November 2017
Much to Be Thankful For
As we enter this month of gratitude, I invite you to pause with me to reflect on the blessings for which you are most grateful. I would also like to share some of the moments I am thankful for and update you on the latest progress at Virginia Wesleyan University.
We were happy to welcome a record group of prospective students and their families on campus this past weekend for our first Marlins Day Open House of the academic year. I shared with these future Marlins that they are considering Virginia Wesleyan at the right time in our history --- a period of exciting transformation and growth. In fact, in a recent editorial piece , higher education consultants from Chicago-based Dwyer Education Strategies described the last two years at Virginia Wesleyan as the most amazing transformational story they've seen in American higher education in the past 13 years. We're extremely proud of that!
I am thankful to our entire Virginia Wesleyan University community for making this year's Homecoming and Family Weekend a memorable occasion for all who "came home." After the last two years were interrupted by hurricanes, it was a pleasure to fully experience this treasured VWU tradition alongside students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff, Trustees and dear friends of the University. Be sure to view the Homecoming and Family Weekend photo gallery .
A dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting took place during Homecoming to celebrate Virginia Wesleyan's new Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center, made possible by generous gift support. One of the donors was able to join us for the ceremony --- Virginia Wesleyan Trustee and alumnus of the Class of 1970, Bill S. Shelhorse. Together with his company, Chesapeake Bay Contractors, Bill provided substantial financial and in-kind support for the construction and soon-to-be-completed track and field named in memory of his late sister, Betty. We greatly appreciate Bill's support and the enthusiastic crowd who joined us for the dedication ( view photos ).
We are also grateful for the Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees, who held their fall meeting on campus in October. They heard a special presentation on the implementation of VWU Online, as well as progress reports and actions from the Committees of Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, Advancement, Enrollment, and Student Affairs. Among the actions for the day, the Trustees approved FY 2018-19 Tuition and Room and Board for the University: 0% increase for tuition and 3.5% for Room and Board for an overall increase of 0.7%; approved an outside evaluation of the institution's banking services; and approved participation in the CICV Multi-Employer Retirement Plan. Our Trustees are generous with their time and wisdom, and they ensure that the University remains committed to its mission as we chart our strategic course for the coming years. Read more about the meeting on my blog, Dialogue .
I am proud to share that Virginia Wesleyan University's second graduate program, a Master of Arts in Education, has been approved by the Virginia Board of Education. Beginning in summer 2018, the M.A.Ed. will prepare future educators to teach boldly and will give our students a more competitive edge on teaching positions in their chosen specializations. The program will offer graduate-level endorsement in biology, chemistry, earth science, English, French PreK-12, German PreK-12, Spanish PreK-12, Latin PreK-12, history and social sciences, mathematics, instrumental/vocal PreK-12, theatre arts PreK-12, and visual arts PreK-12. To request additional information about the M.A.Ed. or our online Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), visit our Graduate Studies page on the VWU website.
Virginia Wesleyan served alongside Senator Mark Warner and several others as co-hosts of the 2017 Virginia Women's Conference last month here in Virginia Beach. It was an honor to attend the conference on behalf of Virginia Wesleyan and to say thank you to women in this community and beyond for the leadership they exemplify every day. I extend this gratitude to the women in our Virginia Wesleyan community, and I encourage attendance at events such as these that offer valuable opportunities for investment in yourselves. We look forward to involvement with future opportunities devoted to inspired leadership.
Finally, we welcomed the Virginia Wesleyan Alumni Council and members of our President's Parents Roundtable to campus in October for their fall meetings. The Alumni Council heard a comprehensive update on the fall semester and initiatives for the near future, and I shared our success in sponsored alumni activities around the country. We also discussed ongoing efforts to increase engagement among fellow alumni, as well as ideas to encourage support of The Excellence Fund. At a meeting held earlier in the month, President's Parents Roundtable Co-chairs John and Karen Winslow shared their Wesleyan experience and highlighted their daughters' fulfilling VWU journeys. Later this week, we'll welcome our Corporate Leaders Council to campus. We appreciate all those who serve on our volunteer councils on campus, and we thank our members for sharing their valuable knowledge and insight and for serving as generous advocates for the University.
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We are in the midst of some of the most promising years in our story. Virginia Wesleyan continues to grow and mature. We look outward, yes, and also inward --- to the liberal arts, the foundation of our mission, and to our United Methodist heritage, the inspiration for our founding. We look into the minds and hearts of our students, who in turn look to us for guidance and assurance. We give thanks to our faculty and staff for their devotion to academic excellence as the fall semester draws to a close. And again, we express our gratitude to the City of Virginia Beach for its support during our transition to University and our ongoing construction projects around campus.
We have much to be thankful for at Virginia Wesleyan University, and it starts with you. I invite your continued faith in our plans and your active support of our progress.
Warm wishes to you and yours as we enter this season for gratitude.

Scott D. Miller, Ph.D.