Wednesday, May 30, 2018

VWU Alumni News

In this week's VWU Alumni News... view a photo gallery of our newest Virginia Wesleyan Alumni, give back to VWU through Amazon this Father's Day, register your mini Marlins for a summer athletic camp at Wesleyan, and get discounted tickets to Ocean Breeze Waterpark:

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Proud Presidential Moment

So proud to share this exciting moment with senior pitcher Alana Peters, who has worked as a Presidential Associate in my office for the past two years. In addition to being a stellar student-athlete, Alana is a wonderful student and person and I know she will go far in all of her pursuits.

Repeat National Champions

No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan University!

Nota Bene: Marlin Softball Claims Second Straight National Title

I’m proud to share that Virginia Wesleyan University earned its second straight national title this afternoon with a 3-1 victory over Illinois Wesleyan University in the 2018 NCAA Division III Softball Championship. Congratulations to Coach Brandon Elliott and the Marlins!

We are so proud of this team for maintaining the highest standards of performance and conduct on the field, and for exemplifying Virginia Wesleyan's tradition of service and values off the field:

Amanda Archer ’18         Hanna Hull ’20
Katelyn Biando ’21          Amy Large ’18
Daja Burgee ’21              Jessica Lindsay ’19
Hope Burleson ’21          Alana Peters ’18
Teresa Cardamone ’18   Kiersten Richardson ’18
Julie Fassl ’21                 Kerrigan Simpson ’21
Beth Ford ’19                  Julia Sinnett ’21
Madison Glaubke ’20      Danielle Stewart ’21
Carla Hall ’21                  Maria Weddle ’21
Cassetty Howerin ’18   

Head Coach: Brandon Elliott ’03
Assistant Coach: Bobby Wills
Assistant Coach: Jenna Wilson
Volunteer Assistant Coach: Chris Smith
Director of Softball Operations: Jim Quinn

Thank you to all of our student-athletes, coaches, athletic department staff, faculty-team advisors, and others on campus who make our program so successful. Special thanks, also, to the parents and friends who supported the team in Oklahoma City and beyond!

Read more about the national championship softball tournament at and on the NCAA website, and join us to welcome the team home tomorrow, Wednesday, May 30, at 3:15 p.m. by the trophy cases in the Jane P. Batten Student Center.

Go Marlins!

Nota Bene: Challenge Accepted for the Arts

I am pleased to share that Virginia Wesleyan University has received a $250,000 challenge grant from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation for updates and the purchase of new Steinway pianos for our existing Fine Arts Building. The University will have one year to raise the matching funds for the grant, which will allow for updated and modernized finishes, new windows, upgraded HVAC systems, and improved lighting.

Updating the existing Fine Arts Building is a top priority identified in the University's 10-year Campus Master Plan. The Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center (scheduled for completion in March 2019) will provide a state-of-the-art performance space for our theater, choral and music programs, and our existing Fine Arts Building will continue to serve as home to painting, ceramics, photography, and sculpture studios, as well as practice and rehearsal space for our choral and instrumental programs. With the upgrades made possible by this grant, the Fine Arts Building will have the appropriate climate controls required for Steinway pianos. It is our goal to then replace the building’s existing pianos with new Steinway and Boston (Steinway-designed) pianos.

We aspire to eventually achieve “All-Steinway Status” as an institution. An American company founded in 1863, Steinway is considered the world’s finest piano manufacturer. “All-Steinway Status” represents commitment to high-quality music making by ensuring that 90 percent of the pianos are Steinway or Steinway-designed pianos, and that pianos in all performance and studio spaces are Steinway concert pianos. Presently, only six higher education institutions in Virginia, and 175 nationally, have achieved this designation. 

I am excited to share this demonstration of continued enthusiasm for Virginia Wesleyan’s theatre, art and music programs, and pleased that generous support has continued for these important projects. If you are interested in helping the University match this challenge from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, please contact Virginia Wesleyan’s Center for Advancement at 757.455.3217.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day

Today we reflect on those who have lost their lives defending our country, how valuable our freedoms are, and the freedoms we still need to improve.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Graduation

Such an honor to deliver the graduation address at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy this morning. I wish this outstanding group of students the very best in their continued education. Pictured with NSA Board Chairman and former VWU Trustee Bob Aston and Head of School Debbie Russell.

Nota Bene: Busy Summer on Campus

We're off to a busy start on campus for the summer. The first segment of our Summer Session will begin next week and preparations are underway to welcome the Class of 2022 to campus next month for Marlin Nation Orientation.

I want to extend a heart-felt thank you to all who played a part in our successful Commencement weekend. Teamwork is key in pulling off events of this scale, especially when weather is a factor. I appreciate each of you and your participation, at all levels, for ensuring a wonderful weekend for our graduates and their families. Photo galleries are now available for our
Baccalaureate Service and Commencement Ceremony. And for those of you who may have missed these events, you can watch archived videos on our VWU Digital Broadcast Network. Enjoy!

In addition to the Commencement activities, last weekend we also hosted the NCAA Softball Super-Regional at Marlins Park as well as the Girls on the Run Hampton Roads’ Shine Bright 5K Celebration. The new Marlins Way and East Gate entrance (connecting to Baker Road) are now in use and were a major asset to the weekend.

As I mentioned above, our summer term begins next week, and I am proud to share that we have seen a significant 54-percent increase in enrollment compared to last year. VWU Online continues to flourish and grow, and next week the Master of Arts in Education program will make its debut with summer courses in “Practicum in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment,” “Foundations of the Teaching Professor,” “Cognition and Child & Adolescence Development,” and “Character of and Adaption for Exceptional Students.” It’s not too late to enroll. For more information, visit the
Graduate Studies webpage on the VWU website.

Construction continues on a variety of projects. The Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center is progressing beautifully (watch the building come to life through our
live construction cam), and work began this week on the restoration/renovation of the Bell Tower.

This morning I deliver the Commencement Address at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy before heading to Oklahoma City for the NCAA Division III Softball Championship. We wish the Marlins the best of luck as they defend their championship title, and also congratulate our four-time cross country and track All-American Marissa Coombs as she concluded her phenomenal career at Virginia Wesleyan yesterday during the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championship.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Marlin SportSplash

Marissa Coombs will make her way back to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship this Thursday! Read more in our latest edition of Marlin SportSplash:

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Photo Gallery: 2018 Baccalaureate Service

Additional photos from last Friday's Baccalaureate Service, featuring a wonderful sermon by Rev. Dr. Karla Kincannon '76:

2018 Division III Softball Championship Bracket

The official bracket for the 2018 Division III Softball Championship! Get the printable version at:

Monday, May 21, 2018

Enjoyable Evening with Good Friends and Presidential Colleagues

Enjoyable evening with good friends and presidential colleagues NL Bishop (Jefferson College of Health Sciences), Meredith Woo (Sweet Briar College), and Ron Crutcher (University of Richmond) at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia — VCIC Board Dinner at Sweet Briar College.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Special Distinctions

It was such an honor to present two very special distinctions at yesterday’s Commencement in Convocation Hall of the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Environmentalist, educator, and First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia Pam Northam was recognized with the Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, and Karla Kincannon, VWU ‘76, national leader and scholar in the United Methodist Church, was presented the Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa. Joining us for the presentation to Dr. Northam is (from left): Dr. Maynard Schaus, Associate Provost; Mr. David Kaufman, Chair of the VWU Board of Trustees; and Dr. Tim O’Rourke, Provost and Vice President. Joining on the platform for the presentation to Dr. Kincannon: Dr. Craig Wansink, Brock Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at VWU, Mr. Kaufman, and Dr. O’Rourke.

Photo Gallery: 2018 Commencement Ceremonies

Congratulations to the Virginia Wesleyan University Class of 2018! View our photo gallery of the day's events:

Saturday, May 19, 2018

VWU Softball Seniors

We arranged for the seven members of the Virginia Wesleyan Softball team who had the NCAA Super Regional to walk first during today's Commencement (the NCAA moved the game to accommodate them). I snapped this picture of them from the president's seat on stage.

2018 Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

Following the VWU Commencement Ceremony today, we held an Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony for four of our graduates. Drew Fairbanks, Alex Gallant, Jake Morgan, and Rolonda Taylor were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. We congratulate them on this tremendous accomplishment and thank them for their service to our country. Pictured with Army ROTC Monarch Battalion leadership Lieutenant Colonel Michael Warren (right) and his staff at the ceremony.

Conferring of Degrees

The conferring of degrees to the Virginia Wesleyan University Class of 2018. Congratulations!

Commencement is Underway

Virginia Wesleyan University’s 2018 Commencement Ceremony is underway!

One hour until the ceremony begins!

If you’re unable to join us in person, watch live at:

Friday, May 18, 2018

2018 Baccalaureate Service

It was a very special evening at our Baccalaureate Service honoring the Virginia Wesleyan University Class of 2018. The service included beautiful performances by the Wesleyan Chorale, student reflections from seniors Dante Davis and Nich Hipple, and inspirational words from speaker Rev. Dr. Karla Kincannon ‘76, who spoke of justice, kindness, and walking humbly with God. At top (from left): Professor Craig Wansink, Dr. Keith Moore (Vice President for Student Affairs), Rev. Kincannon, David Waggoner (Vice President for Enrollment), David Kaufman (VWU Board Chair), and Chaplain Greg West. Bottom (from left): Dante Davis ‘18, Rev. Kincannon, and Nich Hipple ‘18.

In Just 24 Hours...

...Virginia Wesleyan University Commencement!

Nota Bene: Summer at Virginia Wesleyan

As you may know, it has been my tradition to move my daily messages to a weekly format during the summer months. Following Commencement, I will send one Nota Bene each Friday, with a recap of the week at Virginia Wesleyan.

Whether you are staying on campus for the summer or you will be reading from afar, I wish you the best for an enjoyable few months. If we are not already connected through social media, I invite you to keep in touch through these channels:


Facebook: @ScottDMillerprez

Instagram: @prezscottmiller

LinkedIn: Scott D. Miller, Ph.D.

Flickr: Scott D. Miller

(Be sure to subscribe to Dialogue for daily updates via email)

Have a wonderful summer, and congratulations once again to the Virginia Wesleyan University Class of 2018!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Rehearsal for Commencement

While a steady rain blanketed the campus and surrounding area, 308 students (below) gathered in the Cunningham Gymnasium to receive instructions for Saturday's Commencement. Meanwhile, crews are preparing Convocation Hall in the Jane P. Batten Student Center for the festivities. Our first graduation as Virginia Wesleyan University was to be held on the steps of the beautiful new Greer Environmental Sciences Center, however, bad weather for the remainder of the week necessitated a move inside.

Goode Center Update

Contractors topping off the backside of the new Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. To provide perspective, that's a person working there in the middle at the top. Below, the front side of the stage area.

Peaceful Morning at the Goode Center

Peaceful morning on the cove at the new Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Nota Bene: Spring Meeting of the Board of Trustees

The spring meeting of the Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees was held on campus yesterday, May 16. We had a very productive session with the Board, including new Trustee Tim Bailey, a 1983 Virginia Wesleyan graduate and division president of Compass Group/Canteen. And as always, we are grateful for the leadership of Board Chair David Kaufman.

We began the morning with outstanding presentations by faculty highlighting our 12-month academic model. Dr. Deidre Gonsalves-Jackson, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Winter and Summer Sessions, discussed expansion of Winter and Summer Sessions and presented on “Winter Session Travel Experiences in Tropical Ecology,” detailing her recent student trip to Costa Rica. Dr. Bill McConnell, Assistant Professor of Education, shared information about STEM-based programs held here on campus and two new pre-collegiate summer programs in a presentation fittingly titled, “Educating the Next Generation of Bay Leaders.”

Student Government Association President Nich Hipple ’18 shared heartfelt and humorous reflections about his time at Wesleyan and presented the Senior Class Gift of $4,000 to Board Chair David Kaufman. We appreciate Nich being there with us and giving the Trustees valuable insight into the student experience.

The Trustees recognized Dr. Steven Emmanuel for his 2018 SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award, presenting him with a resolution honoring his achievements. A resolution was also presented to Mavis McKenley ’11 recognizing her phenomenal leadership and service to the University as Chair of the Alumni Council and an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees.

The Board heard reports and approved actions from the Committee on Trusteeship as well as the Audit, Academic Affairs, Enrollment, Student Affairs, Administration and Finance, and Advancement Committees. The Board elected its officers for the 2018-19 Academic Year and formally approved new independent auditors and new banking services. They also received a comprehensive update on recently completed and ongoing capital projects, including completion of the Greer Environmental Sciences Center and the Frank Blocker Youth Center (along with the Avenue of the Sciences and Greenhouse); completion of $600,000 of donor-funded corrective maintenance; decorative fencing installed around the campus perimeter; relocation of the Marlin statue to the pond at the entrance to campus; completion of East Gate and Marlin Way (which will be open for Commencement); updates to Kenneth R. Perry Field; the addition of the Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center; relocation of the Alpine Tower to the recently-completed Outdoor Athletic Complex; and the forthcoming Broyles Field at TowneBank Park and the residential complex across from campus, Coastal 61 at Oxford Village.

We concluded the meeting with a “Behind the Curtain” presentation on the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center detailing the design and special features of this outstanding, forthcoming addition to our campus. Dr. Travis Malone, Dean of the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities, and Suzanne Savage, Associate Vice President for Advancement and Board Relations, joined Michael Schnekser from Tymoff + Moss and Eric Harrison from Hourigan Group for an inside look at the center’s interior and exterior features. We anticipate a potential on-site visit during the Trustees' fall meeting in October.

We thank the Board for their continued enthusiasm and commitment. This is a transformational time in the history of our institution, and we are grateful for their leadership and support. We look forward to seeing many of our Trustees at Baccalaureate and Commencement this weekend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Weather Alert: Commencement Moved Indoors

Weather Alert: With thunderstorms expected today and through the weekend, our 2018 Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday in the Convocation Hall inside the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Read more at

Wonderful Spring Meeting with the Board of Trustees

Wonderful spring meeting today of the Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees. We began the morning with special presentations by Professors Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson and Bill McConnell on our 12-month academic model and later received a "Behind the Curtain" preview of the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. We recognized Professor Steven Emmanuel for his 2018 SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award and Alumni Council Chair and Trustee Mavis McKenley '11 for her service to the institution. Student Government Association President Nich Hipple '18 shared reflections from his time at Wesleyan and presented the Senior Class Gift. The Board also heard reports and took action on a variety of topics from the Committee on Trusteeship as well as the Committees of Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, Advancement, Audit, Enrollment, and Student Affairs. It was such a pleasure to have our Trustees on campus and we look forward to seeing them again at Commencement this weekend.

Nota Bene: Welcome, Board of Trustees

Today we’ll welcome the Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees to campus for their spring meeting.

Trustees will hear reports and take action on a variety of topics from the Committee on Trusteeship as well as the Committees of Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, Advancement, Audit, Enrollment, and Student Affairs. They will also hear special presentations on our 12-month academic model and the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, and Professor Steven Emmanuel will be recognized for his 2018 SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award. Senior Nich Hipple, president of the Student Government Association, will share reflections from his time at Wesleyan and present the Senior Class Gift.

As the University’s governing body, the Board of Trustees supports our mission, secures adequate financial resources for institutional operations, and establishes long-range goals and institutional policies. Trustees are elected to staggered terms and include leaders from business and industry, education, and the United Methodist Church.

We are pleased to have some of the most admired and respected leaders from our community guiding our Board, chaired by David Kaufman, and we look forward to a productive meeting this morning.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

VWU Baseball Send-Off

Send-off luncheon today with the coaching staff of our NCAA Regional Playoff-bound Virginia Wesleyan University baseball team. They open NCAA Regional play Thursday in York, Pennsylvania, against Misericordia University. Pictured standing (from left): Head Coach Chris Francis and Assistant Coach Sean Montgomery; and sitting (from left), Assistant Coach Tom Seay and Willie Harrell, Associate Director of the Batten Center.