Saturday, September 30, 2017

Nota Bene: ​Marlin on the Move!

Our iconic Marlin statue has migrated and now rises from its beautiful new home in the pond at the entrance to campus! The Marlin, official symbol and mascot of Virginia Wesleyan University, has been cleaned and secured, and will be seen by thousands of motorists each day.

Many thanks to our contractor, Hourigan Construction, for restoring and relocating the Marlin to this more prominent location off Wesleyan Drive. Here is a
photo gallery that follows the move from start to finish.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Chicago Alumni Meetup

One aspect of my job that I thoroughly enjoy is traveling the country visiting with our successful Virginia Wesleyan Alumni. This morning, I had the pleasure of visiting in Chicago with Spencer Baird '00, newly appointed Senior Vice President of PeaPod, who served for many years as an executive with Ahold USA, Kellogg, and Dannon. Spencer was very active in Virginia Wesleyan athletics.

Transformation in the Commonwealth

Great article on Virginia Wesleyan University published this week by Dwyer Education Strategies, Inc.
The Commonwealth is Witnessing a Transformation at Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach:

A New Home for the Marlin Statue

Our Marlin statue is on the move and has landed at its new home in the pond at the entrance to campus! Many thanks to our contractor Hourigan Construction for restoring and relocating the Marlin to this more prominent location off Wesleyan Drive. Here's a look at the move from start to finish.

Nota Bene: VWU Digital Broadcasting Network

I am pleased to report that the VWU Digital Broadcasting Network is now live on the Virginia Wesleyan website. This media production unit serves the University community by recording and web streaming a wide range of institutional, educational, cultural, and athletics programs.

From Founders Day and Commencement to distinguished lecturers and cultural programming, we stream live video and then archive it for later on-demand viewing. Marlins athletics fans can watch live action and archived sporting events. Our network has introduced VWU to a truly worldwide audience.

We are grateful for the generosity of a private gift that made the network’s state-of-the-art video equipment possible, and we thank the departments of Information Technology Services, Communication, Advancement, and Intercollegiate Athletics for their collaborative management of this valuable service.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

VWU Alumni News: Homecoming Schedule

Have you made plans to join us Oct. 6-8 for Homecoming and Family Weekend? View the full schedule in this week's VWU Alumni News:

Photo Gallery: President's List Reception

Congratulations to VWU students named to the Spring 2017 President's List, recognizing full-time students who earned a 4.0 GPA last semester. View a photo gallery from the reception held on campus this week:

Nota Bene: Spring 2017 President’s List

This week we held a reception on campus to recognize Virginia Wesleyan students named to the Spring 2017 President’s List. Provost and Vice President Timothy O’Rourke and I were pleased to congratulate those in attendance and to present them with certificates of achievement. Photos taken during the reception are available on the Virginia Wesleyan Flickr page.

A good number of students on the list graduated in May and were unable to attend. They will receive their certificates by mail.
The President’s List recognizes full-time students who earn a grade point average of 4.0 during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have taken nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses and have no grades of incomplete or grades of F. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits, and we are proud of their accomplishments. Well done!
Spring 2017 President’s List

Erin C. Abbott                           Carmen W. Hitt
Sydnie E. Allen                         Abigail L. Horgan
Sarah C. Antozzi                      Sierra C. Howard
Seth S. Antozzi                         Katy J. Kopaskey
Kollin R. Baer                           Jordan N. Latvis
Kelly J. Bateman                      Jordan T. Louk
Alexander V. Benevento            Tabitha L. Lowell
Elizabeth M. Brisson                 Morgan E. Lucas
Katie C. Brooks                         Trevor J. Maloney
Brianna J. Brunk                       Taylor L. Marshall
Lauren E. Bryant                       Getzani  Moguel
James L. Butler                         Ashley A. Neudecker
Emilee K. Caldbeck                  Travon D. Nimmo
LeMar  Callaway                       Brooke L. Novkovic
Jordan A. Chambers                 Tyler S. Ostrovecky
Jacklyn A. Cheely                     Connor T. Pederson
Andreas J. Combos                  Kathleen M. Peloquin
Rachel A. Connolly                   Jessica C. Pittman
Austin G. Davis                         Emily E. Powers
Allyce L. DeSimone                  Mickella J. Rast
Stacie A. Doughtie                    Stephanie M. Reidell
Taylor R. Erby                           Kelsi P. Robins
Christopher D. Fegan                Sierra M. Rothenberger
Lynne G. Fetter                         Dillon E. Rudiger
Melissa P. Fisher                      Joshua G. Shuman
Amber R. Gaines                      Samuel J. Smart
Shae E. Geary                          Joi L. Snowden
Tiffani N. Gregory                     Carissa J. Stevens
Erin V. Harris                            Jake Q. Stokke
Shana L. Harrison                     Lauren C. Topper
Mathew C. Hasty                      Joy S. Vernon
Spencer A. Hawver                  Timothy A. Webster
Allison R. Heitsman                  Tayler L. Wilson
Nicholas G. Hipple                    Sara A. Wiltshire

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

VWU Professor Weighs in on Pumpkin Spice Craze

Dr. Lisa Payne, Batten Associate Professor of Communication at VWU, describes pumpkin spice as "cultural currency" in this Virginian-Pilot article published today:

Nice to Visit with Scott Ramsey '90

Nice to visit today with Scott Ramsey, a 1990 graduate of Virginia Wesleyan. Scott grew up in Virginia Beach, the son of the late Dr. Neil Ramsey, a long-time faculty member who established the VWU sociology department. Growing up on a college campus inspired Scott's commitment to education, a passion he now puts to work as executive director of the Alaska Outdoor Science School. We welcome him back to campus this week to speak as part of VWU's "On Deck" series—his presentation is called "Blue Mind: How being in, on or near water can make us healthier, happier and more connected." More details at

Nota Bene: Westminster/Wesleyan Lifelong Learning Institute

Shortly after my arrival in 2015, I had extensive discussion with Ben Unkle, President and CEO of Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, on ways to develop a closer relationship between our organizations. On Tuesday, a signing ceremony was held to formally mark a new partnership—the Westminster/Wesleyan Lifelong Learning Institute—which brings courses taught by Virginia Wesleyan faculty to the campus of Westminster-Canterbury.

Programming for this initiative is coordinated by Dr. Ben Fraser, the newly appointed Westminster-Canterbury Fellow for Religious Studies and Lifelong Learning. Several courses will be taught each semester, and roughly half will be on faith-related topics. Courses are offered at no cost to Westminster-Canterbury members, who will also receive free admission to many VWU athletic and cultural events on our campus.

Many thanks to Ben Unkle, Ben Fraser, and the Virginia Wesleyan faculty who are teaching this semester as part of the Lifelong Learning Institute: Dr. Kathleen Casey, Assistant Professor of History; Dr. Leslie Caughell, Assistant Professor of Political Science; Dr. Terry Lindvall, C.S. Lewis Endowed Chair in Communication and Christian Thought and Professor of Communication; Dr. Taryn Myers, Batten Associate Professor of Psychology; Dr. Timothy O’Rourke, Provost and Vice President and Professor of Political Science; Dr. Vic Townsend, Professor of Biology; and Dr. Craig Wansink, Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and Professor of Religious Studies.

We have so many good, shared friends who are actively involved with both Virginia Wesleyan and the Westminster-Canterbury community. The Birdsong Initiative, for example, was funded by Westminster-Canterbury Foundation Board Member Sue Birdsong and her husband, VWU Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong, both longtime Virginia Wesleyan supporters. The 24-week study examined whether the use of computer technology could increase socialization and improve mental health among residents of nursing homes and memory support programs. Researchers at Eastern Virginia Medical School led the study with support from students in Virginia Wesleyan's Recreational Therapy program. Our students played a critical role in assessing residents, providing treatment intervention and collecting data. Participation in the study was part of Dr. Wayne Pollock's course, "Recreational Therapy Analysis and Assessment."

We are extremely grateful for our ongoing relationship with Westminster-Canterbury, as it is a natural fit and truly a win-win. It allows Westminster-Canterbury members to stay challenged and energized as they continue their path of education and growth, and it gives Virginia Wesleyan opportunities to share the talents and leadership of our faculty, students, and community.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

President's List Reception

Today we recognized Virginia Wesleyan students—including Nich Hipple and Brianna Brunk (pictured)—who were named to the President's List for the spring 2017 semester. These impressive students earned a grade point average of 4.0 while matriculating as a full-time students taking as least nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses. Congratulations!

Marlin SportSplash

VWU sophomore Alex Davidson was named Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Player of the Week for women's soccer. Read more in this week's Marlin SportSplash:

Westminster-Canterbury Fellow for Religious Studies and Lifelong Learning

Dr. Ben Fraser (center) has been named the new Westminster-Canterbury Fellow for Religious Studies and Lifelong Learning and will coordinate courses and teach as part of the new Lifelong Learning Institute. Also pictured: Ben Unkle, President and CEO of Westminster Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay.

Westminster-Canterbury Partnership Signing Ceremony

So proud to formally mark a new partnership with our friends at Westminster Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay. This week we launched the Westminster/Wesleyan Lifelong Learning Institute, which offers courses taught by Virginia Wesleyan faculty on the campus of Westminster-Canterbury. This special relationship also allows Westminster-Canterbury members admission to VWU athletic and cultural events at no cost. Thank you to Westminster-Canterbury President/CEO Ben Unkle (pictured) and all who made this wonderful partnership possible.