Virginia Wesleyan University

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Virginia Wesleyan University
Virginia Wesleyan University logo.png
Motto Sapientia Illuminat Viam, "Wisdom Lights the Way"
Type Liberal arts and sciences
Established 1961
Religious affiliation
United Methodist Church
Endowment $58.7 million (2018)
Academic staff
109 full-time, 35 part time
Administrative staff
199 full-time, 136 part time
Students 1,500 (undergraduate and graduate)
Other students
Over 600 not-for-credit students enroll annually for seminars and classes. An additional 100 students per year enroll in a licensing school for United Methodist ministers at VWU. Pre-collegiate programs are offered through campus-based agencies.
5817 Wesleyan Drive
, , ,
36°52′4.8″N 76°11′15.4″W / 36.868000°N 76.187611°W / 36.868000; -76.187611Coordinates: 36°52′4.8″N 76°11′15.4″W / 36.868000°N 76.187611°W / 36.868000; -76.187611
Campus Suburban, 300 acres (1.21 km2)
Colors Blue and Silver          
Athletics NCAA Division IIIODAC
Nickname Marlins
Mascot Bob Marlin

Virginia Wesleyan University is a comprehensive university of the liberal arts and sciences located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States. Founded in 1961 by the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church, the university enrolls approximately 1,500 students annually in undergraduate, graduate, and online programs. An additional 510 non-credit continuing education students enroll annually through the Robert F. Boyd Institute, the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, the Center for Sacred Music, and the Westminster/Wesleyan Lifelong Learning Institute. Virginia Wesleyan transitioned from a college to a university in 2017.

The Virginia Wesleyan University campus is also home to the Chesapeake Bay Academy, an educational institution founded in 1989 that educates and guides students with learning disabilities, including attention disorders (ADHD), dyslexia, and dysgraphia, and the Tidewater Collegiate Academy, an innovative laboratory for teaching and learning that extends from the primary grades through high school.

Through academic collaboration with local arts and sciences partners, on-site learning experiences are also provided at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach (the university and aquarium jointly own and operate "The Ocean Explorer," a marine science research vessel); The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk; Busch Gardens Williamsburg; and the Norfolk Botanical Garden.[1]


The school was chartered in 1961 as Virginia Wesleyan College under the initiative of Methodist minister Joseph S. Johnston, later the college's first president.[2] It became a university in 2017.[3]

Presidents of Wesleyan
Name Tenure
Scott Douglas Miller 2015-
William Thomas Greer Jr. 1992-2015
Lambuth McGeehee Clarke 1966-1992
Joseph Shackford Johnston 1965


Virginia Wesleyan University consists of three schools devoted to specific areas of study: the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities, the Joan P. Brock School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and the Birdsong School of Social Science.[4]

The Batten Honors College, named for Virginia Wesleyan Trustee Emerita Jane Batten and her late husband Frank Batten, Sr., was founded in 2017 with a mission to "inspire, engage, and prepare academically talented students to become leaders, environmental stewards, and impactful citizens in the global community."[5]

University College at Virginia Wesleyan University operates all for-credit programs outside of the traditional undergraduate program and also supports non-credit, continuing-education offerings.[6]


Situated on 300 acres (1.2 km2) in Virginia Beach, the university is separated into four villages. Bray Village (Village I) and Allen Village (Village II) offer combined living-learning environments built on the Jeffersonian model, with multi-purpose buildings. Brock Village (Village III) and Honors Village (Village IV) are solely housing units.[7]


The Greer Environmental Sciences Center at Virginia Wesleyan University.

The following complexes and buildings, with completion dates noted, now house the university's academic, administrative, and residential functions.

  • Jerry G. Bray, Jr. Village (Village I) (1966)
    • Residence halls:
      • Louise W. Eggleston Hall
      • Abel E. and Clara Eaton Kellam Hall
      • Margarette Hanes Old Hall
      • Paul Howard Rose Hall
    • Academic buildings:
      • Birdsong Hall
      • Peter D. Pruden Hall
      • Aubrey L. Eggleston Commons
  • Dennie Allen Village (Village II)
    • Residence halls:
      • East Hall (1990)
      • Franklin Little Hall (1990)
      • Alison J. and Ella W. Parsons Hall (1990)
      • Walter Clarke Gum Hall (1970)
      • Joseph S. Johnston Hall (1990)
      • Landmark Hall
      • William Travis Smithdeal Hall (1970)
    • Academic buildings (1990):
      • Charles and Bertha Mast Graybeal Hall
      • Guy C. and Ora Goodwin Roop Hall
      • Floyd E. Kellam, Jr., Social Sciences Lab (2002, 2014)
  • Joan and Macon Brock Village (Village III) (1993)
    • Residence halls:
      • North Hall
      • South Hall
      • Harry I. and Elizabeth W. Teagle Hall
    • Apartments and townhouses (2005)
  • Honors Village (Village IV) (2008)
    • Residence townhouses:
      • Broyles Hall
      • DeFord Hall
      • Hendrix Hall
      • Mastracco Hall
      • Watts Hall
  • S. Frank and Wilma Williamson Blocker Hall
  • Lambuth M. Clarke Hall (1998)
  • Fine Arts Building (1966)/Edward D. Hofheimer Theatre (1981)
  • Greer Environmental Sciences Center (2017)
  • Henry Clay Hofheimer II Library (1969, 2008)
  • Greenhouse (2017)

The following complexes and structures house additional administrative buildings as well as athletic and student activities facilities:

  • Jane P. Batten Student Center (2002)
  • Birdsong Field (2015)
  • Frank Blocker Youth Center at YMCA Camp Red Feather (2017)
  • Robert F. and Sara M. Boyd Dining Center (1991)
  • Everett Tennis Center (2011)
  • Katherine B. and Mills E. Godwin, Jr., Hall (1999)
  • Maintenance Building (1993)
  • Monumental Chapel (1975) and the Frank E. Brown Campanile (1975)
  • Kenneth R. Perry Field (2017)
  • Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center (2017)
  • Trinder Center (1998) with Foster Field (1998)


Virginia Wesleyan University sports teams are known as the Marlins. The university participates in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III.

Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cheer, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, and indoor/outdoor track and field. Women's sports include basketball, cheer, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, indoor/outdoor track and field, and volleyball.[8]

The university maintains an Athletic Hall of Fame honoring those who have made lasting contributions to Virginia Wesleyan's intercollegiate athletic program through outstanding achievements or service.[9]

In recent years, Virginia Wesleyan University has earned recognition as one of the top NCAA Division III programs in the country. The men's basketball team won the national championship in 2006, and the following year returned to the championship game, which they lost. The women's soccer team made it to the final four in 2006 after winning the ODAC tournament for the first time in program history. In 2016, Evan Cox was the Individual NCAA National Champion for Men's Golf. The Virginia Wesleyan softball team won the 2017 NCAA Division III National Championship[10] with a record 54 wins. Head Coach Brandon Elliott was named ODAC Coach of the Year and State Coach of the Year, while his coaching staff earned Regional and National Coaching Staff of the Year honors. Freshman pitcher Hanna Hull earned 2017 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Freshman of the Year and honors as the first National Player of the Year in program history.[11] In 2018, they repeated as NCAA Champions, Hull was again National Player of the Year, and Elliott's staff again earned National Coaching Staff of the Year honors.

The success has been greeted with support from private donors for new and renovated facilities:

  • In 2015: Construction of Birdsong Field complete with artificial turf, lights, 300 seats, press box, pavilion, and “jumbo” scoreboard. The facility is used by field hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, recreation, and in inclement weather by men's and women's soccer.
  • In 2016: Fully renovated Kenneth R. Perry Field for the baseball team.
  • In 2017: Renovated the aquatics facility in the Jane P. Batten Student Center to serve as the home of the new men's and women's swimming teams.
  • In 2017: Renovated, restored and relocated The Alpine Tower to the new expanded outdoor athletic complex.
  • In 2018: Construction of the Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center.
  • In 2018: Construction of Marlins Way and the East Gate gated entrance/exit to the VWU Athletic Complex.
  • In 2018: Announced the demolition of the existing Marlins Park and construction of the new Tom and Betty Broyles Field at TowneBank Park.

Greek life

North-American Interfraternity Conference Fraternities:

National Panhellenic Conference Sororities:

National Pan-Hellenic Council Sororities:

National Pan-Hellenic Council Fraternities:

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "Accolades".
  2. ^ "Our History".
  3. ^ ""Virginia Wesleyan Announces Transition to University Status"".
  4. ^ "Academics".
  5. ^ "Batten Honors College".
  6. ^ "University College".
  7. ^ "Campus Map".
  8. ^ "Virginia Wesleyan Interactive Programs".
  9. ^ "Athletic Hall of Fame".
  10. ^ "DIII softball championship: Virginia Wesleyan sweeps final against St. John Fisher".
  11. ^ "Virginia Wesleyan Softball".

External links

  • Virginia Wesleyan University website
  • Virginia Wesleyan University Athletics website
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