Here is a look back at several of the most significant stories from the University of Lynchburg community during 2017 — in no particular order.
Hallie Sayre ’17 presented her research on concussions, a hot topic in the athletic training world, at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association national conference. At the conference, she also picked up the NATA’s Student Writing Award for Original Research.
Lynchburg nursing professor Dr. Stephanie Ferguson was one of 14 members of the Committee on Global Health and the Future Role of the United States, which prepared a report recommending the highest priorities for U.S. global health spending. In May, she presented that report to more than 240 global leaders at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.
Both University of Lynchburg varsity soccer teams claimed conference titles in the fall of 2017. The men’s team then won its first-round NCAA tournament game and the women’s team won two rounds.
On the men’s team, Nate Berning ’18 was voted ODAC Player of the Year while head coach Chris Yeager was all-state Coach of the Year. Goalkeeper Dylan McLaurin ’19 earned all-America honors for academics as well as his performance on the field. Four team members earned spots on all-region teams.
The women’s soccer team members won several accolades as well in their standout season. Emily Maxwell ’18 earned ODAC Player of the Year while picking up all-American honors for academics and athletics. Four team members also picked up all-state and all-region honors.
Setsuko Nakamura Thurlow ’55 accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, an organization she has been heavily involved with for many years. She also will be University of Lynchburg’s 2018 Commencement speaker. As a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II, she used her personal experience of survival to encourage a worldwide audience to support an international ban on nuclear weapons.
The Dear World storytelling project visited University of Lynchburg in November for a series of workshops designed to help people share stories and build community. More than 250 members of the Lynchburg family participated in the workshops and more than 500 attended the storytelling showcase, which featured four stories told by members of the community. A collection of Lynchburg Dear World portraits, along with some of the stories inspiring them, can be found in a Dear World Live at Lynchburg Facebook album.
For the first time in many years, University of Lynchburg’s general education curriculum is getting a major revamp.
In December, Lynchburg’s faculty approved a new program, “the DELL Curriculum,” which stands for “Diverse, Engaged, Lifelong Learners.” It takes effect in the fall of 2019 and is in keeping with the student engagement goal of the Vision 2020 strategic plan.
Released in October, the fall 2017 edition of University of Lynchburg Magazine explores turning points throughout the history of University of Lynchburg, from its founding as Virginia Christian College through its evolution to the University of Lynchburg.
Stories cover the controversial teaching of evolution in the 1920s, the development of championship-level sports programs, racial integration, growth in the 1960s, the return to a residential campus, and other changes that defined the college over the years.
The entire magazine can be read online at magazine.lynchburg.edu
Dr. Eric Goff is well known for his sports physics expertise. He’s helped explain Tour de France finish times, Steph Curry’s three-point shot, and other topics for articles in the Washington Post and Time Magazine, as well as radio and TV shows in the U.S. and Europe.
But in 2017, he joined the podcasting world. He is one of the most frequently appearing guests on Playing with Science, a sports-science spinoff of Neil de Grasse Tyson’s Startalk podcast. This also led to him offering NFL commentary during weekly live segments this fall. In all, he has been a guest on more than 20 podcasts analyzing football in the snow, the effects of friction in tennis, and other topics.
The College announced that McWane Hall will be replaced with a new living-learning community that will help meet Vision 2020’s primary goal of student engagement. Among other things, the new residence hall will include living spaces, lounges, faculty offices, and classrooms for the Westover Honors Program, soon to be known as the Westover Honors College. It will be the first residence hall project of this magnitude in several decades.
Lynchburg’s iON Nursing program earned the College the title of Apple Distinguished School for its integration of iPad and other Apple technology into the nursing program. Since launching iON Nursing, the nursing program has seen increased graduation and retention rates, and pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination. The iON Nursing program is one example of how Lynchburg professors are using technology to engage students in high-quality education inside and outside the classroom.
Lynchburg was one of four private Virginia colleges to partner with a Tesla company and the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia to bring solar power campus. A combined total of 1.9 megawatts of solar capacity will be installed at the four colleges. Lynchburg alone will account for 1.3 megawatts.
Senator Tim Kaine spoke on campus at the invitation of the University of Lynchburg Democrats. It was the first time, in anyone’s memory, that a sitting senator has spoken on campus. Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 Presidential election, spoke about his life in public service and added some thoughts about the November 2017 elections.
University of Lynchburg’s Board of Trustees announced that the name of the institution will officially change to “University of Lynchburg” at the beginning of the 2018-2019 academic year. With its undergraduate, professional, and graduate-degree offerings, the College has been classified as a university for years. The official name change will make that status clear and make it easier to market to graduate students. The News & Advance recently published an end-of-year story with an update on several aspects of the name change. http://www.newsadvance.com/news/local/rest-of-the-story-lc-preparing-for-name-change-in/article_743149a4-ea8e-11e7-82f7-c70f0b6d9cbb.html
After an outstanding fall season, University of Lynchburg landed the number 30 spot in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings. The Learfield Directors’ Cup, a creation of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and USA Today, awards points for each of a program’s finishes in NCAA competition.
Lynchburg’s women’s soccer, men’s soccer, and women’s cross country teams all earned points toward the Hornets’ score in the fall semester.
Dr. Jeri Watts, a professor of education, won the 2017 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award shortly before she retired this year. The award honored her children’s book A Piece of Home, which tells the story of a young immigrant adjusting to his new home in West Virginia.
After 20 years without a major update, the serving area in Burton Dining Hall received a floor to ceiling renovation over the summer of 2017. The finished product received fantastic reviews as it upgraded the dining experience for students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors. The Memorial Ballroom in Hall Campus Center is now undergoing a similar project.
The School of Business and Economics at University of Lynchburg has been climbing in HR.com’s LEAD awards for several years, but in 2017 the school placed second in the nation for leadership development programs.