Takoma Park, MD (April 24) - This year, for the first time, Washington Adventist University (WAU) presented the prestigious Sullivan awards to two students in recognition of their demonstrated passion for community service. Nikole Donovan, an undergraduate who is majoring in social work, received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award at the Academic Awards Chapel on April 23 at Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church. Louise Griffin -- a student in the School of Graduate and Professional Studies (SGPS) who is earning her master’s degree in healthcare administration -- received the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award at the SGPS Academic Awards Program that same afternoon in the Morrison Hall Chapel on campus.
“The WAU community is excited to pause and recognize outstanding members of our community,” said Dr. Ralph Johnson, Dean of the WAU Betty Howard Center for Student Success.
Since 1890, the highly-prized Sullivan awards have been presented on the campuses of colleges and universities across the American South. These institutions all reflect the interest of prominent lawyer, businessman and philanthropist Algernon Sydney Sullivan and his wife, Mary Mildred Sullivan, to educate and honor deserving students. The awards are named for the Sullivans to honor their lives of service.
There are currently 61 colleges and universities presenting Sullivan awards, facilitated by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation, based in Oxford, Miss. The Sullivan Foundation Board of Directors reviews applications from eligible institutions interested in participating in the awards presentations, visits the campuses, and approves participation in the awards program based on merit. Participating institutions may present the awards to graduating seniors, alumni, or community members who meet the award criteria. Notable past award recipients include Eleanor Roosevelt and Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell.
Attending WAU’s first Sullivan awards presentations this year was Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation President Stephan L. McDavid, Esq. The awards themselves are bronze medallions, each accompanied by a framed certificate and a biography of either Algernon Sydney Sullivan or Mary Mildred Sullivan.
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 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 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.
For more information about the WAU Enactus team, contact Professor Kimberly Pichot at email@example.com.
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.
Takoma Park, MD (March 26) - The Washington Adventist University Department of Religion is hosting the 34th G. Arthur Keough Lectureship program on March 28 and 29, featuring topics that include women’s ordination and the politics of interpretation. The lectures are open to the public and will be held on and near the university campus, located at 7600 Flower Ave. in Takoma Park, Md.
On March 28 at 7 p.m., “Higher Criticism and the Resistance to Women’s Ordination: Unmasking the Issue” will be presented by Olive J. Hemmings, Ph.D., in the chapel at Richards Hall, located on campus. Hemmings is a professor of religion at Washington Adventist University (WAU) and a commissioned minister who preaches locally, nationally and internationally. She teaches Biblical Theology, Pauline Theology, introduction to the New Testament and other New Testament courses. Hemmings brings to her teachings a passion for using the cultural and historical contexts of Biblical text as it reflects social struggles, including the struggle to understand and engage the divine. She is author of the recently published book, “Sacred Texts and Social Conflict.”
Hemmings will also deliver a March 29 lecture at 10 a.m. on “The Text: Weapon or Guide?” at the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church, Fellowship Hall A, located at 7700 Carroll Ave. in Takoma Park.
A lecture on “Inerrancy, Adventism, and Church Unity” will presented on March 29 at 3:30 p.m. by Richard Rice, Ph.D., on campus in the chapel at Richards Hall. A professor of religion at Loma Linda University, Calif., he has served as a church pastor and is the author of numerous books and articles. His books include “When Bad Things Happen to God's People;” “Reason and the Contours of Faith;” and “The Reign of God: An Introduction to Christian Theology from a Seventh-day Adventist Perspective.”
The G. Arthur Keough Lectureship program honors the memory of a former WAU faculty member who authored such books as “Let Daniel Speak;” “Rejoicing with the Psalmist;” and “Infinitely Happy.”
This year’s program was organized by Zdravko Zack Plantak, Ph.D., chair of the Washington Adventist University Department of Religion and author of the book “The Silent Church: Human Rights and Adventist Social Ethics."
The program schedule is as follows:
Friday, March 28, 7pm – Dr. Hemmings: “Higher Criticism and the Resistance to Women’s Ordination – Unmasking the Issue” – Richards Hall Chapel, Lower Level, Building 10
Saturday, March 29, 10am – Dr. Hemmings: Sligo Church Fellowship Hall A
Saturday, March 29, 3:30pm – Dr. Rice: “Inerrancy, Adventism, and Church Unity” Richards Hall Chapel, Lower Level, Building 10
Festival Features Music, Food and Family Entertainment
Takoma Park, MD (March 28) - A Family Fun Festival will be held on Sunday, April 13, noon to 5 p.m., on the campus of Washington Adventist University (WAU) in Takoma Park. The free event will feature music, food and family entertainment. Previously known as the WAU Taste of Takoma, the event has been an annual tradition on campus for more than a decade during the university’s alumni weekend – which is April 10-13 this year.
“This festival offers families a variety of wholesome entertainment, and it’s a nice way to spend time together on a Sunday afternoon.” said Professor Kimberly Pichot, chair of the WAU Business Department and chair of this year’s festival. “I encourage individuals and families to join in the fun.”
The festival this year will be staged with support from the City of Takoma Park and local sponsors such as Washington Adventist Hospital and WGTS 91.9 FM radio. Featured will be a performance by WAU’s award-winning Acro-Airs sports-acrobatics exhibition team; a showcase of WGTS music artists; a concert by Josh Wilson; health screenings; food from local restaurants and caterers; tents filled with interesting crafts; and entertainment for children, big and small. A food drive for the Capital Area Food Bank will also be featured, and families are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate. The festival will be held rain or shine. The WAU campus is located at 7600 Flower Avenue, Takoma Park, Md. 20912, near Washington Adventist Hospital and accessible by public transportation.
For more information about the Family Fun Festival, call 301-891-4034 or go to www.wau.edu/festival.
Takoma Park, MD (March 26) - Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown will be a featured speaker at the Ministers/Religious Leaders Summit on March 27 at the Washington Adventist University (WAU) Student Activity Center in Takoma Park. The event, which begins at 10 a.m., is sponsored by the WAU Center for Law and Public Policy, and it is open to students, faculty, staff and members of the local and faith-based community.
The summit brings together political, educational and faith leaders to discuss ways to resolve issues and facilitate positive change in the community. In addition to Lt. Governor Brown, speakers will include WAU President Dr. Weymouth Spence; Center for Law and Public Policy Director Dr. Joan A. Francis; WAU Adjunct Professor of History Derrick Green; Senior Pastor Dr. Anthony Medley of Emmanuel-Brinklow Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ashton, Md.; and Pastor Marcus Harris of Breath of Life Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ft. Washington, Md.
The WAU Student Activity Center is located on campus at 7600 Flower Ave., Takoma Park, Md. 20912. The campus is next to Washington Adventist Hospital, and it is accessible by public transportation.