Friday, February 22, 2019

Nice Visit with Congresswoman Elaine Luria

How nice to visit with a loyal friend to Virginia Wesleyan, Congresswoman Elaine Luria, at her office in Town Center.

Religion News Service: What will happen at the special session?

Proud to be among these pastors, bishops, delegates, and activists sharing what we expect, and hope, will happen at the special session.

Religion News Service: What will happen at the special session? Here’s what United Methodists predict

Enjoyable Visit with VB City Council Member Sabrina Wooten

Enjoyable visit on campus with Sabrina Wooten, Virginia Beach City Council member. We talked about a wide variety of topics including our new P3 project with The Franklin Johnston Group (pictured in background). Scheduled for groundbreaking in April, the project will include eight buildings and 248 units of mixed use housing.

Wesleyan Review: February 22, 2019

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

Thursday, February 21, 2019

John Malbon Named New Board Chair

So pleased to welcome John Malbon as the next Chair of our Board of Trustees. He will assume the role on July 1 when current Board Chair David L. Kaufman concludes his three-year term.

Establishment of the D. Henry Watts School of Professional Studies

Proud to announce the establishment of the D. Henry Watts School of Professional Studies at Virginia Wesleyan University. Our fourth academic school is named with gratitude for longtime Trustee Henry Watts, recognizing his 30 years of leadership and support of VWU and his outstanding contributions to the Hampton Roads business community. Board Chair David Kaufman and I had the honor of presenting Henry with a special certificate during the winter meeting of the Board of Trustees on Wednesday. Read more:

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dedication of The Beacon

It was a special day at VWU as we dedicated The Beacon. This symbolic campus landmark pays tribute to our past and, indeed, illuminates the path for our ever-bright future. Read more on the VWU website:

Winter Meeting of the Board of Trustees

Great to welcome the Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees to campus today for their winter meeting.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Great Day on Campus with Trustee Tim Bailey '83

Enjoyed showing off new developments on campus today to Tim Bailey '83 of Charlotte, NC, a member of our Board of Trustees and President of Compass Group/Canteen in Charlotte. Pictured in the Eleanor and Henry Watts Grand Lobby and Gallery in the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center with Jim Cooper, Vice President for Finance and Administration, and with Head Softball Coach Brandon Elliott at TowneBank Park—Broyles Field.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Renovation of Pearce Hospitality Suite

Renovation started today on the Raymond Pearce Hospitality Suite on the second floor of the Jane P. Batten Student Center adjacent to Convocation Hall. Thanks to the Pearce Family for their generous support!

Photo Gallery: Marlins Day February 2019

It's always a great day to be a Marlin, and Saturday was no exception as welcomed prospective students and their families to campus for our spring open house. View the photo gallery here:

Out and About Around the Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center

A variety of pictures from around the grounds of the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. The dedication is five weeks away.

Nota Bene: Weekly Update

I hope you have all settled in nicely to the second semester and that you are focused and motivated to complete the remainder of this academic year. For the Virginia Wesleyan University Class of 2019, this semester will be the last, and I encourage our seniors to enjoy it and to finish strong in the months leading up to graduation on May 18.

As we are winding down our seniors' time at Virginia Wesleyan, we are also preparing to welcome our newest Marlins to campus. Last week I shared updates with you about the incoming Batten Honors College cohort (view a photo gallery from the spring competition). This week, we'll focus on our other members of the Class of 2023.

We welcomed hundreds of prospective Marlins and their families to campus on Saturday, February 16, for a Marlins Day Open House. Visitors had the opportunity to meet with faculty to learn about our academic programs, ask questions about financial aid, admission, athletics, extracurricular activities, residence life, and more. We'll host our second spring Marlins Day on Saturday, April 13. Those who join us for that event will have the opportunity to take part in our annual Strike Out Cancer Day, hosted by our two-time national champion VWU Softball program to benefit the American Cancer Society. (And by the way, mark your calendar for softball's home opener at Broyles Field/TowneBank Park on February 23).

As always, I invite you to share the excitement of Coastal Virginia's Premier University of the Liberal Arts and Sciences by recommending us to the next generation of Virginia Wesleyan students. Be sure to tell family members, friends, and high school students about our upcoming Marlins Day event and invite them to register at

Many thanks to all who participate in and support these important events to help bring the best and brightest Marlins to Virginia Wesleyan.

# # #

I just returned from the Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit in Arizona, co-sponsored by Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network. I currently serve on the governing body of Second Nature and as chair of the Climate Leadership Network, which represents 600 colleges and universities that are taking action on climate and preparing students for the future through research and education.

During the meeting, I was proud to be among higher education leaders who announced a Call to Action: Guiding Principles for Accelerating Equitable and Just Climate Solutions in response to the recent scientific reports that strongly advise unprecedented action in the next decade to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This call recommends ambitious cross-sector climate solutions that advance just and equitable sustainability practices on campuses and their surrounding communities.

In what seems to be the new normal, the past year has been tumultuous and unpredictable --- and climate action was no exception. It underscores to me our role in Coastal Virginia and the importance of our environmental commitment through the Greer Environmental Sciences Center and Batten Honors College. The Generation Z students on our campus today are the electorate of tomorrow, and they understand the imperative to act.

It's up to our leaders in higher education and government to come together with our partners in the corporate and non-profit sector to take action before it's too late.

# # #

Congratulations to the Virginia Wesleyan Ethics Bowl team, who won the Cardinal Division and finished as the 2019 Runner-Up in the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges' (VFIC) 20th annual statewide collegiate Wells Fargo Ethics Bowl! Our 2019 team members --- Brandon Foster, 19, Anitra Howard '22, Alex Powers '21 (team captain), and Brianna Sandy, '21 --- were led by long-time faculty coordinator Professor of Communication Kathy Merlock Jackson. We are so proud of their hard work and deliberation on a variety of case studies surrounding "Ethics and Social Justice." Read more about this exciting feat on the VWU website.

The Ethics Bowl program had its origins in 1997 with the VFIC Ethics Task Force, co-chaired by Roger Mudd, VFIC trustee and now-retired History Channel journalist, and Phillip Stone, then-president of Bridgewater College. The mission of the task force was to explore opportunities to involve students at the 15 VFIC colleges in the lively debate and consideration of applied ethics-real world dilemmas that affect people's lives in increasingly complex ways. While each VFIC institution had woven ethics into the curriculum and culture of their campuses, the intent was to strengthen the focus already in place. I am proud to serve, along with Professor Steven Emmanuel, on the statewide Ethics Bowl Committee.

We inducted the eleventh class of the VWU Athletic Hall of Fame on February 9 during a special ceremony in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Members of the 2019 class represent the best of the best from Virginia Wesleyan's athletic history.

The five inductees are Scott H. Barlow '83 (Men's Tennis, 1981-83), Norman Billups, Jr. '81 (Men's Basketball, 1977-81), Frederick Glen Pizzanello '85 (Baseball, 1982-85), Jackie Ochs-Gregory Texter '09 (Women's Soccer, 2005-09), and the 2006 Women's Soccer Team. We also presented a Career Achievement Award to Joanne Renn, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Emeritus, in recognition of her 25 years of service to Virginia Wesleyan.

Read more about these Marlins, who stand out not only for their athletic accomplishments, but for their hard work and determination-qualities we want to highlight for future generations.

# # #

Our annual "Love Liberally" symposium is underway on campus-a time when faculty, staff and students explore love as it relates to the liberal arts. The lectures are offered from February 11-28 and are coordinated through the Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning. For the complete schedule of events, view the 2019 Love Liberally Program or visit the campus events calendar.

AROUND TOWN AND ACROSS CAMPUSNice to visit with ODAC Commissioner Brad Bankston at the Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony on February 9. The event was preceded by the annual Men's Basketball Alumni Game in the Batten Student Center.

While in Arizona for the Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, I had productive conversations with Bobby Robbins, President of the University of Arizona, and Tim Carter, President of the The Climate Leadership Network and Second Nature; Joe Steinmetz, Chancellor of the University of Arkansas; old friend and colleague Tony Cortese, Founder of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, the Climate Leadership Network, Second Nature, and Intentional Endowments Network and a pioneering leader in the fields of sustainability, education, environmental policy, and public health.

Also had an informative discussion with Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University and a founder of The Climate Leadership Network, and led a panel on Resilience, the Disaster Economy, and Climate Justice with Havidan Rodriguez, University of Albany, Anthony Rust, Warren Wilson, David Hall, University of Virgin Islands, and Kathy Jacobs, Arizona State University.

Caught up with good friend and longtime colleague Robert Johnson, Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, at the discussion of place-based Climate Action and expansion of the UC3 Model. Robert has been a frequent contributor to "President to President" and "Presidential Perspectives"-a presidential thought series that I co-edit.

Wrapped up meetings in Arizona with the Second Nature Board of Directors meeting at Arizona State University. Our meeting the last two years has been in Tempe to allow access to the amazing resources of Arizona State University. One of the largest public universities in the country, ASU spans five campuses across the Phoenix metropolitan area and four regional learning centers throughout Arizona. The university is routinely ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for innovation and recognized as a leader in sustainability and online education issues.

Back in Virginia late last week, it was nice to host VWU Trustee Susan Torma Beverly '72 on campus. We stopped by the site of the marker for the Susan Beverly Grand Terrace and Pond at the Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. We also welcomed longtime Trustee Henry Watts to campus and visited the Eleanor and Henry Watts Grand Lobby and Gallery in the Goode Center. The building is scheduled for dedication in March.

Coastal 61 at Oxford Village, which will be located across from VWU's main entrance, is expected to open in late 2019. Read more about the construction timeline and amenities in the recent Inside Business article, "Three new Virginia Beach apartment complexes on horizon."

Greg Canada, a 1995 graduate of Virginia Wesleyan, is profiled in ACCESS College Foundation's 2018 Annual Report (page 8). In his 20+-year career in higher education admissions, he has promoted the "liberating and transformative experience" college offers. He studied philosophy and history at Virginia Wesleyan, and praises ACCESS for their financial generosity and support.

News Briefs
VWU Athletics
Virginia Wesleyan University Magazine
Faculty Focus


REFLECTIONSI hope you find these links useful to my recent columns and publications:

Enrollment Manager
College Planning & Management
President to President


I invite you to stay updated on these activities here.

Twitter: @vawesleyanprez
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 great week!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Great Day for Marlins Day

Thanks to all our future Marlins and parents who came out to learn more about this special place. Our next Marlins Day is Saturday, April 13. Learn more and register at

Packed house for Marlins Day (Enrollment)!

Friday, February 15, 2019

President to President: Chapter Seven

The seventh chapter is now available for the 2018-19 series of President to President, a higher education thought leadership publication written by university presidents for university presidents, and edited by myself and longtime friend and colleague Dr. Marylouise Fennell. Read "Creating Pathways to Opportunity and Service" by Dr. J. Bradley Creed, President of Campbell University, at

Eleanor and Henry Watts Grand Lobby and Gallery

Wonderful visit on campus today with longtime VWU Trustee Henry Watts. We're standing in the Eleanor and Henry Watts Grand Lobby and Gallery in the Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. The space was named in grateful recognition of the Watts' generous support of the building, which opens next month. Also pictured: Eric Harrison of Hourigan.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Great to Host Susan Beverly '72 on Campus

So nice to host on campus today Susan Torma Beverly, Class of 1972 and a member of the Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees. We're standing in front of the marker for the Susan Beverly Grand Terrace and Pond at the Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. The building is scheduled for dedication in March. Also pictured: Eric Harrison of Hourigan.