WAU President Weymouth Spence Offers “State of the University” Update

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.”

State of the University Update - Press Release

Mock Trial Team Participated in First Regional Competition

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.

Death of WAU Friend and Adventist Education Supporter Stewart W. Bainum, Sr. on February 12

Bainum 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.

Mikulski Honored with Presidents Award for Leadership on Higher Education by Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association


February 5, 2014

“I am so proud to represent Maryland and the people of the educational mosaic that’s in our great state,” Senator Mikulski says.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a senior member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, has been awarded the 2013 Presidents Award from the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association (MICUA) for outstanding leadership on behalf of higher education in Maryland.

“I am so proud to represent Maryland and the people of the educational mosaic that’s in our great state,” Senator Mikulski said. “It is my job to help Maryland’s colleges and universities do what they’re best at – which is educating our next generation. Education is the opportunity ladder of this nation. Every child deserves their chance to climb that ladder. I will continue fighting to ensure that Maryland students have access to quality, affordable higher education.”

In her roles on the HELP and Appropriations Committees, Senator Mikulski has been an advocate for access to quality higher education through programs like the federal Pell grants program, which provides need-based grants to lower-income undergraduate students to promote access to higher education. As Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski worked to ensure that the FY14 government spending bill supported a maximum Pell Grant award of $5,730 (an $85 increase). In addition, Senator Mikulski has also been a vocal advocate of examining and eliminating duplicative, unnecessary, or overly burdensome higher education regulations. To that end, she worked to ensure FY14 funding for a study to examine higher education regulations.

MICUA is a member-driven organization devoted to serving the interests of independent higher education and supporting the work of campus leaders throughout the State. Established in 1971, the Association provides services to meet the needs of independent higher education and fosters cooperative efforts among its member institutions and all segments of higher education. As the voice of independent higher education in Maryland, MICUA seeks to inform the broader public about its member institutions and the vital importance of independent colleges and universities to the future of our State and nation.

Representatives from MICUA and its member institutions include MICUA President Tina Bjarekull, MICUA Vice President Bret Schreiber; Michael Wood, President of Capitol College; Sanford Ungar, President of Goucher College; Fred Lazarus, IV, President of Maryland Institute College of Art; Roger Casey, President of McDaniel College; Thomas Powell, President of Mount St. Mary’s College; Joan Develin Coley, President of Notre Dame of Maryland University; Christopher Nelson, President of St. John’s College; Charles Simmons, President of Sojourner-Douglass College; Kevin Manning, President of Stevenson University; Weymouth Spence, President of Washington Adventist University; Mitchell Reiss, President of Washington College; Allie Laban-Baker, Vice President for Communications at Goucher College; Joan Flynn, Vice-President for Administration at Loyola University; Herb Smith, Director of Government Relations at McDaniel College; Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, Special Assistant to the President for Community Leadership at Mount St. Mary’s University; Candace Caraco, Senior Advisor to the President at Notre Dame of Maryland University and Sharon Markley, Vice-President of Public Affairs and Strategy at Stevenson University. Ner Israel Rabbinical College and St. Mary’s Seminary & University are affiliate members.

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On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, Senator Mikulski was presented with the 2013 Presidents Award by MICUA, including Tina Bjarekull, President of MICUA; Bret Schreiber, Vice-President of MICUA, and representatives of Goucher College, Maryland Institute College of Art, McDaniel College, Mount St. Mary’s University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, St. John’s College, Sojourner-Douglass College, Stevenson University, Washington Adventist University, Washington College and Loyola University.

Washington Adventist University Launches Homeland Security Program

Takoma Park, MD (Feb. 7)—Washington Adventist University (WAU) is entering the arena of Homeland Security education this March with the launch of three new certificates in Cyber Security, Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Response.

The homeland security certifications can be completed in six months compared to a year for similar programs at other area schools. Students in the WAU programs take two courses every eight weeks, and classes meet weekly for three hours.

The director of the program is Dr. Herma Percy, a member of the Maryland Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council that advises the Maryland Governor’s office. She will teach courses, along with other experienced instructors who combine relevant theory with real-world experience. The faculty for the homeland security program includes industry insiders from the public health, law enforcement, military, government, and cyber security experts.

“We are seeing that there is an urgent need for training security professionals in both the government and in the private sector because of the frequency and severity of natural and man-made disasters and cyber-attacks,” said Percy. “So there’s a strong demand in the workplace for employees who are skilled in helping to prepare, respond and recover from man-made, and natural hazards.

With flexible start times, convenient schedules, experienced faculty, and easily transferable credits, the program is designed for working professionals who wish to advance their careers and students who want to add a homeland security concentration to their studies.

“Our three certificates focus on helping people, communities and businesses prepare and respond to natural, and man-made disasters,” says Percy. “We offer a unique curriculum so our students will be learning to do, not just learning about,” Percy added.

Homeland Security Press Release

Washington Post column about the university's historical College Mill

Washington Post (February 1) - There's something fitting about a Christian college having an active woodworking program. After all, wasn't Joseph a carpenter?

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Washington Adventist University to Award Sullivan Medallions

TAKOMA PARK, Md. (Dec. 11) - Washington Adventist University has been unanimously selected by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation to join the family of schools awarding the Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan medallions. WAU is the only school in Maryland and the only Seventh Day Adventist institution in the country to ever receive this honor. The university was selected based upon its commitment to service and for the outstanding work it has accomplished serving both local and international communities. The award may be presented to full-time undergraduate students and community leaders who have demonstrated a passion for community service and who are known for their unwavering integrity.

The foundation will provide a display apparatus so that the ensuing listing of recipients of the award can be prominently displayed on the campus. A representative from the Sullivan Foundation will be present in the Spring when the university selects and presents its first recipient(s) of the award at the annual Academic Awards chapel on April 23, 2014. For more information about the Sullivan awards, please contact Dr. Ralph Johnson, Dean, Center for Student Success.

Acro-Airs Perform at Pacers Halftime

TAKOMA PARK, Md. (Jan. 30) - Washington Adventist University’s award-winning Acro-Airs sports-acrobatics exhibition team recently performed for the Indiana Pacers National Basketball Association (NBA) team in Indianapolis during the team’s January 30 game against the Phoenix Suns. The Acro-Airs team was invited by the Pacers to perform during halftime and throughout the game. The cost of the four-day trip was paid by the Pacers, and the halftime performance marked the continuation of the Acro-Airs’ 19-year relationship with the Pacers. The trip also provided the Acro-Airs an opportunity to participate in clinics and vespers programs at Indiana Junior Academy and Mount Vernon Academy.

Breaking Old Ground for a New Athletic Field

ground group smTAKOMA PARK, Md. (Nov. 25) - According to the Creation story in Genesis, God created the world ex nihilo:  out of nothing. Then He broke the ground, gathered the dust of the earth, and made the first man. Breaking ground for a new athletic field at Washington Adventist University (WAU) is also an act of creation. This new field will be one means of recreating our students by helping them experience true education – “the harmonious development of the mental, physical and spiritual powers.” (Ellen White)  It is the goal of WAU to help its learning community develop a balanced life in every dimension of living.

Groundbreaking for the new athletic field signals the start of an extreme makeover that has been needed for decades.  The new field will be made of AstroTurf® and will allow for a variety of activities by students, staff, and members of the local community.  Men’s and women’s soccer, intramural activities, and community group activities will enjoy a safe and aesthetically pleasing field during all the seasons of the year. “On this new field, we will not only build muscles, but also character and good sportsmanship.” (Patrick Crarey)

The WAU President, Dr. Weymouth Spence, officiated at the groundbreaking activity. He was assisted by Dave Weigley, Chair of the WAU Board of Trustees. Congratulatory comments were made by Patrick Crarey, Athletic Director of WAU; Jarrett Smith, Takoma Park Council Member; and Terrill North, candidate, County Council. It is estimated that refurbishment of the new athletic field will be completed April 2014.