As our Batten Honors College develops and enhances the reputation of Virginia Wesleyan University, I am delighted to share the Louis and Prudence Ryan Research Symposium and the Louis and Prudence Ryan Prize for Excellence in Research for scholars in the Batten Honors College beginning in Spring 2023. These new developments are gratefully named for our longtime friends and benefactors, and we thank the Ryans for their continued commitment to support education and the environment.
I offer my congratulations, once again, to members of the Class of 2021 who graduated during the VWU Global Campus Commencement Ceremony on December 18. It was a wonderful event that celebrated our mid-year graduates with all the pomp and circumstance they deserve. My special thanks to Mavis McKenley, a member of the Board of Trustees and 2011 graduate of VWU's adult studies program, for providing the keynote speech. During our ceremony, Mavis was honored with The Wesley Award for her outstanding service to her alma mater.
As we closed the Fall 2021 Semester, the Marlins stayed busy. We welcomed the return of our in-person Port Day which brings the campus together to celebrate the academic achievement of students in research, internships, performance, and global engagement. We also hosted a reception to celebrate the first five students who will begin the remainder of their coursework for our joint degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Sentara College of Health Sciences this January. Among the faculty achievements, Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, Dean of VWU Global Campus and Associate Professor of Biology, was honored with the inaugural Barbara A. Holland Scholar-Administrator Award from the Coalition for Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU).
Lastly, I remain extremely grateful and humbled by the acknowledgement from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. I thank the entire Marlin family - trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, and friends - for their efforts in making VWU a truly inclusive and welcoming community to all.
Let's hope 2022 brings us all health, happiness, and the ongoing safe return of our traditions.