Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hope to see you at Homecoming:
Village IV from the second floor of the under construction Greer Environmental Sciences Center. #vwcwalkabouts
Visiting the residence halls tonight with Keith Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Jason Seward, Dean of Freshmen. Pictured with members of the Class of 2020.
The College Commons from the second floor of the under construction Greer Environmental Sciences Center. #vwcwalkabouts

Nota Bene: Title IX

August 31, 2016
On April 4, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights issued the "Dear Colleague Letter" to every institution of higher education defining our responsibilities under Title IX. Whether you are a member of the student body, faculty or staff, understanding our roles in matters involving Title IX is a priority for each of us. Mandatory training related to Title IX is being provided to our campus community and includes the attached presentation.

The following topics associated with Title IX are addressed:
1. What is Title IX?
2. Dear Colleague Letter
3. Sexual Misconduct Offenses
4. Reporting Incidents
5. Virginia laws pertaining to Title IX
6. Q&A Session (Please contact one of our Title IX Coordinators provided below.)
ALL students, faculty and staff are required to review a Title IX presentation and complete our online Title IX test by visiting WebAdvisor.
Students, Faculty and Staff are asked to review the presentation materials and complete the online test no later than Friday, September 9, 2016.
I appreciate your time and attention to this important matter.  Should you have any questions directly related to responsibilities under Title IX, you may contact:
Mrs. Karla Rasmussen
Director of Human Resources
Title IX Coordinator
Mrs. McCarren Caputa
Director of Residence Life
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Mr. Jason Seward
Dean of Freshmen & Director of the Jane P. Batten Student Center
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Ms. Kate Griffin
Director of Student Activities
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Mr. Brandon Elliott
Head Women's Softball Coach
Deputy Title IX Coordinator

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Nota Bene: Fall Enrollment

August 30, 2016

It has been my custom to share day-one enrollment with our campus community:
  • Headcount enrollment of approximately 1,400 (all programs)
  • New student enrollment:
         Freshmen – 370
         Transfers – 95
         Adult Studies Program – 20
         Non-degree seeking 34
         Total New – 519

My special thanks to David Waggoner, Vice President for Enrollment, who joined us December 7, and Beth Clarke, Associate Dean of Enrollment, for their outstanding leadership of this program.  The future is bright with the strategies they are putting in place. I also appreciate our faculty and staff for supporting the efforts of our students and for their commitment to each student’s success.

Monday, August 29, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Trustee Bill Thumel, CEO/Owner of Abacus of Hampton Roads at his office at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront today. As you can tell from the picture, Abacus of Hampton Roads is a fascinating business.
Day one coffee with students and "highlighters" at the hospitality table in the quad.

Day one coffee with students and "highlighters" at the hospitality table in the quad.

Nota Bene: First Day of Classes for 2016 Fall Semester

August 29, 2016
Because today is the first day of classes for the 2016 fall semester, I wish all students and faculty a great start to what I hope will be an enjoyable and productive semester.
As you know, an essential first step toward academic success is to go to class. Second is to complete all assignments on time, and to seek assistance when needed. Our curriculum is rigorous and our academic goals are high, yet I am confident that taking these initial steps will lead to a successful semester for all.
As freshmen and new students experience their very first day of classes on our campus, I encourage our upperclassmen, as well as all faculty and staff, to help ensure that their experience is meaningful, successful, and enjoyable. Please support and assist them in any way you can—today and every day.
We are especially pleased to welcome back our returning students. I hope your fall semester has a great beginning and that you are as glad to be back on our campus as we are to have you.
My best wishes go out to the entire Virginia Wesleyan campus community for a wonderful fall semester and academic year.

Friday, August 26, 2016

With 400 of my newest friends -- the Class of 2020!
With Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Moore -- leading the Class of 2020 from the closing ceremony of Marlin Days for the "wishing well" tradition at the John Wesley statue and fountain.
The new 28,200 square foot Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center at Virginia Wesleyan College is now closer to reality through the generosity of the Goodes and Brocks. Susan and David Goode (top) recently committed $5 million to the project and Joan and Macon Brock added another $5 million to the project. $12.7 million has been raised toward a Phase I goal of $14 million. Joining us for the picture is Dr. Timothy O'Rourke, Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.
I can't say enough good things about these wonderful people who mean so much to Virginia Wesleyan College. It was my pleasure this week to recognize them with special distinctions. At the top of the list was the introduction of the Batten Honors College, named for Jane P. (front center) and her late husband, Frank. An additional unprecedented transformation is the structuring of Virginia Wesleyan’s academic divisions. The College will now consist of three schools devoted to specific areas of study: the Susan S. Goode (front left) School of Arts and Humanities, the Joan P. Brock (front right) School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and the Birdsong (standing, George and Sue) School of Social Science. Each school honors longtime Virginia Wesleyan supporters, each of whom has served in various capacities on the College’s Board of Trustees.

Nota Bene: Marlin Days and More

August 26, 2016
As we prepared to launch Marlin Days 2016 for our incoming students, I delivered my second VWC State of the College Address  on Tuesday to a large audience of faculty, staff, and invited guests. The event was also webcast and is available for viewing.  Dramatic changes for Virginia Wesleyan College, referenced in the address, are also detailed on our website.
I was pleased to introduce the Batten Honors College and the formation of three academic schools: the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities, the Joan P. Brock School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and the Birdsong School of Social Science. As I emphasized in the State of the College, we need to think creatively about attracting more students to the College. We must invest in our core mission and values, for they will sustain us in the busy, challenging years ahead. And we should always find ways to honor our heritage and maximize our strengths, while sharpening our academic and co-curricular programs to meet the needs, expectations, and ambitions of our students.
Therefore, the academic initiatives announced on Tuesday will energize this agenda, and position us for even greater success. We will implement these bold changes immediately, and it was a special honor to welcome to the Batten Convocation Center the special friends of the College for whom these academic components are named. We thank them for their outstanding leadership and support over the years.
Last week, I had dinner with Senator Mark Warner and then attended a Senatorial Forum at the Founders Inn, hosted by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. The forum focused on the regional economy in Hampton Roads and our national security. Senator Tim Kaine, the Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States, had been scheduled to attend, and sent his regards to the audience.
My outreach to the community continues. I visited the Norfolk Botanical Garden and met with President and CEO Michael Desplaines and Vice President Cathy Fitzgerald. My visit included a tour of their spectacular 175 acres of natural beauty. It was refreshing to hold our faculty retreat in this attractive setting on Monday.
On August 15, I met with Skip Valet, Vice President and General Manager of WTKR-TV News Channel 3, and the news director of the station, Ryan Minnaugh, to discuss ways in which we might collaborate.  In addition, I was pleased to catch up with the President and Publisher of the Virginian-Pilot, Pat Richardson, and Pilot Editor Steve Gunn recently. My monthly column on higher education topics appears in the paper. Kari Jacobs, President and General Manager at WVEC-TV, was on campus recently for an introductory meeting and discussion.
Vice President for Enrollment David Waggoner, Associate Professor of Philosophy Patrick Goold, and I visited with Head of School at Friends School of Virginia Beach Linda Serrette for a collaborative discussion.
To conclude an exciting week on our campus, we welcomed new students, first-time freshmen, and transfer students to the College for the annual “Marlin Days” of orientation and activities. This year’s incoming students appear highly motivated, enthusiastic, and ready to jump into college life as our latest Marlins. Classes begin Monday!
All in all, it’s been a great week to be a Marlin!
Join us...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Great to meet with longtime Trustee Robin Ray, CEO of Atlantic Dominion Distributors. Robin and her company have been wonderful supporters of the College for many years.
Great to have lunch with David Benn and Brian Oster from Cho, Benn, Holback & Associates of Baltimore. The firm completed the College's 1995 master plan and have been great supporters over the years. Also pictured is Suzanne Savage, Associate Vice President for Advancement.
Enjoyable visit this morning with Lem Lewis, retired Executive Vice President of Landmark Communications and former Virginia Wesleyan trustee.
Hope to see you there!
Founders Day September 8. Check the alumni page of our website for details.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

An exciting time to be a Marlin:
Ederlis Nunez of Puerto Rico checked in with freshman today and started her work-study assignment as a photographer in the Office of Communications and Marketing tonight. Ederle is pictured with Janice Marshall-Pittman, Associate Director of Communications, and me in the Barclay Sheaks Art Gallery in Godwin Hall.
With Meredith, Jacqueline, and Keith Moore, Mort Gamble, Annie and a group of First Years at the Freshman Picnic in Bray Village.

Welcoming the Class of 2020!
During my meeting at Visit Norfolk today, I had the pleasure of catching up with recent graduate Stephanie Williams '16 -- the new administrative sales assistant at Visit Norfolk. Joining us for the picture is Tony DiFilippo, President and CEO of Norfolk Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
Hanging out with the crew about to welcome freshmen to campus today.
Special State of the College edition of "@vawesleyan":

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A wonderful "turnout" in person and on a live webcast for today's State of the College. Top picture, Convocation Hall of the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Below, the Wesleyan cross country team watching the webcast.
Webcast of today's State of the College:
The Virginian-Pilot coverage of today's State of the College:
Sports Information Director Cody Clifton will produce the webcast of today's State of the College at 12:15 today.
Final preparations for the State of the College in the Convocation Center.
Today is a special one on campus as I share the accomplishments of the Virginia Wesleyan College community and some very special announcements in the annual State of the College Address. To watch the webcast live:

Monday, August 22, 2016

Enjoyed visiting today with Kari Jacobs, President & General Manager of WVEC-TV.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Enjoyed welcoming our fall athletic teams back to campus tonight.
A great program. Congratulations to our own Tim Lockett and Diane Hotaling. "VWC Sodexo Team Ensures Nutritious Meals for Area Kids Through "Feeding Our Future":
Kudos to Professors Hilve Firek, Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, and Vic Townsend:

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Check out our "Election 2016" speaker series:
"President-to-President" edited by Marylouise Fennell and I (with support from Sodexo) will debut in October:

Friday, August 19, 2016

Nota Bene: Campus Improvements and Community Visits

August 19, 2016
This week, I’m pleased to share that the Campus Corrective Improvement Program, funded through a $600,000 gift from a private donor, is progressing nicely with improvements to sidewalks, steps, blacktopping, curbs, and power-washing now occurring throughout campus. In addition, stands were installed at Birdsong Field thanks to the generosity of three donors.
Campus Master Planning continues. A space-utilization study has been completed, a corrective maintenance plan has been drafted, and a 10-year master plan is on track for completion in October. We are grateful to the anonymous donor for providing the $350,000 gift to fund this critical function. Also, thanks to Comprehensive Facilities Planning, Inc., of Columbus, Ohio, Aramark Engineering Solutions of Philadelphia, Derck & Edson of Lititz, Pennsylvania, and the campus-based master planning committee for their work on this project.
I was honored to be invited to be the guest preacher at George Birdsong’s church, the Main Street United Methodist Church in Suffolk, on August 14 for their Men’s Sunday service. VWC student Patrick Suttle was also a part of the service. It was nice to talk with him and other members of the Virginia Wesleyan community at a lunch afterward. Thanks to George and Sue Birdsong and Rev. Myrtle Hatcher for the opportunity and for their hospitality.
I recently took part in the Salvation Army’s “10,000 Scoop Challenge” as a “local celebrity” at the invitation of VWC alumna Heather Tebbenhoff ’11. This city-wide effort to hand out 10,000 FREE scoops of Mayfield Moose Tracks Ice Cream was organized to raise money for The Salvation Army of Hampton Roads Area Command in support of community programs.
A visit with the new superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools, Dr. Melinda Boone, was also an enjoyable event on my calendar last week. It was great to talk about her vision for Norfolk Public Schools and to discuss opportunities for collaboration.
Annie and I had the pleasure of attending the 70th Anniversary Celebration of the National Defense University Joint Forces Staff College last Friday evening. They are a part of the Tidewater Consortium, as we are, and it was nice to hear General Anthony C. Zinni and the Distinguished Lecture Series, as well as to participate in the Dean’s Reception that followed.
I’m pleased to share another great opportunity for Virginia Wesleyan. We have signed a Cooperation Agreement with the University of Education Heidelberg. I have worked with them for nine years at my other institutions. The agreement includes mutual exchange programs for faculty, students and staff and the facilitation of visiting professorships and lectureships. I know that this relationship will add value to both institutions.
Finally, I’m looking forward to delivering my second State of the College address on August 23 at 12:15 in the Convocation Center of the Jane P. Batten Student Center. It will follow a welcome-back lunch for faculty, staff and invited guests. I’m eager to provide an update on institutional progress and goals, new initiatives and plans for the continued improvement of the College. I’m pleased that this year’s address will be available online via a live webcast. I invite you to view the webcast at approximately 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Great to visit at lunch today with Diane Kaufman (Regional Director for U.S. Senator Tim Kaine), Drew Lumpkin (Regional Director for U.S. Senator Mark Warner), and David Hallock (Chief of Staff, U.S. Senator Mark Warner).
Thanks to all the supporting agencies (Virginia State Police, Virginia Beach Police, VB Fire and Rescue, FBI) for coming to campus for today's Security Department Orientation. We thank Jerry Mance, Director of Security, center, for his outstanding leadership of the Department. Keith Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs, joined us for the picture.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Drinks and dinner with U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Wayne Wilbanks, Managing Principal and Chief Investment Officer of Wilbanks, Smith & Thomas Asset Management, at Zoes in Virginia Beach.
Great visit with loyal Virginia Wesleyan friend and supporter Wayne Wilbanks at his office in downtown Norfolk today.
Enjoyed meeting VWC graduate Shani Thomas '05 while visiting Wilbanks, Smith & Thomas Asset Management in downtown Norfolk today. Shani shared that Dr. Wayne Pollock helped make her Wesleyan experience wonderful.
Looking forward to sharing many exciting new initiatives...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mort Gamble (VWC Vice President for Advancement) and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Ryan Minnaugh (News Director) and Skip Valet (Vice President & General Manager) of WTKR-TV today at their offices/studios in Norfolk.
Wonderful to update Trustee and alumna Susan Torma Beverly '72 on campus projects today. Also pictured, Suzanne Savage, Associate Vice President of Advancement.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

At Suffolk today as the guest preacher at Main Street United Methodist Church. Our own Patrick Suttle, a sophomore Communication major, read the Scripture. Pictured (from left): Annie, Rev. Myrtle Frances Hatcher, and George and Sue Birdsong. I enjoyed visiting with alumni and friends after the service at a luncheon at the Hilton Conference Center.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Enjoyable evening at the National Defense University Joint Forces Staff College 70th Anniversary Celebration.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Hampton Roads Community Foundation features our alumna in their annual report and video. Check it out! Korinda Rusinyak: Helping Others Live to Their Fullest Potential:

Nota Bene: Staying Connected

August 12, 2016

I’m pleased to share that Virginia Wesleyan College alumnus Michael White ’81 will be joining our Board of Trustees. Mike is the President of Maersk Line Agency, Inc.  After graduating from Virginia Wesleyan, he studied at Harvard Business School and IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland. He and his wife and children currently reside in New Jersey.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit with Martha McClees, Executive Director of Virginia Beach Vision, and Donald Crigger, Executive Vice President of CBRE, to discuss Virginia Beach Vision and the Virginia Beach Light Rail Initiative. Composed exclusively of corporate CEOs, Virginia Beach Vision is an organization dedicated to helping to shape the future of Virginia Beach and the Coastal Virginia/Hampton Roads community. It is an honor to have been selected to serve on the Board of Directors of this organization because I am deeply committed to the advancement of our region's development, prosperity and quality of life.

I’ve enjoyed several visits with members of our community lately. David Moore of SunTrust Bank stopped by Godwin Hall last week to deliver a gift to the College from the SunTrust Foundation in support of the SunTrust Foundation Computer Classroom in the Floyd E. Kellam, Jr., Social Science Lab.

Annie and I also had a very enjoyable evening visiting with Alice Clarke and Martha Jo Wilson during dinner. Alice and Martha Jo have been active members of the Virginia Wesleyan family for over four decades.  Alice’s husband, Lambuth, was president of VWC for 26 years and Martha Jo’s husband, Bill Wilson served as a vice president for many of those years.

And, Vice President of Enrollment David Wagonner  and I recently had a productive meeting with Head of School Daniel Tubbs at Norfolk Christian Schools to discuss possibilities for collaboration with Virginia Wesleyan.

Along with several other not-for-profit partners from the area, I was the guest of Hunter Applewhite, President of The Dominion Foundation, for a luncheon and briefing at Norfolk Botanical Gardens. We are grateful to Dominion for their support of the College.

Last week, I participated in a Second Nature Steering Committee meeting to discuss critical next steps and resources for the successful implementation of our climate commitment. As I have shared previously, I am one of the original signatories of the Climate Commitment and Virginia Wesleyan is a part of the Climate Leadership Network, which consists of more than 650 institutions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia working together to implement comprehensive plans in pursuit of a sustainable future.  As part of the Climate Leadership Network, we have access to the resources and capacity of schools leading on climate action across the country.  The Commitments are driven by Second Nature and overseen by a group of 25 presidents who serve on the Climate Leadership Steering Committee. I’m proud to be included in this group.

As we gear up for the fall semester, please mark your calendars for Virginia Wesleyan’s Homecoming and Family Weekend, scheduled for October 7 – 9, 2016. From our annual parade and athletic events to a theater production and tailgating, we look forward to welcoming alumni back to campus for an exciting time with our faculty, staff, friends, students and their families.

Finally, I continue to be committed to staying connected to all Virginia Wesleyan stakeholders. As many of you know, I’m active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, and LinkedIn. In addition, I have a blog and write columns for the Huffington Post and The Virginian-Pilot. You can also connect with me via email and my president’s page is on the VWC website.  With that in mind I’m sharing an updated “Let’s Connect” card with all of you (attached). I invite you to connect with me often to share your thoughts and ideas and to follow me on social media.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Pleased to share that Mike White '81, President of Maersk Line Agency, Inc., has joined the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees:
Construction is progressing nicely on the new 40,000 square foot Greer Environmental Sciences Center, scheduled for completion in June, 2017.
New stands at Birdsong Field.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Great to meet with Ward Robinett, former President of TowneBank-Portsmouth, at the offices of Southeast Virginia Community Foundation in Portsmouth. Ward served for many years on the College's President's Advisory Council.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Great to visit with Virginia Wesleyan College grad Lily Kunda '15 at today's Salvation Army "10,000 Scoop Challenge" in Norfolk. Originally from Virginia Beach, Lily is a marketing assistant at the Norfolk Salvation Army. Joining us for the picture is Joanne Renn, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.
I had a fun time giving away scoops of ice cream at the Salvation Army "10,000 Scoop Challenge" today in Downtown Norfolk. Joanne Renn, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics (center), and I enjoyed getting to know our fellow scoopers from WVEC - Channel 13 News, Sandra Parker, left, and Janet Roach.

Monday, August 8, 2016

During my visit to Norfolk City Hall this afternoon I had the opportunity to hear great things about the outstanding work of Virginia Wesleyan College intern Courtney Herrick in the Norfolk Emerging Leaders program. Courtney worked eight weeks in the City's communications and technology area. Norfolk City Manager Marcus Jones is pictured with Courtney and me.