September 5, 2017
We are already a week into the new school year, and the Washington Adventist University campus is again a lively place. Students have returned to campus, and we are back to the business of “engaging minds and transforming lives.”
For all who worry about the increasing demands of their classes, careers and personal responsibilities as this semester unfolds, please remember Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Students will be interested to know that we’ve added a new Bachelor of Music Therapy (BMT) degree to our offerings this year. WAU is not only the first institution in the State of Maryland that is approved to implement this degree program, but it is the first Adventist institution of higher learning in the nation to offer it. This is yet another way to help others, using the power of music.
WAU has successfully passed the first hurdle in seeking reaccreditation by the regional accrediting agency, Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). WAU’s recent Peer Review Report, which must be submitted halfway through the ten-year self-study cycle, received a positive review. The report assesses ongoing compliance with federal and accreditation standards, and provides educational accountability to the public and academic community. As part of a peer-review process, the report was evaluated by education professionals from institutions similar to Washington Adventist University. They commended the report itself, as well as many institutional practices. They also made suggestions that offered collegial advice. Most importantly, WAU was found to have met all compliance and accreditation standards. The outcome of the upcoming November meeting of the commission is expected to reaffirm WAU’s accreditation for the next five years.
Consistent with our commitment to ensuring excellence in teaching and learning for our students, the following visits from approving agencies are scheduled for this semester. They include a visit by the Maryland State Department of Education, October 22-24; Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), dates to be determined; and the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA), November 15-16.
For this semester’s spiritual inspiration and support, our Office of Ministry has identified the theme of “Grounded,” and the Week in Spiritual Emphasis will be held September 10-16 to provide daily motivation that will strengthen the soul. All are welcome to attend the brief sermonettes that will be held each weekday at 11:30 a.m. at Sligo Church. In the evenings, from September 11-14 at 7:30 p.m., Dr. Baraka Muganda, Vice-President of Ministry, will offer words of encouragement in Richards Hall.
One final reminder about upcoming WAU events this month that I hope you will consider attending:
- The ribbon-cutting ceremony for our new Gail S. and Bruce E. Boyer Health Professions and Wellness Center will take place on campus on September 16 at 6:30 p.m., between Halcyon Hall and the Gymnasium. For more information, contact Tanya Sweeney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Our Fifth Annual Visionaries Gala will take place on September 17 at 6:00 p.m. at Congressional Country Club, 8500 River Road in Bethesda. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available online for the Gala, and funds go to a very good cause. They support student scholarships and the Health Professions and Wellness Center.
- The 39th Arthur Keough Lectureship, featuring Professor of Religion and Ethics and Chair of the WAU Religion Department Aleksandar S. Santrac, D.Phil., Ph.D. On September 22 at 7 p.m., he will lecture on “The Legacy of Martin Luther’s Sola Scriptura.” On September 23 at 3:30 p.m., Dr. Santrac will discuss in his second lecture “The Legacy of Martin Luther’s Sola Fide.” Both lectures will take place in the Richards Hall Chapel.
Now that everyone is back on campus, be sure to welcome the new faculty and staff who joined us over the summer:
Joy Bowman, Payroll Specialist, Office of Accounting Services;
Tiffany Brown, Director, REACH Columbia Union Urban Evangelism Center;
Andre Darvasan-Stanciu, Administrative Assistant, Department of Music;
Ricardo Flores, Executive Director of IT, Office of Information Technology Services;
Nedelka George, Administrative Assistant serving two offices, the Betty Howard Center for Student Success and Office of International Student Programs;
Denise Hinds, Health, Wellness and Physical Education Department Chair and Assistant Professor;
Exer Jefferson, Advancement Service Specialist;
Evelyn Khandagale, Nursing Education Clinical Coordinator, Department of Nursing;
Jerry McFarland, Athletics Department Office Manager;
Enoh Nkana, Education Department Assistant Professor;
Mark Sigue, Director of Campus Outreach and Chaplain;
Sai Newton Tryer, Director of Accounting Services and Controller, Office of Accounting;
The WAU Board of Directors will hold its first meeting of this school year on Wednesday, September 13.
Be sure to support our men and women Shock athletes. A master schedule is online, with dates and locations for upcoming sporting events.
With great anticipation of another successful school year, this is Washington Adventist University!
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
August 3, 2017
I hope you are enjoying what is left of the summer. At Washington Adventist University, we are already gearing up to launch a new school year – 2017-2018. Our residence halls will open to new students on August 20, and a new student orientation will be held from August 21-27. Registration ends August 25, and fall classes begin August 28.
Some pleasant surprises await students when they arrive on campus for the Fall Semester -- new buses, better locations for some important offices, and library enhancements.
We purchased two new coach buses over the summer, and they arrived July 25. They stand ready to transport our students to a wide variety of experiences, including field trips, student association trips, performances by our Music Department and Acro-Airs team, sporting events, competitions, and out-of-classroom learning activities.
The buses are white, and will have the WAU lettering on them by the time classes start. They each seat up to 56 people, and replace two older buses that had become unreliable. When these new buses are not scheduled for campus use, they will be available for use by the churches and academies in our community. For anyone who may be interested, call 301-891-4000 and ask for Transportation, or email email@example.com.
In addition, we have improved access to our Office of Student Life and Office of Ministry teams by moving them to the lobby level of Wilkinson Hall, directly in line with the front door. These offices and their staffs will be easy to find for all who seek them, and the Accounting office that previously occupied that space has moved to the 4th floor of Wilkinson Hall.
Weis Library completely migrated to a new integrated library system over the summer. The new software system manages such functions as cataloging and circulation, along with new research tools -- WorldCat Discovery and Journal Finder -- which replace what was formerly called Library Catalog and Full-Text Finder. These new tools will make it easier for faculty and students to find materials in the library. The addition of new business and history books in June, and new literature and religion books in May expand the resources available at the library.
Events this month include Washington Adventist University’s annual Colloquium for faculty and staff, which will be held on campus in the atrium of Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church. Both faculty and staff will participate on Thursday, August 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and faculty will participate on Friday, August 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for professional development discussions and programs.
Be sure to note on your calendar two important events that are coming up in September. The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Gail S. and Bruce E. Boyer Health Professions and Wellness Center on September 16 at 6:30 p.m., and the Fifth Annual Visionaries Gala on September 17 at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are still available for the Gala, and the purchase price supports student scholarships and other important WAU giving priorities.
As you enjoy the last months of summer, please remember Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
July 5, 2017
It’s officially summer, and we’ve had much to celebrate in the past few days with our nation’s 241st Independence Day holiday this week, as well as the beginning of Washington Adventist University’s new fiscal year, which launches our institution into its 113th year. WAU has been preparing young men and women to become moral leaders in their communities for more than a century, and with our Vision 2020 – Growing with Excellence plan, we have been refocusing attention on our institution’s original charge -- engaging minds and transforming lives.
As Matthew 7:7 reminds us, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
With our Vision 2020 plan, we have been seeking excellence at all levels of this university, and we are finding it and growing with the many new opportunities that are opening to us. Washington Adventist University is well on its way to becoming one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
One of those new opportunities is the recent transfer of the REACH Columbia Union Evangelism School from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to our campus. Although WAU partnered with REACH when the evangelism school first opened in 2014 as a year-long, satellite immersion program that combined classroom instruction with hands-on ministry experience, we are very pleased to now have it fully housed on our campus.
The REACH Evangelism School aligns perfectly with WAU’s mission and legacy of Gateway to Service. In 1907, the General Conference voted to establish a school for the training of foreign missionaries to further develop and implement globally the model of practical Christian service. The program was launched here on our campus at a time when WAU was named Washington Training College and was soon to transition to a new name, Washington Foreign Mission Seminary. Today, welcoming the REACH program to campus is a wonderful reminder of our institutional history, and one that strengthens and supports our original mission.
The evangelism program will enhance the leadership and spiritual development training for young adults who are interested in learning how to effectively minister to others. The 15-credit curriculum is being integrated into our Department of Religion course offerings.
If you or anyone you know will be attending the traditional WAU day program in the fall, please be aware that we are offering Early Registration Days on three Thursdays this month – July 13, July 20 and July 27. It’s always good to register early for the best choice of classes and schedules, and any questions or requests for a registration appointment on another day can be directed to our Admissions Office at 301-891-4000.
The second term of our summer School of Graduate and Professional Studies accelerated evening classes starts this week, and the Fall Semester is just around the corner. Registration for fall is already open, and for those who are interested in pursuing a new degree, it’s as easy as calling the SGPS office at 301-891-4092 and letting the staff help you find the program that best suits your needs. The SGPS office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Fridays. There are eight undergraduate and nine graduate degree programs offered in the evenings, and many can be earned in as little as 18 months either on campus, online or in combination.
As we prepare for a new school year, our Human Resources Department has been busy hiring new staff to fill some existing and new positions. Please help me welcome these individuals to campus:
- Tiffany Brown, Director, REACH Columbia Union Urban Evangelism School;
- Denise Hinds, Health, Wellness and Physical Education Department Chair and Assistant Professor
- Exer Jefferson, Advancement Service Specialist
- Jerry McFarland, Athletics Department Office Manager
- Enoh Nkana, Education Department Assistant Professor
- Mark Sigue, Director of Campus Outreach and Chaplain; and
- Carelle Varona, Nursing Department Assistant Professor and Skills Lab/Simulation Coordinator
Best wishes for the start of a wonderful summer,
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
June 1, 2017
We are entering a season when college campus activities traditionally slow down, and here at Washington Adventist University we do miss seeing many of our regular students during the summer months. However, as we continue to strive for excellence at all levels of this university, we offer an array of exciting activities and opportunities that I hope you will consider adding to your summer plans.
Our Trauma and Christian Counseling program is a two-session, one-credit course that starts this Sunday, June 4 and will continue on Sunday, June 18. Students will learn crisis intervention skills; how to deal with death, loss and suicide; and how to care for themselves as they care for others. It is open to all who are interested, and will be held from 2-6 p.m. in Wilkinson Hall. There’s still time to register if you contact the School of Graduate and Professional Studies staff by noon tomorrow at 301-891-4092.
A new Summer Symposium on Preaching and Urban Ministry will be held June 15-17 for those who seek to renew their spirit and share their faith. We are assured by Psalms 119:105 that “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” The three-day event will be held on campus, and registration is open to anyone who wants to be inspired by a dynamic group of speakers who know how to share their faith with others.
Patrick Crarey’s Summer Basketball Skills Clinic for ages 6-16 will be held on campus June 19-23. You can still register a child for the program online. This day program continues to grow in popularity each year, and it offers young people the chance to learn skills from our WAU Athletic Director who is also head coach of our Shock Men’s Basketball team, which earned the Association of Independent Institutions Conference Championship this year and ended the season with the best overall record in program history, 22-7.
Although the first term of our School of Graduate and Professional Studies accelerated evening classes wraps up this month, the next term starts July 2-6. If you would like to get a jumpstart on earning credits for a degree program, summer classes are a good way to do that. We offer courses on campus, online, or in combination. I also urge senior citizens to consider taking a course or pursuing the degree they’ve always wanted, since WAU offers significant tuition discounts to anyone who is at least 60 years young. At age 70, tuition is free and there are no limitations on how many classes or degree programs can be earned.
If you haven’t already marked your calendar, please do so now so you don’t miss the September 16, 6:30 p.m. opening of the Gail S. and Bruce E. Boyer Health Professions & Wellness Center on campus; and the Fifth Annual Visionaries Gala on September 17, 6:00 p.m. at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda. There is still an opportunity to make a contribution that will help fund the finishing touches on the Health Professions & Wellness Center, which will bring 21st century state-of-the-art health education to WAU.
Best wishes for the start of a wonderful summer,
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
May 3, 2017
This is always an exciting time of year at Washington Adventist University. We’ve just completed our 2017 Commencement Weekend, and more than 200 new graduates have joined the ranks of our Washington Adventist University alumni. They have stepped through our Gateway to Service and are now prepared to become moral leaders in the communities where they will reside. I hope you will join me in congratulating them on this hard-earned achievement.
As a group, this year’s graduates received 59 master’s degrees, 127 baccalaureate degrees, and 8 associate degrees at commencement. Kerstin Smith, a fourth generation graduate of this university, and Norma Reveil and her daughters Bithja and Micaja Racine, were among those receiving their degrees this year.
The graduates participated in a Friday evening Consecration Service on April 28, along with events hosted earlier in the day by the departments, the Honors Program, and the Office of Alumni Relations. On the April 29 Sabbath, a Baccalaureate Service was held in the morning and we are proud to announce that one of our students, Abiola Adegnika, was baptized. To view the service online, visit sligochurch.org/media. The weekend culminated with the Commencement Ceremony on April 30 at The Show Place Arena, featuring Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot as the Commencement Speaker. Graduates will have the opportunity to order photos of the ceremony on Graduation Central.
Summer classes for our School of Graduate and Professional Studies start next week, and for those who want to advance their education through accelerated evening or online programs, there are quite a few degree programs from which to choose. It’s a good opportunity to do something productive this summer, and it’s not too late to apply and register.
Mark 16:15 comes to mind when I think about our upcoming Summer Symposium on Preaching and Urban Ministry, “And he said unto them, go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
To help those who want to share the gospel, we will be hosting the Summer Symposium on Preaching and Urban Ministry from June 15-17, and it is open to all who are interested. The three-day event brings together a dynamic group of speakers, along with seminars on preaching, daily devotionals and sermons.
The Keynote Speaker for the symposium will be Dwight Nelson, D.Min., lead pastor at Pioneer Memorial Church at Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches preaching at the theological seminary and is an author of books, including “The Chosen.”
Other symposium speakers will include Professor Stephen Bauer from the Southern Adventist University School of Religion; Adjunct Professor Patty Prasada-Rao of the WAU Department of Religion; Aleksandar S. Santrac, D.Phil., Ph.D., chair of the WAU Department of Religion and professor of religion and ethics; Pastor Brenda Langford Billingy, an associate director of the North American Division, Ministerial Department; and Laura Morena and Pastor Cesar Grassioto from Highland View Church in Hagerstown.
For those who have not yet heard the news, we will be bidding farewell to Dr. James Bingham and Jessica Baccus who will both leaving the WAU Music Department for new adventures. It is bittersweet news, as they will be missed, but I hope you will join me in thanking them for their many years of exemplary service and in wishing them well. We owe them a debt of gratitude for developing and maintaining the WAU Music Department’s reputation for excellence, and for helping to launch our music majors into professional careers. Dr. Bingham most recently established an articulation agreement with the Howard Community College Music Department, which will draw new music students into the WAU music programs for years to come.
On a sad note, Jim Burns, an alumnus and former head of Physical Education (when this school was known as Columbia Union College), passed away at the age of 84 on April 19. He served as a role model and inspiration to many, and will long be remembered for his positive attitude and ability to lead by example. He leaves behind his wife of 60 years, two daughters and five grandchildren.
As the 2016-2017 academic year wanes, please remember Psalms 113:3, “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.”
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
April 6, 2017
We’ve had a fruitful month, despite a snow and ice storm that closed campus on March 14. We finalized an agreement with Howard Community College (HCC) that will help music students smoothly transition to Washington Adventist University to complete their bachelor’s degrees.
As most of you know, we have an outstanding Music Department, and its performance groups include the Columbia Collegiate Chorale, ProMusica and the New England Youth Ensemble which perform on stages across the globe. If you’ve never had the pleasure of attending a performance by our talented student and faculty musicians, you’ll have the opportunity on Friday, April 7 at 7 p.m. A free concert will be held at Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church on campus.
U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black was the keynote speaker at the annual Employee Appreciation Banquet that is hosted by the WAU Board of Trustees on March 8. It was a delight to have Chaplain Black help us recognize and thank our dedicated employees who are working to ensure that Washington Adventist University is one of the premier educational institutions in the mid-Atlantic region. When Chaplain Black was elected to his position in 2003, he became the first African American and first Seventh-day Adventist to hold the office. I think our employees can attest that it was an immense honor to have him speak at the appreciation banquet.
For those who missed our annual Revival on campus last week. The week-long event was the fifth that we’ve hosted in order to provide spiritual inspiration and support to our students, faculty, staff and the local community. Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Reginald Guerrier was the featured speaker, and the theme, “I Can’t Even,” focused on finding time for God. Participants were challenged to rise above the excuses and make time for what’s important in life. This year, the event was shared live on Facebook and Instagram, resulting in more than 600 views that expanded the audience for the message.
This weekend, Washington Adventist University will be hosting its alumni and parents of current students during the annual Alumni and Parents Weekend, April 6-9. During the weekend, Alumnus Ted Wilson, President of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church and our featured speaker, will be inducted into the Department of Business and Communication Wall of Fame on Saturday, April 8 at 3:30 p.m. in Morrison Hall.
With a theme of “Generations of Excellence,” Alumni and Parents Weekend promises to be fun and rewarding, and it will include the free concert by our Music Department’s performance groups on Friday, April 7 at 7 p.m., along with the Family Fun Festival on Sunday, April 9, noon to 5 p.m. I hope to see you there!
In closing, I ask that you consider Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
March 1, 2017
We’ve had a busy start to our spring semester, with highlights that include our Choral Festival for high school students; a Senior Night for our men’s basketball team with a plaque presentation to Athletics Director and Coach Patrick Crarey II, honoring his leadership and 100th win; the Career, Internship and Graduate Programs Fair on campus that offered new opportunities for students, alumni and the community; and Missions Week, which promoted this year’s missions abroad – trips to the Philippines, El Salvador and Honduras.
I also had the pleasure of visiting Spicer Adventist University (SAU) in India recently, to minister to the students, faculty and staff there during their Week of Spiritual Emphasis. I was enriched by the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus and His love with the SAU community.
We will be hosting our annual Employee Appreciation Banquet, sponsored by the Board of Trustees, on March 8, and I look forward to honoring the faculty and staff who continue to make Washington Adventist University the outstanding educational institution that it is. I am extremely proud of this WAU family and all that they do to ensure that our students are prepared to become strong moral leaders in their communities across the globe.
On March 20, as we welcome the spring equinox and head into longer days and warmer weather, we will be hosting a Spring Revival on campus. Please join us in the evenings of March 20-26 in the white tent on the Commons. The revival offers an opportunity for personal renewal and enables us to heed Psalms 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Although we are still on target to complete and formally open the Gail S. and Bruce E. Boyer Health Professions and Wellness Center on September 16, 2017, help is still needed to purchase furnishings and equipment so that it is truly a 21st century learning center and a location where community wellness activities can take place. If you are able to give in any amount, large or small, please know that your contribution will make a difference. Remember Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Washington Adventist University is continuing its journey toward excellence at all levels. My sincere appreciation goes to all who have contributed to our many successes, and to all who will get us to the finish line in our Vision 2020 – Growing with Excellence plan.
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
February 1, 2017
Much has occurred in the past month, including the inauguration of a new President of the United States, and large segments of the population are experiencing considerable anxiety over the changing direction of the nation. There is further disquiet following the signing of an executive order on immigration last Friday by President Trump that impacts our international students and friends across the globe. Although the implications of the order are not yet fully understood, it bars the citizens of Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entry into the United States.
I want to assure the WAU community that this university fully supports its international students and will make every effort to ensure that they are able to advance their education at this institution. WAU values its diversity and gains strength in the knowledge, skills and perspectives shared by students who come to us from countries around the world. Although we are an Adventist institution, we joyfully serve students with a variety of religious affiliations, including Muslims.
This semester, 191 international students are enrolled at WAU, and they represent 45 different countries. Nearly half of our international students are from the Middle East.
Students affected by the ban are advised to avoid travel outside of the United States at this time, as there is a re-entry risk -- even for those who hold a green card. This is not a time to panic, but to remain vigilant and informed. Anyone who has questions or needs updates on the situation is encouraged to contact Dr. Beulah Manuel, Director of International Student Programs, at 301-891-4184 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Washington Adventist University is designated as an Education USA School for international students, and we count the International Students’ Association and the MECCA (Middle Eastern Campus Coalition Association) Club among our more than three dozen student clubs and organizations. We enjoy an environment of respect among our students, faculty and staff, and the larger WAU community. We maintain it by extending to each other our trust and treating each other with kindness, dignity and fairness. Everyone on this campus is valued and appreciated, and that includes those who hold citizenship elsewhere in the world.
Until we know more about the implications of the immigration executive order and other actions that are shifting the course of this country, please remember what Deuteronomy 31:6 has to say: “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
Here at Washington Adventist University we can take comfort in our efforts to support and strengthen mind, body and soul. I am happy to report that we are continuing to make progress in those areas. In the past month, we found a way to expand and strengthen more minds by entering into a partnership with Frontline Community Services that will offer educational advancement to Frontline employees and their families. We also celebrated the 100th career win of our own Coach Patrick E. Crarey II, who is working hard as our Athletic Director to ensure that our students are spiritually, academically, and physically strong. In addition, we hosted another “Week in Spiritual Emphasis” (WISE) program for our students, faculty and staff, providing them with the spiritual strength that will ensure their success. All of these are important to the holistic health of our students as we transform them into moral leaders for communities across the globe.
This month, we will be hosting a Choir Festival for high school students with performances scheduled for Thursday, February 9, Friday, February 10, and Saturday, February 11. I hope you will come out to support these students and treat yourself to a musical respite.
A Career, Internship & Graduate School Fair will be held February 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This will be an opportunity for anyone seeking a job or internship to find one that suits their interests and needs. WAU faculty and staff will also be on hand to discuss WAU’s graduate programs, which are accelerated, affordable and allow working adults to earn their graduate degree -- either on campus or online. The fair is open to students, faculty and staff and members of the community.
With warmest regards,
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
January 12, 2017
Happy New Year!
We are entering another new year with much anticipation and joy. More blessings await Washington Adventist University, and we are another year closer to achieving the goals of our Vision 2020 – Growing with Excellence plan. As we embrace 2017, we can look forward to the promises of Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV), “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
The 2017 Spring Semester and new classes started this week, offering our students the opportunity to move another step toward earning the degree that will prepare them for a lifetime of purpose and fulfillment. The new semester also offers our faculty and staff more opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others, and presents our alumni more occasions to give back to the institution that prepared them to pursue their dreams and strengthened their foundation in faith.
This year, we will again host a Week of Prayer, January 23-28, which will feature student speakers each day at 11:15 a.m. in Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church.
This year, we will host another Spring Revival, March 20-26, each night from 7 to 8 p.m., outside in a tent on the Commons.
This year, we will host Diversity Celebration Week, April 3-8.
This year, we will host another Alumni Weekend, April 6-9; focusing on “Generations of Excellence.” The weekend will be capped on April 9 by WAU’s popular Family Fun Festival from noon to 5 p.m. and an Acro-Airs Home Show at 6 p.m.
This year, we will graduate another large group of seniors, with the Consecration Service scheduled for April 28, the Baccalaureate Service on April 29, and the Commencement Ceremony on April 30.
This year, on September 16, we will open the new Gail S. and Bruce E. Boyer Health Professions and Wellness Center, which broke ground last May. Help is still needed to complete this important project, so if you can give to this priority, please do. Contributions large and small are welcome, and you will be helping to bring 21st-century learning to our students and access to wellness activities to our community.
This year, we will host our Fifth Annual Visionaries Gala on September 17, to help support student scholarships and other WAU priorities.
We have so much to be grateful for and so many additional opportunities to contribute to a more peaceful and productive world. Let 2017 be a time for the students, faculty and staff, and alumni of Washington Adventist University to shine with the light of our collective faith and our commitment to serving others.
With warmest regards,
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
December 1, 2016
The Christmas season is upon us, and it is with grateful hearts that Christians worldwide celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. As Isaiah 9:6 reminds us, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
I invite you to start your holiday season with the university’s annual Christmas Concert tomorrow evening. I am hosting a reception prior to the concert, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at Votaw House, 7633 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park, Md. 20912. If you plan to attend, please rsvp to email@example.com.
The Concert itself will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church, with traditional Christmas music performed by the talented faculty and students from the WAU Music Department. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy some of your favorite musical selections, and prepare to be inspired to reach out to others with kindness and compassion, which is truly the spirit of the season. The Christmas Concert is free and open to the public, so invite family, friends and neighbors to share in the joy of this annual holiday event.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of many, this has been an exciting and purposeful year. Washington Adventist University is very much on target to meet the goals set forth in the Vision 2020 – Growing with Excellence plan. We broke ground for the new Gail S. and Bruce E. Boyer Health Professions and Wellness Center, received accreditation for our nursing programs, gained authorization to offer our online programs to students outside of Maryland, and added new rankings. Among them:
- Safest Colleges in Maryland;
- Most Dynamic Mission Driven Campuses;
- Most affordable online MPA degrees, and
- Best Value Colleges in Maryland.
Some exciting news you may have missed is the recent announcement that we will be launching a new WAU Honors College next fall. This will be a significant expansion of our current Honors Program, and it will be the first Honors College in the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education. Work is commencing under the guidance of an advisory board to develop interdisciplinary Honors degrees, enhanced scholarships, accelerated curricular pathways, competitive internships, and partnerships with national and international institutions. The Honors College is expected to enhance the academic opportunities for current students and attract new students who are seeking an exceptional and meaningful education near the nation’s capital.
Wishing you a most joyous and blessed holiday season!
With warmest regards,
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
November 2, 2016
I know it is with much anticipation that we approach the day of Thanksgiving, which is November 24 this year. This national holiday not only allows us precious time to spend with our family and friends, but it also prompts us to pause and appreciate our blessings and opportunities. I would like to point to 1 Thessalonians 5:18, a reminder that “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Here at Washington Adventist University, we are thankful for many things. We recently received our new five-year nursing accreditation for our undergraduate and graduate programs from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Credit for this achievement goes to our hard working faculty and staff who are committed to excellence at all levels of this university. I am extremely grateful for their efforts.
In case you missed it, our Religion Department faculty issued a statement on October 14 regarding the “Study of Church Governance and Unity.” In addition, we have also been notified in recent weeks of the following good news, as WAU is now:
- Authorized to offer online programs to students outside of Maryland as a participant in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA); and
- Ranked among the Safest Colleges in Maryland 2016, designated in 10th place among the 19 safest Maryland schools by org.
Our second annual Homecoming Weekend starts this Friday, November 4, and I encourage anyone interested in an opportunity for reunion and fun to attend. Homecoming activities for current students, alumni, faculty and staff, and family and friends will also include service projects and worship services. Please register online to participate in the activities or to purchase tickets for the homecoming basketball games on Saturday evening, November 5, against Oakwood University. These games launch WAU’s 2016-2017 basketball season, with our Lady Shock playing the Oakwood Lady Ambassadors at 7:30 p.m. and our Shock men’s team playing the Oakwood Ambassadors – the defending USCAA Men’s Division I champions -- at 9:30 p.m. Both games will be played at the Takoma Academy Gym, located at 8120 Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park. I hope to see you there!
For those interested in pursuing a new career opportunity, please don’t miss the Federal Employment Career Fair on Thursday, November 17 in the lobby of Wilkinson Hall. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., a variety of federal agencies will be on hand to hire for permanent jobs and internships. Bring copies of your resume, meet the agency representatives at their booths, and ask about the opportunities that are available. This event is sponsored for the second consecutive year by WAU in conjunction with Federal Asian Pacific American Council.
As the holiday season approaches, be sure to leave room on your calendar next month for the Christmas Concert on Friday, December 2. It will be held on campus in the sanctuary of the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church. You won’t want to miss the musical performances by our talented Music Department faculty and students. They will provide a beautiful prelude to the season that echoes much joy as we approach the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The concert will start at 7:30 p.m.
With a grateful heart,
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
October 7, 2016
We are only a little over a month into the Fall Semester, and Washington Adventist University (WAU) has already been notified of two new rankings that reflect our progress toward achieving excellence at all levels of this university. In the past few weeks, we ranked 41st among the top 100 schools in the nation for graduating the most minority students with master’s degrees in psychology, and among the “Safest Schools in Maryland.” These join a growing list of institutional recognitions for which we can all be proud.
I want to thank all of the individuals and teams that are helping to facilitate growth with excellence at WAU. We have much to celebrate. Total degree-seeking undergraduates now number 807, which is up over the last two years. As of September 30, our total enrollment is 1,090 (938 full-time equivalent).
Blessings continue to be bestowed upon Washington Adventist University. Our Fourth Annual Visionaries Gala on September 18 grossed more than $100,000 in ticket sales, and attendees enjoyed a beautiful evening at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, where three individuals were honored for their leadership, service and inspiration to others. In addition to the funds raised for scholarships and other university priorities, a generous $350,000 gift was presented by Columbia Union Conference President Dr. Dave Weigley in honor of his mother to fund a laboratory in the new Gail S. and Bruce E. Boyer Health Professions and Wellness Center currently under construction.
This year, we expanded our annual Dedication Sabbath to become an annual Dedication Weekend at the end of the Week in Spiritual Emphasis (W.I.S.E.). The weekend was launched on September 16 with a free concert by alumnus Duawne Starling and a performance by the university’s Silent Judah Praise Dance Team. Sabbath service at Sligo Church on September 17 followed with a faculty and staff potluck, culminating with the Sunday Gala.
W.I.S.E., held September 12-16, offered students, faculty and staff an opportunity to take time out of their day to reconnect with God and enjoy each other’s fellowship. Dr. Carlton Byrd, Senior Pastor of the Oakwood University Seventh-day Adventist Church in Huntsville, Alabama and the Speaker/Director of the Breath of Life Television Broadcast for the SDA Church in North America, offered inspiration as the morning speaker; and Pastor Josant Barrientos, the Potomac Conference's Youth Ministries Director, was the evening speaker. Audio of Dr. Byrd’s sermons can be found online for those who missed them.
In addition to the 38th G. Arthur Keough Lectureship, Campus Preview Days for high school and transfer students, and a dinner on September 25 that brought together our pre-law students with practicing attorneys for guidance and mentorship, this has been a month filled with joy, inspiration and great purpose.
Although we are still two months away, please mark your calendar for Friday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m., when this year’s Christmas Concert will offer musical performances to launch the holiday season. The concert will take place on campus in the sanctuary of the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church.
As we start to enjoy the cooler, crisper weather and the beauty of the changing foliage, remember what Psalm 119:2 says, “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.”
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
September 1, 2016
Washington Adventist University has started its 2016-2017 school year with more than 630 students registered early for the Fall Semester. That includes our incoming freshmen -- the Class of 2020 -- and transfer and international students. We are pleased to welcome them into our campus community.
With new faces on campus and the monthly strategic planning sessions and budget committee meetings that will enable employees to provide regular input, this promises to be an outstanding year. I have no doubt that we will move closer to achieving our Vision 2020 – Growing with Excellence goals, which seek to realize excellence at all levels of this institution.
As a university, we will continue to build on our reputation for educational excellence, and will work to reach and surpass another level of goals and milestones this school year. As individuals, a new school year gives us opportunity to take stock of our own goals, and to grasp the future and shine, as we are reminded in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Our Opening Convocation was held on August 31 this week at Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church on campus. The musical selections, inspirational scriptures and readings, and prayers helped set the tone for our Fall Semester, and I issued a charge to our students, faculty and staff to demonstrate ten core values in order to achieve excellence in all that they do this school year. Based on Matthew 6:1-7:27, I urged them to heed the following:
- Do the right things for the right reasons;
- Pray God’s agenda, not your own;
- Relationships will make or break you;
- Prioritize eternal things, not temporal things;
- Don’t sweat the small stuff;
- God’s Kingdom is paramount – seek it first;
- Judge yourself before you judge others;
- If you need something, ask; if you have something, give;
- Stay true to your convictions; don’t wander from the narrow path; and
- Obedience to God is the only sure foundation for life.
As a reminder, the Board Retreat is coming up on September 16-18, and the Fourth Annual Visionaries Gala will take place on Sunday, September 18 at Congressional Country Club, 8500 River Road in Bethesda. Tickets for the Gala are still available online, as are opportunities for sponsorship for those who can help support student scholarships and the health professions and wellness programs.
I am looking forward to all we will accomplish this year, and I hope you are, as well.
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
August 4, 2016
I hope you are having a good summer and enjoying God’s many blessings this season. Luke 21:30 reminds us that when the blooms and leaves of summer “come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.”
It pleases me to share the news that Dave Weigley, Chair of the Washington Adventist University Board of Trustees and President of the Columbia Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists, has received his Ph.D. degree from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He has been a visionary leader for this university and for the Columbia Union Conference since 2006, and there will be no limits to where he can guide us with his strong spiritual capabilities and this additional educational achievement. We are indeed fortunate to have the benefit of his leadership.
The Fall 2016 Colloquium will be held later this month at Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church. All academic support staff, faculty and adjunct professors are invited to attend on Thursday, August 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Fellowship Halls A & B. A lunch will follow in the Sligo Church Atrium from 12 to 1:00 p.m., and those who plan to attend are asked to RSVP to Lissette Wright at 301-891-4116 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A faculty-only session will be held after lunch in the fellowship halls from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. On Friday, August 19, another faculty-only session will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. without a scheduled lunch.
Although the hot summer sun still shines upon us, the start of the Fall Semester is only weeks away. Classes start on August 29, and campus will soon be bustling with new students, some new faculty and staff members, and the infinite possibilities that come with the start of a new school year. The Opening Convocation is scheduled for Wednesday, August 31 at 11:15 a.m. in the Sligo Church Sanctuary.
Our Operation 800 campaign is focused on significantly increasing the fall 2016 enrollment through such incentives as a Dual Credit program that enables high school and community college students to earn credits toward a WAU baccalaureate degree; the 8th Semester Free program that enables first-time freshmen to stay on track and graduate in four years by providing free tuition for the 8th semester; and the First-Year Experience program that helps new students adjust to the academic challenges of higher education with mentors, support services, and opportunities to make life-long friends.
I look forward to seeing you on campus after the summer break, or at one of Washington Adventist University’s many upcoming events. In an effort to increase operational transparency, all employees are invited to attend the monthly strategic planning sessions and budget committee meetings to provide input and to ensure that we continue to focus on the six pillars of excellence – Quality, People, Finance, Growth, Service and Community – as we reach for our Vision 2020 – Growing with Excellence goals.
The Board Retreat will be held September 16-18, and the Fourth Annual Visionaries Gala will take place on Sunday, September 18 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda. Tickets for the Gala are still available online, as are opportunities for sponsorship for those who are interested and can help support student scholarships, and the health professions and wellness programs.
As we move through August, I encourage you to revel in the beauty of the season before summer wanes.
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
June 30, 2016
As we head into a long holiday weekend to celebrate the birth of the nation 240 years ago, Washington Adventist University starts a new fiscal year July 1, launching this institution’s 112th year. We’ve come a long way, both as a nation and as an institution of higher learning, and these occasions offer an opportunity to pause and rejoice in our many blessings.
Those of you who attended the university’s Constituency Meeting on May 20 saw firsthand the progress WAU has made in the past five years toward the goals of our Vision 2020 – Growing with Excellence plan. We are on target to achieve excellence at all levels of this institution, and are on course to become one of the premier small universities in the mid-Atlantic region.
I want to thank each and every one of you for helping to make WAU strong. Our successes in recent years are the result of much hard work, dedication and support provided by our faculty and staff, alumni, donors, students, and members of the SDA and local communities. You have played a significant role in moving WAU in the right direction, and our many outstanding achievements reflect that.
I am especially grateful to the members of our Board of Trustees for making the vision and mission of WAU a reality for our students, and am pleased that the recently-approved changes to our bylaws will clarify and strengthen WAU’s operations. The Fall Board Retreat is scheduled for September 16-18, 2016, and members will be focusing on ways to continue to guide Washington Adventist University’s transformation.
For anyone who hasn’t yet seen the 2011-2016 State of the University Growing with Excellence report to constituents, I encourage you to review the details of the progress we’ve made on all fronts since 2011.
In case you missed them, here are a few highlights from the recent Spring Semester:
- On Commencement Day, May 1, WAU conferred 90 master’s degrees, 154 bachelor’s degrees and 9 associates degrees to graduates who are now prepared to bring competence and moral leadership to their communities;
- Ground was broken for the new Gail S. and Bruce E. Boyer Health Professions and Wellness Center on May 20, scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2017, and renovations started on the women’s residence hall, which will be finished in time for the Fall Semester;
- WAU was named among the “Best Value Colleges in Maryland” and “Most Affordable Online MPA Degrees,” and deemed a “Mission-Driven Campus;”
- Mission trips were conducted to Flint, Michigan and to Havana, Cuba, along with a local Service Day in the Langley and Takoma Park areas.
- The inaugural study-on-location experience for Honors Students took place recently in the United Kingdom, in collaboration with Newbold College near London.
As we look toward fall, I encourage you to mark your calendar for the September 18, 2016 Annual Visionaries Gala, which will again be held at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda. I hope you will join us at the event to recognize this year’s honorees and to support scholarships and university priorities. You can purchase tickets and sponsorships online.
Wishing you a safe and happy Independence Day weekend!
Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.
- 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.