Friday, September 30, 2016

Teacher, writer and Harvard Scholar Clint Smith is the keynote speaker tonight at the President's Council on Inclusive Community event "Standing Together in a Culture of Fear" in the Convocation Center. Pictured with Rebecca Hooker, PCIC Chair, Mr. Smith, and Keith Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs.
The Mud Games with Jason Seward and Val Miller.

Nota Bene: "We Will" Campaign for Faculty and Staff

September 30, 2016
Today, Friday, September 30, marks our first MARLIN SPIRIT DAY of the year. We will celebrate Marlin Spirit Day on the last Friday of every month, and I hope you will join me in sporting your favorite Virginia Wesleyan gear. Don’t forget to snap and share a photo using #marlinspiritday.
There’s another very important way to show your Marlin Spirit—supporting the annual faculty and staff funding campaign.
Monday, October 3, will mark the kick-off of the WE WILL Campaign on campus—an opportunity for faculty and staff to contribute financially by making gifts. As an institution, we are striving to meet goals in academics, enrollment, fundraising, student life, and finance/administration. Every member of the faculty and staff is invaluable to achieving these goals, and I am grateful to every one of you for the efforts you put forth daily.
Cultivating a culture of philanthropy on campus is also critical to achieving these institutional goals. As a private, liberal arts college, we rely heavily on the support of alumni, parents, friends, and the community, but the philanthropy of others begins with our own institutional culture. Let’s make a pledge together that WE WILL demonstrate to our students, alumni, parents, friends, and colleagues that ours is a culture of philanthropy, generosity, and collegiality.
By making a gift or pledge to the WE WILL Campaign, you pledge to teach by example, to give to what moves you, and ultimately, to cultivate a culture of philanthropy at Virginia Wesleyan College. Faculty and staff alike are encouraged to give to whatever cause on campus is meaningful to them. While The Excellence Fund is always a VWC priority, gifts to endowments, capital projects, or other fundable areas of campus are very much needed and equally appreciated.
Please be on the lookout for weekly emails from Kristin Williams, Coordinator of Annual Giving, with information about how to simply and quickly make a gift or pledge to the WE WILL Campaign.  You may also visit to make your gift today.
Thank you for joining me in making a gift to the WE WILL Campaign. Together, WE WILL cultivate a culture of philanthropy on campus and teach students the importance of giving by our own example.

Nota Bene: Town Hall Discussion

September 30, 2016

Virginia Wesleyan is proud to co-sponsor of a Town Hall discussion, “Standing Together in a Culture of Fear,” this Saturday, October 1, at Boyd Dining Hall on our campus. The event will be held from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m., and will be moderated by WHRO’s Barbara Hamm Lee.

There is no charge to attend, but registration is required—please click on the link below.

Other sponsors include Another View and the Fort Monroe Authority.

We look forward to hosting this important dialogue.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Air Marshal Graham Stacey, Chief of Staff, NATO Allied Command Transformation, Irene BargueƱo '17, a Virginia Wesleyan senior majoring in international studies and political science and the first VWC student to serve as an intern for the Innovation Hub, and Dr. Tim O'Rourke, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at today's NATO - Virginia Wesleyan internship signing ceremony.
Great to meet with Conrad Hall and update him about the exciting initiatives at the College. I really enjoyed talking about education issues.

Nota Bene: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report 2016

September 29, 2016

The latest Annual Security and Fire Safety Report 2016, Safe and Secure brochure, is now available online 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.

You may view the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report here:

Campus security officers will distribute Safe and Secure 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, Jane P. Batten Student Center
  • Jane P. Batten Student Center (Hub)
  • Vice President for Student Affairs Office, Jane P. Batten Student Center

I would encourage you to become familiar with the information, policies and procedures in this report.
Here is the link to October's "DayOne" -- an e-communication highlighting scholarly work of our faculty:

Nota Bene: Marlin Spirit Day Tomorrow

September 29, 2016
Tomorrow is Marlin Spirit Day! As we gear up for Homecoming and Family Weekend on October 7-9, I encourage you to get in the Marlin spirit by sporting your Marlin gear and decorating your office, room, car, pet, baby, etc., in all things VWC—hats, shirts, mugs, scarves, blankets, diplomas, and other Marlin paraphernalia all day tomorrow, September 30.
When you flaunt your favorite VWC  gear, be sure to snap a photo and share it on the Virginia Wesleyan College and Virginia Wesleyan Alumni Facebook pages. You can also send your photos directly to the Office of Marketing and Communications at and we'll do our best to post them for you.  You can also tweet and post your photos to Twitter and Instagram (mention @vawesleyan with the hashtag #marlinspiritday) to get in the spirit.
In this week before Homecoming and Family Weekend, we will also be hosting a Homecoming Office Decorating contest on campus. Participants are encouraged to register online (Office Decorating Contest). The winners receive a certificate, a tray of goodies, and bragging rights.
The Marlin spirit continues tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. with our annual Mud Games competition on Rose Lawn (near the Fine Arts building). This campus tradition, where teams of students, faculty and staff compete in physical challenges in a mud pit (ex. crab walk, army crawl, three-legged race, dizzy bat relay), brings more opportunities for bragging rights and photo ops.  Mud Games are sponsored by the Wesleyan Activities Council with support from RecX. Teams are required to register online (Mud Games).
I encourage you to get in the Marlin spirit and participate in these exciting events. I can’t wait to see your photos.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Nota Bene: Passing of Dennie Allen '70

September 28, 2016
With sadness, we have learned of the passing of Dennie Allen, VWC Class of 1970, on September 1, at the age of 70.

Our archivist, Dr. Steve Mansfield, comments that his death “evokes notice of a sad VWC milestone.  By virtue of his place in the alphabet, Dennie received Virginia Wesleyan's first diploma at our first commencement.  His death on September 1st came just a week before our first Founders Day.” 

Dennie’s obituary states: “He was predeceased by his parents, Mary Virginia Givens Allen and Wilton E. Allen. Dennie is lovingly remembered by his cousins, Walter Givens, Richmond, Va., Linda Giles, Lynchburg, Va., Maria Givens, Lancaster, Va., Spencer Givens, Camillus, N.Y. and Preston Givens, Portage, Mich. Dennie was born on May 23, 1946 in Lexington, Va…and shared that the day he graduated was the happiest of his life. Dennie loved to tell people that he was the very first person to receive a diploma from the college. Dennie had two careers, after retiring from the State of Virginia as a parole officer. He spent the rest of his life as a full-time volunteer at Chippenham Hospital.”

The obituary notes that he was to be laid to rest with his parents in Richmond’s Forest Lawn Cemetery, and that memorial contributions may be made to Virginia Wesleyan.
With David Feldman (College of William and Mary), economist and author of "Why Does College Cost So Much?", and Tiffany Franks, President of Averett University, at today's CICV Board of Directors meeting in Danville.
The schedule for Virginia Wesleyan College Homecoming 2016:

Nota Bene: NATO Internship Agreement Signing Ceremony

September 28, 2016
Virginia Wesleyan is extremely grateful to have an ongoing partnership with NATO-ACT. As part of our partnership, international student grants are provided to students and dependents of NATO-ACT employees stationed in Norfolk. NATO-ACT also offers their expertise to the VWC community by providing us with guest lecturers, internship opportunities, and NATO simulation opportunities like the Model NATO Challenge.
Tomorrow, on September 29, we will host the NATO Internship Agreement Signing Ceremony in The Lighthouse on the first floor of Clarke Hall. Virginia Wesleyan College and NATO-ACT will sign an agreement that enables VWC students to intern at the NATO-ACT Innovation Hub in Norfolk. The ceremony will start at 4:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be served.
We are appreciative of this valuable partnership and celebrate the opportunity to build global partnerships right here in our community.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

With long time good friends Tiffany Franks, President of Averett University, and Ken Garren, President of Lynchburg College, along with Virginia Delegate Charles Poindexter at tonight's Council of Independent Colleges of Virginia presidents dinner at Averett University.

Nota Bene: Students Recognized for Earning President's List Honors

September 27, 2016
On September 21, at a reception in the Shafer Room of Boyd Dining Hall, we recognized the students named to the Spring 2016 President’s List. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Timothy O’Rourke and I were pleased to congratulate those in attendance and to present them with certificates of achievement. Photos taken at the reception are available on VWC’s Flickr.
The President’s List recognizes full-time students who earn a grade point average of 4.0 during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have taken 12 semester hours of traditionally graded courses. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits, and we are proud of their accomplishments. Well done!
Spring 2016 President’s List
Ashlee C. Anderson Valerie G. Miller 
Sarah C. Antozzi Summer R. Moore 
Aaron L. Aranda Connor T. Pederson 
Rachel A. Bays Kathleen M. Peloquin 
Justin A. Bloom Ashley N. Peterson 
Julia J. Boshouwers Emma L. Phillips 
Britany M. Brandon R. Kellen Phillips 
Katie C. Brooks Elizabeth C. Pingenot 
Myles E. Brooks Jessica C. Pittman 
Maurica D. Bynum Sarah M. Puchalla 
Emilee K. Caldbeck Maurice Reed 
LeMar Callaway IIIStephanie M. Reidell 
David . Caraballo Kimberly A. Robillard 
Leanne M. Causby Kelsi P. Robins 
Jalea D. Cherry Laura E. Robusto 
Cassie B. Conley Antonio Santiago III
Christina L. Daigle Tenley M. Scott 
Shania M. Dineen Craig M. Sheridan 
Stacie A. Doughtie Ashley N. Sibley 
Taylor R. Doughtie Thomas A. Simmons 
Keane J. Dye Kayla R. Skeete 
Aaron W. Edwards Samantha T. Small 
Amber R. Gaines Samuel J. Smart 
Alison J. Gonzalez Jonathon R. Smith 
Marlan E. Hare IVJordan W. Sprouse 
Ashley J. Hartley Ariel N. Stevens 
Courtney L. Herrick Jake Q. Stokke 
Nicholas G. Hipple Haley J. Stromberg 
Denisha M. Howard Emily C. Testroet 
Makayla E. Kelley Madison M. Thomer 
Ashley A. Kline Rachel C. Tolley 
Katy J. Kopaskey Brooke R. Totzeck 
Tiffany J. Lennon Morgan L. Trent 
Patricia A. Lopez Joy S. Vernon 
Melanie Sue D. Lorenzo William J. Virgili 
Trevor J. Maloney Brittany L. Wentzel 
Stephanie N. Mathieu Jared N. White 
Robert A. McComb Tayler L. Wilson
The President’s List  is also on our website. Congratulations to the 76 students who were named to the Spring 2016 President's List!

Monday, September 26, 2016

With the 6th overall pick of the 2016 National Lacrosse League draft, the Rochester Knighthawks select Josh Currier from Virginia Wesleyan College.
Served as one of the judges this morning for the competition among Virginia Wesleyan College art students to paint a mural on the wall in the Marlin Grill. Students making the proposals (front row, from left...starting to the right of Professor John Rudel) Josh Cherry, Catalina Jones, Mary McLaughlin, Caitlyn Hogge, Jennifer Taylor, and Matt Springer.

Nota Bene: Passing of Bob Carl

September 26, 2016
I am very sad to share that Bob Carl, VWC Electrician, passed away on Sunday, September 25 at DePaul Medical Center. Bob has been an important part of the Virginia Wesleyan community, working in our Physical Plant for ten years. His daughter, Racheal Carl ’13, is a VWC alumna.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to Bob’s family. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. We will share additional information as it becomes available.

Nota Bene: VWC Women's Basketball Honors Nancy Kelly '15

September 26, 2016
Head Women’s Basketball Coach Stephany Dunmyer and the VWC Women’s Basketball Team, along with the members of the Chi Beta Psi fraternity, will partner with LifeNet Health to promote the organization’s mission and honor the memory of Nancy Kelly '15.
Last spring, Nancy, a well-respected member of our Virginia Wesleyan community, lost her life in a tragic car accident. At the time, she was continuing her education at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Prior to the accident, Nancy had told her family that she wanted to donate her organs and tissues, and with that decision she has saved the lives of others by choosing to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor.
While at Virginia Wesleyan, Nancy was an outstanding student, a talented athlete, and most importantly, an incredible person who positively impacted so many areas of our campus and surrounding community with her leadership and kindness.
LifeNet Health is a nonprofit, global leader in regenerative medicine and the world’s largest provider of allograft bio-implants and organs for transplantation. Their mission is “Saving lives. Restoring health. Giving hope.” We wanted to let our community know that LifeNet Health will be hosting a donation display and information booth at the Neptune Festival, September 30, October 1 and 2 on the Boardwalk at 24th Street at the Oceanfront.
In addition, LifeNet Health will sponsor a display on our campus during Homecoming and Family weekend on October 8 and at the VWC Women’s Basketball Game in the Jane P. Batten Student Center on January 14 at 2 pm.  It is at this home game that Nancy’s #14 jersey will be retired.
I encourage you to support Coach Dunmyer and our women’s basketball team and Chi Beta Psi fraternity in their efforts to honor the memory of Nancy Kelly.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Congrats to new school record holder for career kills, Tiffany Barrett! She set the record in the nightcap against Berry College.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Virginia Wesleyan women's golf in action for the first time in the College's history today at the Bridgewater Invitational at Lakeview Golf Course in Harrisonburg, Va. Pictured: Hannah Turner (sophomore, Brookhaven, Pa. / Sun Valley) and Maggie Kingora (freshman, Sterling, Va. / Potomac Falls).

Friday, September 23, 2016

Enjoyable visit with Dr. Alan L. Vaughan, VWC '84, Assistant Superintendent of Chesapeake Public Schools, at tonight's Salute to Teachers at Founder's Inn.
Enjoyed meeting Thomas Taylor '00, Executive Director of School Administration for the Chesterfield County Public Schools.
Great to catch up with Dale Foley, longtime Trustee and parent of two VWC graduates.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Nota Bene: VWC Education Students in the Community

September 21, 2016

It’s great to learn about the many examples of experiential learning and community partnerships occurring on our campus this fall.  Recently 11 Virginia Wesleyan education students participated in an “Outdoor STEM Laboratory” as part of the 2016 Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show in Virginia Beach. The unprecedented experience, coordinated through a partnership with NAS Oceana and Virginia Beach City Public Schools, gave more than 6,500 Virginia Beach fifth graders full immersion in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) displays and presented Virginia Wesleyan students and other community groups with the perfect opportunity for hands-on instruction.

Thanks to VWC’s Assistant Professor of Education Bill McConnell, who led VWC students in the courses "Curriculum and Instruction PreK-6" and "Classroom Management and Teaching Strategies" in developing and implementing an inquiry-based curriculum that allowed the elementary-level students to investigate chemical reactions, circuitry, and robotics, and to participate in engineering design challenges.

View photos from the event on the Virginia Wesleyan Flickr page:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Senior Sarah Antozzi, a regular with a perfect 4.0 GPA, recognized at the President's List social.
Our Student Government Association President Nich Hipple recognized with a perfect 4.0 GPA at the President's List social today.
We honored 77 students with perfect 4.0 grade point averages from the Spring Semester at the President's List recognition in the Boyd Dining Center today:
Virginia Wesleyan Homecoming is just around the corner:

Nota Bene: Installation of New United Methodist Bishop

September 21, 2016
Many of you know that I am a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, and most of my higher educational career has focused on service to the UMC and church-related higher education. This week, I had the pleasure of spending a significant amount of time with ​our ​new bishop, the Rev. Sharma D. Lewis. Bishop Lewis's appointment is a historic one as she is the first African-American woman to be named bishop for the Southeastern Jurisdiction. In her new role, Bishop Lewis will oversee 1,169 local churches and serve as an ex-officio member of our Board of Trustees.
She recently came to campus for our New Trustee Orientation​,​ and I had the opportunity to take part in her installation at Reveille United Methodist Church in Richmond on Saturday. In my meetings with her, she's been energetic and enthusiastic as she describes her new vision for the Conference and a new relationship with the six Methodist institutions in the Virginia Conference.
It's no secret that the United Methodist Church is experiencing challenging times. A recent report from​ the UMC warned, "The United Methodist Church has only 15 years to reverse its decline in the United States if it is to have a sustainable future" (from "Economist: Church in crisis but hope remains" by Heather Hahn).​
Bishop Lewis's vibrant character and sincere spirituality, however, can give us all hope for what's ahead. As Chair of the Association of Institutions of Education, a member of the National Association of Schools & Colleges of The United Methodist Church (NASCUMC) Board, and the President of this College, I am excited about the future of the Virginia Conference under her leadership.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Great turnout for the campus town hall meeting -- Standing Together in a Culture of Fear: Student Dialogue -- moderated by Barbara Hamm Lee, Host and Executive Producer of Another View radio program, WHRV 89.5 FM. Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and the President’s Council on Inclusive Community.
Vice President Keith Moore, Dean of Freshmen Jason Seward and I enjoyed breakfast this morning with representatives of the Black Student Union.

Nota Bene: Center Events Today

September 20, 2016
Today our Center for Exploration and Discovery, The Lighthouse, will offer some very important events. From 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., there will be a Study Away Fair on Marlin Main Street in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Students will have opportunities to learn about 2016-2017 study away courses offered by Virginia Wesleyan College faculty and semester study abroad opportunities.
In addition, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., the Career Development and Internship Program will be holding an event called “What You Need to Know About Internships.” This session will be held in The Lighthouse which is on the first floor of Clarke Hall. Students will learn how important internships are to their career development and how an internship can fit into academic schedules and career paths.
In addition, Biologist Michael Finkler will be on campus to speak in Blocker Hall Auditorium at 11:00 a.m. and at 4:00 p.m.
We are very fortunate to have a center that serves as a “one-stop shop” for students to gain access to experiences that help pave the way for success. The Center offers a wide variety of programs such as intercultural events, individual consultation, hands-on experiences, research projects, and much more. I encourage you to take advantage of these wonderful opportunities that will enhance your academic experience here.
The “Readings with Wesleyan” series also begins this evening when VWC Assistant Professor of Political Science Antje Schwennicke leads a discussion on the presidential election and U.S. Foreign Policy at 6:00 p.m. at nearby Enoch Baptist Church. Readings with Wesleyan is a unique educational program that brings free college-level teaching to the College’s surrounding Bayside community. This series is sponsored by our Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning.
Please check our events calendar frequently so that you don’t miss the many and varied offerings scheduled for our campus community.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Nota Bene: Marlin Softball Sets Record

September 19, 2016
Congratulations to Head Coach Brandon Elliott and the VWC Marlins Softball Team for raising $17,406 for the American Cancer Society through their 2016 Strike Out Cancer event held annually on our campus in honor of Coach Elliott’s mother, Elaine Sears. Proceeds from food sales, an impressive silent auction and other gifts contributed to this overwhelming total which sets a new record for this event.
In addition, the VWC Softball Team took part in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Virginia Beach on June 3, helping to raise more than $283,000. As most of you know, Relay For Life is a community-based, volunteer-driven event that honors survivors and caregivers, remembers those lost to the disease, and fights for a world with more birthdays.
The Marlins will host their Strike Out Cancer Game for the 2017 season on April 8 at Virginia Wesleyan College. You can contact Brandon at to get involved and for more information. Special thanks to Brandon for all he does to support others in our community.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Enjoyable afternoon at the 33rd annual Oyster Crush -- charity fundraiser oyster roast hosted by the Cape Henry Rotary Club -- at The Yacht Club at Marine Shores in Virginia Beach. Annie and I are pictured with Jayne Sullivan, VWC Professor of Education -- a long-time leader of the Cape Henry Rotary and an organizer of the event. Two scholarships at Virginia Wesleyan benefit from the event.
My monthly column in The Virginian-Pilot, "What light rail and college have in common":

Saturday, September 17, 2016

With Bishop Sharma Lewis at the Service of Celebration in her honor in Richmond. This summer, she was elected the first African-American female Bishop by the Southeast Jurisdiction. Bishop Lewis will serve on the Virginia Wesleyan Board of Trustees.
With retiring Bishop Young Jin Cho and Rev. John Peters, both Virginia Wesleyan Trustees, at the Service of Celebration in honor of the new Bishop of the Virginia Conference, Sharma Lewis.
With Rev. Wayne Sneed and Rev. John Peters, both members of the Virginia Wesleyan Board of Trustees, before the processional of the Service of Celebration in honor of the new Bishop of the Virginia Conference, Sharma Lewis. Bishop Lewis will also serve on the Virginia Wesleyan Board.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Congrats to good friend Eddie Moore, center, on his installation as President of Norfolk State University. Pictured with Eddie and Bryan Stephens, President & CEO at Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, at the guest lunch at the President's House following the installation.
With colleagues and good friends -- Debbie Sydow, President of Richard Bland College, and John Broderick, President of Old Dominion University -- at the inauguration of Eddie Moore as President of Norfolk State University.

Nota Bene: The Arts At Virginia Wesleyan College

September 16, 2016

This weekend provides yet another opportunity to experience the Arts at VWC.
Sandi Billy, director for The Center for Sacred Music, has shared that The Center joins with the Virginia Chorale to present the voices of Jewish composers through the ages.  Charles Woodward, a VWC alumnus, leads the professional ensemble in 18th-century madrigals by Salomone Rossi, grand 19th century liturgical classics, folksongs from Israel, and Aaron Copland’s “In the Beginning,” featuring renowned mezzo-soprano Robynne Redmon, a  VWC alumna. The event is scheduled for Saturday, September 17, at 8:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach and for Sunday, September 18, at 4:00 p.m. at Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk.
The latest brochure for The Arts at VWC provides a complete listing of The Center for Sacred Music happenings and Virginia Wesleyan College music, art and theatre events from September 2016 – May 2017. Thanks to the VWC Music, Art, and Theatre Departments for planning a year of outstanding programming for our campus. Kudos to Sandi, who is also the artistic director for the Arts at VWC, for all she does to coordinate and promote these noteworthy events.  Learn more about the Arts at VWC on our website at
Check out the digital version of Marlin Magazine:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Enjoyed visiting with Jack Ankerson, Chairman of the Norfolk Tourism Research Foundation Board, and Drew Lumpkin, Regional Director for U.S. Senator Mark Warner, at the 16th Annual Celebration of Success Luncheon. Also pictured is Dr. Mort Gamble, Vice President for Advancement.
Enjoyed seeing VWC alumna, Stephanie Williams '16, at the 16th Annual Celebration of Success Luncheon presented by VisitNorfolk and Norfolk Tourism Research Foundation. Also pictured are Suzanne Savage, Associate Vice President for Advancement and Dr. Mort Gamble, Vice President for Advancement.

Nota Bene: Marlin Magazine

September 15, 2016

This week, the Virginia Wesleyan community will receive the fall edition of the Marlin Magazine, hot off the press.  The new magazine is being distributed through a variety of avenues—traditional mailed hard copy, electronic dissemination through email and a link to the magazine’s presence on issuu, and promotion in complimentary communications such as @VWC, The President’s Letter and the College website.

Through greater use of electronic distribution, we plan to produce two editions of the magazine and the Annual Report this year, which will provide greater communication and more timely content to our community.  We look forward to engaging our campus community, informing everyone about upcoming events, and sharing noteworthy achievements.

Congratulations to the Office of Marketing and Communications for their impressive work on this publication.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wonderful orientation for new members of the College's Board of Trustees. Pictured with me are (counterclockwise, from the left) Sharma D. Lewis, Presiding Bishop, Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Conference; Mavis N. McKenley '11, Alumni Council President; David L. Kaufman, Chair, VWC Board of Trustees; Nancy T. DeFord, Retired Superintendent of the Park City Utah Schools, and Kenneth G. Trinder II, CEO and President of EOS Surfaces, LLC.

Nota Bene: Revision to the 2016-17 Administrative/Staff Holiday Calendar

September 14, 2016

The 2016-2017 Administrative/Staff Holiday Calendar has been revised.

As New Year's Day is Sunday, January 1, 2017, the College will honor the federally recognized holiday on Monday, January 2, 2017. Staff will be expected to return on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Offices and departments that have critical deadlines and responsibilities during these times may adjust work schedules accordingly. I hope this is helpful to you as you plan ahead for the upcoming academic year.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Showcasing the new Greer Environmental Sciences Center to Bob and Nancy DeFord. Bob is Trustee Emeritus of the College and Nancy currently serves on the Board. Associate Vice President for Advancement Suzanne Savage joins us for the picture.

Nota Bene: #VWCwalkabouts

September 13, 2016

I’m pleased to share that my President’s Assistants for the 2016-17 year are VWC Senior Mario Thourogood '17 and Junior Madeline Snyder ’18. In the President’s Office they will assist with a wide variety of tasks and special projects throughout the year. 

They are sending an email requesting “#vwcwalkabout” opportunities for me. I encourage you to respond to their request.

As many of you know, I am often walking about campus and finding  opportunities to engage with our community. With that in mind, I invite you to offer suggestions for my “#vwcwalkabouts.” Please share dates and times that you think would be good for me to visit your classroom, your office, an event, a meeting or any other Virginia Wesleyan happening. Such occasions are very useful to me in keeping engaged with members of our campus community, and staying informed about plans and achievements that may have importance to all of us at the College. They are also opportunities for me to share updates. 

Students can submit a suggestion for a #vwcwalkabout to Mario at or Madeline at Faculty and staff should submit their suggestions to my administrative assistant Jodi Bryant at

We look forward to receiving your suggestions.

Monday, September 12, 2016

An enjoyable evening of many memories and stories with emeritus faculty of Virginia Wesleyan College. Pictured with, from left, Dr. Mort Gamble, Vice President for Advancement, Dr. Barry Lipscomb (Psychology), and Dr. Rick Hite (Theatre/Communications)
Virginia Wesleyan recognizes outstanding alumni:

Nota Bene: Passing of former VWC trustee James Griffiths

September 12, 2016
We are sad to share the passing of former Virginia Wesleyan College trustee James “Jimmy” W. Griffiths on September 7, 2016, at the age of 88. He resided in Ponce Inlet, FL, at the time of his passing, having moved with his wife, Jackie Troutman Griffiths, from Norfolk to Florida.
Born in Merion, PA, he attended Radnor High School in Wayne, PA, and followed by earning a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Delaware. He worked for 46 years for the family industrial hardware business of Watters and Martin, Inc., of Norfolk, VA, and retired as President in 2001. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Virginia Wesleyan College, where he had studied art, and served as Chairman of the Norfolk Electoral Board for eight years. He holds a family charter membership in the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club, and formerly served as a Board Member of the Virginia Symphony. He was a member of the Daytona Beach Drive-In Christian Church. 
His greatest interests included trains and lighthouses, as well as boating, golf, and his special talent for creating watercolors with a style reminiscent of the work of friends Jamie and Andrew Wyeth.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim's name can be made to the Daytona Beach Drive-In Christian Church, P.O. Box 7175, Daytona Beach, FL 32116-7175.
Condolences may be shared at 
Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Nota Bene: “A Feast of Languages” Opens in the Neil Britton Gallery

September 12, 2016
I’m pleased to share that the opening for the first exhibit in the Neil Britton Gallery for the fall semester was held on Thursday evening. “A Feast of Languages” is an exhibition of works by local artists active in Norfolk’s NEON Arts District and the ViBe Creative District in Virginia Beach.
According to VWC’s Batten Associate Professor of Art and Coordinator of Art Exhibitions John Rudel, these talented artists have “prepared a great ‘feast’ of artistic riches, created on site, reminding us of the richness which surrounds the campus in its prime location on the border of these creative communities.” The exhibition borrows its title from Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost” which explores the power and limitation of language.
This exhibition will be in the Neil Britton Gallery through December 9, and I encourage you to visit the gallery to see it. Special thanks to John for coordinating our exhibits on campus.
To learn more about this exhibit and others planned for this year, the Neil Britton Gallery, and the Arts at VWC visit our website :

Friday, September 9, 2016

I enjoyed visiting the beautiful, historic Park Place United Methodist Church on 34th Street in Norfolk. Once the largest UMC in Virginia, the Church closed this summer due to low membership and now is the home of a wide variety of not-for-profit organizations. Pictured with Dr. Craig Wansink, VWC Professor of Religious Studies and the Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and Chair of the Religious Studies Department; Rev. Greg West, VWC Chaplain; Brian Bean, Chairman of the Leadership Prayer Luncheon and leader of the UMC movement to continue the facility; and Denise Wilkinson, Professor of Mathematics, Associate Dean for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning.
Talking partnership opportunities and collaboration today with senior administrators with the Norfolk Public Schools. Pictured with Dr. Hilve Firek, Batten Associate Professor of Education; Dr. Kipp Rogers, Chief Academic Officer, Norfolk Public Schools; Dr. Melinda J. Boone, Superintendent, Norfolk Public Schools; Debbie Hicks, Assistant Provost; David Waggoner, Vice President for Enrollment.
Enjoyable interview with Chris Battle, junior Communication major and a reporter for The Marlin Chronicle. The topic: Oxford Village -- an apartment complex to be constructed across from the entrance to the campus.
Founders Day edition of "@vawesleyan":

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Enjoyed meeting this afternoon with Doug Davis, President and General Manager of WAVY-TV. We discussed possible student internships and higher-education topics of common interest. Doug is a Duke alumnus; VWC has several academic partnerships with the University.
A remarkable Founders Day at Virginia Wesleyan College. Pictured with Dr. Stephen S. Mansfield, College Archivist and Honorary Degree Recipient; Gary D. Bonnewell '79, Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Trustees and Honorary Degree Recipient; Dr. Larry Hultgren, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the PORTfolio Program (presenter of the two honorary degree recipients); Dr. Timothy G. O'Rourke, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs; and George Y. Birdsong, Trustee Emeriti and Keynote Speaker for the Founders Day Convocation.
A wonderful turnout for this morning's Founders Day Alumni Awards in the Boyd Dining Center. Pictured with Mavis McKenley ' 11, President of the Alumni Council; Rodney D. Young, Jr. '07, Corporal, Norfolk Police Department and Alumni Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award Recipient; Amy Mallett Rickard '98, Manager of Client Services, Southern Gas Company and Alumni Service Award Recipient; Dr. Timothy G. O'Rourke, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs; Lindsey E. Reynolds '98, Chief Operating Officer, Democratic National Committee and Distinguished Alumna Award Recipient.
I enjoyed talking the presidential race this morning with Lindsey E. Reynolds '98, Chief Operating Officer, Democratic National Committee and our Distinguished Alumna Award Recipient.

Nota Bene: Inaugural Founders Day at VWC

September 8, 2016
Happy Founders Day! Today we celebrate our inaugural Founders Day at a fall convocation in the Jane P. Batten Center at 11:00 a.m.  Our Founders Day convocation is preceded by an Alumni Awards Ceremony when we will pay tribute to the 2016 Alumni Award Winners-- Lindsey E. Reynolds ’98, Amy Mallett Rickard ’98 and Rodney Young Jr. ’07. This year’s honorees are accomplished, talented and bring great honor and distinction to Virginia Wesleyan College.
Lindsey E. Reynolds ’98 will receive the Distinguished Alumna Award. She currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer at the Democratic National Committee.  Previously, she held positions as Director of the Office of the Secretary and the Executive Director of Democrats Abroad, as the Executive Director of the Virginia State Democratic Party, as a legislative aide to State Senator Stanley Walker (D-VA) and as Director of Finance for the Virginia Joint Democratic Caucus. Lindsey graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Amy E. Rickard (Mallett) ’98 will receive the Alumni Service Award. Amy  is currently the manager of client services for Southern Company Gas, a subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest energy companies. Her previous professional roles include marketing manager for Spirit Cruises, Chartway Federal Credit Union, DIA Advertising and as the vice president of marketing for AAA Tidewater Virginia. Amy graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College with a bachelor’s degree in communications and media studies. She served as president of the VWC Alumni Council and was recently recognized by Inside Business as a “Top 40 under 40” award recipient.
Rodney D. Young, Jr. ’07 will receive the Alumni GOLD (Graduate of the Last Decade) Award. Rodney is Corporal of the Gang Suppression Unit/Hostage Negotiation Team of the Norfolk Police Department. Prior to being promoted to detective in 2014, he was a patrol officer in the first precinct, assigned to the public housing unit. He implemented a sports mentorship program to build positive rapport with citizens. While studying at Virginia Wesleyan, Rodney played on the basketball team and volunteered for the Winter Homeless Shelter before earning his bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies.
At the Founders Convocation, we will also award honorary doctorates to two important individuals. We are pleased to be awarding an honorary degree to Gary D. Bonnewell, ’79, a First Vice President, Senior Investment Management Consultant, and Financial Advisor. Mr. Bonnewell graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College in 1979 and has remained active at Virginia Wesleyan, serving on the College’s Board of Trustees since 1997. He is the first-ever alumnus to be named Chair of the Board (in 2013), and he has also been President of the Alumni Council and the Blue Marlin Athletic Club.  He will also be recognized with the dedication of a classroom in the Floyd E Kellam, Jr., Social Science Lab in the Village II complex.
In addition, an honorary doctorate will be awarded to Stephen S. Mansfield, Ph.D.  Dr. Mansfield currently serves as the College Archivist, a role he undertook after his retirement in 2006. Dr. Mansfield has served Virginia Wesleyan College with distinction for more than forty years, first as a history professor when he joined the faculty in 1968 and then as the Chair of the Social Science Division, director of the College’s first four SACS accreditation reaffirmation processes, and as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College. The Virginia Wesleyan College Archives were named in his honor in 2013. Dr. Mansfield is also the author of an historic, limited-edition book that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the College’s founding. Wisdom Lights the Way, Virginia Wesleyan College’s First Half Century, published by The Donning Company in 2010.
I’m pleased that Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong will serve as the keynote speaker during our Founders Day Convocation today. Mr. Birdsong is CEO and General Counsel for the Birdsong Corporation, the largest peanut sheller in the U.S., based in Suffolk, Virginia. He joined the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees in 1989 and served as Board Chair from 2007-2010. Mr. Birdsong and his wife, Sue, trace their connections with the College back to the groundbreaking for Bray Village (Village I) on July 18, 1965. Governor Mills E. Godwin, Jr., and Sue’s father, Major T. Benton, who was Mayor of Suffolk, were also in attendance. George’s uncle, Harvard R. Birdsong, was a key participant at the groundbreaking and a charter member of the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees.
For his steadfast support in the prosperity of the College, George Birdsong was recognized this spring with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. The Birdsong family and the Birdsong Corporation were recently recognized with the naming of the Birdsong School of Social Science at Virginia Wesleyan. Among their contributions to the College have been support for construction of Birdsong Hall and Birdsong Field, and creation of an endowment that annually funds the Office of Community Service.
Today’s Founders Day Convocation is also being webcast, so if you can’t join us in person, please visit to watch this inaugural event.