New and Events
Washington Adventist University (WAU) President Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., is one of five recipients of the inaugural Notable Person of Honor Award from the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The awards were presented at a special luncheon during year end meetings at the end of November. “Before Dr. Spence came to the university, WAU was on a downward spiral, but thanks to Dr. Spence we have seen an overall financial turnaround, capital improvement and the second highest enrollment in the schools history this fall with 1,402 students. He is loved by the students, respected by the board and challenged by the faculty,” said Rob Vandeman, Columbia Union executive secretary.
Washington Adventist University experienced its highest enrollment ever during the 2011-2012 academic years with a total of 1493 students.
Spence, in his response, said he was surprised to be named an honoree. “This goes to the entire learning community,” he said.
The Notable Persons of Honor Award is a new recognition designed to spotlight conference members for their contribution to the cause of Christ. Other 2012 honorees were: Joyce Newmyer, president of Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Md.; Larry Boggess, president of the Mountain View Conference; José H. Cortés, president of the New Jersey Conference; and Josephine Benton, a retired pastor.
“People who have grasped the legacy of hope speak up and make a difference in their communities,” said Ken Denslow, assistant to the president of the North American Division in his devotional. “So why not take the opportunity to thank people during their living years for the work they did to advance the legacy of hope in the Seventh-day Adventist Church?”
“Thank you for your contribution to the cause of Christ,” Dave Weigley, president of the Columbia Union, told the honorees. “You’ve made a difference.”
The MDCCC is a consortium of higher education institutions committed to collaboratively addressing local and global community issues through student service, civic engagement, academically based service-learning, and campus-community partnerships. The launch event celebrated the expansion of this higher education network to include colleges and universities in Washington, DC.
Presidents attending the event signed the Declaration of Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement, heeding the national call to action and fulfilling America’s promise as outlined in the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ 2012 report, A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future. Dr. Richard Guarasci, President of Wagner College, NY and a member of the National Task Force on Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement gave the keynote address.
The MDCCC network mobilized over 9 million hours of service in 2011, valued at almost $200 million to the region. MDCCC’s twenty-two full-time AmeriCorps*VISTA members serve at member campuses organizing students to address poverty and strengthen the capacity of non-profits in the region. The MDCCC also organizes workshops, conferences, and professional development opportunities for faculty, administrators, community partners, and students.
Originally founded in 2008 as the Maryland Campus Compact, the newly incorporated Maryland-DC Campus Compact, a 501(c) 3 organization, is the most recent regional office of the National Campus Compact. The National Campus Compact, a coalition of nearly 1,200 college and university presidents representing some 6 million students, was founded in 1985 to revitalize the public purposes of higher education. The Maryland-DC Campus Compact is the only higher education association in the Maryland-DC area that includes two-year, four-year, public, private, and graduate only institutions.
The founding presidents represent the following institutions in Maryland and Washington, D.C.: Maryland – Carroll Community College; Chesapeake College; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Garrett College; Goucher College; Hood College; Johns Hopkins University; Loyola University, Maryland; Maryland Institute College of Art; McDaniel College; Montgomery College; Morgan State University; Mount St. Mary’s University; Notre Dame of Maryland University; Prince George’s Community College; Stevenson University; Towson University; University of Baltimore; University of MD, Baltimore; University of MD, Baltimore County; University of MD, College Park; University of Maryland, Eastern Shore; Washington Adventist University; District of Columbia – American University, Gallaudet University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, University of the District of Columbia, Wesley Theological Seminary.
Following a solemn processional and invocation, President Weymouth Spence, Ed.D. , challenged the community to be true to WAU’s mission: to produce graduates who bring competence and moral leadership to their communities.
“I stand here along with a committed faculty and staff ready to do all we can to make this vision a reality for every student,” Spence said, adding quickly that a WAU degree was a cherished prize that must be indicative of a graduates possession of certain intellectual capabilities as well as enhanced spirituality, creativity, flexibility and analytical capabilities. “A WAU degree must be a distinction that is earned, not a commodity that is bought.”
Spence said further that he strongly supports the concept that agents of change come from within universities.
“We prepare students for life and challenge them to go beyond the confines of conventional thinking,” he said. “We must continue the task of teaching our students how to think, not what to think.”
Dave Weigley, chair of the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and the WAU Board of Trustees, encouraged the class of 2016 to constantly reflect on their actions and where they are on their journey. He said this was a critical task that everyone must embark on so they can better understand life.
Washington Adventist University has been experiencing a resurgence in recent years, marked by increased student enrollment and a positive fiscal outlook. Students returned to campus this fall to find a completely renovated dining hall, the first since Wilkinson Hall was built 40 years ago. Several classrooms have also been renovated, wireless technology nearly completed throughout the campus and the athletic field and pool area slated for major development, in addition to other capital development projects.
- THE SCHOOLS -
The School of Arts & Social Sciences offers a curriculum focused on fostering the development of the skills essential to be successful in the global service economy of the 21st Century: writing, critical thinking, debate, analysis, and an understanding and appreciation for cultural diversity.
The School of Health Professions, Science & Wellness employs a philosophy that balances practical training and theory in approaching education for future health sciences professionals. We bridge the gap between concept and practice.
For more than 30 years, WAU has been a leader in providing career building undergraduate degree programs for working professionals. WAU has continued to expand those offerings by adding graduate programs. This provides undergraduate students the opportunity to transition into graduate programs and continue to enhance their skills and competitive marketability.