In 1998, while President of Wesley College, I had the pleasure of serving on the Joint Civilian Orientation Council at the Pentagon by invitation of then-Secretary of Defense William Cohen. A part of that program was traveling around the country with Pentagon officials visiting various military installations over a 10-day period. During those visits, I observed talented 18-to-22-year-olds exhibiting tremendous leadership in critical areas and operating multi-billion-dollar pieces of equipment.
fascination with this program translated to the establishment of the
Presidential Assistant/Associate Program at Wesley that fall. Surely, if
the military could train and trust college-aged individuals with this
tremendous level of responsibility, higher education could and should do
The Presidential Assistant/Associate Program was
established at Wesley College in the fall of 1998. I continued the
program at Bethany College during my eight years there and have
continued a similar program at Virginia Wesleyan University.
Wesleyan’s Presidential Associates program provides an opportunity for
students to work closely with the Office of the President on projects
that support the mission and purpose of the University. The number of
students hired in a given semester is dependent on a range of factors,
but I have utilized from two to 10 in a semester. Typically,
Presidential Associates do not receive academic credit,
unless they make arrangements through their department to complete
departmental internship requirements. Most Presidential Associates are
appointed for the academic year and can be re-appointed for additional
Projects and responsibilities include assistance with
presidential communication, legislative research, social media, student
leadership programs, athletics and recreation, walkabouts, Greek life,
presidential archives, and more.
I am pleased to introduce the Virginia Wesleyan University Presidential Associates for 2017-18:
Alana Peters '18
Madeline Snyder '18
program is truly a "win-win"—meaningful employment for students that
contributes to their career portfolios, and assistance with important
work for the Office of the President.