presidential colleagues -- all 30th Anniversary Action Statement Signatories -- for the Campus Compact Summit of Presidents and Chancellors (

Saturday, March 19, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed attending the celebration tonight of the newly expanded Sentara Leigh Hospital on Kempsville Road. Pictured with Terrie Edwards, President, Sentara Leigh Hospital, and Howard Kern, President & CEO, Sentara Healthcare.
Pleased to announce the construction of a new partnership facility on campus:
We welcome VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads to our campus:
The latest issue of "@vawesleyan":

Friday, March 18, 2016

With Virginia Wesleyan College grad Bryan Pennington, Norfolk's director of intergovernmental relations, at today's State of the City Address.

Nota Bene: President's Student Roundtable

March 18, 2016
Tuesday evening's President's Student Roundtable in the Jane P.  Batten Student Center covered some wide-ranging campus topics: logistical issues related to current construction projects, student participation in our strategic and master planning process, new Master's programs, international travel and study, the forthcoming Fine Arts Center, and whether VWC will field a football team (no plans at this time), among others. Thank you to all who submitted some very thoughtful and perceptive questions.
It was a productive question-and-answer session with 43 student leaders attending, along with members of the President's Cabinet. Special thanks to The Marlin Chronicle for sponsoring the evening and Samantha Small for serving as moderator. I look forward to future opportunities to discuss important issues of the day with our campus community.
I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Spring Break. Nota Bene will return when classes reconvene.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The only day Marlins wear green. Happy St. Patrick's Day, VWC!
Virginia Wesleyan College is fortunate to have an outstanding relationship with the Virginia Beach Police Department. Had a productive meeting this afternoon with Jerry Mance, VWC Director of Security, Keith Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs, Captain J.T. Orr of VBPD, to review processes and procedures.
Great to catch up with Elizabeth Middleton '91 who serves on the College's Board of Trustees.
Enjoyed meeting with Bill Shelhorse '70 and long time trustee and strong supporter of Virginia Wesleyan College.

Nota Bene: Ellucian Action Planning

March 17, 2016
I am pleased to report that we have just completed a very successful two day Action Planning engagement involving Colleague. Four representatives from Ellucian were at Virginia Wesleyan to conduct extensive interviews and carry out the action planning. Bolstered with survey data, the goal was to learn how we use Colleague, discover what we might be under utilizing and suggest ways to improve it's uses across campus.
The College has been using Colleague for decades--so long that most still call it Datatel. However, business processes evolve over time, which is why it is important to consult experts to evaluate our instance of Colleague against these processes. Since the College last engaged in this planning process, our institutional priorities have changed as well. 
Thanks to Greg Baptiste for setting the stage for this successful engagement -- Greg Baptiste and his team organized all the meetings and conducted the surveys. I appreciate campus personnel who participated in the Ellucian surveys. More than 80 users engaged in this process. This impressed Ellucian visitors and demonstrated an extensive institutional desire to engage in this process.

Special thanks to our new Chief Information Officer Robert Lietgeb and Vice President for Finance Cary Sawyer for co-sponsoring this consulting engagement.

The combination of survey and face-to-face data will help to develop a technology road map for the future of Virginia Wesleyan. 
Finally, the Ellucian personnel were impressed. They asked if Mr. Lietgeb would be willing to participate in an executive panel and share our experiences at their national convention in April.
The results of the action planning engagement will be made available to us in approximately two weeks. I would expect to see details about a new portal, lots of training, improved reporting and many other improvements.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Enjoyed meeting Frances Genera '00 while she was on campus visiting with Professor Dave Garraty.
Enjoyable lunch with Zachary Ward, a VWC freshman from Portsmouth, who is the recipient of the Fred W. Beazley Endowed Scholarship and Judge Richard S. Bray, President & CEO of The Beazley Foundation.
Meet my "shadow for the day" -- Old Dominion University student Rebecca Crum. Rebecca is working on a master's degree in higher education at ODU and shadowing was a part of a graduate project.

Nota Bene: Employment by Diversity Report

March 16, 2016

It has been my annual practice to share data gathered for an Employment by Diversity Report with the campus community. Please find here for your information. Thanks to Karla Rasmussen, Director of Human Resources, and Donald Stauffer, Senior Researcher and Policy Analyst, for compiling information for this report.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Enjoyable President's Roundtable with leaders from our 73 student organizations tonight. Pictured with moderator Samantha Small and Dr. Lisa Lyon Payne, Associate Professor of Communication. The event was sponsored by The Marlin Chronicle.

Nota Bene: New YMCA Facility

March 15, 2016

With 300 acres of trees, trails and the beautiful Lake Taylor, Virginia Wesleyan College provides the perfect setting for partnership with the YMCA. This morning I am pleased to share the approval of plans for a new joint-use YMCA facility here on our campus.

Scheduled for completion by May 2017, the 6,000-square-foot facility will be nestled in front of the arboretum near the start of the trail that leads to Lake Taylor. It will contain three classrooms that open into a large multi-purpose room, four offices, a reception area, kitchen, and an adjacent 240-seat outdoor amphitheater with stage. View the

The facility, funded by private donors, will be used during the academic year by the College and during the summer months for
YMCA Camp Red Feather.

Camp Red Feather has taken place here on campus for about a decade, the result of a long-time partnership between VWC and the YMCA of South Hampton Roads. The relationship has led to various recreational additions on campus, including a treehouse and dock near Lake Taylor and the 2011 installation of the Alpine Tower—the 50-foot structure located off Smith Drive designed for climbing and team-building exercises.

The new facility will complement the College’s forthcoming Greer Environmental Sciences Center, with construction by Hourigan Construction. A groundbreaking will take place in fall 2016.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Good to visit with our old friend from Bethany days, Frank Coonelly, President of the Pittsburgh Pirates, at today's Red Sox/Pirates game.

Nota Bene: The Birdsong Initiative

March 14, 2016
I recently attended a special reception at Westminster-Canterbury to celebrate the results of The Birdsong Initiative, a 24-week study examining whether the use of computer technology can increase socialization and improve mental health among residents of nursing homes and memory support programs.
The study was made possible by Westminster-Canterbury Foundation Board Member Sue Birdsong and her husband, George, who are longtime supporters and friends of Virginia Wesleyan College. Researchers at Eastern Virginia Medical School led the study with support from students in VWC's Recreational Therapy program. Virginia Wesleyan students played a critical role in assessing residents, providing treatment intervention and collecting data for the study.
I’m happy to share this media release on the results:

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Enjoyable day in Ft. Myers with loyal Marlins Joanne Renn and David Black
Great job, Marissa!
Good to visit with members of the Virginia Wesleyan College women's lacrosse team in the Henry Clay Hofheimer II Library Friday.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Red Sox & Miami. Beautiful day for baseball with Virginia Wesleyan College friends in Ft. Myers, Florida.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Talking NCAA Division III sports at the reception in the library with Joanne Renn (Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics) and Jeff Bowers (head women's soccer coach).
An all campus reception in the Hofheimer Library in honor of three new senior staffers to the Virginia Wesleyan College family -- David Waggoner (Vice President for Enrollment), Dr. Mort Gamble (Vice President for Advancement), and Robert Leitgeb (Chief Information Officer).
I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with a visiting group of faculty and students from Richard Bland College, a branch college of The College of William and Mary.
Tia Brown McNair, Vice President, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at the Association of American Colleges & Universities, was a special guest on campus today. She led a round table discussion on strengthening inclusiveness and hosted a faculty workshop on curriculum mapping. From left, Sara Sewell, Associate Professor of History and Executive Director of The Lighthouse, Jason Seward, Dean of Freshmen, Tim O'Rourke, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Rebecca Hooker, Batten Associate Professor of English.
Celebrated the official opening of VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads offices on our campus today with Virginia Wesleyan College Associate Dean for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning Dr. Kathy Stolley, Virginia Wesleyan College Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling, VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads Executive Director Kate Meechan, former long-time VHR Director Lenora Mathews, and VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads Board Chair Joanna Brumsey.