Robert Nusbaum Center
Frequently the most contentious and polarizing moments in American civic life are related to issues in religion, politics, race, gender, and sexuality. In responding to those issues, the Robert Nusbaum Center (NC) is grounded in Virginia Wesleyan’s commitment to a rigorous liberal arts education and its United Methodist heritage, both of which have long recognized religious freedom as a basic human right, and diversity as the bedrock of a strong foundation.
The Robert Nusbaum Center aims to create a civil society through education, respectful dialogue, and mutual understanding. The NC equips and empowers students and community members to be leaders and citizens who value diversity and who understand how the reconciliation of our religious, racial, and ideological differences create meaningful opportunities for civil solutions to difficult and urgent problems.
Mr. Robert C. “Bob” Nusbaum was the visionary and driving force behind the founding of the Center in 1996. When Mr. Nusbaum spoke of the Virginia Statute and the First Amendment, he highlighted how their legacy has resulted in diversity, dialogue, faith, and freedom in our nation. At the same time, he recognized their fragility. If our nation doesn't see diversity and dialogue as important to its growth, it becomes something different than what the founders intended. It was his hope that students and citizens more deeply value those rights. I am grateful to be part of that mission for our commonwealth and country.