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As an Admissions Counselor at Waynesburg University who’s also an alumnus, I have the privilege of sharing my experience daily with prospective students and families. One of the most often asked questions is a simple one: “What’s your favorite part about Waynesburg?”

Easy.

It’s the people.

I know, I know…cliché, right? But my parents always taught me not to lie, and if I responded with any other answer, I’d be lying. So many just good, quality people who truly embody the mission of the University walk the campus each day, and that was my favorite part about being a student and remains my favorite part as a staff member.

When I talk about my student experience, I always point to how much the faculty and staff truly care about the holistic development of each student and how much they pour into the students’ lives. Students can gain so much insight from watching faculty and staff members live their lives each day, but yesterday, for this staff member, the roles were reversed as the actions of a group of students showed me what it truly means to be a part of the Waynesburg University community.

On my way home from the Admissions Office last evening, I saw a little boy, maybe four or five years old, running on a sidewalk just off campus. At first, I didn’t think much of it. Spring had just begun a few hours earlier (although it didn’t much feel like it), and the kid just wanted to be outside. Heck, I was planning to strap on the running shoes, myself, as soon as I got home.

Then, as I was almost past the boy, I noticed his feet—shoeless. All he had on was a pair of white socks. I drove a bit further and realized there were no adults or older siblings around, either. It was then that my eyes shot down to my driver’s side mirror. In the reflection, I could see the boy attempting to flag down the next two cars that passed by. Neither stopped. At that point, I immediately proceeded to the intersection straight ahead and navigated a U-turn.

I pulled up next to the boy, rolled down my window and asked if everything was OK. It became apparent right away from the boy’s reaction that everything was not “OK.” Through tears, he forced out that his mother wasn’t home, he didn’t know where she was and he didn’t know where to go. When asked if he knew exactly where home was, he could only point in a general direction.

As I decided upon a course of action, another car pulled alongside me and asked the same question I had posed to the boy: “Is everything OK?” I explained the situation, and immediately that car, along with a third vehicle, pulled off to the side of the road in front of me. Out jumped a group of four Waynesburg University students, two guys and two girls. The girls made a beeline straight for the little boy, putting their arms around him and wrapping him in an extra sweatshirt. (In my own ignorance, I had nearly failed to realize that the boy was donning just a t-shirt in temperatures that had been dropping throughout the day.)

Moments later, we made the call to University Security, who relayed our message onto the Borough Police. Within minutes, a police officer arrived to provide assistance, followed closely by two University Security personnel.

The group of students, however, did not seem to want to depart. They hovered around the scene, wanting to ensure that the boy was returned to where he needed to be. Only after I explained that University Security had assured me they needed no further assistance from us did the group of students find it permissible to leave.

As I made the short trek home, I couldn’t help but be proud of how the group of students reacted to the situation. And I couldn’t help but draw the parallel to Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan in the 10th chapter of Luke. Just like the priest and Levite passed by the robbed, beaten man in Biblical times, so too did two cars pass by the lost little boy, even as he was pleading for their assistance with the waving of his arms. If I hadn’t realized my initial mistake and turned around, however, I have absolutely no doubts that the group of students would have come to the aid of that little boy, much like the Good Samaritan thousands of years earlier.

How blessed, I thought, I am to work at a University where the students possess such strong morals and Godly character.

What’s my favorite part about Waynesburg?

Easy.

It’s the people.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Kayla_Painting.jpgHow art courses at Waynesburg have changed my life (as a non-major).

1. The first time I picked up a paintbrush was my sophomore year at Waynesburg. It was the fall term and as I scoured the thin book of offered courses, I stumbled upon an acrylics class, open to all majors. Aside from some sketching here and there, I had never put much effort in to becoming an artist; all I wanted to draw were horses. I had spent my childhood drawing horses until I nearly mastered them. They ran, jumped and reared on the page, never accompanied by a scene of any sort, just a ghost on a sheet of printer paper. Simply put, I couldn’t draw anything else. It was difficult for me to envision myself painting, but I had heard the professor graded based on progress not talent (friendly to anyone with a true interest in learning) so I joined. In a few short weeks, I found myself consumed in the technique of putting paint to canvas— the smooth, gentle glide of a brush and the act of finishing my own work-of-art. It was after my first painting that I (reluctantly) called myself an artist.

2. That fall semester my sophomore year proved to be a challenge, yet, when my feet found their way to the art room time stopped. I sat at the long table with my easel, pushing my brush against the canvas sheet, and I felt my mind lift from the haze of upcoming exams and papers. I couldn’t get enough of the freedom I felt when I was covered in paint, leaving fingerprints on the things I touched. When I realized just how therapeutic painting had become for me, I decided to order more supplies and bring the studio to my own kitchen. The sink, table and floor quickly became their own masterpieces, dripping with paint to my mother’s disliking, while I worked on my paintings. I allowed my thoughts to drift off to happier places where the world I envisioned was the world I became a part of, not the one I actually lived in.

3. Art, I have found, is not always realistic or the popular definition of beauty, yet as I stand in front of a sculpture or a painting with its odd limbs and colors, suspended in midair, I find myself lost in it amidst a lack of understanding. I wander toward it, staring, hoping I’ll have that “ah ha” moment where it becomes clear what exactly is in front of me. I never do, but the interest remains. I continue to look, hopelessly. Questions fill my mind, pressing me to think outside of my normal worldviews. Picasso, Warhol, Kandinsky, what dreamlike places did you travel while you transposed your thoughts to paper and paint to canvas? I want to know where you’ve been.

4. There are nights when I look at the blue and orange sky shifting to pinks and purples over tree branched mountain tops and I want to scoop them up and spread them over a fresh, white canvas, letting the colors mold into one another as they kiss the corners of the page. I want to mark that image forever in my mind, hang it on the wall or mount it in a gallery for the world to see the things I have seen in that very moment. Sometimes I grab my camera to keep that image tucked away, somewhere, for a second glance, but what I have found, through my art courses, is nothing can quite capture an image the same as an artist’s eye.

5. When I think about the peculiarity in the nature of a piece of art, I think of God and His own designs. What inspires God to mold, cut, mix and scrape his creations into their final forms? With infinite amounts of color, materials and tools, the possibilities are endless, yet he chose to create me. What greater, peculiar, humbling love could a person ever encounter?

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The Yellow Jacket men’s basketball team is enjoying its most successful season in nearly a decade, and if you’re trying to pinpoint how they’ve been able to pull that off, you may want to start in Willison Hall—Room 605 to be exact. That’s the current home of Jacob Fleegle and Thomas Ellis, the team’s second and third leading scorers, respectively. The two started as roommates freshman year after a recommendation from their head coach Mark Christner, and they’ve been living together ever since. Recently, they shared a glimpse into their experience as roommates and even offered a word of advice for incoming students…

 

Thomas Ellis Name Jacob Fleegle
Junior Class Junior
Fresno, Ohio Hometown Jennerstown, Pa.
Christian environment, small class size, family member’s positive experience, ability to play basketball Why WU? Basketball is the main reason I came to WU. Once I came for my visit and tour, I fell
in love with it.
Small Business Management; Marketing minor Major History (Secondary Education); Political Science minor
Basketball, FCA leader,
Student Ambassador
Activities at WU Basketball, FCA, possibly golf
this spring
Coach Christner gave us each other’s numbers, and we began to text over the summer. The more we talked, the more we realized how alike we were and that rooming together would be a good idea. How did you become roommates? Coach Christner helped us to meet each other with basketball, and we were both looking for someone to room with. We have been rooming together ever since.
We overslept for our freshman Fiat Lux trip to Washington, D.C., and had to get ready in record speed to catch the bus. We were literally the last people on the seven buses that went on the trip. Best memory as roommates Helping a friend push their broken down car back to campus from McCracken Pharmacy (about ½ mile away) at midnight one night.
Have your roommate become one of your closest friends because it will make your life much easier. Tips for incoming freshmen
who will be roommates
Communicate in advance if possible to get on the same page and get to know each other in advance.
Snack food, fridge, TV Top item(s) necessary for living in the residence halls Refrigerator
Yes. Being able to live with someone that encourages and challenges me in everything I do is something I would not be able to replace. If you had to do it all over again, would you still live together? Why? Yes. We both get along greatly and are on similar schedules.  We have not had any problems as roommates.

 

When asked if he had anything else to add, Thomas quickly pointed to his freshman year experience in a traditional residence hall. "Living in Martin Hall freshman year made the transition into college much more enjoyable," he said. "The community that our floor had was awesome!"

Thomas, Jacob and the rest of the Yellow Jackets head to Bethany College this Saturday to compete in the ECAC Southwest Tournament. Waynesburg takes on Hood in a semifinal matchup, with the winner advancing to Sunday's championship. It's the first time the men's basketball program has qualified for postseason play since its 2005-06 campaign. Good luck, Jackets!

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One thing that most people expect when traveling is the experiencing “culture shock.” I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but Northern Ireland has been quite an interesting study in that respect. Now, maybe there are parts of Ireland that are astonishingly “other” from what I’m used to- I believe, for instance, there are certain towns and islands that, according to various travel sights’ claims, are “a step into the past;” so far, however, in Northern Ireland, Ireland in general, really, there isn’t so much of a “shock” as much as there is a feeling of “I had never realized that was how it was there,” that hits you in the midst of going about your days.

There are some obvious differences that are noticeable right off, like the wonderful accent of the Irish, using “wee” where Americans would use “small,” and parking lots are referred to as car parks; most things, though, I’ve just been picking up little by little, the longer I spend time here. Some words, for instance, are different, most often as building or street names, or when referring to the Irish government systems, because they use the original Irish language of Gaelic; funnily enough, though, the Irish students seem to have as much difficulty pronouncing those words as the foreign students do. Then there are some truly wonderful differences, such as the vast array of various chocolates, the majority of which I’ve never even heard of- peanut butter Kit Kats are one of my new favorite things. Meanwhile, fries are called chips and chips are called crisps, and fish sticks are called fish fingers.

This is one of the things about studying abroad that I am really loving. It’s a different form of learning; not academic, but rather growing and gaining understanding of another culture, just by picking up these little- sorry, “wee”- differences. It’s much subtler than if I’d gone to any number of other countries, but even so it gives me the feeling that I’m getting this beautifully different understanding of the world. Here, I feel like there is an endless supply of things to discover, like there’s no end to the mystery of the Emerald Isle. There are many magnificent sights to see and there are tantalizingly lilting voices, the things that everyone expects to see when they come here, but there are so many little details until you spend some time. It’s almost like meeting a new person, noticing their appearance and personality first; but then as you get to know them, you learn their little ticks and quirks, and that’s what makes them more, what sets them apart in your mind and your heart. It’s an experience not quite like any other- getting to know a culture.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Doug-Lee.jpgDouglas G. Lee, President of Waynesburg University, has been named to The Pennsylvania Business Central’s Top 100 People list of 2013.

According to the Pennsylvania Business Central, the Top 100 People list includes top executives from some of the most successful companies, along with business people from all levels who have made a major impact in their community and business-to-business world throughout the past year.

“I am honored to be recognized by The Pennsylvania Business Central in this way,” Lee said. “In accordance with our mission, Waynesburg University has always placed high significance on serving the local community as well as contributing to the growth and development of the region.”

Lee was elected President of Waynesburg University by the Board of Trustees in September 2012 and took office July 1, 2013. He joined Waynesburg University as Executive Vice President in October 2009.

Prior to joining Waynesburg, Lee was a partner in the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson, PLLC where he was a practice group leader in the Labor and Employment Department of the firm. He was active at Waynesburg University, being instrumental in the formation of the University’s Alumni Council and serving as the first President. He later served as a member of the Board of Trustees in a variety of leadership roles including Chair of the Academic Matters Committee and as Board Secretary.

He has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America®, having spoken and written extensively on Workers Compensation and Labor and employment law topics.

Lee is an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, served on the Greene County Planning Commission and is a graduate of Leadership West Virginia. He is an Eagle Scout and has served on the Executive Board for the Mountaineer Area Council Boy Scouts of America. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Union Rescue Mission in Fairmont, W.Va., the Harrison County Bar Association Board of Directors, the Westminster Foundation of West Virginia, and the Howe Cemetery Board. He was a volunteer fireman for more than 13 years.

Lee holds a Juris Doctorate from West Virginia University and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Waynesburg University.  

Pennsylvania Business Central, based in State College, is a biweekly business publication serving a sixteen-county region in central Pennsylvania.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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