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b2ap3_thumbnail_5-8-Narasimhan.jpgMeet Rachel Narasimhan, a senior biology major at Waynesburg University. This summer, she will be interning at the Aloutta Sanctuary in Panama. She plans to share her experiences right here on the Waynesburg blog.

Hi! My name is Rachel Narasimhan, and I am entering my senior year at Waynesburg University. I am a biology major with a psychology minor. I am extremely interested in animal behavior, especially that of primates. I am going to be spending one month here at Aloutta Sanctuary, located on the Chiriqui Penninsula of Panama. It is a rehabilitation center as well as a field research station. Its main focus is mantled howler monkeys. 

It is my second day at the sanctuary, and I am learning and experiencing so much. The sanctuary has been doing amazing work, and has rehabbed and released over a dozen animals back into the wild. 

Right now we are home to two capuchin monkeys, Angie and Ace, two Geoffroy’s Tamarins, Razorblade and Mr. T, and two baby howlers, Rugby and Stevie. I’ve gotten to work hands on with all of them, and they are a handful. The capuchins are so so so smart. Angie, who came to the sanctuary in February, was tied to a pole at a gas station for an estimated ten years. She is very friendly and sweet, but gets anxious quickly when other wild caps come around her enclosure. Ace is young and rambunctious, and is a good playmate for Angie.

The Geoffrey Tamarins do not get along, so they are housed separately. If you feed Mr. T before Razorblade, Razorblade will freak out. Alone, they are wonderful little creatures who will hop all over you when you greet them. The howlers, affectionately known here as the babies, are something else. They require the most attention and they certainly love every second of it. Stevie and her mother were electrocuted by a wire when she was very young, resulting in her mother’s death and the loss of her eyesight. I am amazed at how good of a monkey Stevie still is. She climbs fearlessly in and out of trees and keeps up with Rugby just fine.

The other interns and managers have been really welcoming and helpful with my transition, but it is a lot to handle. The bugs are biting all the time, and the heat is suffocating. My first day here, I had sort of a meltdown. I’m extremely homesick and the difficulty of living in the middle of the jungle got to me. I was on baby duty at the time. Stevie, sensing my fear and sadness, climbed into my lap and cupped my chin in her hands. We locked eyes, and I think she was trying to tell me to stick it out. I’ll never forget the look she gave me and how she made me feel so much better in that moment. I’m still having a hard time adjusting, but the monkeys make it worth it.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_fire-dept.jpgOn May 6, Waynesburg University presented the Waynesburg-Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company with a $10,000 check, the third of five installments totaling $50,000, to offset the $417,000 cost of the company’s 2013 Sutphen Rescue Pumper fire engine. 

This donation, along with the previous two, was given in memory of Robert W. Fox, a member of the Waynesburg-Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company from 1948 to 2011, who died on May 15, 2012, at the age of 83.  Remarkably, Mr. Fox was still actively answering fire calls until 2009. Fox served in many leadership capacities within the fire company during his 62-year tenure including president for 28 years.  His father was a member of the company from 1941 to 1965, and Robert’s four sons and four of his grandsons are active members of the fire company.

Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee, along with Heidi Szuminsky, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, presented the donation to Jeff Marshall, fire chief. 

This donation to the fire company from Waynesburg University continues the University’s long-standing support for fire safety in the community. Previously, the University had presented the company with $50,000 for the purchase of the Fire Simulation Training Trailer and $30,000 toward a new fire truck.  

The University also donated over $430,000 to the Waynesburg Borough for the purchase of new police cars, improvements to borough infrastructure, downtown beautification projects, contributions to the Borough Master Plan, recreational fields and parks maintenance and construction equipment.  

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_8784.JPGWaynesburg University’s campus rang with a celebratory sound during this year’s Commencement exercises, thanks to the generosity of the Class of 2015.

The senior class gift funded the restoration of the bell that once hung in the cupola of Hanna Hall, and on Sunday, the Class of 2015 became the first class to have that bell mark their graduation in more than a century.

Cast in 1875, the bell once proclaimed each new day of learning at Waynesburg University – welcoming both men and women to an institution of higher learning that was one of the first in the nation to educate both equally. Today, Hanna Hall remains one of the two oldest buildings in America with that historic distinction.

Now on display next to Hanna Hall in Cusick Court, the bell was removed from the cupola more than a century ago because it was too heavy for the structure. Emblazoned on the bell is the Latin phrase “Pro veritate et virtute,” which translates to “For truth and courage.” A plaque will accompany the bell in its new, permanent location to explain its history, the meaning of the Latin phrase and the significance of the generosity of the class of 2015.

“The whole thing behind the bell is that it ties our history into the present day,” said Joshuah Dains, Student Senate president and a member of the senior class gift committee. “To me, this reaffirms the school's mission by returning a landmark to our campus that existed in the University’s early years and connects current students to that rich past.”

Vincent Allen Inc. Metal Restoration in Pittsburgh returned the bell to its original state by shining the bell’s metal surface and removing the grime that developed during years of storage.

“I'm extremely proud and overwhelmed by how many seniors and their families have given to make this project possible,” said Vikki Beppler, assistant director of Alumni Relations. “We’ve had more student gifts given than in years past. I'm really proud of the seniors stepping up and raising the money on their own.”

This year’s senior class gift of $8,000, which included donations from future alumni and their families, funded the entire project.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

Tagged in: Alumni News
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Posted by on in News

b2ap3_thumbnail__OR_8252.jpgWaynesburg University held its annual Commencement exercises Sunday, May 3, honoring approximately 730 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.

The Most Rev. David A. Zubik, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, delivered the Commencement Address. During the ceremony, the Bishop received a Papal Blessing from Pope Francis as well as an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University.

The special blessing from the Pope, presented to Bishop Zubik by Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee and Laura Ellsworth, a University trustee and partner at Jones Day, honored Bishop Zubik on the day that marked the 40th anniversary of his ordination, which was May 3, 1975. 

Presented with the blessing was a letter from Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, from which Ellsworth read a few lines:

“On Sunday, May 3, you will celebrate your 40th anniversary of priestly ordination as you also give the Commencement Address at Waynesburg University and receive an honorary doctorate. It is a great pleasure for me to offer you fraternal congratulations on this day that renews for all of us the joy of your ordination and at the same time to offer heartfelt best wishes as you receive this distinguished academic recognition.”

During his Commencement Address, Bishop Zubik referenced the University’s motto, Fiat Lux, or “let there be light,” and urged graduates to never forget that as their calling. 

He also referenced Pope Francis’s top ten tips for bringing greater joy to one’s life, which include working for peace, respecting the beliefs of others, letting go of negativity, respecting and taking care of nature, investing in youth, keeping the Sabbath holy, developing a healthy sense of leisure, proceeding calmly in life, being giving of yourselves to others and to live and let live.

“To sum up Pope Francis’s top ten tips to bring joy into life – Fiat Lux,” Bishop Zubik said. “My hope and prayer for all of you is that you truly live the motto of this great institution.”

The Bishop also encouraged graduates to strive to live in God’s grace.

“Every day is a point of grace, and grace will be encountered in the people we share that day with. You and I live in a world that challenges us each and every day. The key is to not let those challenges overwhelm us.

b2ap3_thumbnail__OR_7983.jpgThe following graduates were named valedictorians:

  • John Evan Allison, a biology (pre-med) graduate from Hickory, Pa.
  • Isaiah Antoine Cochran, a biology (pre-med) graduate from Akron, Ohio
  • Sara Marie Faiad, a psychology graduate from South Fork, Pa.
  • Quincy Alexander Hathaway, an environmental science graduate from Jefferson, Pa.
  • Carolyn May Highland, a biology (pre-med) graduate from Allentown, Pa.
  • Jeremy Scott Hinkle, a forensic accounting graduate from Washington, Pa.
  • Gina Marie Robinson, an English (literature) graduate from Lower Burrell, Pa.

Cochran delivered the valedictory on behalf of the valedictorians. Laura A. Smith, who received a Master of Arts degree in clinical mental health counseling, represented the graduate program students.

Prior to the commencement exercises, The Rev. Dr. Peter J. Paris, the Elmer G. Homrighausen professor emeritus of Christian social ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary, delivered the Baccalaureate Address, “On Becoming a Good Person.”

He urged graduates to consider how they can embody the mission of the University in their respective careers and to strive to use their achievements for the good of the world at large.

“The good you achieve for yourself can also be for a greater good – the good of others – the greatest good a human can do,” he said.

b2ap3_thumbnail__OR_7917.jpgRev. Dr. Paris encouraged graduates to never underestimate their power as young individuals, stating that the young have the energy and vision necessary for constructive social change.

Rev. Dr. Paris was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree for the ways in which he parallels Waynesburg University’s mission of faith, learning and serving.

The University awarded the following degrees to graduates:  Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Master of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Management and Leadership, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

Tagged in: University news
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b2ap3_thumbnail__OR_8530.jpgThe Most Rev. David A. Zubik, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, and The Rev. Dr. Peter J. Paris, the Elmer G. Homrighausen professor emeritus of Christian social ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary, were awarded honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees during Waynesburg University’s commencement exercises Sunday, May 3.

The degrees were conferred upon Zubik and Paris for the ways in which they parallel Waynesburg University’s mission of faith, learning and serving.

Members of the Waynesburg University Board of Trustees presented the recipients and assisted with investitures.

The following citations were read:

Most Reverend David A. Zubik, D.D.

Bishop David A. Zubik, in recognition of your enthusiastic devotion to proclaiming the Good News, Waynesburg University honors you.

For four decades, you have led a life guided by Christ and have remained dedicated to furthering the doctrine of the Catholic faith. Indeed, forty years ago on this very day, the third of May, the Catholic Church ordained you a priest.

A strong, influential pastoral figure, your life shines as an extraordinary example of faith, service and leadership. Your deep conviction to God ignites that same passion in others as you serve the Greater Glory.

For your unwavering commitment to and passion for your calling, we admire you. For the ways in which your personal mission relates to Waynesburg University’s longstanding traditions of faith and servant leadership, we are pleased to recognize you.

On this anniversary of your ordination, for your distinguished contributions to your community and the Kingdom of God, it is with great honor that we confer upon you our degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Reverend Dr. Peter J. Paris

Reverend Dr. Peter J. Paris, in recognition of your steadfast commitment to the Christian faith and to all those you so diligently serve and teach, Waynesburg University honors you.

A distinguished scholar, professor, author and reverend, your voice has influenced people around the world. Your unwavering dedication to Christian social ethics has set you apart as an outstanding role model and an inspirational academic leader in religion and society.

Your scholarly work and ministry have expounded the certain truth that our society is strongest when we value the differences among us, and your personal commitment to your own walk with faith inspires others to walk boldly with Christ as well. 

For your devotion to enacting positive change in communities across the globe, we commend you. For the meaningful and extensive impact you make through your work as a passionate educator and reverend, we are pleased to recognize you.

In gratitude and respect for your achievements and for the ways in which you parallel Waynesburg University’s mission of faith, learning and serving, it is with great honor that we confer upon you our degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

Tagged in: University news
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