Friday, March 31, 2017

Closing Session

Closing session today with Dr. Sergio Velasquez Rodriguez, Dean of Engineering at Universidad Panamericana, and Dr. Steven Corey, President of Olivet College of Michigan.

Congratulations to Dr. Craig Wansink

Congratulations to Dr. Craig Wansink, who was honored last night at the Humanitarian Awards banquet for the Tidewater Chapter of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (pictured). Unfortunately my trip to Mexico prevented me from attending, but I am incredibly proud of Craig's commitment to social justice, inclusiveness, and understanding. It's been a pleasure to see our own Center for the Study of Religious Freedom thrive under his leadership. We value all that Craig does for Virginia Wesleyan and for the wider community and wish him continued success in this vital mission. Also pictured: Kelly Jackson, CSRF Associate Director, and Barbara Hamm Lee, Host of WHRV's Another View.

With Drs. Juan de la Borbolla and Bryon Grigsby

With Dr. Juan de la Borbolla, Rector of Universidad Panamericana, and Dr. Bryon Grigsby, President of Moravian College, at the Summit of University Presidents of Mexico and the United States session at UP this morning.

Summer Session at Virginia Wesleyan

What will you be doing this summer? Consider exploring new areas of study and accelerating on your path toward graduation by enrolling in summer session at Virginia Wesleyan College. For course offerings and more visit

​Nota Bene: NCAA Division III Week

The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) has declared next week, April 3-9, as Division III Week. The week is recognized nationally, providing a positive opportunity for individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on our campuses and in our surrounding community.

Throughout the week, Division III schools and conference offices will conduct outreach activities in the areas of academic accomplishment, athletic experience, leadership, community service and campus involvement. Plans for Virginia Wesleyan have been coordinated by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and include a Dodgeball Tournament, Faculty Appreciation Day, Social Media Day, Community Service Day, and Game Day. The week will kick off with the signing of a Division III resolution. Joining me for this signing will be Joanne Renn, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Michelle Yates, student representative for the Athletics Management Council, Sam Kirschenbaum, SAAC Advisor, and SAAC co-presidents Amy Large and Colleen Waggoner.

The week is part of Division III’s Identity Initiative, which was introduced in 2010 to sharpen the division’s identity and to enable schools and conferences to more effectively explain why they prefer to compete in Division III. The initiative has been guided by a strategic-positioning platform, describing Division III as a place where student-athletes can “follow your passions and develop your potential,” within an approach that combines rigorous academics, competitive sports and an opportunity to pursue other interests.

Thanks to all of our student-athletes, coaches, athletic department staff, faculty-team advisors, and others on campus who work daily to make our program so successful. Be sure to visit for more information and a full schedule of Division III Week events.

Go Marlins!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

More from Tecnologico de Monterrey

With Dr. Jorge Gonzalez, President of Kalamazoo College of Michigan, Dr. Bryon Grigsby, President of Moravian College of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Brad Creed, President of Campbell University of North Carolina, in a visit to Tecnologico de Monterrey today.

Tecnologico de Monterrey

A late afternoon visit to Tecnologico de Monterrey.

Discussing Career Opportunities for Medical Students

Discussing opportunities for students entering careers in medicine with Dr. Manuel Diaz Rodriquez, Professor and Director of Medicine at UNIVA La Universidad Catolica.

Traditional Mexican Dance by UNIVA Students

Lunch with Leaders of Olivet, DeLaSalle Bajio

Lunch today with Dr. Steve Corey, President of Olivet College of Michigan, and Jose Amonario Asiain Diaz de Leon, Vice President of Universidad DeLaSalle Bajio, at the Summit of University Presidents of Mexico and the United States.

Live from the TV Studios of UNIVA La Universidad Catholico

Touring the television studios of UNIVA La Universidad Catholico in Guadalajara with Dr. Richard Ekman, President of the Council of Independent Colleges in Washington, D.C., and Dr. MaryAnn Baenninger, President of Drew University in New Jersey.

Official Photo of the Summit of University Presidents of Mexico and United States...


A Tour of UNIVA La Universidad Catholico

Touring the campus of UNIVA La Universidad Catholico in Guadalajara. Pictured with Dr. Joe Chillo, President of Newberry College in Massachusetts , and Dr. Eric Fulcomer, President of Rockford University in Illinois.

Opening Business Session

At the opening business session of the Summit of University Presidents of Mexico and the United States at UNIVA La Universidad Catholico. Pictured with Rob Pearigan, President of Millsaps College in Mississippi, and Bryon Grigsby, President of Moravian College and Seminary.

U.S. Consul General Tanya Anderson

Pleasure to meet Tanya C. Anderson, Consul General of the U.S. in Guadalajara, at the opening reception for the Summit of University Presidents of Mexico and the United States.


Greetings from Guadalajara

With Dr. Luis Roberto Mantilla Sahagun, President of Universidad Latina de America; Dr. Chris Kimball, President of California Lutheran University; and Dr. Fernando Leon-Garcia, President of CETYS University, at the home of the General Counsel of the United States in Guadalajara.

​Nota Bene: Meeting with Mexican University Leaders in Guadalajara

Today I’m waking up in beautiful Guadalajara, Mexico, where I am among 24 private college leaders nationwide selected to meet with Mexican university rectors to explore opportunities for international partnership.

The Higher Education Summit of the United States and Mexico, taking place March 29-31, is coordinated by Washington, D.C.-based Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), a national association of 766 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations. I am a former member and officer of the CIC Board of Directors and chaired the organization’s acclaimed New Presidents Program for 15 years.

The CIC organized the summit in conjunction with the Mexican Federation of Private Higher Education Institutions (FIMPES) with generous support from Santander Universidades and Universia. With a theme of “Reaffirming the North American Spirit of Collaboration in Higher Education: Creating Bridges of Communications,” it will emphasize the importance of international exchange in today’s “America First” political climate.

The meeting follows three years during which delegations of Mexican private university rectors participated in the CIC’s Presidents Institute, the largest annual gathering of college and university presidents in the United States. Participants aim to provide enhanced exchange opportunities for students and faculty members in both countries; provide students with increased access to internships in Mexico and the United States; and allow faculty members and students to collaborate in shared research projects and development programs.

During our visit, my colleagues and I will visit and meet with campus leaders of three Mexican higher education institutions: Instituto Tecnol√≥gico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Universidad Panamericana, and Universidad del Valle de Atemajac. We’re also meeting with the U.S. Consul General in Guadalajara, Tanya C. Anderson, and with local, state, and national Mexican officials, as well as additional university rectors to discuss student and faculty exchange programs, articulation agreements, global leadership, visa issues, and undocumented students.

I have long been an outspoken advocate of the importance of international travel as a part of a liberal arts education. During my tenure as president of Lincoln Memorial University in the 1990s, I co-founded the InterAmerican Consortium—a collaboration of eight U.S. colleges and universities and 11 international universities. As a result of this effort, I was honored to receive the Presidential Medal by Universidad InterAmericana of Costa Rica and Panama.

Expanded global opportunities and cultural exchange are important to my long-term vision for Virginia Wesleyan, as I believe these types of interactions provide students with more meaningful overall learning experiences. I am honored to take part in this summit and look forward to furthering our relationship and creating new partnerships with our higher-education counterparts in Mexico.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Seafood Party + Spring Alumni Weekend

The countdown is on to Spring Alumni Weekend & Seafood Party in the Dell (April 7-8)... View the full events schedule and register to attend:

Nota Bene: Virginia Private College Report

Advocacy for the purpose and value of private colleges has been an important part of my 26 years as a college president, and I am proud that Virginia Wesleyan College is a member of the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV).

The CICV represents 28 accredited, nonprofit, independent colleges and universities in Virginia, working in the areas of public policy, cost containment and professional development, and providing support to its member institutions and students in the following areas:

  • Government relations: The CICV serves as the voice of Virginia’s independent higher education community before state agencies and legislators, and coordinates government relations activities for its members. It was instrumental in starting Virginia's Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG) program and managing advocacy for increased funding for VTAG and other programs assisting students at independent colleges.
  • Collaboration: The organization works with members and business partners to leverage collaborative opportunities that help campuses control operating costs and improve efficiency. Projects range from consortium purchasing agreements among member colleges to facilitating the state-wide Virginia Private College Week in July. Their Health Benefits Consortium provides quality and affordable health care for employees of its colleges.
  • Research: CICV staff work with member institutions, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), and national organizations to provide data analysis and higher education research services.
  • Public Relations: The CICV works closely with its members and the media to provide information and materials that highlight the contributions of private colleges to the Commonwealth.
I invite you to view the CICV's most recent Virginia Private College Report, which outlines the important role Virginia's private colleges and universities play in the Virginia higher education system and economy.

Thanks to each of you for helping to promote and further the important mission, values and programs of Virginia Wesleyan.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Marlin SportSplash!

Catch the latest in Virginia Wesleyan Athletics in this week's edition of Marlin SportSplash:

Nota Bene: VWC Tops ODAC in Recycling Efforts

The recycling race is on this spring as the Virginia Wesleyan community once again participates in RecycleMania, an eight-week collegiate tournament, running February 5 to April 1, in which hundreds of college and university communities across the United States and Canada compete to collect the largest amount of recyclables and the least amount of trash.

I am so pleased to share that in week three of the competition, Virginia Wesleyan was ranked No. 1 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference for pounds recycled per capita. To date, the College has a cumulative greenhouse gas reduction of 38 metric tons of CO2 equivalent—which, put into perspective, equals seven cars off the road or the energy consumption of three households.

Many thanks and congratulations to members of Marlins Go Green, led by VWC senior Zack Drake, as well as Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling, for leading the charge in this effort. We are incredibly proud of our students, faculty, and staff for their contributions and dedication to a greener campus and a greener world.

Learn more about Virginia Wesleyan's recycling efforts and what you can do to make a difference by visiting our website at:

Monday, March 27, 2017

Virginia Beach Leaders Tour Greer Environmental Sciences Center

Nice to showcase the state-of-the-art Greer Environmental Sciences Center today to Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms and City Councilmember Barbara Henley. Joining us on the tour is Dr. Maynard Schaus, Associate Provost.

The Latest from President to President

The latest chapter of President to President, a higher education leadership series edited by myself and long-time friend and publishing colleague, Dr. Marylouise Fennell. Pathways for Success: From Pre-College to Campus Life:

Nota Bene: Our New Corporate Leaders Council

Virginia Wesleyan College held its first meeting of the new Corporate Leaders Council (CLC) on March 16. The CLC is comprised of business leaders from Coastal Virginia who embrace, embody, and similarly align with the College’s vision and values in their management practices. Their personal and professional influence and support ensures that our students are strategically positioned to participate in opportunities that will prepare them for a meaningful life and career.

It is our vision to connect our Corporate Leaders to our students through several channels. First and foremost is to foster the relationship between our Corporate Leaders, The Lighthouse and Mollie Robertson Dunmyer to develop experiential learning opportunities for our students like internships, externships, mentoring, mock interviews, resume advising, participation in VWC career fairs, and more. We will also look to our Corporate Leaders to engage with students in the classroom by serving as guest speakers or "Shark Tank" panelists during the Marlin Prestige Business Conference. Finally, our Corporate Leaders are in positions of influence to positively project the quality and versatility of a liberal arts education at Virginia Wesleyan, which increases the value and name recognition of a VWC degree as new graduates enter the workforce.

During our meeting, we were honored to welcome Joe Ruddy '83, Chief Innovation Officer at The Port of Virginia, as our guest speaker. In a presentation called "The Power of Interns," Joe gave the CLC a high-level overview of the Port and its future and how interns from Virginia Wesleyan College are helping to shape that future. We then heard from VWC senior Amanda Baxter, who spoke about her internship at the Port of Virginia. Amanda explained how her time at the Port helped her grow professionally and feel ready for what comes next after graduation. Senior Amber Gaines spoke about her internship at the Pentagon, where she learned the value of proving yourself and networking to gain opportunities. Amber looks forward to starting a full-time position in Washington, D.C. after Commencement.

Thank you to our Corporate Leaders Council, listed below, for taking time out of their busy schedules to connect with the College and our students in such an important way. We are grateful for their support and special leadership as we build bridges for students to help inspire and prepare them to become impactful citizens in the global community.

Julie R. Anderson '96, TowneBank
John S. Burton, Esq. '95, J.S. Burton, P.L.C.
Dr. Samantha Coleman '98, Chiropractic Solution Center
Karen Corrigan Cowherd '97, Corrigan Partners, LLC
Rob W. Gillikin II '00, Rutter Mills
Kaddy Hamilton ’85, WC Carpenter Commercial & Residential Floor Coverings
Joe Harris '94, Equity Prime Mortgage NMLS
Lynette Harris ‘78, TowneBank
Kevin Hughes '01, Seventh Point
Mark E. Jones, Jones Printing Service, Inc.
Tracy Keller '04, Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast
Daniel Mason '88, Nationwide Insurance
Eli Miller '00, Exit Realty
Mavis McKenley '11, AMG National Trust Bank
Joe Ruddy '83, The Port of Virginia
Karen Thomas '88, Southern States Cooperative

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Come see great basketball (for a good cause) Sunday at Virginia Wesleyan

Come out to Virginia Wesleyan today for the inaugural Joy Fund All-Star Class charity basketball games, and help bring Christmas cheer to kids who might otherwise go without. Read more in this Virginian-Pilot article:

Friday, March 24, 2017

Birthday Gratitude

Many thanks to each of you for the very thoughtful birthday wishes—including this special musical message from the Wesleyan Chorale!

Nota Bene: Virginia Wesleyan College Concert Series

Each year, we welcome to campus some of the world’s most exceptional artists and musicians as part of the Virginia Wesleyan College Concert Series. We are proud to host these diverse and delightful performances, and we’re grateful for support from the Dougherty Visiting Artist Fund and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

On Monday, March 27, Virginia Wesleyan’s own Jason Squinobal, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Instrumental Music, will perform on the saxophone alongside pianist Kevin Harris in an evening of traditional jazz standards. The show will take place in Hofheimer Theater at 7:30 p.m. Admission is complimentary for VWC students, faculty, and staff, and public ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for students.

Next month, Hofheimer Theater will welcome Duo Vela, featuring Marla Nistico on the flute and Daniel Nistico on guitar (April 10, 7:30 p.m.). The flamboyant and theatrical quartet Red Priest, who has been likened to the Rolling Stones, the Marx Brothers, and Cirque du Soleil all rolled into one, also returns to Virginia Wesleyan (April 25, 7:30 p.m.).

Concert Series performances held earlier this academic year included The Tidewater Guitar Quartet, The Thirteen; Shakespeare Week, A Wesleyan Christmas, and soprano Patricia Nixon. Special thank you to Dr. Sandra Billy for bringing these fantastic performers to campus through her role as artistic director of the Virginia Wesleyan College Concert Series. We appreciate all she does to make VWC a growing, thriving place for the arts.

The arts are essential to the liberal education experience, and our programs in art, music, and theatre enrich not only our campus community but the wider service area of the institution. Last August, I announced plans for Phase I of the new Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. The new center, which will be located near the existing Fine Arts Building, is named in honor of Board of Trustees member Susan S. Goode. We have an accumulation of $12.7 million in gifts and pledges—putting the College in range of the $14 million needed to begin construction on this new campus home where the arts will continue to flourish.

Virginia Wesleyan has a rich offering of cultural events, performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibits, and we look forward to continuing to support this tradition.

For the most current arts listings, ticket prices and campus locations, visit The Arts at Virginia Wesleyan webpage or the Campus Events calendar.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Nota Bene: VWC Welcomes Women's and Gender Studies Honor Society

I am proud to share the founding this month of a new chapter of the Iota Iota Iota (Triota) Honor Society at Virginia Wesleyan College. The Delta Sigma chapter joins a nationwide coalition of student clubs recognizing academic excellence in women’s and gender studies.

Iota Iota Iota aims to promote interest in women's and gender studies, research in social issues affecting women, and other social and intellectual activities that lead to improvement in the condition of all people. The society also encourages volunteerism, advocacy, and activism within the community as important methods for supporting and maintaining the values central to the women's studies discipline.

Special thanks to Virginia Wesleyan senior Kaci Wertz for taking the lead in bringing Delta Sigma to our campus. Kaci will serve as the chapter’s first president, and I’ve been told she has hit the ground running, organizing a full slate of officers within just 24 hours of receiving chapter recognition.

It is most appropriate to establish an Iota Iota Iota chapter here at the College during Women’s History Month. Please join me in welcoming Delta Sigma—may its members be nourished by our community’s continued dedication to equality and education.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Love for the Big Top

In a recent Virginian-Pilot article, Virginia Wesleyan's Senior Vice President Dr. Mort Gamble shares his love for the circus as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey brings one of its last performances to Coastal Virginia:

Be sure to read to the end, where Dr. Gamble is quoted on his long-time fascination and days spent selling circus peanuts during graduate school.

Marlin SportSplash

Catch the latest in Virginia Wesleyan Athletics in this week's edition of Marlin SportSplash:

Nota Bene: Barclay Sheaks Gallery

Those of us with offices in Godwin Hall routinely pass The Barclay Sheaks Gallery adjacent to the Welcome Center in the main lobby. Visitors to Virginia Wesleyan browse the Gallery while waiting for appointments. Few may realize the prominence of the collection in the Hampton Roads Community and its historical significance to Virginia Wesleyan.

Established in 1999, The Barclay Sheaks Gallery is named after nationally renowned painter and founder of the Virginia Wesleyan College Art Department, Professor Barclay Sheaks. As an artist, Sheaks is best known for his acrylic paintings of waterfront scenes, wetlands, farmlands and people of the Chesapeake Bay.

His "work is eloquent testimony to how perseverance and diligence combine with creativity and inspiration to create lasting objects," notes Joyce Howell, Professor of Art History, who is the collection's curator. This talented artist and professor had a profound and lasting effect not only on the arts community but on the many students he inspired and mentored.

Professor Sheaks was a member of the Virginia Wesleyan faculty for 36 years, retiring as Associate Professor and Distinguished Artist-in-Residence in 2006. He passed away in 2010 at the age of 81 after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease.

Professor Sheaks donated approximately 50 of his paintings to establish The Barclay Sheaks Gallery, which opened in the summer of 2000. View the
Barclay Sheaks Collection.

Barclay Sheaks was born in West Bend, Indiana, in 1928 and grew up in the Shenandoah Valley. He completed his undergraduate work at Richmond Professional Institute, earned a Master of Fine Arts from the College of William and Mary, and was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Christopher Newport University. Professor Sheaks began his teaching career in 1948 at Warwick High School in Newport News, Virginia. In 1967 he left Warwick High School to found the art program at Virginia Wesleyan College.

Over the course of his career, he also served as artist-in-residence for both the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Richmond Humanities Center. He became a familiar face across the nation as he managed and hosted an acrylic-painting television show on public television. He was a pioneer in acrylics and wrote extensively on the medium and his techniques.

Professor Sheaks lived most of his life in the Hilton Village section of Newport News, Virginia, or at his summer home on the river in Poquoson, Virginia. An outdoors enthusiast as well as an artist, he was inspired by the distinctive natural environment of the Chesapeake Bay.

His work has appeared in distinguished museum, university, corporate and private art collections worldwide including the Butler Institute of American Art, Columbia Museum, and the Chrysler Museum of Art. Professor Sheaks’ works were also prominently featured in exhibitions sponsored by the American Watercolor Society, the National Academy of Design, the Corcoran Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution, and others.

The gallery named for this memorable and influential artist and scholar is available for all of us to enjoy. If you haven't had the opportunity to enjoy the collection, please take a few moments to do so. It's one of the unique and inspiring features of our beautiful campus.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hasbro's Eric Nyman, VWC Class of 1994

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Virginia Wesleyan grad Eric Nyman '94, Senior Vice President-U.S. Sales and Marketing at Hasbro Toys at their headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island today. Eric played on the VWC basketball team and was the editor of The Marlin Chronicle.

Nota Bene: Virginia Wesleyan's Valued Emeritus Trustees

One of the special hallmarks in the history of Virginia Wesleyan is a very strong Board of Trustees. These experienced and talented individuals offer a wealth of insight and skills, and their leadership is a critical asset to the success of our College, its students and alumni.

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the policy direction of Virginia Wesleyan College and its educational and administrative organization, as required by law. The institutional authority of the Board is paramount in all matters affecting the College. Specifically, the Board provides oversight of all fiduciary and policy matters, and is responsible for holding the President accountable for the functions of the College.

Former members of the Board who have served as Trustees for a minimum of nine years, and who have given distinctive and meritorious service to the College, may, upon the recommendation of the Committee on Trusteeship, be nominated for election by the Board to Trustee Emeritus status.

Today, I recognize these outstanding individuals who have given their time and guidance to support our College through their service on our Board of Trustees.

Trustees Emeriti

Jane P. Batten

Former Chair, VWC Board of Trustees
Community Leader and Volunteer
Virginia Beach, Virginia

George Y. Birdsong
Former Chair, VWC Board of Trustees
CEO, Birdsong Corporation
Suffolk, Virginia

S. Frank Blocker, Jr.
President, EAD
Norfolk, Virginia

Robert Friend Boyd
Partner, Boyd & Boyd, P.C.
Norfolk, Virginia

Joan P. Brock
Former Chair, VWC Board of Trustees
Former Secretary-Treasurer, Dollar Tree Stores, Inc.
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Robert W. Collenberg II '90
The Shutter Door Design & Build, LLC
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Robert H. DeFord, Jr.
DeFord, Ltd.
Virginia Beach, Virginia

William J. Fanney
Retired Director and Chairman Emeritus
Life Savings Bank
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Lemuel E. Lewis
Retired Executive Vice President and CFO
Landmark Communications
Norfolk, Virginia

John E. Lingo, Jr.
Vice President
Jack Lingo Realty
Lewes, Delaware

Elizabeth F. Middleton '91
Corporate Secretary, E.G. Middleton, Inc.
Community Leader and Volunteer
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Emily S. Miles
Community Leader and Volunteer
Norfolk, Virginia

John A. Trinder
President and COO
MaxMedia, Inc.
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Benjamin J. Willis, Jr.
Willis Wayside, Inc.
Virginia Beach, Virginia

We are so grateful to these individuals for their willingness to serve as advocates for our College and community, and we thank them for their continued efforts to make a difference in the lives of our students.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Educationally Speaking with WHRV

"Who Needs An English Major?: The Future of Liberal Arts Education" -- Segment 1. My interview today on WHRV (89.5) WNPR:

Nota Bene: Model NATO Challenge

Over the past two years, I've had the pleasure of interacting significantly with leadership at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-Allied Command Transformation (NATO-ACT). General Denis Mercier, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, and his Chief of Staff, Air Marshal Sir Graham Stacey, are friends and colleagues, and I'm proud that Virginia Wesleyan will once again host the annual Model NATO Challenge on March 31.

During the mock global crisis simulation, produced by the Norfolk NATO Festival in partnership with NATO-ACT, local high school juniors and seniors will take on the roles of student diplomats, each representing one of the 28 NATO Member Nations. Select students will also participate in the Student Press Corps, covering the event action in a live media role.

Virginia Wesleyan’s involvement in the Challenge stems from the College’s formal agreement with NATO-ACT, which offers up to 25 International Student Grants of $9,000 per semester ($18,000 per year) to dependents of NATO-ACT employees stationed in Norfolk. In return, NATO-ACT offers their staff's expertise to the VWC community in the form of guest lectures, internship opportunities, experiences with NATO’s Innovation Hub, and NATO simulation opportunities like the Model NATO Challenge.

We are extremely grateful for this valuable partnership and celebrate the opportunity to build global partnerships right here in our community. Read more about the 2017 Model NATO Challenge on our
website, and be sure to stop by the simulation on Friday, March 31, at 4 p.m. in Boyd Dining Center.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Empty Bowls Charity Dinner

Professor of Art Phil Guilfoyle (top) is all smiles at tonight's Empty Bowls Charity Dinner, organized locally by the Ceramic Designers Association. Bottom picture, with Robyn Bailey and Tim Lockett. Guests received a handmade bowl and enjoyed freshly prepared soups, bread and dessert—but more importantly, they help alleviate hunger in our community. The Empty Bowls project is an international grassroots movement held annually in many communities to help raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. The first local Empty Bowls Charity Dinner took place in 1998 at Holy Family Catholic Church. It moved to Virginia Wesleyan the following year, thanks to the efforts of VWC alumna Susan Alexander Mizell '80. In addition to providing the venue, Virginia Wesleyan also arranges for event volunteers and participation from the College community. Professor Guilfoyle and his ceramics students often donate their handmade bowls to the event, and Phil always performs potter wheel demonstrations. Sodexo, Virginia Wesleyan’s food service provider, generously provides the soups served at the event.

Meeting with Norfolk Collegiate Headmaster Scott Kennedy

I enjoyed visiting with Scott Kennedy, Headmaster of Norfolk Collegiate, at their campus on Granby Street today. Norfolk Collegiate is an independent, coeducational day school enrolling students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 on two campuses. I look forward to serving as their graduation speaker in May.

Alice Clarke Tours the Greer Environmental Sciences Center

It was a pleasure to show Alice Clarke, wife of the late former VWC President Lambuth M. Clarke, the progress on the new Greer Environmental Sciences Center today. We are pictured on the second floor in front of the Analytical Chemistry Lab.

A Visit from Nandua High School

Great to have high school students from Nandua on the Eastern Shore of Virginia visiting the under construction Greer Environmental Sciences Center today. Dr. Hilve Firek and Dr. Maynard Schaus led the group on a tour of the new state-of-the-art facility.

Nota Bene: Empty Bowls Charity Dinner

Tonight, Virginia Wesleyan College will once again serve as host-site for the Empty Bowls Charity Dinner, organized locally by the Ceramic Designers Association. The event will get underway in Boyd Dining Center at 5:30 p.m. Guests will receive a handmade bowl and enjoy freshly prepared soups, bread and dessert—but more importantly, they’ll help alleviate hunger in our community.

The Empty Bowls project is an international grassroots movement held annually in many communities to help raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. The first local Empty Bowls Charity Dinner took place in 1998 at Holy Family Catholic Church. It moved to Virginia Wesleyan the following year, thanks to the efforts of VWC alumna Susan Alexander Mizell '80.

In addition to providing the venue, Virginia Wesleyan also arranges for event volunteers and participation from the College community. Professor of Art Phil Guilfoyle and his ceramics students often donate their handmade bowls to the event, and Guilfoyle has been known to perform potter wheel demonstrations. Sodexo, Virginia Wesleyan’s food service provider, generously provides the soups served at the event.

All funds raised benefit local charities such as the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Judeo-Christian Outreach Center, Help and Emergency Response Shelter, Oasis Social Ministries, Samaritan House, and Union Mission. In its 18 years, the fundraiser has contributed $225,500 to the hunger-relief efforts in our community.

In keeping with the College’s Methodist heritage, VWC students—and faculty and staff—are encouraged to become engaged citizens who care about their community in active ways. This event speaks to our College's commitment to educate through meaningful service and brings our campus and community together in partnership to share resources and meet real community needs.

Learn more about the Empty Bowls Charity Dinner and get ticket information on our website, and be sure to read the recent Virginian-Pilot article featuring VWC’s own Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling, Professor of Art Phil Guilfoyle, and VWC alumnae Susan Alexander Mizell ’80 and Robyn Larson Bailey ’98.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Hosting Area Architects at the Greer Environmental Sciences Center

We were pleased to host a group of area architects at the Greer Environmental Sciences Center today. Tours were led by Project Manager Dade Van Der Werf and Project Architect Joe Atkins of VMDO in Charlottesville. Also pictured are Nathan Leonard and Chris Brandt of Hourigan Construction.

Photo Gallery: Justine L. Nusbaum Lecture 2016-2017

Earlier this week, Virginia Wesleyan welcomed David N. Saperstein, the Immediate Past United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, as the 2016-2017 Justine L. Nusbaum Visiting Lecturer. View photos from this very special event, hosted by the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom:

First Meeting of the Corporate Leaders Council

Virginia Wesleyan hosted its first meeting of the Corporate Leaders Council this morning. It was great to welcome so many alumni back to campus. From left: Joe Ruddy '83, Julie Anderson '96, Tracy Keller-Kessler '04, Kaddy Hamilton '85, Rob Gillikin '00, Ben White '91, Mavis McKenley '11, and Karen Thomas '88. A special thank you to our guest speakers: Mr. Ruddy, Chief Innovation Officer at the Port of Virginia, and student interns Amanda Baxter '17, and Amber Gaines '17, who spoke about The Power of Interns.

Joe Ruddy '83 Addresses Corporate Leaders Council

Joe Ruddy '83, Chief Innovation Officer for the Port of Virginia, speaking to the Virginia Wesleyan Corporate Leaders Council today. He provided an update on the Port of Virginia and overviewed the work of Virginia Wesleyan interns.

Nota Bene: Planning for the Future

I am pleased to announce that Virginia Wesleyan’s Long-Range Planning process is going forward with a vision of institutional growth and quality that will advance our liberal arts mission while maximizing new programmatic opportunities and honoring our United Methodist heritage and traditions.

In any long-range planning, the president takes the lead in convening and establishing the parameters of that process, which now on our campus has been broadened to include academic strategic planning. Following a year-long focus on campus master planning, with co-vice chairs Laynee Timlin and Bruce Vaughan implementing that process which resulted in a facilities plan that the Trustees accepted at their winter meeting in February, the Long-Range Planning Committee will address academic, resource-development, and co-curricular opportunities comprehensively and in depth.

As we work toward the next phases of Virginia Wesleyan’s Vision 2020: Pathway to Prominence plan, I have asked Provost and Vice President Tim O’Rourke to accept responsibility for moving the process forward, with the following campus representatives to serve with him and me on the Long-Range Planning Committee:

The Cabinet:
Mort Gamble, Senior Vice President
Cary A. Sawyer, Vice President for Finance
Keith E. Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs
David Waggoner, Vice President for Enrollment
Robert Leitgeb, Chief Information Officer
Joanne Renn, Executive Director for Intercollegiate Athletics
Stephanie Smaglo, Executive Assistant to the President

Other appointments include:
Maynard Schaus, Associate Provost
Debbie Hicks, Assistant Provost
Travis Malone, Dean of the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities
Sara Sewell, Executive Director of The Lighthouse
Rebecca Hooker, Associate Professor of English
Craig Wansink, Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom
Audrey Malagon, Chair, Academic Effectiveness Committee

Management and Support:
Kelly Sprouse, Administrative Assistant to the Provost

The research and work of this committee will be essential in drafting recommendations for keeping Virginia Wesleyan innovative, yet focused on our mission; growth-oriented, yet always student-centered. I will keep you informed of the committee’s work, and I thank them in advance for their special service as they accept this strategically important assignment.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Broadwater Academy Comes to Wesleyan

Wonderful to tour the Greer Environmental Sciences Center with Dr. Joe Spagnolo and Airlia Gustafson from Broadwater Academy. Joining us are David Waggoner, Vice President for Enrollment, Suzanne Savage, Associate Vice President, Clark Lambert, Hourigan Construction, Geronimo Sutphin, Director of Early Enrollment and Community Colleges, and Steve Pinto, Director of Enrollment, Batten Honors College.

Special Thanks to Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms

Thanks to Mayor Will Sessoms for the shout out in today's "Virginia Beach State of the City Address" at the Virginia Beach Convention Center today. Mayor Sessoms has been a good friend and partner in the progress of Virginia Wesleyan.

Enjoyable Lunch with VBCPS Board Members

Enjoyable lunch today with Beverly Anderson (Chair) and Dan Edwards (Vice Chair) of the Virginia Beach City Public Schools School Board.

Touring "The Main" with Kaddy Carpenter Hamilton '85

The Hampton Roads Chamber Board was treated to a private tour of The Main (, the new Hilton landmark hotel in downtown Norfolk. I enjoyed meeting and touring the facility with our successful alum, Kaddy Carpenter Hamilton '85, President of WC Carpenter (Commercial and Residential Floor Coverings) in Virginia Beach.

Marlin SportSplash!

Catch the latest in Virginia Wesleyan Athletics in this week's edition of Marlin SportSplash:

Nota Bene: Rev. Susan Pendleton Jones '80 to be Virginia Wesleyan Baccalaureate Speaker

I am pleased to announce that Rev. Susan Pendleton Jones, a 1980 graduate of Virginia Wesleyan College, will serve as our Baccalaureate speaker on Friday, May 19, at 6 p.m. at Haygood United Methodist Church at 4713 Haygood Rd., Virginia Beach (not far from campus).

Baccalaureate is a religious service held at most private, church-related educational institutions before the commencement exercises. It is an important tradition at United Methodist Church-affiliated colleges and universities. A farewell sermon to the graduating class and selected remarks, often from one or more representatives of the senior class, are highlights. 

Rev. Jones is currently senior fellow of the Institute for Faith and Learning at Baylor University. She holds a B.A. from Virginia Wesleyan College and an M.Div. from Duke University.

Rev. Jones came to Baylor from Duke Divinity School where she served as associate dean for ministerial formation. An ordained Methodist minister, she is a frequent retreat leader for lay and clergy groups. At Duke she had oversight of the contextual education programs, including Mentoring for Ministry and Student Life, field education, the Hispanic House of Studies, and the Thriving Rural Communities Program.

Her teaching responsibilities have included courses on leadership, forgiveness and reconciliation, and the pastor's vocation, team-taught with her husband, L. Gregory Jones, now Baylor’s executive vice president and provost. She and Greg have co-authored several Bible studies and other curricular components for The United Methodist Publishing House. She has also written articles and reflections for a variety of publications, including Faith & Leadership, Christian Century, and The Upper Room.

I invite you to join me in congratulating the Class of 2017 as they prepare for this exciting weekend of tradition and celebration, of which Baccalaureate is a valued and memorable part.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pies for a Good Cause

Proud to take some pies to the face for a good cause today as part of a Pi Day fundraiser benefiting Virginia Wesleyan's Natural Sciences Honor Society, Biology Honor Society, Chemistry National Honor Society, and the Science Club. Getting pied alongside me were Dr. Keith Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs (left), and Dr. Maynard Schaus, Associate Provost and Professor of Biology.

Nota Bene: College Hosts U.S. Ambassador for Religious Freedom

It was my very distinct honor last night to welcome to campus David N. Saperstein, the Immediate Past United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, as the 2016-2017 Justine L. Nusbaum Visiting Lecturer. During the special event, hosted by the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, Ambassador Saperstein addressed “The Challenges of Religious Freedom Around the Globe: 2017.”

In his address, Ambassador Saperstein spoke passionately of religious freedom as the "foundational right of every American" and as the "inalienable right of all people." Speaking of the "powerful force" of interfaith cooperation, he said religious freedom should be protected "not just in the abstract" but also because it is "a driver of peace and security."

Ambassador Saperstein served in 1999 as the first Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He was confirmed by the Senate in December 2014 as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. He was sworn in and assumed his duties in January 2015 and served in that capacity until January 2017. The Ambassador-at-Large is, by law, a principal advisor to the President and Secretary of State and serves as the United States’ chief diplomat on issues of religious freedom worldwide. He worked simultaneously as head of the Office of International Religious Freedom in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

Saperstein previously served as the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC). During his 40-year tenure at the helm of the RAC, he led several national religious coalitions, including the Coalition to Protect Religious Liberty. He has served on the boards of numerous national organizations, including the NAACP (most recently as chair of its national Religious Affairs Committee), the National Religious Partnership on the Environment, and the World Bank’s “World Faith Development Dialogue.”

A rabbi and an attorney, Saperstein has taught seminars in First Amendment Church-State Law and Jewish Law at Georgetown University Law Center for 35 years. He is a prolific writer and speaker, and his articles have been published in the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Harvard Law Review. His latest book is titled Jewish Dimensions of Social Justice: Tough Moral Choices of Our Time.

We are so grateful to the Ambassador for his visit, as well as to the CSRF’s Dr. Craig Wansink and Kelly Jackson for hosting this very enlightening event. The Center for the Study of Religious Freedom continues, through its program initiatives, to educate minds, touch hearts, and strengthen individuals to be agents of change and transformation in our communities.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Ambassador Saperstein Serves as Justine L. Nusbaum Lecturer

Virginia Wesleyan is honored to hold the Justine L. Nusbaum Lecture this evening and host Ambassador David N. Saperstein, immediate past U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Pictured with Ambassador Saperstein, Bob Nusbaum, and Craig Wansink, The Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom.

Nota Bene: Janet Judge Presentation Postponed

Tonight's presentation by Title IX authority Janet Judge has been postponed due to a strong winter storm expected in the Northeast. The program will be rescheduled for a later date, and details will be shared accordingly.

Ms. Judge will address Virginia Wesleyan student-athletes on the topic of sexual harassment and assault, bullying, and hazing in the world of intercollegiate athletics.

Breakfast with VWC Alum Olivier Mussat '00

Had a great time getting to know 2000 Virginia Wesleyan graduate Olivier Mussat over breakfast this morning in Washington, D.C. Originally from Paris, Olivier was an international studies major at VWC and came to the College during the dawn of the internet era in 1996. Today he is Chief Investment Officer at the World Bank's International Finance Corporation.

​Nota Bene: Title IX Authority to Address Student-Athletes, Coaches

This evening, sports law attorney and nationally known speaker Janet Judge will address Virginia Wesleyan student-athletes on sexual harassment and assault, bullying, and hazing in the world of intercollegiate athletics. These are sobering topics that I take with the utmost seriousness, and I welcome Ms. Judge’s wisdom and expertise.

Ms. Judge is the President of Sports Law Associates LLC, a full-service intercollegiate sports law firm, where she concentrates her practice on sexual harassment, including sexual violence prevention, intercollegiate sports and employment law counseling. She brings her diverse legal and athletics experiences to the table when advising and representing colleges and universities on sports-related issues, including strategic program development, NCAA eligibility, infractions and certification, EADA compliance, contracts, pay equity, Title IX, harassment, hazing, academic fraud and student-athlete misconduct.

In addition to her law practice, Ms. Judge has conducted workshops at more than 500 NCAA Division I, II and III institutions, athletics conferences and sport coaches' associations. Her sessions with student-athletes focus on leadership, sports ethics, branding, social networking, alcohol, hazing and discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual assault. Staff presentations explore recent developments in sports law, identifying areas of risk and implementing best practices.

Ms. Judge has advised and represented institutions and conferences with regard to all aspects of Title IX compliance for more than 20 years. She is the co-author of the NCAA Manual on Gender Equity and is one of three instructors teaching the popular National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) online Title IX coordinator course. She was honored by NACUA in 2014 for her higher education law practice, is included in the Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Sports and Employment Law, and has been named a SuperLawyer for her Intercollegiate Sports Law work.

Tonight’s presentation will take place at 7 p.m. in the Convocation Center inside the Jane P. Batten Student Center. It is mandatory for all student-athletes and all full- and part-time coaches, but is open to the greater VWC community. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Night at The Chronicle of Higher Education

Delightful evening at The Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington, DC, discussing a variety of higher educational topics with Chief Executive Officer and Editor in Chief Mike Riley and his senior newsroom staff. Mike was formerly editorial director of Bloomberg Government. Nicolette "Nikki" DeVille Christensen, President of Arcadia University, joins us for the picture.

Talking Higher Education Issues

I enjoyed talking higher education issues with Liz McMillen, editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education, at her office in Washington, DC, tonight.

Higher Education Author Jeff Selingo

So nice to visit with Jeff Selingo, author of "The Future of Enrollment: Where Colleges Will Find Their Next Students," tonight in Washington, D.C. Jeff has written about higher education for two decades and is the author of three books, the newest of which, "There is Life After College," is a New York Times bestseller. He is the former editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education and is a special advisor and professor of practice at Arizona State University and a visiting scholar at Georgia Tech.

Connecting with Colleagues at ACE

Lunch today with Jay Lemons, currently President of Susquehanna University and soon-to-be President of Academic Search, Inc., and Charles McAdams, Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs at Delta State University. Charles is currently a participant in the Executive Leadership Academy sponsored by the American Academic Leadership Institute and funded by Academic Search. I am Chair of the Board of AS, Inc. and Vice Chair of AALI.

Pleasure to Address to Presidential Assistants Nationwide

I thoroughly enjoyed speaking and leading a session "The President's Detail: Being a Not-So-Secret Agent of Executive Success" at the 30th annual conference of the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education (NAPAHE) in Washington, DC. Pictured after the session with NAPAHE Chair Wes Fugate. The meeting is a part of the American Council on Education's 99th annual meeting.

Norfolk Premium Outlets Set to Open June 29

Thanks to our friends at Norfolk International Airport for this stunning view of the construction at Norfolk Premium Outlets. The 332,000-square-foot shopping center—located just down the street from campus—is set to open June 29.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

American Council on Education Presidents Reception

With Chris Kimball, President of California Lutheran University, and Arturo Cherbowski Lask, Executive Director of Santander Universidades and general director of Universia México, at tonight's American Council on Education Presidents Reception. We will be in Mexico together later this month.

Great Visit with President McDavis at ACE

Great to visit with long time colleague and retiring Ohio University President Roderick McDavis tonight at the American Council on Education Presidents Reception at the Marriott Marquis Washington DC. Roderick becomes president of Association of Governing Boards Search next month.

Coombs a Two-time NCAA Division III All-American

Congratulations to Virginia Wesleyan junior Marissa Coombs. She finished second in the nation in the indoor mile (4:54.01)! All-American! New ODAC record. She is now a two-time NCAA Division III All-American.

From Above: The Greer Environmental Sciences Center

Thanks to Eric Harrison of Hourigan Construction for these beautiful shots of our new Greer Environmental Sciences Center, scheduled for completion in June.