In her first official appearance on the Mary Baldwin College campus, Brigadier General Teresa Djuric will deliver the address at this year’s Founders Day Convocation at 12:15 p.m. October 3.
Djuric will officially become the new commandant of cadets for the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership on October 1. Djuric most recently served as deputy director in the Space Intelligence Office at the Pentagon. Her Founders Day address is titled “Empowering Our Future.”
The event — always held near Mary Julia Baldwin’s October 4 birthday — honors Baldwin, who led the Augusta Female Seminary for 34 years, and her teacher and first-founder of the seminary, Rufus Bailey. Members of the senior class are invited to wear their caps and gowns to the ceremony, held annually in First Presbyterian Church, and process from the college’s Administration Building across Frederick Street.
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XC Standout Receives Conference’s Most Prestigious Award
Two-time All-American Sophia Stone was presented with the USA South Athletic Conference’s most prestigious award when Commissioner Rita Wiggs visited Mary Baldwin College on September 12. The senior from Pacific Palisades, California, was voted the recipient of the Don Scalf Award in June. Stone earned the honor after finishing 19th at the NCAA Women’s National Cross Country Championships in November 2012, earning her All-American honors for the second straight year. Stone had won both the NCAA South/Southeast Regional Championship and the USA South Conference Championship for the second straight year. She has earned USA South Runner of the Year honors twice, is a three-time member of the All-Conference First Team and currently owns the Conference Championship course record.
Stone also received the Capital One Academic All-America award. This award recognizes both her athletic and academic accomplishments. In the classroom, Stone has compiled a 3.98 grade point average while majoring in both Psychology and Biology. She is a three-time member of the USA South All-Academic Team and a two-time member of the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team. The senior has been awarded the Mary Jane Donnalley Scholar Athlete honor twice in her career.
Head Cross Country Coach Sharon Spalding talked about Stone’s accomplishments. “Sophia’s first three seasons have been remarkable, with great improvement each year. She embodies the term student-athlete and tonight she is being rewarded in both areas as she receives the Don Scalf Award, the CoSida Academic All-American Award and the USA South All-Academic Award.”
Spalding also commented on Sophia’s decision to take this year off from cross country. “To further her academic pursuits, Sophia will be sitting out this year to pursue a third major in chemistry. Since this requires an extra year, we will welcome her back to the team next season for her senior season.”
Fighting Squirrels Take Sportsmanship Trophy
The Mary Baldwin College Athletic Department received the USA South Athletic Conference Team Sportsmanship Award Thursday evening September 12. Commissioner of the USA South Athletic Conference Rita Wiggs presented the award to Athletic Director Sharon Spalding and representatives of the volleyball, soccer, basketball, and softball teams. Each of these teams received the sportsmanship award for their particular sport during the 2012-13 academic year. This is the 4th time in the past five years that Mary Baldwin College has received this award.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Catharine O’Connell was also on hand to present student athletes who earned USA South All-Academic Team honors in 2012-13. Mary Baldwin College had 25 student athletes receive this honor, which is the most since joining the USA South in 2007. To be eligible, a student athlete must have earned a 3.0 GPA in each of the two semesters of a given year.
O’Connell was happy to present these honors and added, “I am so pleased — but not at all surprised — that such a large percentage of our athletes have earned this academic honor. It is a testament to the self-discipline and academic dedication of the athletes who compete for Mary Baldwin College, as well as to the priorities of our coaches and athletic director. These young women are truly student athletes, as their strong academic performance demonstrates. We celebrate them and their mentors who encouraged and supported hard work in the classroom as well as on the field or court.”
The Office of Communication, Marketing, and Public Affairs (CoMPA) is shifting focus this year to web strategy in an effort to improve user experience for various constituencies who seek information about the college online. As a result, the staff will reinvent news delivery, starting this fall. The Cupola Now, once a weekly email, will now become a twice-monthly news vehicle that continues to distribute stories published online at MBC News. Members of the college community are encouraged to take a larger role in helping spread campus news by submitting articles, news briefs, and photos online with the help of a new online news submission form. Meanwhile, the CoMPA staff is working to redesign online news to incorporate campus-wide communication in an attractive and engaging format to be unveiled during spring semester. Have questions? Feel free to contact editor Liesel Crosier at ext. 7098 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the wake of recent upgrades to the Baldwin Alert Message, or BAM, system, Mary Baldwin College administrators are encouraging all faculty, staff, and students to reregister for the service, which provides voice, text, and email messages in the event of a campus emergency, weather closures, and more. The BAM update provides greater flexibility in how alerts are received, greater security of personal data, and the ability to send weather closure announcements via text message. Everyone must reregister, regardless of having signed up in the past. At minimum, officials encourage all who are regularly on campus and who carry a mobile phone to register that number. There will be a test of the MBC emergency communication system at 4:05 p.m. September 26.
To sign up, click here and click on “Sign Me Up!” (Do not fill in your email address and password.) That will take you to a screen where you input your MBC email address and can create a brand-new password just for this system. You will then receive an email, which will give you a link to an authentication page. There you will need to input your ID number from your Mary Baldwin College identification card. Once you’ve done that, you’ll answer some security questions and then can set up your account with all the contact information you choose to use, and set up your subscriptions to receive both emergency messages and outreach messages. (Enable the Outreach subscription and check the SMS option if you want to receive text messages about weather closures).
Campus safety, military support, and emphasis on service highlight Mary Baldwin College’s place on several rankings lists for 2013–14.
With a long track record of security, MBC was named by stateuniversity.com the safest nonprofit, 4-year college in Virginia and ranked No. 5 safest among all colleges in the commonwealth. The website draws from crime reports submitted by college law enforcement during the previous year. The safety ranking comes at the same time the college is asking students, faculty, and staff to sign up once again for Baldwin Alert Messages, which keep the MBC community informed in case of an emergency.
Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has named MBC to the 2014 Military Friendly Schools list. The list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and their children and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.
“Inclusion on the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools shows Mary Baldwin’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, vice president at Victory Media and a nine-year Navy veteran. “The need for education is growing and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”
In addition to supporting the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership — the nation’s only all-female corps of cadets — MBC offers credit for military training and experience and provides in-state tuition without residency requirements for active-duty military students. Weekend and evening programs lend flexibility to military personnel and their spouses.
In its annual college ranking report , Washington Monthly magazine asks not “what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country.” Apparently, MBC — with its Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement and long history of serving the community — is fulfilling this criteria, earning the No. 49 spot among the nation’s 684 master’s level universities.
MBC’s graduate program in Shakespeare and Performance (S&P) made Virginia Living magazine’s list of top colleges in its October State of Education feature in the arts and humanities category. The editors highlighted the new S&P master of fine arts company model, which gives students responsibility for coordinating all aspects of production.
Mary Baldwin is also one of 138 colleges that The Princeton Review chose for its “Best in the Southeast” section of the website feature, 2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region, recommending 643 schools as “regional bests” across four locales: the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and West. Regional best colleges constitute only 25 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges and are selected — primarily for their excellent academic programs — from hundreds of institutions in each region.
U.S. News & World Report also recognized MBC among its “Best Regional Universities” in the South. This year, the college moved up three spots to No. 36 in the category. The Best Colleges 2014 guidebook will be available on newsstands Sept. 24.
Planned gifts can lead to robust scholarship funds, a fact to which the Koogler family can attest.
Lyle and Dorothea Koogler.
The late Lyle E. and Dorothea F. Koogler — parents of alumna and Professor of Theatre Theresa “Terry” Koogler Southerington ’72 and Mary Baldwin College Technical Director of Theatre Sam Koogler — left a legacy behind to honor family ties to MBC. They set up a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust with the intention of establishing the Koogler Family Scholarship to support local students who attend Mary Baldwin. High-achieving undergraduate students from Augusta or Rockbridge counties — or from the cities within those geographic boundaries — will be eligible for the scholarship. Awarded for the first time during the 2013–14 academic year, the scholarship may also benefit students in the Shakespeare and Performance graduate program.
Lyle and Dorothea Koogler became connected to the college through their daughter, Southerington, whom Dean Martha Grafton recruited as early decision after reading an article about her in the local newspaper. That connection would soon extend to form a network of alliances, leading the Kooglers to plan an estate gift and gain membership to the Kiracofe Society in recognition of their commitment.
“I was going to attend Virginia Tech or Temple, but my parents encouraged me to check out Mary Baldwin,” Southerington said. “The college offered me a scholarship and admittance into the honors program, so I decided to go for two years and transfer. But two years later, I loved it and didn’t want to leave.”
And she has remained at MBC — teaching for 38 years in addition to her work in the local theatre scene, namely the Oak Grove Theater, co-founded by the late Fletcher Collins, professor of theatre, and his wife Margaret, theatre manager and playwright.
A discernible passion for the stage and for the college runs in her family, as brother Sam Koogler and late husband Frank Southerington shared these interests. Koogler also became involved with local theatre after he retired from the Air Force, and he began working for MBC theatre department nearly 15 years ago. “Mary Baldwin has really become a family affair,” he said.
Southerington’s late husband, Frank, was professor emeritus of English at MBC. He taught for 39 years, during which he co-founded the Shakespeare and Performance graduate program and served as its director before retiring in 2007. He was also instrumental in bringing the Blackfriars Playhouse to Staunton and remained active in both community and MBC theatre up until his death in August 2013.
The bond the Kooglers formed with the college will serve students for generations to come. “Our parents decided to give to Mary Baldwin because it was so connected to family. “Sam and I are carrying out their wishes. I started at Mary Baldwin on a scholarship, and now we’re giving something back,” she said. Koogler summed up her remarks: “Paying it forward,” he said.
Following a nationwide search, Mary Baldwin College has selected Brigadier General Teresa Djuric to serve as the new commandant of cadets for the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL) and special assistant to the president, effective October 1.
Djuric — who most recently served as deputy director in the Space Intelligence Office at the Pentagon — succeeds Brigadier General N. Michael Bissell, VWIL’s first commandant, who announced his retirement in May.
In the search for a new commandant, the college zeroed in on candidates who had experience in command and administrative logistics as well as leadership development programs in both military and civilian settings. The new commandant search committee also focused on candidates with excellent organizational, communication, and counseling skills.
“General Djuric has the experience, credentials, and personal character to lead VWIL into its next thriving chapter,” said MBC President Pamela Fox. “She is exactly who we were hoping to attract to the position — an accomplished individual with passion and energy who will inspire students and colleagues to excellence, build connections throughout our college community and beyond, and evolve VWIL to be even more successful in preparing young women to succeed in both civilian and military careers.”
Djuric has led both small and large academic and operational units; has served as an instructor to military and civilian audiences; and as a four-time commander has established solid working relationships with the national guard and reserves, military services, school superintendents, municipal officials, and community landowners. She also has executed the most extensive Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) field-training overhaul in 60 years.
Djuric’s track record in leadership development also proved attractive to administrators at Mary Baldwin, which emphasizes student leadership opportunities within VWIL and beyond. As commander of the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development at Air University, Djuric established the first Air Force civilian leadership course for newly hired civilians. She led 2,500 instructors responsible for training 23,000 cadets at universities and officer training schools and 115,000 JROTC cadets at 884 high schools. Djuric managed the Air University officer training campus, oversaw a $250 million budget and $28 million in renovations, and was accountable for delivering 80 percent of the Air Force’s new officers and cultivating citizens of character.
In the course of her career, Djuric operated space systems at three space wings; deployed to Southwest Asia as the first director for space forces to support the war on terrorism; commanded at the squadron, group, wing and educational center levels; and served on staffs at the Air Force Personnel Center, U.S. Pacific Command, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In her most recent role in the Space Intelligence Office, Djuric led budget planning for space programs valued at $12 billion and worked closely with the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics as the chief of staff addressing congressional issues.
A decorated military leader, Djuric’s awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, and the General O’Malley Award for Distinguished Space Leadership.
She earned master of strategic studies at the Army War College, a master of arts in curriculum and instruction at the University of Colorado, and a bachelor of science in computer science at Mary Washington College. Her military biography is posted online at http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/Biographies/Display/tabid/225/Article/108363/brigadier-general-teresa-ah-djuric.aspx.
“It’s an honor and privilege to join the Mary Baldwin College community as we continue developing strong leaders and involved citizens of character,” Djuric said. “I’m eager to guide the cadet corps into the next chapter of its legacy, and I’m already inspired by the cadets’ dedication to their education and willingness to participate in this challenging military environment and leadership program.”
Representing 24 states and five foreign countries, 265 women officially joined the Mary Baldwin College student body during 2013 Orientation Week, labeled Defining Courage. According to the Registrar’s Office, this year’s freshman class includes a larger percentage of students with unique names, a departure from the trend of recent years (2012 saw the year of Jasmine). Seventy-three percent of all incoming freshmen do not share a name with any of their classmates. There are, however, six Sarah’s, six Kayla’s, and six Jessica’s. Another slight departure from a recent trend, this year’s first-year students largely use an email address comprised of their actual name instead of an outside interest. Among the student addresses that reflect individual interests, cats, foxes, and bears top the list. Photographer Woods Pierce captured images from the Class Rally on Page Terrace, where students wore T-shirts representing their first-year Gateway. New portals this year include the Arts and Commuter gateways.