From Aspiring College to Inspiring University

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President Miller Delivers 2017 State of the University Address

Featured News | August 22, 2017

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Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller announced a new academic division and discussed next phases of campus construction during his State of the University Address on August 22 in the Jane P. Batten Student Center on campus. Dr. Miller, who became president of Virginia Wesleyan in 2015, provided updates on institutional progress and shared several new initiatives and goals for the future.

“In just two years, we have transitioned from an aspiring college to an inspiring university,” he said. “Building on an outstanding academic reputation, we have forged new partnerships, developed innovative programs, and enhanced our leadership within Hampton Roads, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the nation.”

President Miller highlighted accomplishments from the past year, such as major improvements to campus infrastructure, additions to the academic program, and the recent transition to University status.

“We begin the new year with two new nationally prominent programs that speak to our innovative spirit, an understanding of our enrollment potential, and the power of philanthropy,” Dr. Miller said. “With the opening of the Batten Honors College and the completion of the Greer Environmental Sciences Center, we have expanded our teaching, research, and service toward the vital goals of studying and preserving the natural environment.”

Additional highlights from the address included:

  • Transition from Virginia Wesleyan College to Virginia Wesleyan University.
  • Approval by institutional accrediting body to become a graduate-level institution with two new graduate programs—online Master of Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Education (2018)—and an extensive online program at the undergraduate level.
  • Implementation of a comprehensive enrollment model, including new international partnerships and addition of early- and dual-enrollment programs.
  • Initiation of the highly selective Batten Honors College, a competitive academic program that will provide a transformative experience for high-achieving students.
  • Academic updates from the University’s three schools—the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities, the Joan P. Brock School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Birdsong School of Social Science—and a special announcement on the 2017-2018 launch of “University College,” which encompasses the operation of all for-credit programs outside of the traditional undergraduate program as well as non-credit, continuing-education offerings.
  • Overview of the recently completed 10-Year Campus Master Plan and updates on major improvements to campus infrastructure, including:
    • Completion of the state-of-the-art Greer Environmental Sciences Center, a world-class facility that will provide unprecedented opportunities for students while fostering regional collaboration with organizations such as the Brock Environmental Sciences Center/Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Virginia Aquarium and Marine Sciences Center, and the Virginia Institute for Marine Science.
    • Completion of the Frank Blocker Youth Center, a cooperative facility to be used during the academic year by Tidewater Collegiate Academy and in the summer months by the YMCA Camp Red Feather.
    • Construction of the Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center (to be completed this fall), and plans for the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center (to be completed in late 2018) and Oxford Village (to be constructed in 2018).
  • Continued collaboration with on-campus partners, Volunteer Hampton Roads, Chesapeake Bay Academy, and with the YMCA of South Hampton Roads.
  • The winning of the NCAA Division III National Championship in softball, among many other successes in the University’s athletic program.

Noting recent events in Charlottesville, Dr. Miller also stated that Virginia Wesleyan “will always be an inclusive community, one devoted to personal excellence and societal achievement.”

The State of the University address may be viewed in its entirety at: https://boxcast.tv/view/state-of-the-university-address-llh1l9n8utvzqisl7m8b