Monday, October 31, 2016

My monthly higher education column in The Virginian-Pilot, "Diversifying education to diversify the economy":

Also posted on Huffington Post:

Nota Bene: VWC Grounds Again Recognized Nationally for Excellence

I am thrilled to announce that Virginia Wesleyan College has once again been recognized by the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) with an Honor Award in its 2016 Green Star Awards competition. The College has been acknowledged for exceptional maintenance of its 300-acre campus in the University and College Grounds category.

Mike Rigby, Virginia Wesleyan’s Assistant Director of Physical Plant Operations, Grounds and Housekeeping, accepted the award on behalf of the College during the annual PGMS School of Grounds Management held Oct. 19-22 in Louisville, Kentucky. PGMS Past President John Doiron presented the award (
view photo).

The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence and complements other national award programs that recognize landscape design and construction.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Virginia Wesleyan has earned a Green Star Award. Special thanks to Vice President for Operations Bruce Vaughan, Director of Physical Plant Operations Robert Levinsky, Assistant Director of Physical Plant Operations, Grounds and Housekeeping Mike Rigby, and the entire Grounds staff.

Their outstanding efforts help us present Virginia Wesleyan College in the best possible light, and we are all proud to call this beautiful campus “home.”

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Four-month-old Abbie hanging out on a Saturday morning with her Gramps.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed lunch in Ashland, VA, today with Bishop Sharma Lewis and Rev. John Peters. Both serve on the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees. We met today with Virginia's United Methodist college, university and school presidents -- a group I chair.
Go Marlins! Virginia Wesleyan Men's Basketball is at the top of the ODAC preseason poll, earning eight first place votes and 117 points overall from the league's head coaches:…/relea…/102716-mbkb-preseasonpoll

Nota Bene: Thanks to Philanthropy, VWC Dives Into Swimming

I’m pleased to announce the addition of three sports programs to our NCAA Division III lineup—men’s and women’s swimming, and women’s golf. These new teams will give us a total of 22 men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletic teams.

Among the benefits of adding sports teams, national research shows, are enhanced recruitment and retention of students. We expect these sports to add to our attractiveness for prospective students, while positioning us favorably among our peer institutions.

Mike Ginder, assistant swimming coach at Bucknell University, has been named our first men's and women's swimming coach. Mike has served as assistant coach at Bucknell University since 2012. Previously he was an assistant swim coach at Georgetown University and Catholic University. He began his coaching career at Washington and Lee University, where he was a former standout, team captain and 16-time NCAA All-American swimmer. We welcome Mike to our athletic program.

The men’s and women’s swimming programs are made possible through the generosity of Trustee O. L. Everett and former Trustee John Lingo. Recruiting is underway now with the goal of competition beginning in the fall of 2017. The College’s existing 25-yard, eight-lane swimming pool, located in the Batten Student Center, will serve as the training facility for these student-athletes.

Once again, we see the power of philanthropy at work, in establishing competitive swimming at Virginia Wesleyan and accomplishing so much more for our academic and co-curricular programs. The College is grateful for the leadership gifts that have established swimming and made possible important, recent additions to our athletic facilities. These include stands at the multi-use Birdsong Field and enhancements to the baseball complex to be named for Kenneth R. Perry in memory of philanthropist Joan Brock’s father.

The women’s golf program began competition this fall, building on the men’s program, which recently garnered the College’s first national championship golfer in that sport. The Old Dominion Athletic Conference currently hosts six schools in women’s golf with Virginia Wesleyan being the seventh program.

Both the men’s and women’s golf programs will be led by Head Coach Rick Bidnick. A PGA Coaching Professional, Bidnick comes to Virginia Wesleyan from the staff of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy.

Please join me in welcoming the student-athletes who will compete in these sports, along with their coaches and families, to the Virginia Wesleyan athletic lineup.

Go Marlins!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Enjoyable evening at the Country Club of Virginia celebrating the new President of the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges (VFIC), Ken Ruscio. Ken is the long-time President of Washington & Lee University. Pictured with Tom Goode, host of the celebration, and Ken Ruscio.
With Brian Bean, Chair of the Norfolk Leadership Prayer Luncheon, and Archie Boone of Partnership for Success, at the Leadership Prayer Luncheon at First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk.
Keynote -- Norfolk Police Chief Michael Goldsmith
Attending the Leadership Prayer Luncheon at First Presbyterian Church in Norfolk. Many thanks to Brian Bean for a wonderful program.

Nota Bene: “President to President” Thought Series

For the past 12 years, I have served as the executive editor, with Dr. Marylouise Fennell, of a popular, internationally distributed higher education leadership series written by college presidents for college presidents. What started as “President to President: Views on Technology in Higher Education” (Sungard) became “Presidential Perspectives” (Aramark Higher Education), and then starting in 2016-17, “President to President” (Sodexo).

This year’s series, titled “Integrated Approaches to Student Living and Campus Housing—Enhancing Quality of Life and Performance,” will focus on issues related to living on campus and how they impact students and institutions. Chapters are authored by notable presidents whose institutions are in the forefront of innovative practices in this area. One chapter is released each month, and at the end of the series, the foreword and chapters will be bound into a book and distributed to college and university presidents nationwide. The theme of the new series draws from experienced perspectives on student life on campuses around the nation.

The 2016-17 “President to President” series foreward and chapter one, “Designing for Integrative Learning” by José Antonio Bowen, can be viewed at You can also view our 10-year “Presidential Perspectives” archive at

Although Sodexo sponsors this series and is a contract service of Virginia Wesleyan College, I do not receive compensation to serve as executive editor. For the last 12 years, our sponsors have made a contribution to the student scholarship fund of multiple non-profit colleges and organizations in lieu of payment for editorial services. Virginia Wesleyan College joins the list of recipients this year.

I hope you enjoy the series.
Busy travel day: breakfast meeting in Chesapeake, coffee with donor in Virginia Beach, lunch in Norfolk, VFIC reception/dinner in Richmond.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Enjoyable evening of Tucker Carlson and James Carville at The Norfolk Forum.
With Diane Kaufman (U.S. Senator Tim Kaine regional director), Drew Lumpkin (U.S. Senator Mark Warner regional director), and Bill De Steph, member of the Virginia Senate, representing the 8th district, at the legislative briefing/social at the Town Center City Club in Virginia Beach.

Watching one of my political favorites -- James Carville -- at The Norfolk Forum.
Today we welcomed two new members of the Virginia Wesleyan College family -- Steve Pinto, Director of Recruitment, Batten Honors College, and Pati Moore, Assistant Dean of Enrollment. Both join the Center for Enrollment Services with extensive liberal arts college enrollment experience.
I enjoyed visiting today with Prof. David Garraty's First Year Experience class. #vwcwalkabouts

Nota Bene: New Aramark Relationship Set for January 2017

As you know, Virginia Wesleyan College has a longstanding relationship with facilities service provider Aramark. Our own Vice President for Facilities and Operations, Bruce Vaughan, Director of Physical Plant Operations, Robert Levinsky, and several others have been employees of Aramark for many years. Each day they provide outstanding leadership for our Physical Plant operations.

Today we announce an organizational change that will streamline the decision-making process that has guided the College since its inception. Beginning January 1, 2017, all Physical Plant operations, including groundskeeping, housekeeping, and maintenance functions, will become contracted services of Aramark.

As part of this transition, Bruce Vaughan has announced his retirement, effective December 31, 2017. Over the next year, Bruce will continue to play a vital role in Physical Plant operations as he supervises several institutional construction projects and facilitates support of the new model under the supervision of Vice President for Finance Cary Sawyer. We thank Bruce for his assistance during this transition and express our deepest gratitude for his 22 years of service and continued leadership and dedication to the College. During the next year, the College will share opportunities to thank Bruce for his outstanding service.

Aramark is a customer service-based business spanning the areas of facilities, foodservice and uniforms. Its more than 270,000 employees deliver service to millions of people in 22 countries around the world. Aramark is recognized among the Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE and the World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. You can learn more about this highly respected company at

I am confident that this change will further enhance our processes and efficiency.

Monday, October 24, 2016

A pleasure to tour the campus and show off the Greer Environmental Sciences Center to Michael P. Desplaines, President/CEO of the Norfolk Botanical Garden. Eric Johnson, VWC Assistant Professor of Biology and Greenhouse Supervisor, joined us for lunch and the tour.

Nota Bene: Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant

As we advance through the semester, we're reminded of the importance of accessibility and affordability for our students enrolled at Virginia Wesleyan. These are twin themes I have often stressed in my communications, and one of the most important avenues to these goals is the Commonwealth of Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) program.

This vital program is a needed and beneficial way for students across the Commonwealth of Virginia—including those enrolled at Virginia Wesleyan—to afford their educations at private colleges and universities. Although we know that generous institutional aid through scholarships helps to offset cost of attendance, the TAG program has, since 1972, provided additional, critical financial support.

According to the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV), approximately 23,000 Virginia residents will receive non-need- based tuition grants of $3,200 (undergraduate) and $1,600 (graduate students in health professions) during 2016-17.

At Virginia Wesleyan, 840 students have received over $1,341,000 in TAG support for the fall term. By spring, we’ll have received a projected $2,682,720 from the Virginia TAG program. That's a significant percentage of our students, and an essential investment in their future.

As SCHEV, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, finalizes budget recommendations for TAG going forward, the Council has been asked to support funding which would provide a $3,400 TAG award in 2017-18—a modest increase. Just last week I sent a series of letters to several Council members encouraging SCHEV to include additional funding in its recommendation to mitigate SCHEV’s projected shortfall of $4 million for the next biennium.

Clearly the TAG program is, and should remain, a valued component of students' financial-aid opportunities.

To learn more about this essential program and how you can take action, visit We are grateful on our students’ behalf for this important investment in their future success.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

Enjoyable visit with Clay Barbour editor of Distinction -- a publication of The Virginian-Pilot.
I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this morning with Matthew J. Franck '80, Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, NJ. He graduated with his B.A. in Political Science (magna cum laude) from Virginia Wesleyan College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University. Joining us for the picture is Craig Wansink, Professor of Religious Studies and the Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom Chair of the Religious Studies Department.

Nota Bene: Fall Board of Trustees Meeting

The Fall Meeting of the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees was held on campus this past Wednesday, October 19.

Steve Sproles from Derck & Edson presented the Board with an overview of the Campus Master Plan, which is expected to be completed by February 2017. The final product will include a space-utilization study, parking study, facilities condition assessment plan, and a Campus Master Plan for the next 10 years.

Among the progress reports given were strategies and outlook for growing our enrollment; compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act; the FY 2016 audit and the FY 2017 budget; the addition of men’s and women’s swimming and women’s golf to our NCAA Division III lineup; preparations for the upcoming re-affiliation visit by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church; construction of the Greer Environmental Sciences Center and the YMCA Partnership Building; and plans for the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, a new track, and the Oxford Village housing development across Wesleyan Drive.

The Board heard reports and approved actions from the Committee on Trusteeship as well as the Committees of Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, Advancement, Enrollment, and Student Affairs.

Dr. Tim O’Rourke and I had the honor of announcing during lunch the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges’ 2016 H. Hiter Harris, Jr. Excellence in Instructional Technology Award recipient, Dr. Thomas Brown, VWC Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice. Dr. Brown is the second VWC faculty member to win a VFIC award and the inaugural recipient of the Harris Award. We are extremely proud of his outstanding accomplishment and the prestigious recognition it brings to Virginia Wesleyan College. He will be recognized at a luncheon in Richmond in November.

Also over lunch the Board heard a special presentation, “Saving China’s Cultural Heritage—Balancing the Goals of Preservation and Development at Wutai Shan and the Yungang Grottoes,” by Dr. Steven Emmanuel, Professor of Philosophy, Dr. John Wang, Professor of Computer Science, and VWC students Brian Hanna-Sauro ’17, Nich Hipple ’17, Victoria Laughlin ’17, and Alana Peters ’18. These presenters were among a group selected to travel to China this summer to help preserve religious heritage sites as part of the ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows Program.

The meeting was very productive, and I was proud to bring our biggest supporters up to speed on Virginia Wesleyan’s new initiatives and forward momentum. The Winter Meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for February.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Coached on how to climb the Alpine Tower on campus by Dr. Doug Kennedy and his Recreation and Leisure Class. Keyword is "coached"...I stayed safe on the ground.

Nota Bene: VWC Hosts Scholarship Sharing

Virginia Wesleyan College recently collaborated with Scholarship Sharing to host its Fourth Annual Scholarship and College Fair. This impressive volunteer-run organization is dedicated to connecting students from Virginia and Washington, D.C., to financial resources for higher education.

Approximately 3,000 high school students and parents visited Virginia Wesleyan for the two-day event last month, where they had the opportunity to network with 50 local and national scholarship foundations and colleges. Our own Office of Financial Aid and Center for Enrollment Services served as co-hosts of the event and proudly represented Virginia Wesleyan College at the fair.

Thank you to Director of Financial Aid Teresa Rhyne and Vice President for Enrollment David Waggoner for bringing this valuable event to our campus and to Director of Campus Security Jerry Mance and all of the officers who helped to ensure that this overwhelmingly successful event ran smoothly.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Our own VWC Prof. Leslie Caughell is quoted in this USA Today article.

With David Kaufman, Chair of the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees, and Trustee Cindy Rodriguez on site at the Greer Center.
Several members of the Virginia Wesleyan Board of Trustees toured the under construction Greer Center for Environmental Sciences after today's Fall Meeting.
An outstanding Virginia Wesleyan Board of Trustees lunch presentation by Professors Steven M. Emmanuel (Philosophy) and John Wang (Computer Science) and their students. They discussed their summer travel to China and "Saving China's Cultural Heritage -- Balancing the Goals of Preservation and Development at Wutai Shan and the Yungang Grottoes." Students pictured: Nich Hipple, Alana Peters and Brian Hanna-Sauro.
The Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges is pleased to announce that Dr. Thomas Brown, Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice, has been selected as the 2016 H. Hiter Harris, Jr. Excellence in Instructional Technology Award recipient. Tom’s extraordinary work in the area of instructional technology set him apart from the strong field of applicants. Tom will be publically recognized at a November 10 luncheon in Richmond. Provost and Vice President Tim O'Rourke joins Tom and me at the Virginia Wesleyan Board of Trustees luncheon for the announcement.

Nota Bene: Kids Fundango Festival

If you were here on campus last spring, you may recall seeing a green marionette named Simon and a few of his friends in the Marlin Grille. Simon visited campus to help announce that the 12th Annual Kids Fundango Festival would be held at Virginia Wesleyan College this Saturday, October 22. The date is finally here, and I invite each of you to take part in this exciting event this weekend.

The Fundango Festival is not only fun—it is held for a very important cause. It serves as the primary fundraiser for
Stop Abuse, a child-abuse prevention organization founded by Spectrum Puppets’ Executive Director, Regina Marscheider. Through its research-based, Emmy award-winning marionette program, “Simon Says, ‘Just Tell,’” Stop Abuse helps children learn to recognize, prevent and disclose abuse in a safe environment.

The Fundango Festival draws crowds of up to 5,000 each year for activities and entertainment including shows by Spectrum Puppets, sports clinics, music, dance, cultural performances, arts, craft workshops, aerialists, inflatables, a petting zoo, and more. The festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the College’s former lacrosse field (between Baker Road and the Trinder Center). Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 per family.

Special thanks to Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Joanne Renn, Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling, and the many other Virginia Wesleyan employees who have played a role in bringing this important event to our campus.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I had an enjoyable visit this evening with the editorial staff of the The Marlin Chronicle.
With Bonnie Sutton, Virginia Wesleyan grad and President/CEO of the Access College Foundation, at their annual luncheon at the Marriott Waterside.
With Access College Foundation Scholar Haley Allen (right), Tabatha Hargrove (Access College Foundation Advisor) and David Waggoner (VWC Vice President for Enrollment) at today's Access College Foundation luncheon.

Nota Bene: CIC Foundation Conversation & New York Times Partnership

October 18, 2016
I recently took part in a conversation between a select group of college and university presidents and national foundation officers hosted by the Council of Independent Colleges at the TIAA headquarters in New York City.

The group discussed ways to connect the missions of private colleges and foundations. Topics included religion, vocations and the liberal arts, supporting exceptional students, supporting basic leadership, intergenerational connections, and STEM/STEAM.

Participating foundation heads included Ronald Pressman (TIAA), Michael Gilligan (Henry Luce Foundation), Christopher Coble (Lilly Endowment), Harold Levy (Jack Kent Cooke Foundation), Daniel Goroff (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation), Dale Knobel (Arthur Vining Davis Foundation), and Lisa Marsh Ryerson (AARP Foundation).

While in New York, I also attended the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC)/New York Times Partnership’s Presidents Council meeting at the paper's offices. This is the 13th time I’ve participated in this meeting—the only meeting of college and university presidents hosted by the Times. Dr. Gregory Woodward, president of Carthage College, chairs the Council. Because of the current political climate, it was a particularly fascinating meeting.

Led by Dr. Richard Ekman, CIC President, and Laura Wilcox, CIC Vice President for Communications, presidents from 30 CIC member colleges and universities met with National Education Director for the Times Kathleen O’Connell, columnist Ron Lieber and National Correspondent Anemona Hartocollis. They provided candid assessments of current trends and also issues they plan to cover in the months ahead.

In addition, Council members were provided with information about new New York Times projects and resources available to campuses nationwide. Ms. O’Connell encouraged presidents to engage the additional resources available through the CIC/New York Times Partnership. The Partnership provides CIC member institutions with several benefits, including discounted print and digital newspapers and advertising rates, site licenses, and opportunities to meet with Times staff and to bring reporters and editors to campus for speaking engagements. For a number of years, the paper provided workshops for student newspaper editors. The intent is to use the New York Times as a resource to foster students’ intellectual growth and curiosity, civic participation, and personal success.

My prior campuses have benefited extensively from these relationships, and it is my hope that there will be opportunities for collaboration and additional resources for Virginia Wesleyan College through this valuable affiliation with the CIC.
My blog on "University Living" in Sodexo Insights, "Welcome to Gen Z’s idea of a campus Utopia, and one that keeps me up at night":

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Foreword and Chapter 1 of our presidential thought series -- President to President:
Dr. Larry Hultgren, Virginia Wesleyan's long-time Faculty Athletics Representative, attends the NCAA Division III FAR Fellows Institute in Indianapolis. The program provides a thorough examination of best practices and issues surrounding the role and responsibility of the FAR.

Nota Bene: New Technology Initiatives

October 17, 2016

I am pleased to report on several technology initiatives that will have a major impact on students, staff and faculty at Virginia Wesleyan College.

Most of these initiatives were generously funded by an anonymous donor who had expressed interest in advancing VWC’s online program. The gift comes, in part, to support the new Center for Online Learning—conceived to facilitate access, quality, user satisfaction and collaboration opportunities for our virtual learning environment.

Although the projects were selected to optimize the online student experience, there will be wide benefits for many users.

Here is list of the technology improvements:
  • Ellucian Portal, a foundational technology offering a web portal that simplifies information exchange for students, faculty and staff by giving them a single, virtual gateway to academic and administrative services.
  • Colleague Self-Service Financial Aid, a Colleague module designed to help students navigate the financial aid process online.
  • Touchnet’s Bill+Payment Suite with Ellucian’s Payment Center, a comprehensive online self-service “payment portal suite” for student accounts, giving students 24/7 online and mobile access to campus bills and online bill payments.
  • Ellucian Mobile Platform Edition, a complete customizable mobile solution featuring native integration with our student information system, Colleague.
The timeline for going live with all the projects is six to eight months. Priority will be given to the Portal, although Self-Service Financial Aid will most likely be operational first followed by Mobile and then Bill + Payment. There is much to be accomplished, and we will keep you advised of the progress of these initiatives.

The improvements were a culmination of work guided by the Ellucian Action Plan. Many thanks to Robert Leitgeb, our Chief Information Officer, for his vision and leadership to move this plan forward. He describes this as a first phase in a series of planned improvements addressing gaps in our technology lines.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Great to be with VWC alumna, Barbara Sessoms, and her brother, Mayor Will Sessoms.
Enjoyed meeting Jackie Amato at the home of VWC alumna and Trustee Cindy Rodriguez.
The most recent issue of "@vawesleyan"
The Virginian-Pilot article about a recent collaborative study involving Virginia Wesleyan Professor Taryn Myers —"Study says doll size impacts body satisfaction in young girls":

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Our own Stephen Mansfield a source in this Virginian-Pilot feature, "Yes, ‘Croatoan’ in “American Horror Story” might be connected to Virginia Beach’s Croatan neighborhood":
Our own Stephen Mansfield a source in The Virginian-Pilot feature:
I had the pleasure this afternoon of getting to know Laura Baxter, publisher of local military newspaper The Flagship and We discussed areas for collaboration and the ways in which Virginia Wesleyan can continue to serve our local active duty and military veterans. VWC was proud to be designated once again in 2016 as a G.I. Jobs Military Friendly School.
Our Virginia Wesleyan graduate Brandon Adair (#67) has his first NBA game. That's Lebron to Brandon's right.

Nota Bene: New Administrative Appointments

October 13, 2016
As we continue to strengthen our internal processes and external outreach in service to all of our constituents, I am pleased to announce the following administrative appointments in support of these goals.
Dr. Mort Gamble, who joined us as Vice President for Advancement earlier this year, has been appointed Senior Vice President (Advancement and External Relations). His experience working as an advancement vice president at three other institutions, as well as managing major-gift communications for former George Washington University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, will be helpful as we increase funding support and broaden our outreach to external constituencies.
In addition to serving as Associate Vice President for Advancement, Suzanne Savage will manage Board of Trustee relations. Her valuable years of experience in major gifts and the accompanying respect she has earned among our Trustees commend her for this central role in Board administration, development, and communication.
Stephanie Smaglo, who has served as the lead writer in Marketing and Communications, will assume duties for communication strategies and executive initiatives in my office as Assistant to the President. We welcome Stephanie’s strength in communications and publications, as well as her expertise in online technologies.
Laynee Timlin has been appointed Executive Director of College Relations and Strategic Planning, and will continue to head up the team of Marketing and Communications. Laynee’s experience in the areas of communication and planning, as well as in central administration, provides needed perspective as we go forward strategically.
Please join me in congratulating and supporting these team members in appreciation for their contributions to Virginia Wesleyan College.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Meet our 2016-17 Virginia Wesleyan College "Presidential Associates":
Viewing construction progress on the third floor of the Greer Center for Environmental Sciences with Virginia Wesleyan College trustees Susan Torma Beverly and Susan Goode.
2007 grad John Stine is "Inside Business" Top 40 Under 40 honoree:
Pictures from Saturday's "Wake Up at Wesleyan":

Nota Bene: 2016 State of the Region

October 12, 2016
I recently attended the 17th Annual State of the Region Address with 600 business leaders from the Norfolk community at the Waterside Marriott and with 50 members of the Virginia Beach Vision Board and guests in Town Center. 
Created by Dr. James V. Koch, the Board of Visitors professor of economics and President Emeritus of Old Dominion University, the State of the Region report is widely respected as a data-rich, impartial analysis of issues facing the region, stimulating thought and discussion about the quality of life in Hampton Roads. Dr. Robert M. McNab, professor of economics and deputy director of the ODU Center for Economic Analysis and Policy, and Dr. Timothy Komarek, assistant professor of economics at Old Dominion, teamed with Dr. Koch to present the results. You might recall that Dr. Koch completed an economic-impact study for Virginia Wesleyan several years ago and led an Institutional Review team here during the presidential transition of 2015.  
Dr. Koch’s column summarizes the results in Monday’s The Virginian-Pilot:
Please note that all 17 of the State of the Region reports are available at
A number of Virginia Wesleyanites who "believe in Hampton Roads and the power of rational discussion to improve circumstances" provided financial support for the study, including Jane Batten, Anne B. Shumadine, and The Aimee and Frank J. Batten, Jr., Foundation.
The sponsor of the event pledged a presentation and discussion on the regional economy that is informative, engaging and useful.  I heard several "takeaways" that are relevant as we plan future growth initiatives on our campus and contribute to the economic vitality of our region.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Presidents Council meeting on higher education at the New York Times (thanks for the picture Bryon Grigsby)

Nota Bene: Thanks to All As We Resume Normal Operation

October 11, 2016

Thank you for your patience as we worked through the campus-wide power outage that took place as a result of the weekend storm. We truly appreciate your understanding of this unusual situation that left more than 462,000 Coastal Virginia residents without power Saturday evening into Monday. I am sure it came as a great relief to everyone when the power was restored at approximately 9 p.m. last night.

As events like these occur, it is critical that members of the campus community be aware of Virginia Wesleyan's emergency procedures and the ways in which we communicate important updates to our students, faculty and staff. Please take a moment to review the following methods of contact utilized during situations like these:

Emergency Information
VWC email:
Emergency website:
VWC social media pages: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
LiveSafe Mobile App:
Inclement weather hotline: 757.455.5711

Emergency Contacts
Campus Security
     Emergency Number:
     Non-emergency Number: 757.455.3349 (day) / 757.455.3289 (evening)
     DeFord Gate House:
LiveSafe Mobile App:

I am extremely thankful for our dedicated staff who worked to keep our students safe and secure during the outage, including Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Moore, Vice President for Facilities and Operations Bruce Vaughan, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tim O'Rourke, Director of Campus Security Jerry Mance, Director of Physical Plant Operations Rob Levinsky, Director of the Jane P. Batten Student Center Jason Seward, Director of Residence Life McCarren Caputa, Dining Services General Manager Tim Lockett, and many others.

I'd also like to express my gratitude to our Offices of Advancement and Alumni Relations for a very successful Homecoming & Family Weekend despite the unanticipated planning challenges caused by the weather. It was a pleasure to take part in this treasured VWC tradition alongside students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends of the College.

One final note, the memorial service celebrating the life of Robert "Bob" Carl, originally scheduled for Monday, will now take place at 11 a.m. today (Tuesday, October 11) in Monumental Chapel. Bob, a Navy veteran and VWC electrician, passed away on September 25. The service is open to all members of the campus community.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding over the past few days. College officials will promptly review the weekend’s events to further enhance our emergency procedures and operations. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.
ODAC Player of the Week...

Monday, October 10, 2016

Power has been restored to campus. Virginia Wesleyan College will resume normal operation tomorrow.
Dominion Power is on campus and continues to work to restore power. If progress continues as expected, restoration anticipated by 9 p.m.
The College continues to wait for an update from Dominion-Virginia Power regarding the status of power restoration to campus. Our hope is that power will be restored sometime this afternoon or evening.

Until notified otherwise, the College will remain closed and all associated campus programs are cancelled.

We truly appreciate your patience during this unusual situation as many Hampton Roads communities remain without power following the impact of this storm.

As a reminder, the Jane P. Batten Student Center and the Boyd Dining Hall remain open to students and do have partial power. Facilities including bathrooms and locker rooms are available.

Meals service will continue in Boyd on a weekend schedule.

Please continue to check email, the College's website, and social media pages for updates.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

As the local area continues to manage the effects of Hurricane Matthew, and as the College and many other communities across the area remain without power, Virginia Wesleyan will be closed tomorrow, Monday, October 10, 2016. There will be no classes, day or evening on Monday.

Please note the Boyd Dining Center Hours:

Tonight, Sunday, Oct. 9
Dinner: 4:45-6:30 p.m.

Tomorrow, Monday, Oct. 10
Brunch: 10:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Dinner: 4:45-7:00 p.m.

Students are encouraged to remain cautious if and when traveling around campus. Additional information will be shared as it becomes available, including updates on power restoration from Dominion Virginia Power, via the College's website, email, and social media.
Updated information about VWC storm related cancellations for Sunday, October 9, modified student meal services and the continued campus-wide power outage are available on the College's Emergency Information page:

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Homecoming fun -- Mort Gamble, Senior Vice President, and Keith Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs (upper left); Cathy Holava, Alumni Council, and Lori McCarel, Executive Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations (upper right); Chris Francis, head baseball coach, and Kristen Williams, Coordinator of Annual Giving (lower left); and Suzanne Savage, Associate Vice President for Advancement and Board Relations, with Parents Roundtable co-chairs Cindy and Rob Garver.
With long-time (38 years) Prof. Dave Garraty enjoying Friday Night Flights at Shorebreak with alumnus Bobby Collenberg '90 and wife Julie.
Annie and I enjoyed hosting "Wake Up at Wesleyan" this morning in the Pearce Hospitality Suite at the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
Homecoming King Tyler Turner and Queen Amber Gaines
Thanks to the 178 golfers and corporate sponsors for the amazing support and participation at the Homecoming Golf Tournament at Honeybee Golf Course in Virginia Beach.

Friday, October 7, 2016

With Christina Kinerk '12 and Elaine Aird '96 at tonight's alumni event at Shorebreak.
With Jodi Bryant, Administrative Assistant to the President, and Stephanie Smaglo, Assistant to the President, at today's Homecoming Parade.
At a Homecoming alumni event at Shorebreak TapHouse with Kelly Roenker, Director of Corporate Relations; Suzanne Savage, Associate Vice President for Advancement and Board Relations; Lori Simpers McCarel, Executive Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations; and Mort Gamble, Senior Vice President.
Attended a talk by Dr. Mary Satterfield, Chief of Staff of Materials Measurement Lab at the National Institute of Standards & Technology, in Blocker Hall as part of the On Deck speaker series. Dr. Maynard Schaus, Associate Provost, and Dr. Maury Howard, Batten Associate Professor of Chemistry.
Homecoming and Family Weekend festivities are in full swing! I enjoyed a great President's Parents Roundtable Business Meeting this afternoon led by the 2016/17 co-chairs, Cindy and Rob Garver. The Garvers daughter, Katie, is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies.

Wonderful presentations by Mollie Robertson, the College's new Director of Career Development and Internship Program, and Amber Gaines. Amber is a VWC senior from Waldorf, Maryland, who is majoring in Criminal Justice. Amber spoke about her internship at the United States Pentagon this summer.
Great turnout for the Virginia Wesleyan College Alumni and Friends Golf Tournament to benefit men's lacrosse, baseball and softball. Over 170 golfers participated in the event at Honey Bee Golf Club in Virginia Beach. Pictured with J.P. Stewart (Head Men's Lacrosse Coach), Jack Lingo '01, and Bill Lingo '03.
For 10 years I served as Executive Editor of "Presidential Perspectives" sponsored by Aramark Higher Education. This year was the final year of the series. Pictured with Sebastian Mitchell, Vice President, and Todd Ball, both of Aramark, and the final book in the series.

Nota Bene: Homecoming and Family Weekend 2016

October 7, 2016
Homecoming and Family Weekend provides the ideal time for members of the Virginia Wesleyan College community to “come home.” We look forward to celebrating with students, families, alumni, faculty and staff this weekend.
We have had to adjust our schedule somewhat because of the approach of Hurricane Matthew, but an improving forecast will permit the following events which will go on as scheduled:
This year’s festivities begin today and include several annual VWC traditions such as the parade today at 2:00, the Oktoberfest Dinner this evening at 5:30, an alumni gathering at Shorebreak Pizza at 6:00, our fall theatre production of Blithe Spirit at 7:30 p.m. and the Homecoming dance at 9:00 p.m.
The fun continues on Saturday with a Wake Up at Wesleyan breakfast, hosted by Annie and me, and several athletic games for our volleyball, field hockey, and soccer teams. Unfortunately, because of weather concerns, we had to cancel some of the afternoon’s outdoor tailgating activities. (We’ll hope for better weather next year, and plans are already underway for our first Alumni Weekend this coming spring. Details will be forthcoming.)
Homecoming and Family weekend will conclude on Sunday with a worship service in the Chapel at 10 a.m. and brunch in the Boyd Dining Center starting at 10:45 a.m. The full schedule of events can be found on the Homecoming & Family Weekend webpage. And we’ll be in touch with any updates.
I look forward to seeing many of you this weekend and to greeting our alumni as they “come home.”

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I hope to see you at Homecoming and Family Weekend 2016:
Upcoming events from our Center for the Study of Religous Freedom:

Nota Bene: Welcome, New Members to the VWC Board of Trustees

October 6, 2016
We are pleased to welcome six new members to the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees. They are:
Nancy T. DeFord, Retired Superintendent of the Park City, Utah, Schools;
Howard P. Kern, President and CEO, Sentara Healthcare;
Sharma D. Lewis, Presiding Bishop, Virginia United Methodist Conference, Ex-officio;
Mavis N. McKenley '11, Alumni Council President, Ex-officio, Vice President and Trust Officer, AMG National Trust Bank;
Kenneth G. Trinder II, CEO and President of EOS Surfaces, LLC, and
Michael J. White ’81, President, Maersk Line North America.

On September 14, members of the senior staff and I hosted an orientation for new members. The session provided them with information about Board membership and an overview of the College that included our mission, history, curriculum, strategic goals and objectives, campus master plan, SACS reaffirmation and a campus tour.

In addition, the new members of the Board were provided resources such as the VWC Bylaws, the College organizational chart, course catalog and our audited financial statement and operating statement of revenue and expenses.

We are delighted that these talented professionals will join our Board of Trustees, to begin their official service during the fall meetings of the Board this month.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Dinner with the Student Government Association officers, Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Moore, and Jason Seward, Dean of Freshmen, at Zia Marie in Virginia Beach.
Enjoyed visiting today with Dr. Sandi Billy's "Arts Management" class on the role of non-profit boards.