Tuesday, July 31, 2018

VTAG Applications Due July 31

Don't forget, applications for the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG) are due today, July 31.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Marlins Named to VaSID All-Academic Team

Congrats to Hanna Hull, Jayla Harris, Emilee Pierson, and Zoe Traficante on being named to the VaSID All-Academic Team! I'm proud of these these accomplished Marlins and thank them for representing Women's Softball, Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, and VWU so well: http://www.vwuathletics.com/sports/sball/2017-18/releases/20180730hk0bjc

Sunday, July 29, 2018

New Continuous Flow Intersection Near Campus

Coming to the intersection of Northampton Blvd. and Military Highway (near Virginia Wesleyan University) tomorrow:


Rev. Jim Earley '77 Publishes "Thursday Thoughts"

Congratulations to 1977 Virginia Wesleyan graduate Rev. Jim Earley, who has published the book "Thursday Thoughts: Reflections on Extraordinary Grace in Ordinary Life."

VWU Represented at World Lacrosse Championship

Marlins going global! Congratulations to Virginia Wesleyan Men's Lacrosse coach, A.J. Smith, and rising sophomore, Josh Richardson, on their outstanding job representing France and Scotland in the 2018 World Lacrosse World Lacrosse Championships.

Virginia Wesleyan Represented at World Lacrosse Championship: http://www.vwuathletics.com/sports/mlax/2017-18/releases/20180727fgqjcv

Friday, July 27, 2018

Virginia Wesleyan Environmental Institute: Summer Scholars

I had the privilege of visiting this afternoon with 22 academically talented ninth grade girls and their families for the closing ceremony of our week long Environmental Sciences Summer Institute in the VWU Greer Environmental Sciences Center. So many fascinating culminating project presentations by these future science superstars. Many thanks to VWU’s Bill McConnell (Education Department) for designing and implementing this outstanding program. #VWU #HottestCollegeinCoastalVA


Enjoyed Today's Luncheon with Sheila and Bernice

Enjoyed today’s luncheon with the Aramark/Physical Plant staff and spending time with special friends, Sheila and Bernice.

Nota Bene: Week in Review

I hope everyone had a great week. Despite the rain, brick and structural work continued on the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center (view recent drone footage of the construction), landscaping and seeding was completed along Marlin Way, at the outdoor athletics complex (watch video), and the East Gate area, and the renovation/restoration of the Bell Tower/Beacon. We look forward to showcasing these improvements to our returning students and welcoming approximately 450 new Marlins this fall.

News from United Methodist Higher Education
Earlier this week I attended the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church (NASCUMC) Board of Directors meeting in Williamsburg. I have served on the 18-member NASCUMC Board for many years and the annual meeting each summer is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about trends on the campuses of the 119-affiliated institutions and important issues in the church.

Mark Hanshaw, Associate General Secretary for the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry, updated the Board on the hotly debated work of the Commission on a Way Forward.

New Alumni Council Officers

With the start of a new fiscal year brings a change in leadership for our Alumni Council. We thank Mavis McKenley '11 (Vice President and Trust Officer, AMG National Trust Bank) for her two years of service as the chair of the Alumni Council. During her tenure, alumni participation and engagement continued to rise through new initiatives such as our Spring Alumni Weekend and regional alumni gatherings. We are grateful for her leadership and look forward to her continued guidance as the immediate past chair.

I am pleased to welcome our new Alumni Council leadership for 2018-2019. Troy DeLawrence '93 (Quality Assurance Senior Specialist, CACI International) will serve as our new chair. He most recently served as the vice chair of the Alumni Council and as chair of the Alumni Resource Committee. Kevin Otey '05 (Director of Strategic Initiatives, Hampton Roads Community Action Program) will transition to vice chair from his previous roles as secretary of the Alumni Council and chair of the Alumni Engagement Committee. The Council will elect a new secretary and new committee chairs at their first meeting at the start of the fall semester. View a complete list of our Alumni Council members on the VWU website.

Please join me in thanking Mavis, Troy, and Kevin for their ongoing support and contributions to our campus and community.

New Executive Director of Volunteer Hampton Roads
Senior Vice President Mort Gamble and I had a wonderful meeting last week with our friends, Kate Meechan and Stephanie Gorham, from Volunteer Hampton Roads, who have an office here on campus. Kate retires this summer from her role as VHR CEO/Executive Director, and Ms. Gorham has been named the new Executive Director. Dr. Gamble also serves on the VHR Board.

Virginia Wesleyan Environmental Institute: Summer Scholars
Another very exciting happening on campus is the Virginia Wesleyan Environmental Institute: Summer Scholars. The Institute is a week-long residential environmental science program designed for top-performing, rising ninth grade girls. Participants will take part in authentic environmental science, technology, engineering, and math (E-STEM) experiences alongside environmental science professionals in academia, industry, business, government, and non-profit organizations in order to better understand the vast amount of opportunities for women in E-STEM fields to make a positive difference in the world. I thank Dr. Bill McConnell, Assistant Professor of Education, and Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, Associate Professor of Biology, for their collaborative effort leading this successful program. Learn more about the Summer Scholars program.

“Effort to save the Bay offers lessons for higher education”
My monthly column in The Virginian-Pilot discusses a unique resource available to us in Coastal Virginia and its pertinence to higher education. Not only does the presence of the Chesapeake Bay provide experiential learning, lending itself as a classroom for our students, but the ongoing restoration also provides enlightenment of students, their families, and the general public. The same is true of colleges and universities across the nation. Higher education institutions, along with primary and secondary schools, can relate to the efforts to sustain the bay’s health and productivity.

News and Notes
Speaking of The Virginian-Pilot, in case you missed it, Elaine Aird’s mother, Rita Swan, who many of you know from her visits to various campus functions, was featured this week for her good will and big heart. Rita and a friend offer free hugs at the Little Creek USO, a home away from home for active duty military in our community. Read the full story.

A little humor from our friend John-Henry Doucette '01, editor and publisher of the Princess Anne Independent News and a VWU adjunct: http://princessanneindy.com/2018/07/17/editor-13/

Virginia Beach Sports Center

Recently, the City of Virginia Beach approved the construction of a new multi-purpose sports center on lands adjacent to the Virginia Beach Convention Center. A number of you have asked about our advocacy for the new Virginia Beach Sport Center in the days leading up to the City Council Vote. Linked here is my letter of support on behalf of VWU and some additional information about the new facility can be found on the City website.

Services for Trustee Anne Shumadine
Earlier this week I shared the passing of longtime Virginia Wesleyan Trustee Anne B. Shumadine, who was an inspiration to our entire campus community. A memorial service will be held this Sunday, July 29, at 2 p.m. at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 7400 Hampton Blvd. in Norfolk.

May we all keep Anne’s family in our hearts and honor her legacy as we continue to fulfill our University mission.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Nota Bene: 2018 Alumni Awards

It is my pleasure to announce the 2018 Alumni Awards, an honor our Alumni Council bestows upon Virginia Wesleyan University graduates in recognition of outstanding professional and/or personal accomplishments in any field of endeavor. The Alumni Awards will be presented during our annual Founders Day festivities on Thursday, September 6, as a way of paying tribute to our roots, recognizing key individuals that helped to shape our history, and celebrating the institution's bright future.

I'm proud to congratulate the following alumni on this well-deserved distinction that recognizes their many accomplishments since graduating from VWU:

Distinguished Alumnus Award
Joseph P. Ruddy '83
, Chief Innovation Officer, Port of Virginia
Joseph P. Ruddy was named Chief Innovation Officer for The Port of Virginia in September 2014. In this role, Joe oversees the port’s Strategic Planning, Marketing & Communications, Process Excellence, and Commercial Pricing Teams. In his previous role as Chief Operations Officer, Joe helped Virginia International Terminals (VIT) earn a reputation as an honest and reliable terminal operations organization. Prior to being named COO, Joe served as the Director of Operations and Labor at VIT and also held a senior position at Virginia Intermodal Management (VIM), a subsidiary company previously responsible for managing and administering all aspects of a port-wide chassis pool. In addition to his previous experience at VIT and VIM, Joe held several positions with international ship line companies including France’s CMA-CGM, the world’s third largest container carrier, and National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (NSCSA). In addition to Virginia Wesleyan's Corporate Leaders Council, Joe serves on various boards, including the Hampton Roads Shipping Association, Cystic Fibrosis of Hampton Roads, and Beach FC. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Global Excellence Award, presented by the Virginia International Business Council, based in Richmond. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Wesleyan University and a master’s degree from the College of New Jersey.

Alumni Service Award
Clayton J. Singleton '94
, Artist/Teacher, Norfolk City Public Schools
Clayton Singleton’s blend of verbal and visual art inspires, motivates, and educates. In addition to being a member of the Hampton Roads National Poetry Slam Team, he has been noted in many publications ranging from The Virginian-Pilot to Time magazine. Clayton has created public art, won numerous awards, and produced several solo and group shows including Walking on Paper at ArtWorks gallery, Art Installation Performance at SONO gallery, and Look Beyond at d’ART Center at The Selden, which benefited The Autism Society of Tidewater. The Virginia Opera commissioned Clayton to design sets for Porgy and Bess and Freedom’s Journey. Clayton has served as a member of Norfolk's All-City Teaching Team, The d'ART Center Board of Directors and Norfolk Arts Commission. In addition to helping rewrite Norfolk's art curriculum, he produced solo exhibitions such as Defining Beauty at The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Cultural Shift at The James Wise Gallery at Norfolk State University, Love of the Game at The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, and Valedictorian which consists of paintings, mixed media and video; an extension of the group show Looking Both Ways: Roots in African American Art at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center. Moreover, Singleton exhibited at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, The Chrysler Museum of Art, and has co-curated regional group exhibitions such as NOW: African-American Artists in Tidewater. Most recently he produced a solo exhibition for the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center titled Future Love Paradise.

Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award

Alisa W. Crider '10, Public Relations Coordinator, Hampton Roads Transit
Alisa Crider is an active individual dedicated to advocacy and community development in the Hampton Roads Region. As the Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator at Hampton Roads Transit, she has not only advanced her agency in the region, but has brought a national spotlight to all of Hampton Roads. Her articles have been featured multiple times in national publications, along with her regional television and radio appearances. Prior to HRT, Crider served as communications and marketing manager for the Hampton Roads Chamber. She is a founding member of the Chamber’s Young Professional Program, tHRive—the region's fastest growing young professionals group with more than 2,000 members. Currently, she serves as Chairwoman for tHRive and on the Chamber’s Regional Board of Directors and their Executive Committee, where she ensures millennials have a voice in the region. She also serves on the Young Professionals Leadership Council for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Virginia Chapter and as the Media Directory Chair for the Public Relations Society of America Virginia Chapter. Crider is a recipient of the 2016 CoVa Biz Millennials on the Move award and a 2018 graduate of the 30th LEAD Hampton Roads Class. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in communications with a focus in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Virginia Wesleyan.

Please join me in congratulating our 2018 Alumni Awards recipients. We thank Joe, Clayton, and Alisa for setting a superb example of the value of a liberal arts education at Virginia Wesleyan, and we look forward to celebrating them this fall.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Progress Continues: Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center

Progress continues on the new Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. Construction is expected to be completed in February.

Nota Bene: Passing of VWU Trustee Anne B. Shumadine

It is with an extremely heavy heart that I share the passing of longtime Virginia Wesleyan University Trustee Anne B. Shumadine. Anne's service to the University as a member of our Board was thoughtful, gracious, and indicative of her devotion to the ideals of education and commitment to community. A guiding inspiration to her fellow Trustees and to our entire campus community, Anne will be deeply missed.

Anne joined Virginia Wesleyan's Board of Trustees in 2005. Her mother, Helen Ballard Hoffman, also served on the Board for more than 35 years and was recognized by the University in 2003 with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Anne’s son, Jim Shumadine, recently joined the Board, representing three generations of service to Virginia Wesleyan.

Anne was chair and founder of Signature Family Wealth Advisors, an independent, multi-family office founded in 1994 that is dedicated to providing sophisticated planning solutions to wealthy individuals and families. Anne was active in the business community in Hampton Roads and served on the board of numerous non-profit institutions. She was a former Rector of the Board of Visitors of Eastern Virginia Medical School and former Rector of the Board of Visitors of Old Dominion University. She was a Trustee of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, ACCESS College Foundation, and the ODU Educational Foundation, and a member of the Wellesley College Business Leadership Council.

During the formation of the Batten Honors College in 2017, Virginia Wesleyan University recognized Anne’s leadership and lasting legacy by establishing two-thirds tuition scholarships for Batten Honors College students known as Shumadine Scholars.
Also in 2017, Anne was honored with The T.C. and Elizabeth Clarke Medallion. The Clarke Medallion is the highest honor of the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary, and is awarded by the business school faculty to an individual whose distinguished career and contributions to business management represent the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.

Anne was recognized in 2014 by Junior Achievement of Hampton Roads in the Business Hall of Fame, and in 2011 she received the Citizen Lawyer award from the William & Mary School of Law and the Barron F. Black Community Builder Award from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. She was also recognized in 2011 by LEAD Hampton Roads with its Visionary Award for business leaders. She was a graduate of Wellesley College and William & Mary Law School. 
We are grateful for Anne's numerous contributions to our community and to our institution, which she served so faithfully, and we extend our sincerest sympathy to her husband, Conrad, and two sons, John and Jim.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Dinner and Discussion with Leaders of UMC Higher Education

Enjoyable dinner and discussion at the Williamsburg Winery with leaders of United Methodist higher education — Rev. Dr. Mark Hanshaw, Associate General Secretary, Division of Higher Education, The United Methodist Church, and Amos Nascimento, Associate General Secretary for Global Education.

Delighted to Meet VWU Alumna at NASCUMC Dinner

Delighted to meet Virginia Wesleyan University alumna Ashton Perry Hathaway ‘12 tonight at the #NASCUMC Dinner at the Williamsburg Winery. Ashton was a Fine Arts major and played field hockey. Her husband, Joshua, a VWU Communications grad, played on the Marlins baseball team.

"Impact Players" in American Higher Education

I have enjoyed an active involvement with two nationally prominent, synergistic organizations that have been “impact players” in American higher education for decades. For the last six years I have served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Academic Search, Inc. —the oldest and most respected academic executive search firm. Academic Search, Inc. is an active affiliate of The Interim Registry for College and University Presidents —the oldest and most successful service of its kind. Pictured with Amy Miller, Vice President of The Registry, and Pam Balch and Wanda Bigham, both Senior Consultants with Academic Search. The Registry and Academic Search are sponsors of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church Annual Meeting in Williamsburg.

Catching Up with Presidential Colleague Douglass Lewis

I so enjoyed catching up with long-time presidential colleague Douglass Lewis of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Now President-Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Lewis Center for Church Leadership there, he was President of WTS when I was President of Wesley College in Delaware — we developed a joint program serving the clergy of the Peninsula-Delaware Conference of The United Methodist Church in Dover. He recently authored “Leadership and Change: A President’s Story.”

Good Visit with UMHEF President Bob Fletcher

Good to visit with Bob Fletcher, President of the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation, during the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church (NASCUMC) in Williamsburg. Based in Nashville, the Foundation manages more than $66 million in endowment funds for affiliated institutions.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Meeting with Our Friends from Volunteer Hampton Roads

Wonderful meeting today with our friends from Volunteer Hampton Roads, who have an office here on the Virginia Wesleyan University campus. Pictured (from left) with VWU Senior Vice President Mort Gamble, a member of the VHR Board, Kate Meechan, who retires this summer from her role as VHR CEO/Executive Director, and Stephanie Gorham, the new Executive Director of VHR.