b2ap3_thumbnail__SOR7922.jpgWaynesburg University celebrated the Inauguration of its fifteenth president, Douglas G. Lee, with a multi-day event centering around a formal installation service March 25.

An occasion that is both rare and symbolic in the history of Waynesburg University, the event’s theme of “Celebrating our Heritage” put emphasis on honoring the University’s longstanding traditions of faith, servant leadership and academic excellence as well as distinguished alumni from the 1800s and early 1900s. The day also marked the University’s 165th year and the 164th anniversary of its charter by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Delegates from institutions of higher education and learned societies from across the country joined the University faculty, trustees and principle administrative officers in procession at the academic ceremony in a packed Roberts Chapel.

Lee’s inaugural address focused on the University’s founding principles as well as its current state.

“With our feet planted firmly on our foundation and our eyes and minds to the future, we will combine the best of the past with the best of the present to produce leaders and scholars for tomorrow,” he said.

Lee discussed the virtues of a liberal arts, globally conscious and Christ-driven education for Waynesburg University students. He thanked Waynesburg’s faculty and staff for their commitment to shaping young minds and preparing students for “lives of purpose for the glory of God.”

Heavily referencing the University’s mission, which dates back to 1849, Lee showed gratitude and humility for the leaders who came before him.

“Fueled by the prayers and work of the generations before us, we are not afraid of the future because we have been strengthened by the past,” he said. “We have survived wars, depressions and lean, hard years, and through this process have grown stronger than ever with a resolution and commitment to faith and learning exemplified by the words carved in stone on our library and cast in bronze plaques on our buildings.”

He also challenged his colleagues, friends and guests to join him on a journey of continued faith and courage and to remain confident in the University’s students.

b2ap3_thumbnail__SOR7904.jpg“While the issues they [our students] face are large, we will not let them lose confidence because we will not lose confidence in them.” Lee said. “We must be the great encouragers.”

Echoing sentiments from the various speakers throughout the service, Lee spoke about the quality of student that Waynesburg University readies for the world.

He asserted his confidence that the University’s students, faculty, staff and alumni make an impact in the lives of others through service, describing one of the aims of a Waynesburg University education as “developing students with the personal integrity that comes when the connections between faith, learning and serving are so many and so intertwined that a life's purpose is not mere existence but transformational.”

Mark Fox, chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees, conducted the investiture of Lee prior to the President’s inaugural address. Fox praised Lee’s reverence for the University’s heritage and his commitment to the success of the students, stating that Lee’s attention to the past is evident in his vision for the future. 

“Widely respected for his creative pattern of intellectual leadership, he has embraced the challenges of today’s changing world, serving as a pillar of sound judgment while further advancing the University’s vital role as a leader in Christian higher education.”

Fox described Lee as “a man of great faith who embodies the very characteristics the University strives to instill within its students,” and noted that Lee is a servant leader who leads by putting others first.

“President Lee, the board of trustees has chosen you as president of Waynesburg University,” Fox said. “Yours will be the great privilege and responsibility of leading the University as it continues in its mission of inspiring and challenging students to lives of leadership and purpose for the glory of God.”

He also urged Lee to “draw inspiration from the students who aspire to become world changers; from the alumni who serve as examples of success; and from the faculty and staff who nurture and challenge the spirit of their students while remaining accomplished scholars and discoverers in their own right.”

Chancellor Timothy R. Thyreen presented the University’s great Chain of Office to Lee, which is the symbol of the high office Lee now holds.

Following the investiture, Dr. Carolyn Thyreen presented a Bible that belonged to Margaret Bell Miller, the wife of Waynesburg University’s third president, A.B. Miller, to President Lee’s wife, Kathryn Lee.

“Today, Mrs. Miller’s Bible is passed down through the first ladies of the institution, a tangible symbol of Mrs. Miller’s steadfast devotion to faith, a reminder of our heritage and an inspiration to the individuals who lead Waynesburg University today,” Fox said.

Before the investiture, greetings were delivered from the United States House of Representatives on behalf of U.S. Congressman Tim Murphy by his deputy chief of staff Lou Lazzaro; the Pennsylvania Senate by Senator Tim Solobay; and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by Representative Pam Snyder.

Greetings were also delivered on behalf of the faculty by the University’s most senior professor, Dr. Charles A. Beiter, professor of English; from the staff by Norma Harper, the University’s longest serving employee; from the alumni by Jack Hinds, class of 1975; and from the student body by Daniel Czajkowski, Student Senate president.

Prior to the ceremony, Lee delivered remarks to University students in the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse, where they viewed the event via a live feed.

b2ap3_thumbnail__SOR8233.jpgSurrounding the Inauguration, the University hosted a historic, multi-day event that kicked off Saturday, March 22, with a Day of Service. Locally, approximately 250 volunteers contributed service hours at community organizations including the Greene County United Way, the Humane Society, the Red Cross SAFE Program, Rolling Meadows Nursing Home and many more. Alumni with graduation years as early as 1955 and as recent as 2013 also served in their own communities, spanning from North Dakota to New Hampshire to Moldova.

The Tuesday events concluded with a concert for the University community, “An Evening with Michael W. Smith,” in Roberts Chapel. Smith is a Grammy-winning Christian singer.

A Worship Service led by the Rev. Dr. Stuart D. Broberg, a member of the Board of Trustees and pastor of the Church of the Covenant, was held Monday, March 24.

Lee was elected President of Waynesburg University by the Board of Trustees in September 2012 and took office July 1, 2013.

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.  

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Waynesburg University’s student newspaper, the Yellow Jacket, was recently named a regional winner in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) annual awards contest for the Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper category. 

“The SPJ awards are the top of the line for student journalism contests, and this category is akin to a best in show award that judges the entire publication, so we are quite excited,” said Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication at Waynesburg University and faculty adviser to the Yellow Jacket. 

Nick Farrell, a senior communication (sports broadcasting/sports information) major and the executive editor of the Yellow Jacket, took home two regional awards for General News Reporting. The awards recognize his article on past Waynesburg University president A.B. Miller’s diary returning to campus and his series on the University’s student senate changes. 

“Having the piece on Miller's diary recognized was a gratifying experience for me, especially since I found out about the award a few weeks before President Lee's inauguration and at a time when the campus community is greatly in touch with its history,” Farrell said. 

Farrell enjoyed the opportunity to tell Lee about the Yellow Jacket award in person, in Lee’s office where the diary is kept. 

“The Yellow Jacket's role is to serve the campus community, and we have a history of exceeding that call to service that dates back to the early 1900s,” Farrell said. “To be recognized individually for my work is quite an honor, but I'm most pleased by the fact the entire staff has been recognized for its outstanding commitment to the weekly execution of reporting news factually and effectively.”

While the Yellow Jacket typically wins at least one award from SPJ each year, this is the first time it has won an SPJ Best All-Around award in nearly a decade. The Yellow Jacket won SPJ All-Around awards in both 2004 and 2005, a time when Szuminsky, then a student at Waynesburg University, was editor of the paper.

In April, the Yellow Jacket will learn how it placed in region four. First place winners move on to the national SPJ competition. Farrell, too, will learn how he placed among other young journalists from across the region. 

“No matter how the placing works out, we know that the preeminent journalism organization thinks the Jacket is one of the top three papers in this region,” said Szuminsky.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

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b2ap3_thumbnail_LittleWomen.jpgDirected by Edward L. Powers, director of the theater program and professor of theater at Waynesburg University, the Waynesburg University Players will present “Little Women” Wednesday, April 2, through Saturday, April 5, in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. each evening. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend. 

“Little Women,” inspired by the popular American novel, will follow Jo March and her sisters as they journey into adulthood following the years of the Civil War. With lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland, this recent Broadway hit offers many delightful songs that any audience member is sure to enjoy. 

“One broad based theme would be that it is important to know who you really are,” said Powers. “Jo tries to be someone she is not, but she only finds real happiness when she recognizes who she truly is. As Shakespeare said, ‘To thine ownself be true.’”

The cast and crew include:

Jo March: Erika Stafford, a senior psychology major from Orrville, Ohio (Orrville High School)

Amy March: Chelsea Ritter, a senior international business major from New Tripoli (Northwestern Lehigh High School)

Meg March: Briana Hozak, a senior sociology major from Home (Marian Center Area High School)

Beth March: Tiffany Franck, a senior sociology major from Ephrata (Ephrata Senior High School)

Marmee: Amanda Stillings, a sophomore arts administration major from Sussex, N.J. (High Point Regional High School)

*Aunt March: Mariah West, a junior criminal justice administration major from Minden, Nev. (Sierra Lutheran High School)

Theodore Laurence III: Adam Tapparo, a junior sociology major from Beaver (Beaver Area High School)

*Mr. Laurence: John Flanigan IV, a senior computer forensics major from Frostburg, Md. (Calvary Christian Academy)

Professor Bhaer: Dawson Laabs, a sophomore information technology major from Washington (Washington High School)

Mrs. Kirk: Olivia Long, a junior business management major from Burgettstown (Avella Area Junior-Senior High School)

*Helga: Larissa Bray, a sophomore mathematics major from Murrysville (Trinity Christian High School)

Clarissa: Lori Williams, a freshman early childhood education major from Mount Clare, W.Va. (Bridgeport High School)

*Braxton: Austin Orth, a sophomore computer science major from Meyersdale (Lighthouse Christian Academy)

*Rodrigo and Choreographer: Jordan Totty, a junior forensic science major from Temecula, Calif. (Cornerstone Christian School)

*Rodrigo 2: Emily Haywood, a sophomore digital design major from Claysville (McGuffey Area School District)

*Old Knight: Mike Merten, a freshman history major from Columbia, N.J. (North Warren Regional High School)

Chief Hag: Emily Mielcarek, a freshman international culture major from Orchard Park N.Y. (Orchard Park High School)

*Chief Troll: Katie Shultz, a junior human services major from Venetia (Peters Township High School)

Ensemble: 

  • Denell Cormany, a freshman early childhood and special education major from Medina, Ohio (Buckeye Senior High School)
  • Annie McGlaughlin, a freshman communication sports broadcasting and information major from Pittsburgh (Brentwood Middle-High School)
  • Brittany Stowe, a sophomore psychology major from Millville, N.J. (Millville Senior High School)
  • Vocal Director: Tome Custer
  • Choreographer: Faith Musko, instructor of forensic science at Waynesburg University 
  • Stage Manager: Leysha Stickles, a freshman creative writing major from Bellefonte (Bellefonte Area High School
  • Additional Crew:
    • David O'Donaghue, a freshman with an undeclared major from Waynesburg (Waynesburg Central High School)
    • Tyler Wolfe, a freshman communication electronic media major from Parkton, Md. (Hereford High School)
    • Members of the Lights & Sound Tech class

*Cast members who are also part of the ensemble

Reservations are strongly suggested. Seats may be reserved by calling 724-852-3226 or visit waynesburg.ticketleap.com/little-women.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Monogram Small.jpgWaynesburg University will host a Senior Art Exhibition for Nathanael Long Monday, March 24, through Wednesday, April 16. An opening reception will take place Monday, March 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Benedum Fine Arts Gallery. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Senior art exhibitions take place each semester to provide veteran art students with a platform to showcase the products of a practiced creative process. Students spend four years creating and preserving pieces they are most proud of for this very occasion. 

Long’s exhibit includes paintings, photography, sculptures and ceramics pieces he has worked on throughout his academic career, concentrating on abstract art for the purposes of the show.

“Art is something I have enjoyed ever since I can remember,” Long said. “I realize now that I will always be a student of art because there is always more to learn. I like the challenge of trying to make interesting compositions using line, form and color to express myself.”

The Art Program at Waynesburg University allows students to mold, paint and sketch works of their imagination while providing the tools to grasp a comprehensive knowledge of techniques and history. Students hone abilities through class discussion, demonstrations and exhibits. 

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by appointment. For more information call 724-852-3247.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Waynesburg University will host spring Visitation Days for transfer students, high school students and their families Saturday, April 12, and Saturday, April 26.

Registration in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center begins at 8:30 a.m. both days. After check-in, students have the opportunity to take a tour of the campus, meet with faculty and staff in their elected majors, learn about admissions and financial aid and enjoy lunch in the Benedum Dining Hall.

According to Kari Calvario, admissions counselor at Waynesburg University, the purpose of Visitation Days is to provide prospective students and their families with the opportunity to experience Waynesburg University. For many students, this is their first visit to campus, so it is important that they get a chance to tour it, meet with professors and learn more about the admissions and financial aid process.

“Visitation Days are designed to provide students a very informative day,” said Calvario. “They will hear from President Lee, have a chance to meet Student Services staff and representatives from student groups, tour the campus and attend a student panel.”

Approximately 2,500 students are currently enrolled in Waynesburg University’s doctoral, graduate and undergraduate programs. More than 70 academic concentrations are offered at the University, which maintains its status as one of the least expensive private institutions in Pennsylvania.

In addition to rigorous academics, service is at the forefront of a Waynesburg University education. Students annually contribute more than 50,000 hours of service, working with more than 50 local, regional, domestic and international partners. University students have the opportunity to choose from approximately 18 annual domestic and international service mission trips offered during fall, winter and spring breaks.

For more information or to register for a spring visitation day, call 1-800-225-7393.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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