Ashley Wise

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Waynesburg University has been named to MONEY Magazine’s 2017-2018 “Best Colleges For Your Money” list, ranking in the top 7 percent of all colleges and universities considered nationwide. 

Out of the 2,400 colleges considered, 711 met the minimum requirements to be included in the ranking, which examined three primary factors: quality of education, affordability and outcomes. Waynesburg ranked No. 170.

“Ninety-eight percent of our 2015 graduates are working or studying in their chosen field within a year of graduation, and 70 percent of them choose to remain in the region, creating a consistent and positive impact on region’s economy,” said Stacey Brodak, vice president for institutional advancement and university relations at Waynesburg University.

In compiling this ranking, MONEY utilized research and advice from dozens of the nation’s top experts on education quality, financing and value, according to their website, “to develop a new, uniquely practical analysis of more than 700 of the nation’s best-performing colleges.”

Twenty-seven data points were examined, including quality of education, graduates’ earnings, estimated market value of alumni’s average job skills, affordability and outcomes.

“This ranking recognizes the amazing commitment of our faculty, staff and university community to the mission of this university,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee. “Through their consistent devotion, we are achieving these types of results in a time filled with challenges in higher education.”

As stated on MONEY’s website, “MONEY’s Best Colleges for Your Money rankings are the first to combine the most accurate pricing estimates available with all reliable indicators of alumni financial success, along with a unique analysis of how much ‘value’ a college adds when compared to other schools that take in similar students.”

For more information on the methodology behind the 2017 rankings, visit  

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Director of University Relations

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b2ap3_thumbnail_West.pngMarilyn House West has been elected chair of the Board of Trustees at Waynesburg University. The Elizabeth, Pa., native is a 1967 graduate of the University and has served as a trustee for many years. 

“I look forward to working collaboratively with the board and the administration to continue the vibrant and unequivocal success of a University that stands on high standards and provides rich and diverse learning opportunities for student success,” said West, who is the first female and first minority to lead the University’s board in its history.

West is the founder, owner and Chief Executive Officer of M.H. West and Co., a Richmond, Virginia based planning and consulting company with specialization in management, education and planning services. West and her team have served clients ranging from government agencies to large corporations and school systems. 

West currently leads the board of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center and the Senior Center of Greater Richmond.  She serves on the boards of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, the Richmond Metro Transportation Authority, Bon Secours Richmond Health Care Foundation and the St. Joseph’s Villa.

In 2015, West was honored by the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Richmond with its 2015 Outstanding Women Award, which recognizes women in the Greater Richmond area who have made significant contributions to the community through their exceptional leadership, sustained dedication and inspiring achievements.  In 2016, she was recognized by Style Weekly with an Executive Woman in Business Achievement Award. She will be inducted in the Virginia Business Hall of Fame later this month.

West received Waynesburg University’s Margaret Bell Miller Leadership Award in 2009 and the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006.

“Over the years, Mrs. West has been an inspiration of leadership,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee. “I could not be more pleased with her election to chair of our board. I have no doubt that her commitment to our alma mater will aid in its continued advancement.”

West began her record of leadership while still a student at Waynesburg University in the 1960s. At that time, she was asked to pledge a national sorority by its local members. In pledging, she would become the first African-American member of the sorority. 

In response to the membership invitation, the national organization froze the assets of the local sorority and threatened to revoke their national charter. West and the students in the sorority at Waynesburg chose to withdraw from the national sorority rather than refuse her membership. 

West and the University students received national acclaim for making this bold move. Telegrams, letters from individuals, colleges, churches and other organizations from across the country shared words of congratulations and praise for this action.

West holds a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Waynesburg University.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Soracco_20170430_-641_20170430-214437_1.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_Soracco_20170430_-390.jpgWaynesburg University held its 165th Commencement exercises Sunday, April 30, honoring approximately 525 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from the Waynesburg campus as well as the University’s additional centers in Cranberry, Monroeville and Southpointe.

Mrs. Aradhna Oliphant, President and CEO of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc., delivered the Commencement Address, “Essence of Leadership.” 

“I love that this university believes so much in the concept of servant leadership, which in my experience is the only real and lasting leadership that we can offer each other,” she said. 

Oliphant explored attributes of great leadership, noting that true leaders remain curiously humble, are present and get involved. These attributes, she said, have been shared by the leaders she has admired and learned from the most. 

“To the class of 2017, let me say this: This wonderful, beautiful, mission-centric university has taught you to engage life with faith and spirituality at your core,” she said. “That is a gift, but it is a gift with consequences.  You might even call it a sacred trust. As the theologian Henri J.M. Nouwen has put it, ‘the spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it.’”

Oliphant concluded with a challenge to graduates, urging them to be the leaders who remain curious, who show up and who get involved. 

“Three simple traits. May you be those leaders; may you show the way,” she said. 

Taylor Garrett, a math (secondary education) graduate from Aurora, Ohio, was named valedictorian and delivered the valedictory to the University. Freddie Fields, who received a Master of Business Administration degree, represented the graduate program students. 

Matthew Joseph Rinaudo, a criminal justice administration graduate from Alpharetta, Pennsylvania, was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Army of the United States of America during the ceremony. 

Prior to the commencement exercises, Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Migliore, the Charles Hodge Professor Emeritus of Systemic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, delivered the Baccalaureate Address, “On the Road with Jesus,” during which he referenced Luke 24:13-31 and two paradoxes found within those verses. 

The first, he said, is the paradox of meeting the living Lord who is right beside you on the road but who encounters you as a stranger you do not recognize. 

“The second paradox goes like this: Often it is just when God seems most absent in our life that God is most profoundly present,” said Migliore, who encouraged the graduates to remain dedicated to engaging with and helping strangers throughout their lives. 

“During your studies at this university, many of you have been blessed by having the experience of meeting and helping strangers in various service programs,” he said. “I hope you won’t give the practice up. There are countless strangers out there on the road waiting to walk beside you and to bless you and be blessed by you.” 

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, Associate Director of University Relations

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Aradhna Oliphant and the Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Migliore were awarded honorary Doctor of Humane Letter degrees during Waynesburg University’s commencement exercises Sunday, April 30.

Oliphant is the President and CEO of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. and Migliore is the Charles Hodge Professor Emeritus of Systemic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. The degrees were conferred upon Oliphant and Migliore 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:

Aradhna Oliphant

Aradhna Malhotra Oliphant, for your wholly inspirational and innovative work ethic, as evidenced by a successful career in leadership development and a multitude of professional posts, Waynesburg honors you.

As you guide Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. as President and CEO, you inspire our region’s leaders to strive for excellence and to remain engaged in their communities and the world, encouraging countless individuals to pursue lives of purpose. 

Your unwavering drive for community building is reflected in your involvement with the academic, public policy, corporate and nonprofit sectors. Your demonstrated passion for community engagement and serving others mirrors the efforts of Waynesburg University to instill such admirable qualities in its students.

Recognized for your innovation and leadership as a Woman of Distinction by several area civic organizations and most recently in 2015 as one of the top twenty-five most influential people in the region by Pittsburgh Magazine, you are an inspiration to young women who wish to change the world.

Your ambition, influential career, and moral and business philosophies serve as examples to Waynesburg University students as they prepare to become the leaders of tomorrow. For that, 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. 

Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Migliore

Rev. Daniel Migliore, in recognition of your distinguished career in theology education and the inspiration you have provided to a generation’s worth of leaders in religion, Waynesburg University honors you. 

A distinguished teacher, leader and reverend, your voice has influenced and motivated individuals throughout our nation. Your work has set you apart as an outstanding role model and inspirational leader in education and religion.

An accomplished author, you have introduced countless minds to Christian theology, and in doing so, you have inspired others to understand Christ’s love. Through your bestselling textbook, you have illuminated the minds of eager learners across the country. 

With more than four decades dedicated to educating and inspiring others, you are an inspiration to us. It is because of the meaningful and extensive impact you have made through your life’s work that we are pleased to recognize and honor you.

In sincere respect and admiration for your steadfast commitment to all those you so diligently serve and teach, and for the ways in which you share Waynesburg University’s mission of faith, learning and serving, it is with distinct honor that we confer upon you our degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations
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b2ap3_thumbnail_CEOs17-Outstanding-CEOs-LOGO.jpgWaynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee has been selected as a recipient of the Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2017 Outstanding CEO and Top Executive Award. 

“It is an honor to be selected for the Outstanding CEO and Top Executive Award,” said Lee. “This award is a reflection of the unparalleled dedication and hard work of the administration, faculty and staff with whom I am privileged to serve.” 

The 2017 Outstanding CEOs and Top Executives Awards honor Western Pennsylvania's outstanding business leaders. The winners include CEOs and company presidents at both nonprofit and for-profit organizations in the Pittsburgh region. Lee accepted his award at the Westin Convention Center Wednesday, April 12.

“It was no surprise to our University community that he was selected for this award,” said Heidi Szuminsky, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and University Relations. “Not only has he led the University to new heights, gaining national attention and rankings based on student outcomes, but he has led the University in a way that has garnered deep respect and affection from the entire University family. We are proud to call him our President.”

As stated on the Pittsburgh Business Time’s website, those chosen for the honor will have demonstrated vital leadership and customer service philosophy, outstanding employee relationships, contributions to the community and evidence that they have shaped their company's products or services to help lead their business to success. 

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

Under Lee's leadership, Waynesburg University has received national attention for the economic outcomes of its graduates. Studies published by The Brookings Institution, The Economist, USA Today and MONEY Magazine have placed Waynesburg University in the top 10 percent nationwide for this type of category. In September 2016, Waynesburg University was ranked No. 7 in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Value School for the North” ranking.

Also under Lee’s leadership, the University has been recognized regionally by the Pittsburgh Business Times as a Best Place to Work for 2015 and internationally as one of the most beautiful Christian college campuses in the world. In March 2015, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) awarded Waynesburg University reaccreditation for a ten-year period, and in September 2015, the University was awarded Imani Christian Academy’s 2015 Leadership in Service Education Award. The University has also been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for eight consecutive years. 

Currently, Lee is serving as the Chair of the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Presidents' Council and on the Board of Directors for the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania. 

Lee was recently chosen as a co-recipient of the Southpointe CEO Association’s World Class CEO Award for 2016 and was named to The Pennsylvania Business Central's Top 100 People list of 2013. He was also the recipient of the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) General Greene District of the Laurel Highlands Council's 2015 Good Citizen Award and has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America®, having spoken and written extensively on workers' compensation and labor and employment law topics. 

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.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or

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