Friday, June 29, 2018

Nota Bene: A New Fiscal Year Begins

We are so pleased to welcome Tina Hill, who will officially join us July 1 as Virginia Wesleyan’s new Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. As I have shared previously, Tina is one of the most experienced and respected athletic administrators in the field, having spent the past 28 years in NCAA Division III athletics.
Tina comes to us following a 10-year post as athletics director at Randolph College, and has also worked at Cornell College, California Lutheran University, and Elizabethtown College. She is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and has served on various NCAA and conference committees—including a term as the chair of the NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Committee. She currently serves on the NCAA Division III Financial Aid Committee and as chair of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Board of Directors. She holds a B.S. in physical education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and an M.S. in sports management from the University of Richmond.

We welcome Tina as our newest Marlin and look forward, under her leadership, to building on a prominent list of athletic successes and facility improvements in recent years.

Also on July 1, I will begin a two-year term as chair of the Climate Leadership Steering Committee, the chief oversight body of the Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments facilitated by the non-profit Second Nature (watch the
video announcement). As chair, I will also serve on the Board of Directors of Second Nature. A signature program of Second Nature, the Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments include a Carbon Commitment (focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions), a Resilience Commitment (focused on climate adaptation and building community capacity), and a Climate Commitment that integrates both. We are proud to be a part of this network, which is comprised of more than 600 colleges and universities who have committed to take action on climate.

The 2017-2018 President to President thought-leadership series, for which I serve as co-executive editor with long-time colleague Dr. Marylouise Fennell, is now
available for download. “How Disruptive Innovation is Shaping the Next-Gen Campus and Enabling Student Success” focuses on how new ways of thinking are altering the higher education landscape. Over the course of 10 chapters, college and university presidents share their experiences, insights, and approaches regarding the issues their institutions have faced. We are now hard at work on the 2018-2019 series, which will explore “Ten Challenges Facing Higher Education and How They Are Shaping the Future Student Experience.” 

Finally, part of my job as president is to make sure Virginia Wesleyan University students are truly learning, not just working toward credentials. I was recently asked to weigh in on this topic in a video segment by higher education news publication
Education Dive. I hope you enjoy it.

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend. And if you haven't made your June 30, fiscal-year-end gift to Virginia Wesleyan, you can do so online at
www.vwu.edu/giveonline.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Great to See Longtime Friend Lynn Clements

So nice to visit today with former VWU Trustee and longtime friend Lynn Clements. For many years Lynn was the Executive Director of the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and moved last year to become the Director of Slover Library in Norfolk. Lynn's daughter, Leslie, is a graduate of Virginia Wesleyan University.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Great to visit with Elaine Luria, owner of the Mermaid Factory, at this morning's Urban League of Hampton Roads Changing Lives Breakfast. Elaine has been a good friend of higher education and Virginia Wesleyan University. She is running for Congress.
 

Urban League Changing Lives Breakfast

So nice to catch up with Gil Bland, CEO of the Urban League of Hampton Roads, at the 12th Annual Changing Lives Breakfast this morning in Chesapeake.
 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Photo Gallery: Marlin Nation Orientation

Welcome aboard, Class of 2022! View photos from our Marlin Nation Orientation: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmi8D5hC
 

President's Parents Roundtable Alumni Reunite

Mary (Durkovich) Canter '86, President's Parents Roundtable Co-Chair, welcomed Bryan '87 and Kari Oliff while they were back on campus for Marlin Nation Orientation. Their son, Garrett, is an incoming student of the Class of 2022. Also pictured: Lori Simpers Harris '94, Executive Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Join us for Summer Session July 9

Virginia Wesleyan's next Summer Session begins July 9—online or in the classroom. Learn more at www.vwu.edu/summersession.


Friday, June 22, 2018

Proud Marlin Mom

Great to meet Ellen Lane Gazala, Virginia Wesleyan Class of 1991, while she was back on campus today for Marlin Nation Orientation. Ellen's daughter, Sarah, is an incoming student of the Class of 2022.

Meeting New Marlin Parents

Wonderful to meet many of our new Marlin parents during an afternoon interest meeting for the President's Parents Roundtable. The tradition of involving parents in the life of the University is essential to student success and the future of our institution. Pictured top with Dave Baker and Shayne Serbati (Olivia Serbati '22), and below sharing campus updates with the group.
 

It's a Great Day to Be a Marlin!

At today's orientation welcome session with SGA President Taylor Major '19 and Student Affairs VP Keith Moore.

Welcome, VWU Class of 2022!

Excited to have our newest Marlins and their families on campus today for the first of two Marlin Nation Orientation days. Pictured top with SGA President Taylor Major '19, Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Moore, and our very own Bob Marlin, and below at the morning welcome session.

Nota Bene: Welcome Aboard: Marlin Nation Orientation

We are so excited to welcome our newest Marlins to campus today, and again on Monday, for Marlin Nation Orientation (MNO).

New students and their families will create their own orientation journeys, choosing from a wide variety of information sessions and special “destinations.” A guiding philosophy for MNO is to offer engaging activities that will leave our guests feeling invigorated and immersed in Virginia Wesleyan culture. The program is carefully designed to facilitate a smooth transition to the campus experience and to provide new students and families with everything they need to know to be successful during their first year.

Our engaging information sessions are meant to inspire, with topics like "First-Year Facts: Must-Know Information for New Marlins," “VWU From a Student Perspective,” “Navigating Finances,” “Campus Safety: What You Should Know,” and “Exploring Coastal Virginia.” Students will also meet with academic advisors to build their class schedules.

Featured destinations will be open continuously throughout the day, giving students the chance to explore our beautiful 300-acre campus. These areas include the Learning Center, the Lighthouse, Hofheimer Library, the Fitness Center, Campus Security, the Chaplain’s Office, and the Office of the President! I look forward to seeing many new faces and meeting our newest students and their families.

Many thanks to all faculty, staff and students who have contributed to the success of this year’s Marlin Nation Orientation, and a special thank you to our dedicated Student Affairs and Enrollment Services staff members.

Please be sure to give our newest students and families a warm Wesleyan welcome!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Presenting at the Executive Leadership Academy

Today I had the pleasure once again (for the seventh year) of conducting a workshop for aspiring college presidents at the Executive Leadership Academy, sponsored by the American Academic Leadership Institute, the Council of Independent Colleges, and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. My presentation, "Planning the First 100 Days," shared insight on navigating the months leading up to a college presidency, as well as the first critical days in office. Pictured with Patricia Hammer, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Hollins University, one of 40 participants in the year-long higher ed leadership program.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Informative Discussion at USGLC With Howard Dean

An informative discussion at the USGLC meeting this evening looking ahead to the 2018 midterms with Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont (1991-2003) and Chair of the Democratic National Committee (2005-2009). He now works as a political consultant and commentator.

Good Visit with U.S. Senator Chris Coons

Good to visit with U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) meeting in Washington, D.C. When I was President of Wesley College, the Senator was the county executive of New Castle County, DE, and provided tremendous assistance as we established an off-campus Adult Studies Center. He won a special election in 2010 to succeed Ted Kaufman, who had been appointed to the seat when Joe Biden resigned to become Vice President.

Discussing Mid-term Politics With Chris Christie

A discussion of mid-term politics with former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He became an ABC News contributor earlier this year after leaving office.

15th Anniversary Tribute of the PEPFAR Program

15th anniversary tribute and lunch discussion of the PEPFAR (U.S. President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief) program with former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle of North Dakota. Since retiring from the Senate, he has led The Daschle Group, a Public Policy Advisory of Baker Donelson, a large law firm and lobbying group.

Visiting with Madeleine Albright at USGLC

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with former U.S Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at today’s U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) meeting in Washington, D.C. She was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1993-97) and is the first woman to have become the United States Secretary of State (1997-2001).

Catching up with Colleagues at the USGLC Summit

I enjoyed catching up with former presidential colleague Richard “Dick" Celeste at today’s U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) meeting in Washington, D.C. In addition to serving as President of Colorado College, he is also former Governor of Ohio and U.S. Ambassador to India.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Wesleyan Chorale Takes the Stage at VAUMC Annual Conference

Dr. Bryson Mortensen led the Wesleyan Chorale in a special performance last night during the Service for the Ordering of Ministry at the Annual Conference of the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church in Hampton. The opportunity to perform during the conference is a great honor, and we are so proud of our talented student choir.

Alumni Wall in Godwin Hall

Nicholas Hipple '18 is the newest face on the wall of successful Virginia Wesleyan Alumni outside the Alumni Suite in the Trinder Advancement Center in Godwin Hall. Nich is an honors graduate and two-time President of the Student Government Association. He will attend graduate school at Virginia Tech this year.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Emily Spivey Shares Her Marlin Spirit

Enrollment Counselor Emily Spivey staffing the Virginia Wesleyan University table in Assembly Hall at the Hampton Roads Convention Center today. During the three days of the Virginia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, over 3,000 visitors are expected to visit the table.

Busy Day at the VAUMC Annual Conference

A busy day at the Hampton Roads Convention Center as we met with pastors and delegates representing the 1,100 United Methodist Churches in the Virginia Conference. The day started with my final meeting as chair of the Association of Educational Institutions and was followed by our AEI presentation to the Annual Conference delegation (below). My term as Chair ends today—it has been an honor and privilege to serve in that role the past two years. Pictured (right) with the incoming chair, David Johns, President of Ferrum College, and John Peters, Executive Director of AEI. We also had a great turnout at our luncheon for Virginia Wesleyan pastors who serve the Virginia Conference. Great to have our 2018 Baccalaureate Speaker, Karla Kincannon ‘76, ‘18, and her husband Jim Noseworthy with us for the occasion. Jim is the former Assistant General Secretary for Higher Education of the United Methodist Church.

A Privilege to Serve as Chair of the AEI

It has been an honor and privilege to serve the past two years as Chair of the Association of Educational Institutions of the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church. My term as Chair ends today at the Virginia Annual Conference at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton. Pictured with the incoming chair, David Johns, President of Ferrum College, and John Peters, Executive Director of AEI.

Friday, June 15, 2018

VWU Front and Center at the VAUMC Annual Conference

The Virginia Wesleyan University display table is up and running at the Annual Conference of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. Looking forward to visiting with delegates tomorrow at the Hampton Roads Convention Center.

Fun Times at “FanFest With the Champs"

So fun to celebrate our repeat NCAA Division III national softball champions last night at “FanFest With the Champs" at Shorebreak in Virginia Beach! Stay tuned for details on additional opportunities to celebrate with the team in coming months.

Developing the Whole Student: Cultivating vs. Credentialing

Part of my job is to make sure Virginia Wesleyan University students are truly learning, not just working toward credentials. Thanks to Education Dive for asking me to weigh in on this topic in this new video segment.

Presidents address a central question in higher education: How can leaders ensure students are learning?
https://www.educationdive.com/news/presidents-address-a-central-question-in-higher-education-how-can-leaders/525700/


  





Nota Bene: Much to Celebrate

Go Marlins! A fun evening was had by all last night as we celebrated our repeat NCAA Division III national softball champions at “FanFest With the Champs." Several of our award-winning players and coaches joined us for the event at Shorebreak Pizza—a Virginia Wesleyan favorite co-owned by VWU alumnus JB Maas ’01— and many guests posed for photo ops with the 2017 and 2018 championship trophies. Special thanks to our Alumni Relations staff for organizing this memorable event. We will have many more opportunities to celebrate the team in coming months, and I will be sure to share event details.

The Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church will hold its Annual Conference this weekend at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. I look forward to the annual Presidents' Breakfast as well as a presentation by the Association of Educational Institutions, a group I am honored to chair. We'll once again host a luncheon during the meeting for attending clergy members who are VWU alumni, and on Saturday evening, Dr. Bryson Mortensen will lead the Wesleyan Chorale in a special performance during a Service for the Ordering of Ministry. The opportunity to perform during the conference is a great honor, and we are proud that our talented choir has been selected for this occasion.

I’ll travel to Washington, D.C., early next week for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) State Leaders Summit. As a member of the USGLC’s Virginia Advisory Committee, I am proud to work alongside the organization to further educate the American public and policymakers on the importance of investing in diplomacy, development, and defense in building a strategic, modern foreign policy.

If you are on campus this summer, you may have noticed that structural work—funded by a private donor—has begun on the Bell Tower. The 44-year-old tower, deteriorating in recent years, is scheduled for complete restoration and renovation by the end of September.

After a soggy spring on campus, we are back on track for an early 2019 opening of the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. As always, I invite you to follow the building’s progress on our live construction cam.

Wishing you a safe and relaxing weekend and a productive week ahead.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Structural Work Begins on the Bell Tower

Structural work began this week on the Bell Tower in front of Monumental Chapel at Virginia Wesleyan University. The 44-year-old tower, deteriorating in recent years, is scheduled for complete restoration and renovation by the end of September. The restoration is being funded by a private donor.

Monday, June 11, 2018

VWU Faculty Focus: June 2018

Read up on the latest accomplishments by Virginia Wesleyan University faculty and staff in this month's VWU Faculty Focus: https://conta.cc/2JviqV4

Saturday, June 9, 2018

VFIC Board of Trustees Reception and Dinner

With longtime friends, Ken and Sheila Garren, at tonight’s VFIC Board of Trustees reception and dinner at Rubino’s in Hot Springs, VA. Ken is in his 17th year as President of the University of Lynchburg.

Great Visit With Nancy Oliver Gray

Wonderful to visit with good friend and long-time presidential colleague Nancy Oliver Gray at last night’s VFIC Board of Trustees reception and dinner at The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA. Nancy was the long-time successful President of Hollins University until her retirement last year.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Provost O'Rourke Leads VFIC Panel

VWU Provost and Vice President Tim O’Rourke leading a panel discussion titled “Academic Trends and Challenges at Independent Colleges” at the annual meeting of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges Board of Trustees at The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA. Other panelists: Jeff Legro, Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Richmond, and Sally Selden, Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Lynchburg. Tim is the longest serving Provost among VFIC institutions.

Productive Meetings of the VFIC Board of Trustees

Productive meetings of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges Board of Trustees at The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA. Pictured with David Bushman, President of Bridgewater College and Chair of the VFIC College and University Presidents; Ken Ruscio, President of VFIC, and Tom Goode, new Chair of the VFIC Board of Trustees.

Nota Bene: Spring 2018 President's List

I am pleased to share the Spring 2018 President’s List, which recognizes full-time students who earned a 4.0 grade point average last semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have taken nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses and have no grades of F or incomplete.
 
This achievement signifies a tremendous amount of hard work and focus, and it is truly an academic accomplishment to be celebrated. A reception will be held in the fall to honor these outstanding students. Congratulations!
 
Virginia Wesleyan University Spring 2018 President’s List
 
Amanda C. Albert                  Skyler  Lattuca
Sydnie E. Allen                     Jordan N. Latvis
Amanda C. Archer                 Mayanni A. McCourty
Kelly J. Bateman                   Travon D. Nimmo
Sandra C. Bowman                Brooke L. Novkovic
Elizabeth C. Brisson              Lydia M. O'Connor
Mary K. Brockenbrough         David R. O'Rork
Katherine E. Burton               Kathleen M. Peloquin
Emilee K. Caldbeck               Ashley N. Peterson
LeMar  Callaway III                 R. K. Phillips
Tiffany M. Cariker                   Jessica C. Pittman
Jacklyn A. Cheely                  Alex M. Powers
Madalyn A. Chevalier             Sarah M. Puchalla
Allison T. Chism                    Mickella J. Rast
Riley M. Conrad                    Morgan M. Reed
Kayla M. Dennis                    Kathleen E. Roberts
Samantha N. Espejo              Kelsi P. Robins
Christopher D. Fegan             Aimelie E. Ronquillo
Lynne G. Fetter                     Charlene V. Santos
Brandon L. Foster                  Skye M. Seutter
Kathryn L. Gerrish                 Joshua G. Shuman
Mary A. Gower                      Samuel J. Smart
Kathryn A. S. Grainer             Serena V. Smith
Vernon K. Hanbury II              Jessica R. Suter
Shana L. Harrison                  Alyssa M. Taylor
Elise R. Herring                     Yasmine N. Tyler
Abigail L. Horgan                   Kelci L. Vandiver
Michael E. Jakubowski          Maribel  Veras
Andrew B. Johnson                Keith  Wallace Jr.
Catalina A. Jones                  Luke E. Wentling
Ashley A. Kline                     Kaci N. Wertz
Miranda A. Klobosits             Tayler L. Wilson

The Wesleyan Review: June 8, 2018

Read up on the latest news and events at Virginia Wesleyan University in this week's Wesleyan Review: https://conta.cc/2Jha5YV

Annual Meeting of the VFIC Presidents

Annual meeting of presidents of Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia.