The President's Letter 
October 2016
A monthly
communiqué from
Dr. Scott D. Miller

President of the College
Fall Speed Ahead at VWC!
Good morning,
We are now a little more than one month into the fall semester, one of my favorite times in the academic year. The campus is buzzing with activity almost 24 hours a day! Our athletic teams are in full swing. Alumni return for lectures, music and arts performances, sports and other events. The busy fall season reminds us of the enduring and extended community that is Virginia Wesleyan College.  

The incoming class is talented and impressive; overall enrollment is strong. I'm reminded daily that this is a vibrant community of outstanding scholars.  Students are benefiting from a variety of recent campus improvements, contributing to a stimulating living and learning environment that warrants our national reputation.  

We are already busily recruiting for next year's incoming class, along with the first cohort of students for the Batten Honors College. Each day brings proof that Virginia Wesleyan is truly student-centered, offering a rich and varied academic and co-curricular experience. I am very proud of our mission and the many ways in which we honor it.

I want to remind you of another time-honored tradition: Virginia Wesleyan's Homecoming and Parent Weekend is just around the corner on October 7-9. During the past two years, I've learned much about the special traditions of our College, Homecoming among them. A schedule of activities and registration information can be found on our website at

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Other highlights from this past month:
  • We celebrated our inaugural Founders Day on Sept. 8. It was a wonderful occasion to honor the efforts of all who, over the last half century, have strived to make our College what it is today. A special Founders Day Convocation was held in the Jane P. Batten Student Center, where Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong H'16, CEO and General Counsel for the Birdsong Corporation, served as keynote speaker. He and his wife, Sue, trace their connections with the College back to the groundbreaking for Bray Village (Village I) on July 18, 1965. During the event, the College presented honorary doctoral degrees to Dr. Stephen S. Mansfield, College Archivist and former Dean of the College, and Gary D. Bonnewell '79, the first VWC graduate to serve as Chair of the Board of Trustees. We also celebrated our 2016 Alumni Awards recipients: Lindsey E. Reynolds '98 (Distinguished Alumna Award), Amy Mallett Rickard '98 (Alumni Service Award) and Rodney D. Young Jr. '07 (Graduate of the Last Decade Award). In conjunction with this special day, Hofheimer Library launched a VWC Digital Collections site that provides online access to materials from the College Archives and other special library collections. If you'd like to watch the Founders Day Convocation in its entirety, including the especially moving keynote speech by George Birdsong, it is available for viewing here.
  • It gives me great pleasure to share with you that community leaders, devoted advocates for the arts and longtime friends of Virginia Wesleyan David R. and Susan S. Goode have been named Outstanding Philanthropists by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Hampton Roads Chapter. David and Susan recognize the critical importance of the arts and believe they are vital to a liberal arts education. In honor of their steadfast support and in recognition of Susan's service to the College's Board of Trustees, Virginia Wesleyan has established the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities. I was proud to share this news with our community during my State of the College Address on Aug. 23. Virginia Wesleyan College is proud to have nominated the Goodes for the Association of Fundraising Professionals' prestigious award and offers its sincerest gratitude and congratulations to these outstanding philanthropists. Their support will have a tremendous impact on the College for decades to come. 
  • Speaking of the arts, the opening for the first exhibit in the Neil Britton Art Gallery for the fall semester was held on Sept. 8. A Feast of Languages is a collection of works by local artists active in Norfolk's NEON Arts District and the ViBe Creative District in Virginia Beach. I encourage you to visit the gallery to see the exhibit, which will be on display through Dec. 9. Also be sure to check out the latest brochure for The Arts at VWC, which provides a complete listing of music, art and theatre events from September 2016 to May 2017. 
  • The fall edition of Marlin Magazine is hot off the press. The new magazine has been distributed through a variety of avenues: traditional mailed hard copy, electronic dissemination through email and a link to the magazine's presence on issuu, and promotion in @vawesleyan and on the VWC website. Through greater use of electronic distribution, we plan to produce two editions of the magazine this year as well as a special annual report edition. This will provide greater communication and more timely content to our community. We look forward to engaging our campus community, informing everyone about upcoming events, and sharing noteworthy achievements.
  • In this presidential election year, the College is making every opportunity available for students to register to vote. In recent years, the campus election engagement initiative, under the name Marlins VOTE, has gone beyond voter registration to include voter education, ballot access and "get out the vote" efforts. The effort has been even more formalized this year with the organization of a series called "What's at Stake?: Election 2016." I encourage everyone to view the schedule and attend these events if you are able. At its best, democracy engages citizens. There is no shortage of opportunities for you to participate in Election 2016. I hope you will take every advantage, and please make sure you get out and VOTE!
  • Finally, I'd like to call attention to the incredible work the Virginia Wesleyan faculty is doing every day inside and out of the classroom. Day One, an electronic newsletter published at the start of each month, celebrates our faculty members' professional development successes and keeps the VWC community abreast of their scholarly work. I invite you to view the October 2016 issue and peruse archived editions at the webpage for VWC's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning.
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I hope you'll join us for Homecoming and Parent Weekend and share our enjoyment of autumn at this most special place, where it's always A Great Day to be a Marlin.

Scott D. Miller, Ph.D. 
Virginia Wesleyan College 
1584 Wesleyan Drive 
Norfolk, VA 23502

Phone: 757.455.3215 
Fax: 757.455.3139