Takoma Park, MD (March 11) — The chair of Washington Adventist University’s Department of Religion has published four articles in the past year. The most recent, authored by Zdravko Zack Plantak, Ph.D., is “Occupy Till I Come: Relevance of the Belief of the Coming of God,” which was published in the Winter 2014 issue of Adventist Today, Vol. 22, No. 1. (pp.22-27). The piece explores Christian beliefs, perspectives and actions during the time between the first and second coming of Christ.
The article focuses on how the unknown timing of a second coming can affect believers, particularly those who anticipate an imminent advent, and those who become impatient and disappointed. The result can be overexcitement or indifference, shifting attention away from the work of helping those who are the most vulnerable and marginalized in society.
Plantak’s article concludes that “the second coming need not be an obstacle for the involvement in human rights but should become, although not necessarily the primary, at least an additional incentive for moral life in society and being concerned for justice, equality, and peacemaking.”
Other articles published by Plantak during the year are “Creation Care in a Careless World,” published in the April-June 2013 issue of Dynamic Steward, addressing the issue of environmental concern and responsibility; “A Call to Restore God’s Justice” which was published in the Summer 2013 issue of The Journal of Adventist Education; and an article on the meaning of life, entitled "To Live is to Love" which appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of Adventist Today.
Takoma Park, MD (March 11) — This was a winning and record-breaking year for the Washington Adventist University sports teams. The Shock men’s basketball team won the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Men’s Basketball Division I National Championship for the first time in school history on March 8. The Washington Adventist Shock beat the Tennessee Temple Crusaders with a score of 61 to 38 at the Penn State Fayette Arena in Uniontown, PA.
Prior to the championship tournament, the basketball team had ended its regular season with a 19-8 record – representing the most wins in 22 years, and tying the school’s 19-win record in the 1991-1992 season for the most wins in the history of the university’s basketball program.
“This was the third time in four years that our team participated in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships,” said head coach Patrick Crarey II. “I am really proud of the players for overcoming injuries and winning the championship.”
Also this year, the men’s soccer teams earned the No. 7 seed in the 2013 USCAA National Championships in Charleston, WV. 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, defeating many different Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) NCAA Division II colleges and universities.
The Department of Athletics has applied to become a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which is expected to be finalized this spring. The move will help enhance support for the athletics program and better align the university with others that have similar character initiatives.
Competitive sports teams are part of the vision that WAU President Dr. Weymouth Spence has had for the university since he was hired four years ago.
Up-to-date information about Washington Adventist University Athletics is available at www.WAUathletics.com, the official website of WAU Athletics.
Takoma Park, MD (Feb. 18) — A team of Washington Adventist University (WAU) students participated this year for the first time in the regional Mock Trial Competition hosted by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) at the University of Richmond in VA. Although WAU students have participated in mock trial exhibitions over the years, this was the first year that students were able to compete, following a religious exemption that relieved the team from competing on Saturday, the Seventh-Day Adventist Sabbath.
The competition was held February 7-9, and eight WAU students, one time keeper and two coaches attended. The students included Asara Greaves (team captain), Allen Adeleke, John Hofilena, Avery Huggins, Gabbie Colon, Brielyn Sampson, Lillian Wanjiku, Melayna Brown and Shavonne Cadette (time keeper). Practicing attorneys Petra Aaron and Joseph Caleb were the coaches.
This year’s regional competition featured teams from 20 schools, including Harvard University, Washington and Lee, Patrick Henry College, Mt. St Mary’s, and Gettysburg. The regionals serve as the first round of the AMTA’s annual tournament. The WAU team competed directly against the University of Richmond, William and Mary, Penn State and Wake Forest.
The WAU team was initiated in 2000 by Dr. Roy Branson, then director of Law and Public Policy. Students are invited to join the Mock Trial Team based on their participation in the American Judicial System (PLST 327) course, which offers an in-depth study of the judicial system.
Washington Adventist University is the first and only Adventist institution to participate in the AMTA Mock Trial Competition.
Takoma Park, MD (Feb. 25) — Progress Continues in Vision 2020 – Growing with Excellence Plan
In a statement issued today by Washington Adventist University (WAU) President Dr. Weymouth Spence regarding the university’s progress in its “transformative journey from a good university to a great one,” he pointed to the importance of realigning resources as the next step in building a stronger and more vibrant school.
The university, located on 19 acres in suburban Takoma Park, Md., embarked last year upon a plan to create a culture of excellence and become a thriving university that is continuously fulfilling the vision of producing graduates that demonstrate competence and moral leadership in their communities. Known as the Vision 2020 – Growing with Excellence plan, which Spence instituted in May 2013, the university is moving forward in its journey towards excellence by more carefully aligning its resources with operational improvements and instructional efficiencies – all while providing support to students and keeping tuition and fees affordable.
“One of the many traits of thriving institutions of higher education is that the budgeting process aligns with the planning process,” said Spence. “As we prepare our FY2015 budget for the Board of Trustees approval, we are intentional in not only aligning the proposed budget with the planning process, but are also very intentional in making sure that the FY2015 budget supports our institution’s growth through identified action plans.”
The following guidelines were used in developing the university’s next budget, which is pending Board of Trustees approval on March 5. They include: ensuring that the university exceeds programmatic and institutional accreditation standards; enhancing programs for liberal arts, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and careers; enhancing academic support for students and maintaining affordable tuition and fees; investing in faculty compensation and development to improve academic quality; and implementing best practices to improve governance, effectiveness, efficiencies and relevance.
In his progress statement, Spence reminded faculty and staff, students and constituents that “moving forward together will help ensure that WAU emerges as a premier private Christian university that engages minds and transforms lives.”
Takoma Park, MD (Feb. 18) — Washington Adventist University (WAU) lost a friend and supporter on February 12, when Stewart W. Bainum, Sr. died at age 94. In the late 1930s, Bainum was a student on the Takoma Park campus of WAU, attending what was then known as Columbia Junior College, part of Washington Missionary College.
Initially a plumber, Bainum became a developer and businessman who eventually launched two public companies, Manor Care, Inc. and Choice Hotels International. He was also a philanthropist. With his wife Jane, he founded The Commonweal Foundation in 1968 as a family philanthropic organization that continues to provide educational and social support to financially needy students.
“Stewart Bainum, Sr. was a strong advocate for Adventist education and for this university, and his loss will be deeply felt,” said WAU President Dr. Weymouth Spence. “His compassion and generosity changed countless lives, and helped make this community a better place in which to live.”
Bainum is survived by his wife of 72 years, along with four children, ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.