Wednesday, November 30, 2016

With Nic Hipple '18, President of the Student Government Association, and Sarah Antozzi '17, Editor-in-Chief of The Marlin Chronicle, at tonight's President's Roundtable -- sponsored by The Marlin Chronicle. Students received a preview of our exciting 10-year Campus Master Plan.
Discussed some great collaborative opportunities this morning with Michael Desplaines, President and CEO of the Norfolk Botanical Garden. Also pictured is Suzanne Savage, Associate Vice President for Advancement at VWC.
Enjoyable conversation this morning in Hampton with Marisa Porto, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Press Media Group. We discussed possible student internships and coverage in her Newport News-based publications.

Passing of Professor Emeritus Jim Harris

The Virginia Wesleyan College family is mourning the loss of Dr. James F. “Jim” Harris, VWC Professor Emeritus of Chemistry. Dr. Harris passed away Tuesday afternoon after battling cancer.

Jim received a liberal arts education from Western Carolina University. He also received an MTS from The College of William and Mary and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. He served on VWC’s natural sciences faculty for 14 years prior to his retirement in May of 2000. Jim made a difference in the lives of many VWC science students through his teaching of Organic Chemistry I & II as well as Methods of Biochemistry.

Jim’s wife, Dr. Betty Jefferson Harris, who died in 2004, was also a professor at Virginia Wesleyan. At the time of her retirement, Betty was Professor of Biology and Chemistry and Chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Virginia Wesleyan College honored Betty in 2003 by naming a newly renovated laboratory in Blocker Hall the “Betty Jefferson Harris, Ph.D., Cellular and Molecular Biology Laboratory.”

Jim and Betty were members of Virginia Beach United Methodist Church. VWC alumnus Rev. Ralph Rowley ’78 visited and prayed with Jim prior to his passing. Rev. Rowley is working with the family to make arrangements. Please keep the Harris family in your thoughts and prayers.

Nota Bene: Honoring Special Friends of the College Through the Clarke Heritage Society

Yesterday we held our annual luncheon to recognize members of The Lambuth M. and Alice A. Clarke Heritage Society, a special group of Virginia Wesleyan supporters who have chosen to include the College in their estate plans.

We were so pleased to have Alice Clarke and her daughter, Virginia Hitch, with us for the event. This is the first convening of the Heritage Society since it was renamed in honor of Alice and her late husband, Lambuth, who had a distinguished record of service as President of Virginia Wesleyan from 1966 to 1992.

One of the College’s foundational establishments, The Heritage Society was formed many years ago by Wesleyan friends and family with the Clarkes among the inaugural founders. The Clarke name has long stood for admirable values and extraordinary service, and we thank the family for their continued commitment and pride in Virginia Wesleyan’s progress.

I had the privilege during the event of recognizing Clarke Heritage Society members Charles and Viola Kessler. Their names may be familiar to some of you, as they have a long history with the College—Charles, now retired, was a beloved religious studies professor at VWC. Unfortunately, Charles and Viola were unable to join us, but their dear friend Dr. Stephen Mansfield, College Archivist, accepted a keepsake clock on their behalf as a token of our appreciation.

Our lunch guests also had a special “taste” of this weekend’s forthcoming choral program, “A Wesleyan Christmas.” Dr. Bryson Mortensen, Director of Choral Music, led the Wesleyan Chorale in a series of holiday musical selections. Their performance was truly stunning, and I applaud Dr. Mortensen and his students for their excellent presentation.

My wife Annie and I are grateful every day for the opportunity to continue the tradition of leadership initiated by our predecessors. Virginia Wesleyan is an extraordinary place because of the leadership, devotion, and good will preceding us.

On behalf of all of us at the College, we thank each of our Clarke Heritage Society members and wish them a very joyous holiday season.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Nice to visit today and share exciting campus updates with longtime Trustee and benefactor of Virginia Wesleyan College, Ron Kramer (center). Ron's son, Will, is a 2009 graduate of the College. Also pictured is Dr. Mort Gamble, Senior Vice President at VWC.
Pleasure to catch up with Martha Jo Wilson (left) and Joyce and John Clarke at the Lambuth M. and Alice A. Clarke Heritage Society Recognition Luncheon this afternoon. Martha Jo's late husband, Dr. William M. Wilson, was Dean of the College from 1971 to 1994, and VWC's Wilson Arboretum honors his memory. John Clarke was cousins with Lambuth Clarke, President of Virginia Wesleyan College from 1966-1992. On this #GivingTuesday, we are particularly thankful for our Clarke Heritage Society members—their loyalty and friendship means so much to us.

Great to visit with Alice Clarke and her daughter Virginia Hitch (left) at today's recognition luncheon for members of The Lambuth M. and Alice A. Clarke Heritage Society. This is the first convening of the Heritage Society since it was renamed in honor of Alice and her late husband, Lambuth, who served as President of Virginia Wesleyan from 1966-1992. We are grateful for the many contributions of one of the College's most consequential first families.

​Nota Bene: Federal Judge Blocks DOL Overtime Rules

On Nov. 22, Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a temporary nationwide injunction on the Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule, postponing the effective date of December 1.

The law firm of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) has produced a short analysis of the injunction. I hope you will take some time to read it at the link below:

We are still uncertain as to what the future holds as there are a variety of unknowns, but we wanted you to be aware of this recent activity. We will continue to keep you informed as any additional information becomes available and what actions, if any, our institution will take as a result of this court action.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Enjoyed meeting with John Lingo, a longtime member of the College's Board of Trustees, in Delaware this morning. The College's Board of Trustees recently voted to bestow the distinction of Trustee Emeritus to John. John's sons Jack '01 and Bill '03 are both graduates of the College.

Nota Bene: A Story of Gratitude and Giving Back

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was filled with love, laughter, and all of the things you are most grateful for. This morning I’d like to share with you a story about gratitude and giving back—a story about dear friends of Virginia Wesleyan College, Hiram and Hardenia Zigler.

The Ziglers knew all about the advantages associated with a small-college setting: they attended a small liberal arts institution, Bridgewater College. But they weren’t introduced to Virginia Wesleyan until their daughter, Nanci Zigler ’77, fell in love with the campus.

Nanci attended summer art workshops for high school students at VWC. Several of the workshops were taught by Barclay Sheaks, and she quickly decided she wanted to continue studying art under his direction.

According to Hardenia, a retired high school guidance counselor, Virginia Wesleyan saw the potential in her only child and “provided the individual faculty mentorship Nanci needed to become a successful art teacher” at Mechanicsville Elementary in Hanover County, Virginia.

Hardenia remembers one particular illustration of the special connection between students and faculty and staff at Virginia Wesleyan. Around 1990, more than a decade after Nanci had graduated, the Ziglers’ daughter had a chance encounter with former College President Lambuth Clarke at a restaurant in Richmond. When Nanci passed away in 1991 after a battle with breast cancer, the Ziglers received a personal note of condolence from Clarke in which he fondly remembered the restaurant meeting.

In 1994, the Ziglers sold a piece of property to create a scholarship in Nanci’s name to benefit an art student at Virginia Wesleyan. They felt it was the perfect way to pay tribute to their daughter and her passion. To further honor their daughter’s memory and recognize the College that made such a meaningful impact in their lives, Hiram and Hardenia included Virginia Wesleyan College in their estate plans.

This year, the Zigler estate gifted the College $332,000 to further endow the Nanci Zigler Endowed Scholarship. The Ziglers’ thoughtfulness and insight created a legacy that will continue to impact the lives of more Virginia Wesleyan art students like Nanci.

A little planning today can help provide a future for those you love or a cause you are passionate about. If you’d like to have a confidential conversation about making a legacy gift, please reach out to Lori L. McCarel ’94, Executive Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 757.233.8786 or

Sunday, November 27, 2016

From my post-election interview with "Inside Business"

Friday, November 25, 2016

I'm pleased to announce eight new members of the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees for the 2016-2017 academic year. We welcome the talents and expertise of (clockwise from top left) Dr. Nancy T. DeFord of Virginia Beach, Mary C. Haddad of Suffolk, Virginia, Howard P. Kern of Norfolk, Rev. Sharma D. Lewis of Glen Allen, Virginia, Mavis N. McKenley '11 of Virginia Beach, Lee T. Stevenson ’85 of Chicago, Kenneth G. Trinder II of Norfolk, and Michael J. White ’81 of Florham Park, New Jersey. Read more:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I join more than 200 presidential colleagues in seeking protection for students who use the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, which President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to cancel.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Nota Bene: Memorial Service for Linda Partridge

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Linda Partridge, a longtime mathematics professor and cherished member of the Virginia Wesleyan College community. Linda passed away on Sunday, November 20, after a courageous battle with cancer.

A memorial service for Linda will be held on Thursday, December 8, at 4 p.m. in Monumental Chapel. A reception will follow in the Shafer Room inside Boyd Dining Center.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to Linda’s family. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Good to visit with Bob Aston, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of TowneBank, at their campus in Suffolk. Bob is a former Trustee and long-time supporter of Virginia Wesleyan College. TowneBank was a signature sponsor of the Marlin Tip-Off Tournament last weekend. The portrait behind us is of loyal Virginia Wesleyan Trustee and proud VWC parent Tom Broyles.

Nota Bene: ​VFIC Recognizes Professor Thomas Brown

It was an honor and privilege to attend the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) Fall Luncheon honoring three outstanding professors statewide for academic excellence. The luncheon was hosted by Williams Mullen and held on the 15th floor of their Richmond building. 

Dr. Thomas Brown, VWC Associate Professor of Criminal Justice/Sociology, is the recipient of the VFIC H. Hiter Harris, III, Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award. He is the second VWC faculty member to win a VFIC teaching award. Professor of Philosophy Dr. Larry Hultgren received H. Hiter Harris, Jr., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2009.

Other recipients this year included: Dr. James R. Kirkwood of Sweet Briar College (H. Hiter Harris, Jr., Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award) and Dr. Nicole Drewitz-Crockett of Emory & Henry College (H. Hiter Harris, III, Rising Star Award). 

The awards were presented by Hiter Harris, III, Managing Director of Harris Williams & Co. and Chair of the VFIC Board of Trustees, and Thurston Moore, Chairman Emeritus of Hunton & Williams LLP, and Immediate Past Chair of the VFIC Board of Directors.

Dr. Ken Ruscio, retiring President of Washington & Lee University and President-elect of VFIC, was the keynote speaker. 

Tom, who has served Virginia Wesleyan since 2011, is an ardent practitioner of using technology, and he understands that technology is transient and ever-changing. He has developed a teaching technique that includes pre-recording a short lecture, or video segment, on his office computer, embedding videos, Prezis and PowerPoint presentations into the lectures. He includes quiz questions and reflection prompts within the lecture as well. For each lecture, he also prepares guided notes in Google Docs that comprise a detailed lecture outline with underlined blanks and other open fields. Then, via Google Classroom, he distributes an individual copy to each of his students. During regular class periods in the physical classroom, students watch the short lecture at their individual workstations using earphones.

Tom indicates that he’s achieved a significant boost in student engagement with the lectures in this mode. He says that students are staying on task and are more focused on the course material: “No more Facebooking or shopping for shoes during class!”

We are extremely proud of Tom Brown’s outstanding accomplishment and the prestigious recognition his award brings to Virginia Wesleyan. Because he has promoted the integration of technology into our College curriculum in a variety of ways, both through his innovative use of technology in his courses, and as a founding member and active participant in the campus Digital Pedagogy Working Group, this award is a well-deserved confirmation of his dedication to student success.

Monday, November 21, 2016

At the Virginia Wesleyan College Concert Series in Hofheimer Theatre with "Quin Tango":
We enjoyed showing off progress on the Greer Environmental Sciences Center today to the senior leadership team from Thomas Nelson Community College.
Great meeting this afternoon with Dr. Larry Dotolo, President of the Virginia Tidewater Consortium, to plan for the December recording of VTC's "Inside Higher Education."
Signed an exciting new Guaranteed Admission Agreement with Thomas Nelson Community College this morning. Pictured here (clockwise from bottom left): Dr. John Dever, Thomas Nelson President, Patrick Tompkins, TNCC Dean of Communications, Humanities and Social Sciences, Kris Rarig, TNCC Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Charles Swaim, TNCC Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Timothy O'Rourke, VWC Provost and Vice President, and Debbie Hicks, VWC Assistant Provost. Be on the lookout for additional information coming soon on the VWC website.

Nota Bene: ​Lee Stevenson '85 and Mary Haddad Join Board of Trustees

Virginia Wesleyan College benefits enormously from the leadership of our Board of Trustees. These experienced and talented individuals offer a wealth of insight and skills as we chart our strategic course for the coming years. Two new Trustees similarly bring valued strengths to the Board.

I am pleased to inform you that Lee T. Stevenson ’85 of Chicago and Mary C. Haddad of Suffolk, Virginia, have been elected to serve.

Lee is managing director of the global firm of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Chicago. Profiled in the Fall 2016 edition of Marlin Magazine, Lee manages his firm’s Central region with more than 20 retail brokerage offices. He serves on Marsh’s U.S. Executive Committee and its President’s Council, consisting of the company’s top executives worldwide. He is a native of Virginia’s Eastern Shore and lives in Chicago with his wife, Lara (D’Domenicus) Stevenson ’88, with whom he has three children, Taylor, Jack, and Natalie.

Mary is a graduate of Gonzaga University and Hampton University with extensive volunteer and non-profit service including the Chesapeake Bay Academy, the ODU Board of Visitors, the Suffolk Foundation, WHRO Public Broadcasting, and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), among other organizations. She is president of the Louis & Mary Haddad Foundation. Mary and her husband, Lou, are the parents of four children.

I know you join me in welcoming them as our newest Trustees.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Great piece in Inside Business about Steve Pinto, who is leading recruitment efforts for our new Batten Honors College:

Twenty Batten Fellows will receive academic-leadership scholarships totaling the full amount of tuition each year—$36,010 for the 2017-2018 academic year—plus a focused transformational leadership seminar led by a world-class scholar-leader in various strategic global settings. High school students with a 3.5 grade point average and 1,300 SAT are invited to apply. Learn more at

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Two-miles of spectacular holiday light displays--Million Bulb Walk--with 2-year-old Addie & Annie Cook Miller at Norfolk Botanical Garden.
Crown Virginia Wesleyan College champions of the Tip-Off Tournament. Khory Moore the MVP after scoring 48 points in the 101-94 win over Concordia (Texas) University in the championship game. The Marlins are now 3-0 and ranked 16th in the nation.
State Farm Scholar Athlete recognition today. More than 70 student athletes were named to the President's/Dean's List for spring semester.
Marissa Coombs Sets Career Best Mark at NCAA National Championship -- Junior Marissa Coombs ran the best 6K race of her Virginia Wesleyan career on Saturday at the NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championship. Her mark of 22:21.3 beat her previous best mark, ran at the Gettysburg Invitational in October, by 22 seconds. Coombs is the first female cross country athlete in Virginia Wesleyan history to compete at the national championship.She finished 160th out of the 280 best cross country runners in the country. Amy Regan of Stevens Institute won the championship with a time of 20:16.4. (Pictured with VWC Krista Littleton)
Beautiful fall day on campus. #vwcwalkabouts
I enjoyed sharing a preview of our 10-year Campus Master Plan this morning with the Virginia Wesleyan Alumni Council.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Enjoyed meeting with Bobby Collenberg '90, a longtime member of the College's Board of Trustees, this afternoon. Bobby was recently named an Emeritus member of the Board.
Earlier this week, two of Virginia Wesleyan’s most devoted friends, Susan and David Goode, were honored as Outstanding Philanthropists during a luncheon sponsored by the Hampton Roads chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. A special video was prepared as a tribute to the Goodes’ wonderful record of philanthropy for numerous organizations and causes in our region—including their strong commitment to VWC. We extend our warmest congratulations and gratitude to David and Susan for their award in philanthropy and their continuing investment in the success of Virginia Wesleyan College. (Produced by Tom Redmond, with editing and cinematography by Phil Wright) Watch the brief video in its entirety here:

Nota Bene: Recent Actions in Light of Mr. Trump's Election

I wish to advise that on behalf of Virginia Wesleyan College, I have participated in two recent, post-election actions concerning issues of great importance to all of us in higher education, the communities we serve, and our nation as a whole.

First, as one of 11 presidents on the Climate Leadership Steering Committee (formerly Second Nature's American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment), I collaborated on a message to college and university presidents nationwide urging their active leadership in continuing to foster environmental awareness and activism on their campuses and in their communities. Second Nature guides the Climate Leadership Commitments to which Virginia Wesleyan is a signatory, and will host the 2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit.

The message can be accessed using this link:

Second, I am one of more than 100 campus presidents who signed a joint letter to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to  “condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across our nation, sometimes in your name, which is now synonymous with our nation’s highest office.”

Announced this morning in Inside Higher Ed, our letter to Mr. Trump can be accessed using this link:

In agreeing with many of my presidential colleagues around the country that our nation is at a critical crossroads in these and other areas, I will keep you informed of opportunities for Virginia Wesleyan College and my office to provide appropriate leadership and communication in the coming months.
110 college presidents issue letter to Trump urging him to speak out against harassment and hate:

Nota Bene: Video Highlights Goodes' Award in Philanthropy

On November 15, two of Virginia Wesleyan’s most devoted friends, Susan and David Goode, were honored as Outstanding Philanthropists during a luncheon sponsored by the Hampton Roads chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Senior Vice President Dr. Mort Gamble; Associate Vice President for Advancement Suzanne Savage; Board of Trustees Chair David Kaufman; Trustee Henry Watts H’07 and his wife Eleanor; Dr. Travis Malone, Dean of the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities, and my wife Annie and I attended the celebration, representing VWC. A number of other current and former Trustees and special friends of the College were also in attendance.

As part of the presentation, a special video was prepared as a tribute to the Goodes’ wonderful record of philanthropy for numerous organizations and causes in our region. Highlighted was their strong commitment to Virginia Wesleyan; Susan remains an active member of our College’s Board of Trustees.

The video was produced by Tom Redmond, with editing and cinematography by Phil Wright.

You can see the brief video in its entirety via this link:

We extend our warmest congratulations and gratitude to David and Susan for their award in philanthropy and their continuing investment in the success of Virginia Wesleyan College.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hope to see you there:

I so enjoyed joining the faculty of Management, Business, and Economics in the Birdsong School of Social Science at Virginia Wesleyan College in welcoming the newest members of Sigma Beta Delta, the international honorary society for business, management, and administration. Pictured with keynote speaker Venetia Huffman '80, Vice President for Operations and Compliance at CVI; Heidi Brinker, CEO of our student-led Marlin Prestige Conference; and Elaine Dessouki, Assistant Professor of Management, Business, and Economics.
I am pleased to share a special edition of Marlin Magazine along with the College's 2015-2016 Annual Report. This issue, themed "The Power of Philanthropy," pays tribute to our many alumni, friends, parents, faculty, staff, and others who support Virginia Wesleyan financially through giving. We thank you all for your philanthropic commitment and honor those who serve as members of our Board of Trustees, Alumni Council, President’s Parents Roundtable, and Corporate Leaders Council. Enjoy!

Great The Virginian-Pilot feature on our new environmental sciences center:

Nota Bene: November VWC Day Draws Record Crowd

This past Saturday, nearly 300 prospective students and family members (the largest in recordable history) visited the Virginia Wesleyan campus for our fall VWC Day Open House. I would like to thank Vice President for Enrollment David Waggoner and Associate Dean of Enrollment Beth Clarke for their leadership, as well as the many faculty, staff and student ambassadors for their hard work in making this VWC Day a huge success.

For our enrollment counselors in particular, Saturday was an exciting opportunity to meet the students with whom they have been building relationships over the last several months. Our counselors have been engaged in an extensive, unprecedented outreach program via electronic "blasts," mail, phone and text messaging. They have been sharing information about the quality and breadth of our academic programs and co-curricular opportunities as well as the many successes of our graduates.

I was particularly happy to hear the tremendous interest in our Batten Honors College. Students with a 3.5 grade point average and 1,300 SAT will be invited to compete for 20 selective Batten Fellowships for the fall of 2017. For additional information about this program, visit

Our enrollment counselors' commitment was evidenced in the many productive conversations and positive interactions that took place throughout the day. Their work will continue to be a critical part of our recruitment efforts as we build toward welcoming the Class of 2021.

I was also pleased with the engagement and good questions of parents who attended a panel discussion following the welcome session. It is clear that they care deeply about the academic and co-curricular opportunities of the kind that we offer so abundantly here at VWC.

Applications for the incoming class are currently 22 percent higher than they were a year ago. Prospective students and their families are sharing the excitement of the college-search process, and we look forward in the coming months to welcoming many as new members of the Marlin Family.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Nota Bene: Welcome to the United Methodist University Senate Review Team

Virginia Wesleyan College is pleased to welcome to campus today the review committee from the University Senate of the United Methodist Church. The committee is comprised of three distinguished individuals in the Church: Dr. John Russell, Immediate Past President of McMurray University; Dr. Mark Hanshaw, Associate Dean, School of Arts and Letters, at Texas Wesleyan University; and the Rev. Laura McMasters, College Chaplain at Martin Methodist College. They will be on campus through Friday, November 18.

The United Methodist Church has more colleges, universities, theological schools, and preparatory schools related to it than any other Protestant church. With so many affiliated institutions, the UMC established the University Senate in 1892 to be certain that these institutions are worthy of bearing the name of the Church. As such, the University Senate will be reviewing the ways Virginia Wesleyan College meets the four criteria for UMC affiliation as specified in The Book of Discipline: institutional integrity, well-structured programs, sound management, and clearly defined Church relationships.

I am confident that Virginia Wesleyan College, as a community of faith, learning and service, will be successful during our review given the College’s excellence and commitment to our founding denomination across all four criteria. ​Underlying all that we do is our deep commitment to the United Methodist tradition of education. Our mission takes inspiration from that heritage, preparing students for global citizenry, service to their communities, personal and professional leadership, and lives of continual learning and meaning.
I would like to thank the many faculty, staff, students, alumni, and Board of Trustees members who are involved with the University Senate visit for their time and testimony. Our planning for the visit of the committee members for the University Senate has resulted in a comprehensive internal assessment of our values, programs, and traditions as a Methodist institution.

We are excited to share with the University Senate all the ways Virginia Wesleyan College is worthy of bearing the name of the United Methodist Church.​

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

We were thrilled to celebrate with Susan and David Goode, who were honored today by the Association of Fundraising Professionals on National Philanthropy Day as the Hampton Roads Outstanding Philanthropists. Joining me is Dr. Travis Malone, Dean of the Susan S. Goode School of the Arts and Humanities at Virginia Wesleyan College.
Congratulations to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center that was honored as the Outstanding Non-Profit in Fundraising today by the Association of Fundraising Professionals on National Philanthropy Day. Pictured are VWC Trustee Emeritus Jane Batten, a longtime supporter of the Aquarium, and Lynn Clements, Executive Director of the Aquarium. Lynn is a former member of the College's Board and parent of a VWC graduate.

Nota Bene: Enjoy a Special Edition of Marlin Magazine

We are pleased to announce a special edition of Marlin Magazine along with the Virginia Wesleyan College 2015-16 Annual Report. With a theme of “The Power of Philanthropy,” the publication is scheduled for release this week.

With construction proceeding impressively on the new Greer Environmental Sciences Center, fundraising continuing for the Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, and final touches being made on the Campus Master Plan, we have much facilities news to share. Also we have included updates on the new Batten Honors College and the structuring of our academic programs into three named 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. Read all about how these academic components will enrich an already strong, vigorous curriculum at Virginia Wesleyan.

We offer a financial profile of the College and pay tribute to our many alumni, friends, parents, faculty, staff, and others who support Virginia Wesleyan financially through giving. As we work through the current academic year, we thank everyone for making that philanthropic commitment as we also honor those who serve as members of our Board of Trustees, the Alumni Council, the President’s Parents Roundtable, and the Corporate Leaders Council.

Be on the lookout for a special magazine edition of our @vawesleyan newsletter later today, and view our latest Marlin Magazine in its entirety at:
The photo gallery from Saturday's VWC Day:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Great conversation this afternoon about collaborative opportunities with the World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads. Pictured here (from left): Immediate Past Chair of the VWC Board of Trustees Gary Bonnewell, and leadership from the Council, Barry Pollara, Maria Zammit, and Jack Hurley.
Enjoyed meeting with Emily Miles, a longtime member of the College's Board of Trustees, this morning. Emily was recently named an Emeritus member of the Board.
Enjoyable "Chat and Chew" today in the Princess Anne Room with the talented staff of the Virginia Wesleyan Learning Center.

Nota Bene: Fall 2016 Business Conference

Virginia Wesleyan’s student-led Business Conference, the Marlin Prestige, begins today and will continue throughout the week. Our campus community and guests throughout the Coastal Virginia region are invited to participate in workshops, presentations and interactive panels that embrace the fall 2016 theme, "A Networking Experience."
The Marlin Prestige represents months of hard work by students in Virginia Wesleyan's "Principles of Management" business course. Students coordinate all aspects of the event, exercising key management skills like product development, networking, and project and financial planning.

Virginia Wesleyan junior Heidi Brinker is the chief executive officer of the Marlin Prestige this semester. Heidi has worked with fellow students and faculty to develop a conference that provides beneficial information about building and maintaining a professional network.

Among this semester's guest speakers are The Brooklyn Baking Barons (Tony Lanuza and Chris Poeschl, by invite only), Jerome Brinker, Associate Director of the Old Dominion University Center for Enterprise Innovation, Venetia Huffman, Vice President of Operations and Compliance at CVI, and Tony DiSilvestro, Co-owner of Ynot Italian.

Daily activities will include a meet-and-greet with Norfolk Admirals Anthony Calabrese and Adam Phillips, the Virginia Maritime Association Career Fair, the popular "Shark Tank" presentations, which closely mirror the hit ABC television series, as well as alumni and faculty panels. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit the Marlin Prestige

Thanks to Associate Professor of Management, Business, and Economics Dr. Paul Ewell and the VWC Business Department faculty and students for hosting this engaging conference for our community.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Great feature in the Virginian-Pilot on our good friends David and Susan Goode, who will be recognized as Outstanding Philanthropists on Tuesday by the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. David and Susan recognize the critical importance of the arts and believe they are vital to a liberal arts education. In honor of their support and Susan's service to the VWC Board of Trustees, Virginia Wesleyan recently established the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities.
From today's The Virginian-Pilot...

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Tremendous interest in our new Batten Honors College, opening in the Fall of 2017. Pictured with Dr. Joyce Easter, Dean of the Batten Honors College, and Steve Pinto, Director of Enrollment, Batten Honors College. Learn more:
The Academic Department Fair in the C-MAC of the Jane P. Batten Student Center
Bob Marlin is all smiles at VWC Day!
Overflow crowd of prospective students in the Boyd Dining Center for VWC Day.
Student led conference brings speakers and events to campus November 14-18:

Friday, November 11, 2016

Great turnout and plenty of spirit at the Blue-White Scrimmage tonight. Enjoyed judging the Slam Dunk Contest. An exciting 2016-17 Marlin basketball season starts Tuesday!
Thank you to our nation's veterans for your service and for defending the freedoms we enjoy each and every day. A beautiful Veterans Day Ceremony was held on campus today featuring powerful prayer and remarks by (from left) VWC Director of Security Jerry Mance (United States Marine Corps); Mikal Blount '20 (United States Army); Jeremiah McQueary '17 (United States Marine Corps); and Tremain Torre '18 (United States Army).
Great to celebrate the beginning of the basketball season with the Roundball Insiders luncheon today. Trustee Henry Watts and his wife Eleanor have supported the Roundball Insiders every year since the group started in 2006. Coach Macedo and the Marlin men's basketball open the season on Tuesday, November 15, against Methodist University at 7:00 p.m.
Faithful Marlin fan Gary Bonnewell '79, Coach Dave Macedo and I enjoyed the annual Roundball Insiders luncheon to kick off the men's basketball season. Go Marlins!
Great meeting this morning with Donna Lewis and Doug Walters (center) from the University of Charleston and Transformation Specialists. Donna and Doug are assisting Virginia Wesleyan in furthering the College's institutional learning outcomes and creating an even more coherent and transparent curriculum. Also pictured (left) is Dr. Audrey Malagon, Chair of the Academic Effectiveness Committee and Associate Professor of Mathematics at VWC.
This week's edition of our @vawesleyan newsletter:

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Nota Bene: Post-election Thoughts for Our Campus

In the wake of the presidential election and some protests that have begun in response, we are reminded of the rights of free speech that also bring essential responsibilities of informed judgment and peaceful dissent. Regardless of our views on the election’s outcome, engaged citizenship remains the single best avenue for individuals intent on effecting change.

It is too early to predict what the 2016 election will mean for higher education. My presidential colleagues and I will be monitoring the most likely areas of impact, including the government’s views on student loans and federally funded financial aid as well as regulations that in recent years have been designed to hold higher education more accountable for outcomes.

A report this morning by
Inside Higher Ed offers a discussion on a possible agenda by the new administration in several key areas.

I will keep the Virginia Wesleyan College community informed of developments as they arise that will be of interest or concern to us with the arrival of a new president and Congress early next year.
I was proud to attend a luncheon in Richmond today where Thurston Moore of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges presented the H. Hiter Harris III Excellence in Instructional Technology Award to VWC Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology Thomas Brown. We are extremely proud of Dr. Brown’s accomplishment and the prestigious recognition it brings to Virginia Wesleyan.
Long time friend and colleague Ken Ruscio -- the new President of the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges.
Photo of the Greer Environmental Sciences Center from the roof of Blocker Hall. #vwcwalkabouts

Virginia Wesleyan College was honored to host a private dinner and post-election discussion last evening with Virginia U.S. Senator Mark Warner and several VWC Trustees and supporters. Pictured are Virginia Wesleyan's Chair of the Board of Trustees David Kaufman, Senator Warner, and Wayne Wilbanks.
Last night Virginia Wesleyan College hosted a private dinner and post-election discussion in the Princess Anne Room (President's Dining Room) with Virginia U.S. Senator Mark Warner and a number of our Trustees and supporters. Madeline Snyder, Presidential Associate and junior psychology major from Albany, New York, assisted with coordination of the event and spoke with Senator Warner about national politics and education.

Nota Bene: Veterans Day

As we come together as a country to honor our military veterans this week, I’d like to recognize the hundreds of Virginia Wesleyan College alumni, faculty and staff, as well as the 153 current students who are veterans, active-duty military and reservists. We are humbled by your sacrifices and indebted to you for your service.

Veterans play a unique role in the life of Virginia Wesleyan College and are a vital component of our campus community. They contribute valuable insight and leadership skills and enhance the educational experience for those around them.

As an institution, it is important that we continue to serve our veteran population. I am proud to report that Virginia Wesleyan has repeatedly been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a best college for veterans and has also once again received the Military Friendly School designation by G.I. Jobs.

If you’ve not yet had the chance, I encourage you to visit the Military Honor Tree on display this week in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Coordinated by the College’s Veterans Benefits Office, its colorful ribbons serve as a tribute to our troops and symbolize tremendous gratitude to those who have served our country.

Finally, I invite you to join me and the campus community for Virginia Wesleyan’s 2016 Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday, November 11, at 1:30 p.m. at the Campus Lawn and Memorial Garden behind Godwin Hall. The event will feature an entrance by the Marlin ROTC Detachment Color Guard, performances by 17 student members of the Virginia Wesleyan Chorale, an invocation by Jeremiah McQueary ’17 (United States Marine Corps), remarks by Tremain Torre '18 (United States Army), and a closing prayer by Mikal Blount ’20 (United States Army). A light reception will follow in the Barclay Sheaks Gallery.

A very special thank you to our Veterans Day planning committee: Dave Garraty, Professor of Management, Business, and Economics, Amy Rush, Deputy Director of the Lighthouse, and Kate Griffin, Director of Student Activities.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Virginia Wesleyan’s student-led Business Conference, the Marlin Prestige, kicks off next week (Nov. 14-18), inviting community members to participate in free workshops, presentations and interactive panels embracing the fall 2016 theme, “A Networking Experience.” I had the pleasure of meeting with some of the conference’s student leaders this afternoon, including (from left) Francesca Lanuza, Chief of Marketing, Heidi Brinker, Chief Executive Officer, Tiffany Cariker, Chief Operating Officer, and Clinton Owens, Manager of Operations. Learn more about the conference and view the schedule: