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b2ap3_thumbnail_5-27-Dana_Baer.jpgDr. Dana Cook Baer has been named provost of Waynesburg University, the University announced today. In her role, she will serve as the chief academic officer of the University as well as a member of the senior administrative team. 

“Dr. Baer has served the University for nearly 20 years as a professor, department chair and assistant provost,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee. “She brings a wealth of institutional knowledge and experience to this position.” 

Dr. Baer joined the University fulltime as a professor of criminal justice administration in 1998. Previously, she has served the University in various roles, including interim provost, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice Administration, interim chair of the departments of business administration as well as English and foreign languages, assistant provost for first-year studies and dean of undergraduate studies.

In these faculty and administrative roles, she has managed budgets, curriculum, advising and assessment, as well as student and personnel issues. She also has experience in working with external accrediting organizations and institutional policy development. 

“The long-standing history of success of Waynesburg University is attributable to an exceedingly talented and selfless team of faculty and staff members, administrators, board members and students who are committed to learning and serving for the glory of God,” Dr. Baer said. “I have been blessed to be a part of this team for many years. Now, I am honored to serve the campus community in this new role.”

Prior to her career in higher education, Dr. Baer was a partner in the law firm of Marriner & Crumrine. She also served as law clerk for the Honorable Thomas D. Gladden, P.J., Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Baer received the University’s Lucas Hathaway Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award in 2000, and in 2005, The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution named her the recipient of the Law Enforcement Commendation Medal. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington & Jefferson College and a Juris Doctorate from the DePaul University College of Law. 

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail__OR_0479_20160501-213709_1.JPGWaynesburg University held its 163rd Commencement exercises Sunday, May 1, honoring approximately 550 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.

D. Raja, co-founder and chairman of Computer Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), delivered the Commencement Address, “What’s Important in Life?,” during which he shared the story of his own humble beginnings, his evolution into a servant leader and the importance of reputation. 

“Reputation is the basis of leadership, no matter the job,” he said. “And reputation is the reflection of your character. Well, your character is only known to you. But your reputation is the reflection of your character through your words, actions and deeds.”

He also encouraged gradates, assuring them that everyone faces adversity at times, and that success can still be achieved through their reaction to that adversity.

“The older I get, the more convinced I am that success in life is not so much what happens to us, it is how we respond to what happens to us. We have the power to choose our response.”

b2ap3_thumbnail__OR_6804.JPGThe following graduates were named valedictorians:

  • Kayla Diane Bleckley
  • Jessica Marie Marabello

Marabello delivered the valedictory to the University on behalf of the valedictorians. Lance Hyde, a graduate of the Master of Business Administration Program from Cranberry Township, Pa., represented the graduate program students.

Two graduates, Charles Lee Cook, a biology (pre-dental/medical/veterinary) major from Cheswick, Pa., and Aaron Berkley Palmer, a sports management major from Leesburg, Va., were commissioned Second Lieutenants in the Army of the United States of America during the Commencement ceremony.

Prior to the commencement exercises, the Rev. Dr. Richard E. Visser, a retired Baptist minister with more than 40 years of service, delivered the Baccalaureate Address, “Being Salt and Light.”

“In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus tells His followers that they are ‘the salt of the earth’ and ‘the light of the world,’” Visser said. “In today’s brutal world, that is your calling. As salt can enhance and improve the flavor of food, you can improve the ‘flavor’ of people’s relationships and attitudes.”

b2ap3_thumbnail__OR_6567.JPGVisser suggested “four D’s” through which to be effective salt and light in today’s world: depend on God to guide and sustain you, discover your spiritual gifts, determine where you can best use your spiritual gifts and do what you can. 

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 and Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Waynesburg University’s annual Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises will be held Sunday, May 1, on the campus of Waynesburg University. The celebration will honor approximately 520 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. 

The Rev. Dr. Richard Edgar Visser will serve as the Baccalaureate speaker, and D. Raja will address the Class of 2016 as the Commencement speaker. 

Baccalaureate services will be held in Roberts Chapel at 11 a.m., and Commencement will be held on the front lawn of Miller Hall at 2 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the Commencement ceremony will be held in Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse. 

Families are encouraged to arrive early, as the Commencement processional begins approximately 20 minutes prior to the ceremony. 

Both Raja and Visser will be honored during the Commencement Ceremony with honorary degrees, Doctors of Humane Letters, for the ways in which their lives and personal missions relate to the mission of Waynesburg University.

b2ap3_thumbnail_4-6-Visser.JPGRev. Dr. Richard Edgar Visser

Visser was ordained at the First Baptist Church in Georgetown, Massachusetts in 1962.

He has been the minister for several churches in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Maine, serving at the First Baptist Church in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, until his retirement in 2003.

Since then, Visser has been in co-ministry with his wife, Rev. Carol Edwards Visser, at various churches in Pennsylvania and Maine. He is currently the resource minister, along with Carol, for the York Baptist Association and a member of the council of the American Baptist Churches of Maine (ABCOM) Institute for Ministry.

His esteemed career has led him to receive numerous awards, including the Excellence in Ministry Award from the American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware (ABCOPAD). Together, he and Carol were recipients of the Alderson Broaddus College Apollo Award, Gordon College Jack Good Community Service Award, Brunswick (Maine) Downtown Association Volunteers of the Year award and Greater Waynesburg Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Community Service Award.

Visser was involved with the ABCOPAD for fourteen years, as a board member and board president, in addition to being a local ministerial president and association moderator. He also served on board for the Washington Health System Greene (then Greene County Memorial Hospital), the Greene County Department of Human Services, the American Red Cross and the Community Foundation of Greene County.

Visser made a lasting impact in Greene County through his involvement with the American Baptist Church Leadership Institute (CLI) of Western Pennsylvania, of which he was the co-founder and chairmen for ten years. 

He completed two degrees at Gordon College, along with two master’s degrees at Gordon Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry at Asbury Theological Seminary.

b2ap3_thumbnail_4-6-Raja.jpgD. Raja

In 1992, Raja launched his own consulting and project management practice, a venture that was to become Computer Enterprises, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based computer software company. He currently serves as its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. 

Raja is past president of the Mt. Lebanon Commission, past president of TiE Pittsburgh's business mentoring roundtable, founding chair of the University of Pittsburgh Computer Science Industry Board, judge for Carnegie Science Awards for Entrepreneur categories and judge for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. 

In addition to his entrepreneurial efforts in Pittsburgh, Raja is a constant presence in Pittsburgh politics and communication. He hosts a business- and finance-focused radio show, “The Raja Show,” on KDKA.

For his commitment to the profession and socially responsible corporate leadership, Raja was the recipient of the 2007 Smart Business Pacesetters Award for Chief Executive Officer Excellence. Raja was also recognized as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008 and the Entrepreneur of the Year by the Carnegie Science Center in 2009. He also received the Diamond Award for the Region’s Leading CEOs and Presidents for large business in 2008 from Pittsburgh Business Times.

Raja holds a master's degree in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Anna University, India.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_3-23-Southpointe-CEO-Award.jpgWaynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee has been selected as a co-recipient of the Southpointe CEO Association’s World Class CEO Award for 2016.

“I am honored to be recognized by the Southpointe CEO Association in this way,” said Lee. “This award reflects the dedication of the entire Waynesburg University community. Together, we bring life to our mission of inspiring and challenging our students to pursue lives of leadership and purpose.”

Lee, along with co-recipient Charles Keller, senior counsel at the law firm of Peacock Keller, will be honored Thursday, June 16, at a dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southpointe. 

“President Lee provides the leadership of Waynesburg University through his commitment to our mission,” said Heidi Szuminsky, vice president for institutional advancement and university relations. “His passion for our students is extraordinary. He truly embodies our mission, and the numerous accolades received by the University during his tenure are a result of his leadership.”

Lee joined Waynesburg University as executive vice president in October 2009. He was unanimously elected president of the University by the Board of Trustees in September 2012 and took office July 1, 2013. Prior to Waynesburg, Lee was a partner in the Law firm of Steptoe and Johnson, PLLC, where he worked for nearly 20 years. He also established and sold a multi-line insurance business after college graduation.

Under Lee’s leadership, Waynesburg University has received national attention for the economic outcomes of its graduates. The University is a Pittsburgh Business Times “Best Place to Work for 2015” and recognized internationally as one of the most beautiful Christian college campuses in the world by Christian Universities Online. 

In March 2015, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaccredited Waynesburg University for a 10-year period. Currently, Lee is leading the $23 million revitalization of the Paul R. Stewart Science Hall, which is creating a state-of-the-art academic facility for the sciences.

Lee was named to The Pennsylvania Business Central's Top 100 People list of 2013 and has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America®. He is an elder at the Presbyterian Church, has served on the Greene County Planning Commission and is a graduate of Leadership West Virginia and the FBI Citizens Academy. 

He is an Eagle Scout, has served on the Executive Board for the Mountaineer Area Council Boy Scouts of America and is a member of the Fort Jackson Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution. He has also served on the Boards of the Union Rescue Mission in Fairmont, W.Va., the Harrison County Bar Association, the Westminster Foundation of West Virginia and Howe Cemetery. He was a volunteer fireman, serving as line officer and executive officer.

An endurance athlete, Lee is a finisher of three Ironman Triathlons and six marathons, including the Marine Corps Marathon and Death Valley Marathon.

Located south of Pittsburgh, the Southpointe CEO Association is supported and directed by CEOs in the Southpointe business park. In keeping with the public-private partnership that gave birth to Southpointe, the association brings local, national and international leaders together for informative events and works with government officials on all levels to build upon and expand the region's business success.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_3-22-Charter-Day---Gilchrist.jpgWaynesburg University celebrated the 166th anniversary of its charter by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Tuesday, March 22. The celebration was held in the University’s Roberts Chapel.

Introduced by Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee, the Rev. Dr. James Gilchrist, senior pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, served as the Charter Day speaker. 

In his convocation address, “The Deep Logic,” Gilchrist said that every -ology, whether it be biology, meteorology or psychology, reflects something of the Word of God.

“A well-educated Christian finds connections in the deeper logic of things,” Gilchrist said as he shared examples of early modern scientists who were also devout Christians, citing great minds like Isaac Newton, who wrote almost as much about the Bible as physics, and Galileo Galilei, who was a devout Catholic.  

Gilchrist also urged the upcoming generation of leaders to do a better job than those before them.

“The world desperately needs the kinds of qualities that are cultivated at a truly Christian university,” he said. “I hope that you find those qualities here, and I hope that you go out and share them with the world.” 

During the convocation, Lee presented Gilchrist with the University’s A.B. Miller Leadership Award in recognition of Gilchrist’s exemplary spiritual and social leadership.

“In honor of the public spirit exemplified by former Waynesburg University President Alfred Brashear Miller and in recognition of your embodiment of the highest principles of this institution, Waynesburg University honors you,” said Lee.

b2ap3_thumbnail_3-22-Charter-Day---Beiter.jpgThe award cited the ways in which Gilchrist has foreseen the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century. 

Gilchrist’s outreach through mission work has led him to travel throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. Recently, he traveled with members of Westminster to Malawi and India. Gilchrist is a regular participant in the Council on Foreign Relations Workshop on Religion and International Affairs.

He teaches in the Doctor of Ministry program at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and previously taught at Carnegie Mellon University and Dickinson College.

Also during the ceremony, Lee conferred upon Charles Beiter the title of professor emeritus of English. Beiter, who joined the University in 1966, retired from his full-time position in May 2015.

“For nearly 50 years, you have devoted yourself through a number of roles and service on countless committees, leading and inspiring students, colleagues, administration and the Waynesburg University community as a whole,” Lee said of Beiter. “Today, we recognize you as a highly respected educator and acknowledge all the ways that you have challenged and encouraged your students to lead lives of purpose.”

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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