Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown to Speak at WAU Ministers Summit March 27

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.

WAU Minister Summit - Press Release

New Ball Field Construction Moves Forward

Takoma Park, MD (March 13) — Washington Adventist University (WAU) is moving forward with its new $1.8 million ball field, following permit approval from Montgomery County government. Construction will start in early April, and the field is expected to be completed this summer.

The field will be constructed of artificial turf, which will provide a safe and aesthetically pleasing space to accommodate soccer games, intramural sports, and a variety of activities by students, staff, and members of the local community throughout the year.

The ball field is part of an overall effort by WAU to improve its physical campus. During the past five years, the university has made investments of more than $16 million, reaping visible and effective results. The list of completed projects includes a new $6.3 million music building, a $1.2 million dining hall renovation, a $1.1 million activity center, and a host of smaller projects.

Smaller projects have included new sidewalks near the library, replacement steps for Richards Hall, new furniture for the men’s and women’s dormitories, new flooring and classroom furniture, and new lockers for the gymnasium locker rooms, in addition to some ongoing and needed maintenance projects.

Transforming the physical campus is part of Washington Adventist University’s Vision 2020: Growing with Excellence strategy, which will enable the university to better serve its students, faculty and staff as it goes about the business of “engaging minds and transforming lives.” With these capital investments, WAU is moving closer towards its goal of becoming one of the premier universities in the mid-Atlantic region.

Ball Field Construction Starts - Press Release

WAU’s Bible Translation Institute Has Published New Testament for a Russian Audience

Takoma Park, MD (March 11) — The first joint edition of the modern translation of the Russian New Testament and Psalms intended for a mass audience was recently published by the Washington Adventist University (WAU) Bible Translation Institute, and copies are now on sale in bookstores across Russia.

Bible Translation Institute Director Mikhail M. Kulakov, D.Phil., is leading the project that is expected to conclude with a complete translation of the entire Bible into Russian by 2015. A professor of theology, history and philosophy in Washington Adventist University’s Department of Religion, Kulakov is working on the project began by his father. Partners in the project are the Zaoksky Theological Seminary in the Tula region of Russia, and the Biblical-Theological Institute of St. Apostle Andrew in Moscow, which is a leading academic publisher of Russian theological literature.

Copies of the New Testament translation in Russian are now available at the main book stores in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Perm, Novosibirsk, Kiev, Odessa and Minsk. The release of this inter-denominational edition produced for the general public has already received positive reviews by several popular Orthodox and Protestant theological web sites and seminary journals.

“It is humbling for our team that the faculty of St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological Institute decided to publish this joint edition as a part of its prestigious series of publications of ‘Modern Biblical Studies’ in which they publish the works of renowned Biblical scholars,” said Kulakov, who is working to complete the translation of the entire Bible. “We have already launched work on the layout of the completed books of the Bible, and are anxiously anticipating the date of completion so that the new translation of the entire Bible can be distributed and read afresh by the Russian people.”

Kulakov is currently in the fourth year of a five-year sabbatical to complete the translation of the entire Bible into Russian. Working in collaboration with biblical scholars from universities across Russia, WAU’s Bible Translation Institute is an initiative in international and inter-denominational collaboration. The Institute has already published the Pentateuch, the Minor Prophets and the New Testament and the Psalms.

WAU’s Religion Department Chair Authored Four Published Articles This Past Year

Takoma Park, MD (March 11) — The chair of Washington Adventist University’s Department of Religion has published four articles in the past year. The most recent, authored by Zdravko Zack Plantak, Ph.D., is “Occupy Till I Come: Relevance of the Belief of the Coming of God,” which was published in the Winter 2014 issue of Adventist Today, Vol. 22, No. 1. (pp.22-27). The piece explores Christian beliefs, perspectives and actions during the time between the first and second coming of Christ.

The article focuses on how the unknown timing of a second coming can affect believers, particularly those who anticipate an imminent advent, and those who become impatient and disappointed. The result can be overexcitement or indifference, shifting attention away from the work of helping those who are the most vulnerable and marginalized in society.

Plantak’s article concludes that “the second coming need not be an obstacle for the involvement in human rights but should become, although not necessarily the primary, at least an additional incentive for moral life in society and being concerned for justice, equality, and peacemaking.”

Other articles published by Plantak during the year are “Creation Care in a Careless World,” published in the April-June 2013 issue of Dynamic Steward, addressing the issue of environmental concern and responsibility; “A Call to Restore God’s Justice” which was published in the Summer 2013 issue of The Journal of Adventist Education; and an article on the meaning of life, entitled "To Live is to Love" which appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of Adventist Today.

WAU Sports Teams Record Winning Seasons

basketball pic smTakoma Park, MD (March 11) — This was a winning and record-breaking year for the Washington Adventist University sports teams. The Shock men’s basketball team won the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Men’s Basketball Division I National Championship for the first time in school history on March 8. The Washington Adventist Shock beat the Tennessee Temple Crusaders with a score of 61 to 38 at the Penn State Fayette Arena in Uniontown, PA.

Prior to the championship tournament, the basketball team had ended its regular season with a 19-8 record – representing the most wins in 22 years, and tying the school’s 19-win record in the 1991-1992 season for the most wins in the history of the university’s basketball program.

“This was the third time in four years that our team participated in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships,” said head coach Patrick Crarey II. “I am really proud of the players for overcoming injuries and winning the championship.”

Also this year, the men’s soccer teams earned the No. 7 seed in the 2013 USCAA National Championships in Charleston, WV. The women’s basketball team recorded the most wins in 20 years by finishing the 2013-14 season with an overall record of 9-18, and the cross country team had one of its strongest years in recent history, defeating many different Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) NCAA Division II colleges and universities.

The Department of Athletics has applied to become a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which is expected to be finalized this spring. The move will help enhance support for the athletics program and better align the university with others that have similar character initiatives.

Competitive sports teams are part of the vision that WAU President Dr. Weymouth Spence has had for the university since he was hired four years ago.

Up-to-date information about Washington Adventist University Athletics is available at, the official website of WAU Athletics.

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

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.

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.

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.