Friday, August 31, 2018

2018 VWU Golf Fundraiser

A wonderful turnout today for the annual Virginia Wesleyan University Golf Fundraiser at Sleepy Hole Golf Course in Suffolk. Top, pictured (from left) with Eli Miller '00, Joe Harris '94 and Rick Bidnick, Head Golf Coach. Bottom, pictured (from left) with Coach Bidnick and women's golfers Maggie Kingora, Hannah Turner, and Ashlee Bobzin. Over 130 golfers participated in the event which raised funds for the men's and women's golf program and Special Olympics of Virginia.

The Wesleyan Review: August 31, 2018

ICYMI: Our newest edition of the Wesleyan Review is out. Read about the latest VWU news and events here:

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Enjoyable Chat 'n Chew

Wonderful "Chat 'n Chew" lunch in the President's Dining Room (Princess Anne Room) today with support staff from the Office of Advancement. We appreciate all they do to further the University's mission. From left: Tina Clark Milligan, Coordinator of Prospect Research; Theresa Barker, Coordinator of Advancement Systems; Karen Weinig, Scheduler for the President and the Center for Advancement; and Rachael Burgess, Administrative Assistant to the Senior Vice President. 

New Executive Director of VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads

It's wonderful to see this great organization and leader recognized in The Virginian-Pilot this week. Virginia Wesleyan is a proud partner of VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads! Read more here.

Winners Both On and Off the Field

My favorite picture yet of our Virginia Wesleyan University #NCAA National Champion softball team. Winners on the field–classy people (outstanding students, leaders, and "citizens") off the field. They are what makes NCAA Division III​ athletics the best!

First Week for First-Years

Virginia Wesleyan University first-year students arrived on campus this week to begin their journey as Marlins. Check out photos and read more about the Marlin Nation Orientation experience. 

tHrive Impact Talk: Regional Collaboration

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this morning with participants in the tHRive program sponsored by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. tHRive cultivates regional awareness and community development by providing a platform for young professionals. Pictured with Alisa Crider '10, Chair of tHRive; Bryan Stephens, President and CEO of the Chamber; and Tiffany Williams, VWU Director of Stewardship and Special Gifts and a member of tHRive. The meeting was held at #VWU in the Pearce Hospitality Suite of the Jane P. Batten Student Center.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Hot Off the Press: Virginia Wesleyan University Magazine Fall 2018

Virginia Wesleyan University Magazine - Fall 2018 edition has arrived! Read about our national softball champs, our new strategic plan, our environmental stewardship and more. You might even see a familiar face or two:

Goode Progress

Good progress this week on Virginia Wesleyan University's Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. Crews are pictured installing steel for the Eleanor and Henry Watts Grand Lobby and Gallery.

First Day of Classes

Day one of classes. At the hospitality stand on the University Commons. #HottestCollegeinCoastalVA

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Welcome Class of 2022

I joined 438 new first-years for their group picture in Convocation Hall today. Welcome, new Marlins! #HottestCollegeinCoastalVA

Marlins SportSplash: VWU Softball Team to be Honored at Virginia Sports Hall of Fame

Looking forward to the Champions of the Commonwealth event tomorrow, August 29, at the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame where the Virginia Wesleyan Softball team will be honored.

For more information on this event and to stay current on Virginia Wesleyan Athletics, check out the latest edition of the Marlins SportSplash.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Photos from State of the University

Many thanks to all who attended or watched the 2018 State of the University Address. Please enjoy photos in this Flickr Album from a wonderful event.

For those who couldn’t join us, I invite you to watch the archived address here.

As Featured in The Virginian-Pilot

As featured in The Virginian-Pilot, the Environmental Explorers program at Virginia Wesleyan University brought meaningful, inquiry-based environmental science experiences to over 100 elementary-aged children. After training, #VWU Elementary Education students led environmental science experiential sessions based on a curriculum developed by Virginia Wesleyan education and science faculty.This exceptional program was made possible through a generous grant from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation and in collaboration with YMCA's Camp Red Feather.

Nota Bene: Weekly Update

A new year is upon us, which promises to be our best one yet. Campus is abuzz with pre-semester activities. A warm welcome to our first-year students who arrived yesterday and to our transfer students who arrive today. We’re so glad you’re here!

I am pleased to share a glimpse of our newest members of the Marlin Family for the Fall Semester.  

Undergraduate Liberal Arts and Sciences………437
University College………………………………    118
*VWU Online, Evening and Weekend, 76
*Non-Degree 13
*Early Enrollment 29
Total New Students.................................................555

Overall, the University received 2,667 traditional undergraduate applications and accepted 1,876 (70.3 percent acceptance rate) with 355 freshmen and 82 transfers enrolling. First-year students had a 3.2 cumulative high school grade point average (4.0 scale) and 1065 SAT.  

The highly selective Batten Honors College enrolled its second cohort of 40 students in 2018-19 with a cumulative high school grade point average of 4.2 (4.0 scale) and 1340 SAT. 

I am pleased to see this demonstrates that more students are finding a fit with Virginia Wesleyan University. This can be attributed to many factors, including the greater visibility of the University and the growing academic reputation, as evidenced by increasing numbers of out-of-state students. 

The majority of VWU’s undergraduate students come from Virginia, with 64 percent of undergraduate day students coming from the state. Of this figure, 40 percent come from Hampton Roads communities. 

Please note that this only includes new students through the first registration of the Fall Semester.  With the addition of VWU Online and University College a year ago, the University now has six starting points each year including two starts in the Fall Semester. 

State of the University
Thanks to all who attended or watched the State of the University on VWU Online or local cable. For those who couldn’t join us, the address is archived here

Many thanks to Hourigan, The Franklin Johnston Group, The Bonnewell Group at Morgan Stanley, Townebank, and Sentara for sponsoring a wonderful event!

Facebook Live: Ask Me Anything 
I’m excited to share that tomorrow night at 7 p.m. I will host “Ask Me Anything,” live on VWU’s Facebook page and VWU Online.  In the first half of the program, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Seward '05 will interview me about the State of the University.  In the second half, I’ll respond to questions from our audience with a panel including Provost Timothy O’Rourke, Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Moore, and Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tina Hill.

VWU Board of Trustees news
With the recent passing of long-time Trustee and friend Anne B. Shumadine, J. Tim Bailey '83 has been named Treasurer of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee.  Tim is Division President for Compass Group/Canteen, based in Charlotte, North Carolina.  David L. Kaufman, Chair of the Board, will also serve as Chair of the Investment Committee.
The Board has welcomed four new Trustees since the May meeting:
*Jean T. Jenkins '89, Community Leader, Virginia Beach, Virginia
*Robert W. McFarland, Partner, McGuireWoods, Norfolk, Virginia
*Eric C. Nyman '94, President, Hasbro North America, Providence, Rhode Island
*James H. Shumadine, Co-President, The Employment Guide, Norfolk, Virginia

New faculty dinner
I enjoyed getting to know two of our new faculty members, Dr. Nadia Nafar and Dr. Robert Ariel, last week over dinner. Dr. Nafar joins us from Alfred University in Alfred, New York, as our new Assistant Professor of Management, Business, and Economics. Dr. Robert Ariel, our new Assistant Professor of Psychology, joins us from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Unable to attend was Dr. Modupe Oshikoya, Assistant Professor of Political Science, who arrived in Virginia just last Wednesday from London.  I am proud that we continue to attract highly qualified colleagues who offer unique perspectives. Please join me in welcoming all three of our new full-time faculty to the Marlin family. I know I can count on our campus community to enhance their experience here.

New fountains
Through private resources, new fountains will be coming to two of our campus ponds.  The pond in old Marlins Park at the entrance to the University (Wesleyan Drive and University Avenue), home of the Marlin Statue, will be getting three new fountains with lights surrounding the statue.  The old fountain will move to Renn Reserve Pond along Marlin Way.  

Broyles Field at TowneBank Park
Demolition work began last week on old Marlins Park that will become Tom and Betty Broyles Field at TowneBank Park.  The new complex located between Perry Field and Chesapeake Bay Academy will include new dugouts, stands, press box, bullpens, batting cages, and fencing.  

The TowneBank Foundation is the primary donor on this project, benefiting our NCAA National Championship Softball Team.  

Around town and across campus…
On August 13, we welcomed Tiveeda Stovall, Director of Virginia Campus Compact, to campus. She started as our statewide director in July and will be based at James Madison University. 

On August 16, Oceana Naval Air Station celebrated their 75th Anniversary with a stimulating panel discussion as well as an enjoyable dinner and reception.

It was wonderful to see so many of our alumni, faculty, staff, and friends who joined us for Wesleyan Wednesday on August 15. 

It was great to visit with our friends at Broadwater Academy on the Eastern Shore this month. Broadwater and VWU have been good friends and partners for three years and counting. 

We recently had the opportunity to show off our campus and discuss collaboration with Howard Hoege III, President and CEO of The Mariners' Museum and Park. Last month I had an opportunity to visit the museum for the first time.

Virginia Beach City Councilman Ben Davenport and I recently met to discuss economic development in the area. Councilman Davenport has been a wonderful friend and supporter of Virginia Wesleyan University for many years. Ben is currently a candidate for mayor of Virginia Beach.

Improvements and construction across campus continue

University branding standards
Virginia Wesleyan's Office of Marketing and Communications supports the mission of the University by leading our promotion and branding initiatives. The department utilizes a variety of platforms to distinguish VWU in the higher education marketplace and effectively communicate our story to key constituencies, including prospective and current students, alumni, donors and friends, faculty and staff, the broader public, and the media. They are also tasked with protecting our brand and guiding our community in using our logos and likeness appropriately. For your convenience, the University's brand guidelines are available on the Marketing and Communications web page. Be on the lookout for a VWU

Athletics style guide, featuring the newly designed Marlin, in the near future. As we work with our University trademarking process, protecting our brand will continue to be a priority, and we thank you for your support of these important efforts. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Marketing and Communications staff directly.

Dominion Energy Foundation visit
Made possible by funding from the Dominion Energy Foundation, the Environmental Explorers program brought meaningful, inquiry-based environmental science experiences to over 100 elementary-aged children through a partnership between Dominion Energy Foundation, YMCA's Camp Red Feather, and Virginia Wesleyan University. After training, VWU Elementary Education students led environmental science experiential sessions based on a curriculum developed by education and science faculty at VWU. Activities included, but were not limited to, water-quality monitoring, species identification, and engineering design challenges.

Representatives of the Dominion Foundation visited campus last week to present the check. C. Max Bartholomew, Jr., Dominion Energy Regional Policy Director, was one of the executives visiting campus.  Max shared that 48 years ago to the day, he visited our campus for the first time.  He was in his second day of work, knew very little about the energy business, and was faced with assisting Virginia Wesleyan with an unexpected campus-wide power outage.

Max is a wonderful person and has become a good friend during my time here. We appreciate his continued interest and philanthropic support of our campus initiatives.  

Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration 
Earlier, I shared our participation in the Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration.   This update includes recent developments in the DACA court cases and an overview of recent and anticipated national-level immigration policy developments.

News and notes
I hope you enjoy my monthly higher education column from Sunday’s The Virginian-Pilot (also carried in the Daily Press). 

Enjoy the following links to stay current on all news and features at VWU: 

Highlights from my weekend reading 
From time to time, I come across topical articles of interest to the campus community. I hope you find them insightful:
  • United Methodist News reports top court sets October oral hearings.
  • College-cost increases are driven by economy-wide forces that are identified in a new report published by the Midwestern Higher Education Compact.
  • "In the last decade, average student spending on required course materials has decreased by more than 30 percent, according to the National Association of College Stores. A decade ago, students spent an average of $701 per year on required course materials." Today, that number is less than $500, reports Inside Higher Ed.
  • Advocacy groups expect uptick in college student voter turnout, reports Inside Higher Ed.
  • Colleges tapping into untraditional programs to attract more students, reports Education Dive.
  • The Virginian-Pilot reports The Dome is making a comeback of sorts. Venture Realty Group, developer of The Wave, a project that will include a surf park on 10 acres between 18th and 20th Streets, is calling its proposed entertainment venue "The Dome."  
Presidential events
Most of you are aware that I've made communication with our alumni and friends a top priority.  As such, I travel the country sharing exciting updates and our vision for the University.  I invite you to stay updated on these activities here

Connect with me on social media
Twitter: @vawesleyanprez
Facebook: @ScottDMillerprez
Instagram: @prezscottmiller
Flickr: Scott D. Miller
(Be sure to subscribe to Dialogue for daily updates via email

#  #  #

It is sure to be an exciting week on campus as we greet new and returning Marlins.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Ask Me Anything

Do you have a question for me about Virginia Wesleyan University? Now's your chance to ask me anything! In follow up to my State of the University Address, I will be answering questions during a Facebook Live chat at 7 p.m. EST this Tuesday, August 28.

The session will be hosted by 2005 Virginia Wesleyan graduate Jason Seward, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at the University. Joining me as part of a special guest panel will be our new Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tina Hill, Provost and Vice President Timothy O'Rourke, and Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Moore.

Submit your questions in advance by emailing or during the live chat on the Virginia Wesleyan University's Facebook page. Emailed questions should be sent by noon tomorrow, August 27.

If you are unable to watch the chat live, it will be archived on the Virginia Wesleyan University Facebook page and on the VWU Digital Broadcasting Network for later viewing.

Enjoy My Monthly Column in The Virginian-Pilot

If a democracy depends on an informed, engaged citizenry, then we must take the time to be informed, and at times skeptical, in order to be engaged. I hope you enjoy my monthly column in the Sunday issue of The Virginian-Pilot:

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Not Your Typical Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

We held a ribbon-cutting Friday for our new photovoltaic SmartFlower, and cut the ribbon with a beam of concentrated sunlight!

Read more here:

Friday, August 24, 2018

Batten Honors College Matriculation Ceremony

Today, at the Batten Honors College Matriculation Ceremony, we welcomed the second cohort of Batten Fellows and Shumadine Scholars to Virginia Wesleyan University. These students have a collective GPA of 4.21 on a 4.0 scale, an average SAT score of 1340, and an average ACT score of 29. We wish them all the best in their academic pursuits and look forward to their continued success.

Watch Live: Today's 2018 State of the University

I hope you'll join us at 12:15 p.m. today for the 2018 State of the University Address. We'll be streaming live on the Virginia Wesleyan University Facebook page and also through the VWU Broadcasting Network.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Nota Bene: Passing of Teri Eddleman

With deep sadness, I advise that our veteran colleague Teri Eddleman passed away August 22 after an extended illness. 

Teri served as the scheduler for the President's Office and the Center for Advancement.  Her professional approach to her duties earned the respect of those who worked with her and the alumni, friends, and others with whom she scheduled appointments.

We often read in obituaries of "heroic" battles fought with long illnesses. Teri truly did so, continuing to work when she was able during her years-long fight.

A memorial service is planned. We will share details when arrangements are final.

Time-Lapse Video: Construction to Date

Enjoy this unique time-lapse video of the construction to date on Virginia Wesleyan's new Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center.

CSRF Fall 2018: Understanding Religious Freedom

The Center for the Study of Religious Freedom (CSRF) has released the fall edition of its newsletter, “Understanding Religious Freedom.” I encourage you to learn more about the Center and the programs, partnerships and events highlighted in this issue. The publication is available here:

Many thanks to Dr. Craig Wansink, the Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the CSRF, and Kelly Jackson, Associate Director of the CSRF, for the important work they continue to do on our campus and in our community.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Cape Henry Collegiate Visit

We had a terrific visit with our partners at Cape Henry Collegiate. VWU and CHC have been good friends for a number of years. We are pictured in front of their beautiful new Dolphin (from left) Will Fluharty, Director of the Nexus Center for Global Studies; Chris Garran, Head of School; and Paul Horgan, Head of Upper School; and David Waggoner, VWU Vice President for Enrollment.

Wonderful Visit with Bob Nusbaum

It was wonderful visiting with Bob Nusbaum, whose founding vision for Virginia Wesleyan’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom (CSRF) has resulted in a robust program devoted to exploring complex issues of our time. Pictured with Bob and me are Dr. Craig Wansink, Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr., Director of the CSRF and Professor of Religious Studies; Kelly Jackson, Associate Director of the CSRF; and Dr. Mort Gamble, Senior Vice President.

Recognizing Bill Bennett

Bill Bennett of our Physical Plant staff was recognized with a certificate of appreciation for his countless hours of work and leading the power load shed as a part of the Dominion Energy Virginia/EnerNOC conservation program. Pictured with Bill and Don Coberly, Director of Physical Plant Operations.

Service Bicycles Have Arrived

As a part of our environmental responsibility efforts, a fleet of service bicycles have arrived for use by the Virginia Wesleyan University Physical Plant staff. Pictured: Keith Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs; Steve “Sparky” Sparks, Aramark Higher Education; and Don Coberly, Director of Physical Plant Operations.

Aloha Wednesday

It’s Aloha Wednesday at the Virginia Wesleyan University Physical Plant building. Wonderful lunch with Physical Plant, Housekeeping, and Maintenance staffs. Kent Brown was recognized as Aramark Associate of the Month. Joining us for the picture is his father, Alan Brown, and Director of Physical Plant Operations, Don Coberly.

Renovations Continue

Despite heavy rain, structural work continued this week on the renovation of the old Bell Tower into The Beacon. Brick work should begin late next week.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Welcome New Faculty

Annie and I enjoyed hosting the New Faculty Dinner tonight in the freshly renovated Princess Anne Room (President’s Dining Room). Welcome to Virginia Wesleyan University Dr. Nadia Nafar and Dr. Robert Ariel and your families. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Modupe Oshikoya upon her arrival to campus later this week.

Lunch with Editor-in-Chief of The Marlin Chronicle

Enjoyable lunch today at Surf Rider North with Haley Heath, Editor-in-Chief of The Marlin Chronicle (VWU’s student newspaper). We discussed trends in journalism and a wide variety of potential #VWU stories. Joining us for lunch was Stephanie Smaglo, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications.

Marlins SportSplash

Catch the latest in Virginia Wesleyan Athletics in the latest edition of Marlins SportSplash:

Monday, August 20, 2018

Demolition Has Begun on Old Marlins Park

Demolition started today on old Marlins Park — soon to become Broyles Field at TowneBank Park. The new facility will be the home of the two-time defending NCAA National Champion Virginia Wesleyan University softball team in the spring. #VWU #HottestCollegeinCoastalVA #TowneBank

Great Visit with Congressman Bobby Scott at HR Chamber Meeting

Great to visit with Congressman Bobby Scott at today’s Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce meeting at Hilton Norfolk THE MAIN. He has been such a wonderful supporter and friend to Virginia Wesleyan University for many years.

Catching Up with Interim President of TCC

Nice to visit at lunch today with Gregory DeCinque, Interim President of Tidewater Community College. He came to TCC in July following the retirement of Edna Baehre-Kolovani. Our institutions have been friends and partners for many years.

The Wesleyan Review: August 17, 2018

ICYMI: Our newest edition of the Wesleyan Review is out. Read about the latest VWU news and events here:

Nota Bene: Weekly Update

I look forward to seeing many of you at the annual State of the University address on Friday, August 24. We are excited to welcome our Trustees, faculty, staff, and many friends in person. I invite our students and alumni to attend virtually as it will be live streamed, beginning at 12:15 p.m.

Improvements to Jerry G. Bray, Jr. Village I 
I am pleased to announce that plans for improvements to all seven buildings in Bray Village have been finalized and are scheduled to begin in early September. Improvements include full replacement of all shower and bathrooms, painting, and corrective maintenance care.  

Starting with Rose Hall, each residential building will be taken offline on a rotating basis for a period of two or three months while upgrades are made.  After Rose Hall is completed, attention will turn to Kellam Hall.  Students residing in Kellam will be reassigned to Rose to begin to enjoy the enhanced facilities.  Similarly, students in Old and Eggleston Halls will move to the most recently completed building as the project progresses.  From ceiling to floor, tiles to fixtures, these spaces will have a valuable impact on the student experiences of many of our newest Marlins.  

Bray Village is made up of the Birdsong Hall, Aubrey L. Eggleston Commons, Peter D. Pruden Hall (academic building), and four residence halls: Louise W. Eggleston Hall, Abel E. and Clara Eaton Kellam Hall, Margarette Hanes Old Hall, and the Paul Howard Rose Hall.

Construction update
Construction on a number of projects (all funded with private resources) continues on schedule despite unusually heavy rain the past two months:
  • East Gate/Athletic Fields – Marlin Way and the new East Gate entrance/exit to Baker Road were completed in July and available for 24-hour card access. 
  • Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center – Brick and steel work is progressing and the facility is on schedule for a March opening.  Through the generosity of a number of donors, some additional features have been added including expansion of the parking area to include 259 spaces and a lighted, tree-lined, pedestrian/bike path from the DeFord Gate House to the Goode Center and heart of campus.  The path will also have a connection to the stands at Birdsong Field.   
  • Reclamation of Outdoor Fields and Relocation of the Alpine Tower – Over five acres of unused fields were cleared, trenched, piped, graded, and seeded for a wide variety of uses.  The Alpine Tower, a joint operational project of VWU and the YMCA, has been relocated from the area adjacent to the new Goode Center, to a more appropriate location in the outdoor athletic complex.  
  • Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center – Additional work will occur during the next two months, including new equipment, auxiliary storage facility (near the cell tower), and stands (on the west side of the track).
  • Birdsong Field – A press box will be added to the stands on the west side of the field.  
  • The Beacon – Steel work has been completed and sandstone and brick are now being added to the exterior.  A late September completion is expected.  
  • TowneBank Park/Tom and Betty Broyles Field – Work is expected to begin this week. New dugouts, batting cages, and stands and press box will be added over the next three months.  
  • TowneBank Park Parking Lot – The parking lot, adjacent to Perry Field and Broyles Field, was completed in late June and is fully in use.  
Many of you have asked about the large dirt pile along the tree line on the Norfolk side of campus.  Extensive dirt removal has occurred during the many construction projects.  The dirt was stockpiled in this location awaiting transportation to an off-campus site this fall and winter.  That area will be restored to its original look in the coming months.

Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities satellite office coming to VWU
As many of you may know, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success by addressing prejudices, in all forms, in order to improve academic achievement, increase workplace productivity, and enhance local trust. Through workshops, retreats, and customized programs that raise knowledge, motivation, and skills, VCIC develops leaders who work together to achieve success throughout the Commonwealth.

I am proud to share that this fall, Virginia Wesleyan will become home to VCIC’s first remote office outside of Richmond. The organization is led by a volunteer state board of directors and has local chapters in Lynchburg, Peninsula, Richmond, and Tidewater that serve as advisory committees.

The new VCIC Hampton Roads Office at VWU, located in Graybeal 5 of Allen Village (II), will be staffed by a full-time VCIC Hampton Roads Program Manager who, under the supervision of VCIC President and CEO Jonathan Zur, will develop and maintain community and professional networks across Hampton Roads to inform and implement VCIC’s program work.
VCIC will facilitate several customized programs each year for VWU students, faculty, or staff as part of this new relationship. VCIC helps middle and high school students understand how stereotypes, bigotry, and prejudice negatively affect their schools. It gives college students opportunities to develop leadership techniques and inclusive strategies for their diverse campuses. VCIC provides educational programs, professional development, training, and consultation to enhance workplace cultures.
The University will also receive corporate-level sponsorship at the annual VCIC Tidewater Humanitarian Awards Dinner, which honors individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to the promotion of respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. I served as chair of the 2018 VCIC Tidewater Humanitarian Awards Dinner, and in 2017, Dr. Craig Wansink, the Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, was honored at the 53rd Annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner. In 2001, the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom (CSRF) was recognized by the organization with a Distinguished Merit Citation.
Virginia Wesleyan’s strong relationship with VCIC dates back to 1998 when they became a sponsor of the CSRF’s Nexus Interfaith Dialogue program, a partnership that continues today. Over the years, the VCIC has led diversity training for Virginia Wesleyan freshmen, provided facilitation training for students, faculty, and staff, and this past May, partnered with the CSRF and Muslim communities of Hampton Roads to host a Ramadan Iftar Dinner. CSRF Associate Director Kelly Jackson serves on the VCIC Tidewater Chapter, and has been active with the organization for 20 years.

Gift to fund locker room improvements
I am pleased to share that Virginia Wesleyan Trustee Tassos J. Paphites '79 has made a generous gift to renovate the Men's and Women's Basketball locker rooms in the Jane P. Batten Student Center.  Early in our discussion, Tassos communicated a vision to our coaches and me that he hoped to help Virginia Wesleyan create Division I-level locker room facilities. The project is currently underway with a completion date anticipated prior to the fall basketball season. Prozone Athletic has been retained to provide custom, wood lockers with logo graphics and USB ports; wall graphics; white boards, comfortable seating; and custom logo carpet.  Additionally, game clocks from Daktronics will be installed in each locker room. Please join me in thanking Tassos, a men's basketball alumnus, and his daughter, Andrea, a women's basketball alumna, for their ongoing support of our basketball programs.  We also appreciate the dedication of our basketball coaches, Dave Macedo and Stephany Dunmyer, who have contributed to planning and designing these new facilities.

Maynard Schaus accepted into prominent national leadership program
Kudos to Dr. Maynard Schaus, Associate Provost, Dean of University College, and Professor of Biology, for his acceptance into a prominent national leadership development program.

 The Council for Independent Colleges (CIC) and the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI) collaborate to sponsor a rigorous and rewarding Senior Leadership Academy (SLA), offering mid-level administrators the opportunity to gain additional experience and expertise in preparation for a possible cabinet-level position in the future.  Only 45 participants are selected from independent colleges across the country, and I am proud to say this includes Dr. Schaus. Maynard will attend a seminar in November in St. Louis, and a concluding seminar in Washington, D.C., next June. He will also work on a professional experience plan, which allows participants to gain additional experience.   Maynard is working under the mentorship of Provost and Vice President Timothy O'Rourke during this program.

Contribute to The Excellence Fund; receive a VWU replacement diploma 
The Virginia Wesleyan University replacement diploma campaign continues this academic year. We are pleased that so many alumni have already participated in the campaign and welcome the support of additional alumni this year. Remember, VWU will send alumni a replacement University diploma as a token of our appreciation for gifts of $50 or more. Display your College and University diplomas side-by-side to commemorate the past and present of your alma mater. 

Gifts can be made at Complete a replacement diploma request form (as required by FERPA regulations) here.

Highlights from my weekend reading 
>From time to time, I come across topical articles of interest to the campus community. I hope you find them insightful:

The new Ikea store on Northampton just around the corner from campus is half done, and still on schedule for spring opening. 

As we continue our discussion on transfer students, I thought you would enjoy this Inside Higher Education article.

VWU News and Notes
This summer the Center for Sacred Music has hosted a series of Summer Sings with its community partner, Christ and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church-Norfolk.   The final SING takes place Thursday, August 23, when Charles Woodward, Artistic Director of the Virginia Chorale, conducts selected choruses from Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

Sandi Billy, Director of The Sacred Music Center, shares that the Summer Sings provide a unique opportunity for singers to learn a new work, sing an old favorite, practice sight-reading skills, or work with a new conductor.  She notes that there is no “preparation” and all singers are welcomed to come and enjoy!    

Connect with me on Social Media
Twitter: @vawesleyanprez
Facebook: @ScottDMillerprez
Instagram: @prezscottmiller
Flickr: Scott D. Miller
(Be sure to subscribe to Dialogue for daily updates via email

In an effort to further VWU’s mission, I travel around the country, sharing the vision of Virginia Wesleyan University and I invite you to follow along on the Presidential Events page.