Takoma Park, MD (April 17) - Washington Adventist University’s application for active membership in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has been approved, effective August 1.
“We are extremely pleased with our move to the NAIA, as it will help enhance support for our athletic program and better align the university with other schools that have similar character initiatives,” said WAU Director of Athletics Patrick E. Crarey II, who is also head coach of the men’s basketball team, which won the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Division I National Championship this year.
Institutions applying to the NAIA must meet membership criteria that include financial stability, sports sponsorship, accreditation and a commitment to character-driven athletics. The Membership Committee also reviews enrollment numbers, graduation percentages, retention rates and overall athletics budgets.
WAU is one of five new members in the NAIA, including Lincoln Christian University (Ill.), Middle Georgia State College, Texas A&M University – Texarkana, and the University of Winnipeg (Can.). Trinity Lutheran College (Wash.) was approved as an associate member, and will be evaluated for active membership at the end of the 2014-15 academic year.
“We are always pleased to welcome new members to the Association,” said Les Purce, chair of the NAIA Council of Presidents and President of Evergreen State College (Wash.). “These are quality institutions that have been through a rigorous review process and meet the high standards the NAIA Membership Committee has set.”
Competitive sports teams are part of the vision for excellence that WAU President Dr. Weymouth Spence has for the university. This year, the men’s soccer team earned the No. 7 seed in the 2013 USCAA National Championships in Charleston, W.Va. The women’s basketball team recorded the most wins in 20 years by finishing the 2013-14 season with an overall record of 9-18, and the cross country team had one of its strongest years in recent history.
Takoma Park, MD (April 16) - Washington Adventist University (WAU) recently honored five individuals for their contributions to the community, and for their personal and professional accomplishments. The annual WAU Alumni Awards Banquet was held on Saturday, April 12 at the Sheraton in downtown Silver Spring, and approximately 100 people attended.
“The Alumni Awards Banquet highlights what Washington Adventist University is all about – service,” said Vice President for Advancement and University Relations Roo McKenzie, Ph.D. “Washington Adventist University is the Gateway to Service, and it is nice to be able to recognize the individuals who embody that in their personal and professional lives.”
This year’s recipient of the Alumnus of the Year award was Farid Srour, Class of 1949. A real estate professional and long-time philanthropist, Srour was recognized for his significant contributions over the years to the university, the Adventist Church, and to the community.
The Young Alumnus of the Year award was presented to Collin Haynes, Class of 2009. He was recognized for his humanitarian service and public health efforts in his home country of Guyana, where he has promoted HIV awareness and treatment campaigns for youth. Even as a student at WAU, Haynes already had plans to return to his country to make a difference.
The Zella Holbert Service Award, named after a former WAU librarian, was presented to both an alumnus and a current student. Alumnus Charles Shyab, Class of 1970, received the award in recognition of his more than 40 years of service as a teacher and principal in Adventist schools, where he demonstrated passion for helping students learn. Shyab is also a Bronze Star recipient, recognized for his heroism as an Army medic during the Vietnam War.
WAU student Nikole Donovan, a graduating senior with a major in social work, was also presented with a Zella Holbert Service Award for her community service accomplishments. She developed the annual three-day “Blossom Like a Flower” conference for girls in grades 6-12 to help them with character development, health and wellness, and spirituality. Her volunteer service also includes the Hero-to Hero mentoring project, the WAU Service Day Planning Committee, Petals for a Cure, Cure for Aids, and the “Alex Brown” campaign to collect pledges from students to stop texting while driving.
The Honorary Alumnus Award is presented each year to an individual who did not graduate from WAU, but who had a significant impact on the university and made a difference in the community. James Hammond, Ph.D., a former professor and chair of the Department of Psychology was this year’s recipient. He taught on campus for nearly 30 years, and also served as an Adventist missionary in Ghana and Sierra Leone.
The Alumni Awards Banquet was part of the university’s annual Alumni Weekend, which was held from April 10-13 this year.
Takoma Park, MD (April 3) - The WAU Enactus team competed and won the first round this week in a national competition that was part of the Enactus United States National Exposition 2014 at Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The team presented and was judged on a community service project that they developed by applying business concepts.
National Enactus competitions showcase team projects that demonstrate how students are improving the quality of life for people in need through entrepreneurial actions that transform lives. After winning the opening round of the competition on April 1, the WAU team lost the quarter final round on April 2 to Belmont University.
Nationwide, there are 518 active Enactus teams with more than 17,000 students working on more than 2,000 community service projects. Last year, U.S. Enactus team participants volunteered more than 541,000 hours of their time. The team that wins the national championship will represent the U.S. at the Enactus World Cup this fall in Beijing, China.
Takoma Park, MD (April 5) - The 2nd Annual Campus Revival at Washington Adventist University (WAU) featured a week of worship and culminated with the baptism of 53 young adults. The event started on Sunday, March 30, and culminated with the call to baptism on Friday, April 4.
Each evening at 7 p.m., hundreds of students, faculty and staff, and visitors from nearby churches filled the outdoor tent on campus to worship and to hear guest speaker Pastor Myron Edmonds, senior pastor from Glenville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. He spoke to the revival theme, “I’m Weak,” based on 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
The revival concluded with a Sabbath worship service on Saturday, April 5 that featured Minister Ronnie Vanderhorst from Emmanuel-Brinklow Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ashton, Md. as the speaker.
“We had about fourteen people who planned to participate in the baptism, and then the Holy Spirit fell upon the campus and touched hearts in ways only God can do,” said WAU Chaplain Regina Johnson. “Saying God is good would be an understatement. He never fails to exceed my expectations. Another baptism will be happening April 26, and I'm beyond excited that the students are making their decisions together as a campus family!"
“To me, the revival confirmed everything about my spiritual life that I was afraid to acknowledge,” said graduating senior Shaniel Francis, who was among those baptized at the revival. “I realized the importance of starting over spiritually.”
Tyrus Fleetwood, a freshman who was baptized, said, “The revival gave me a chance to sit back and take the word of God, and look at what I was doing wrong in my life. It led me to surrender my life to him. It also showed me how God can really work, and how strong the Holy Spirit moves throughout people.”
Participants seemed to agree that the revival came at the perfect time. Vincent Wilson, a junior religion student, said, “I saw the baptism of the Holy Spirit, literally!”
Takoma Park, MD (April 2) - Washington Adventist University (WAU) recently hosted a 100 Presidents Luncheon for the presidents of Adventist colleges and universities from around the world. The luncheon was held at Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Takoma Park on March 27, and was part of the International Conference for Colleges and University Presidents that began at the Adventist World Headquarters on March 24.
WAU President Dr. Weymouth Spence greeted the 120 luncheon attendees, and WAU Professor of Religious Studies Zack Plantak offered the prayer. Background music was provided by music professors Daniel Lau on piano and Preston Hawes on violin. Those in attendance at the luncheon were gifted with a CD from the WAU Department of Music, featuring performance highlights.
A bus tour of Washington, D.C. followed the luncheon, and three WAU professors went along to serve as tour guides and discuss the theme of religious freedom with the participants.