Campus

Black Alumni Weekend Gala 

Written by Alyssa Wilson ~ Editor-in-Chief 

Photo of speaker Deborah Edgefield, taken by Alyssa Wilson on Sept. 24, 2022 
Photo of Davion Washington, Jr. taken by Alyssa Wilson on Sept. 24, 2022

The University of Lynchburg held its first Black alumni weekend, which included many events from networking opportunities to a gala for all students and alumni. 

This historic weekend was achievable due to the Helen Mundy Witt Society, a society of Black alumni and current students that honors Witt, the first Black student to graduate from the University, then Lynchburg College at the time of her graduation. 

On Saturday night, Sept. 24 a gala was hosted with food, music, and a multitude of speakers who spoke on the weekend theme of ‘Accepting the Assignment’.

As this was the University’s first Black alumni weekend, there was a heavy emphasis at the gala about the importance of accepting the assignment and going further than just what was discussed during the weekend, but expanding discussion of what it’s like to be Black at Lynchburg beyond the event.

“Thank you to all of the alumni who put this weekend together,” says President Alison Morrison-Shetlar, “We need to be celebrating our diversity more on our campus and you all have left a legacy, a footprint, for millennia to come.”

President Morrison-Shetlar opened the event with a speech that challenged alumni and students to get to know each other and connect on the reasons why they chose to go to Lynchburg and have the Lynchburg experience. 

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Virginia 10 Miler Leaves Unsuspecting Residences Stuck at Home 

Photo of Road Closure signs At W Princeton Circle By: Em Maxey 

Assistant Editor ~ Em Maxey 

The Virginia 10 Miler was held this weekend in the neighborhoods surrounding Rivermont Avenue and some residents who were unaware of the event were left stuck at home. 

The Virginia 10 Miler went from Rivermont Avenue through the Langhorne Road intersection and ending at Riverside Park. 

Several residents were trapped in the apartment complexes and houses on North and West Princeton Circle, Randolph College and the neighboring roads. 

Communities like Princeton Circle West Apartments that have no alternative route except through Rivermont were more impacted than other communities. 

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Queer Talk: Snidow Lecture with Queer Theology

Rylee McDonal ~ Copy Editor

The creators of the podcast and website called Queer Theology visited the University of Lynchburg to present a lecture on queer theology and religious belief. 

The lecture was held on Monday, Sept. 26 in Snidow Chapel by creators Brian Murphy and Father Shay Kearns, whose podcast explores how queerness can enrich faith. 

Both Murphy and Father Kearns are queer men who grew up in religious families.

While growing up, they both faced their own individual challenges with their sexuality and identity. Through these challenges they both were able to not only come to terms with their identity, but also their own spirituality.

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Lynchburg’s First Black Alumni Weekend 

Alyssa Wilson ~ Editor-in-Chief

The Helen Mundy Witt Society will be hosting the first ever Black Alumni Weekend at the University of Lynchburg this coming weekend. 

The weekend kicks off on Sept. 23 to Sept. 25 and will include many different opportunities and activities for Black alumni and all students to network and engage with each other. 

Tracy Epps and Rachel Gibson are two of the people from the Helen Mundy Witt Society who have been working since January to ensure that the event goes smoothly.

The Society was established by Epps and several of her Alpha Kappa Alpha sisters in the early 2000s after a previous student was turned down by the Alumni Board when presenting the idea of a Black affinity group. 

Epps attended James Madison University for graduate school and was motivated to establish the Society after discovering JMU’s dedication to their Black alumni. 

“My inspiration were the connections made around its Black alumni around homecoming. The institution supported its Black alumni and efforts to fundraise for scholarships, create meaningful programs and opportunities to connect at homecoming and other times throughout the year,” Epps said. 

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Hispanic Heritage Month at the University of Lynchburg 

Caroline Gilmore – Marketing Manager 

https://www.nea.org/professional-excellence/student-engagement/tools-tips/hispanic-heritage-month

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 to October 15 and marks anniversaries of independence for several Latin American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile (per the Office of Equity and Inclusion Instagram).

As part of the recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Knight-Capron library has created a pop-up book display in front of the Center for Equity and Inclusion with books related to Hispanic history and culture.

On Saturday, September 17, the Hispanic Student Society hosted “Celebrar mi bandera,” an event to kick off  Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrate the independence of various countries, complete with music, food, and traditions.

To celebrate the many dance styles of Hispanic culture, the society will be hosting dance classes on September 22 at 6:30 in the West Room in Drysdale for bachata, cumbia, and salsa.

The Hispanic Student Society’s mission statement is as follows:

“The purpose of this organization is to recognize the Hispanic and Latin American culture at the University of Lynchburg campus as well as in the greater Lynchburg community. The organization will promote Hispanic/Latino awareness and community service in order to establish cultural awareness and educational outreach. It will further enhance the appreciation and contributions of Hispanic/Latin American history. We, the students of the University of Lynchburg, will establish and ordain the constitution for the right and just governance of the Hispanic/Latino Society.” 

According to their Instagram, the Hispanic Student Society plans to host more events throughout Hispanic Heritage Month and encourages you to keep an eye out for their flyers.

SGA President: Claire King 

Alyssa Wilson ~ Editor-in-Chief

Photo retrieved from Claire King on August 30th, 2022. 

The Student Government Association at the University of Lynchburg appointed its newest Student Body President for the 2022-2023 school year. 

Senior Claire King has been a part of SGA for her whole college career, starting out as a senator, Director of Development, and her most recent position as Vice President of Internal Affairs, which was her first ultimate goal before deciding to run for President. 

King was interested in leading a smaller group of people as VP in the previous school year, but after her peers started asking her if she was going to run for President she decided to put herself out of her comfort zone and take on leading a larger group. 

“I realized that I do feel like I have what it takes to step up and be that liaison between students, faculty and staff, so it was just really something that I felt passionate about and somewhere I felt like I could serve,” King says. 

Although it is only the start of the semester, King met with President Alison Morrison-Shetlar and Vice President for Student Development Eric Baldwin

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Kayaking with OLP

Image: An overcast sky, but a cool calm river from one of the Outdoor Leadership Program’s kayaks.

Caroline Gilmore ~ Social Media Manager

Visual Media: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CiVuWvhsi2_/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y= 

A reel posted on the OLP instagram account from Saturday’s kayaking trip^

On Saturday, Sept. 10th, the Outdoor Leadership Program (OLP) took a flatwater kayaking trip on the James River in Downtown Lynchburg.

Although it rained for most of the 6-mile trip, students enjoyed the fresh atmosphere and camaraderie.

Sonia Moore ’24 said, “I really love these kayaking trips, partly because I grew up on the water and I miss that being in the mountains for school. I enjoy the whitewater trips that OLP hosts a lot- but for some reason I’ve only ever fallen out on flatwater trips-  this time I got stuck on a rock.”

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Southside Safety & Security

Rylee McDonal ~ Copy Editor

An uptick in burglaries on the southside of the University of Lynchburg are causing concern among students.

On College Street, items have been stolen off of porches, Greek letters have been taken on Vernon Street, vehicles have been broken into on Lakewood Street.

There has also been a case of a residence being broken into.

Esteban Soto, chief of Campus Security said,“Our golf carts and cars have been custom wrapped to enhance visibility. Lighting has been enhanced throughout campus. We have added bicycle patrol to our repertoire. Two officers who have recently attended crime prevention training are willing to provide crime prevention presentations. And we have trimmed trees and shrubbery to enhance lighting and video surveillance.”

Chief Soto made it clear that all students have access to a campus escort from “sunset to sunrise.”

However, Campus Security would not comment on the numerous break-ins on the southside.

Tyler Flaherty, a recent graduate of the University of Lynchburg, and victim of an armed mugging last semester, said,  “It felt like the school was more concerned with making sure that I knew campus security couldn’t do anything to help than they were with assisting me.”

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Lynchburg Supports Hill City Pride


Photo of Lynchburg roommates Nasiyah Ivory (Left) and Jayla Bullock (Right) enjoy Hill City Pride 2022
Photo By: Em Maxey 

Em Maxey ~ Assistant Editor

University of Lynchburg was co-sponsored the third Hill City Pride held on Sept. 3rd, 2022 in Downtown Lynchburg at Riverfront Park

High temperatures and humidity did not stop the festivities, University of Lynchburg faculty, students, and alumni  showed their support for LGBTQ+ members in the community and on campus. 

Lynchburg almuna Maya Patterson said, “I expected it to be a very welcoming and accepting environment where everyone could belong regardless of gender or sexuality. Hill City Pride definitely met those expectations.” 

Trigg Anderson, a senior at the university said, “I think it’s cool that the university supports a community event that’s largely about people getting to be themselves and celebrating progress. I’m also glad it was so easy for me to attend.” 

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Mission House Coffee Grand Opening

Photograph of Mission House Worker by Em Maxey

By Caroline Gilmore ~ Marketing Manager and Em Maxey ~ Assistant Editor 

On Tuesday, September 6, 2022, Brewed by Mission House opened its doors in Schewel Hall. 

Mission House Coffee was founded in 2018 by Tommy and Amanda Clark, with its first location being in River Ridge Mall.

Since then they have added a location downtown on Commerce Street, and they have another location opening on September 10th in the Cornerstone neighborhood.

“Mission House Coffee has extremely delicious Hot chocolate,” sophomore Charlotte Gibbs states, “In my opinion it is on par with the Muse.” 

The company supports local nonprofits each month through its “Round-Up” Program, this month allowing customers to round up the amount of their purchase to support Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Brewed by Mission House their menu will soon be available online at the University Dining Services website.

Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra Announces New Partnership

Photo Credit: John McCormick, University of Lynchburg
University of Lynchburg Music Department Chair, Dr. Cynthia Ramsey, and LSO Executive Director, Mike Lewis, signing the partnership agreement on Thursday.

Caroline Gilmore ~ Marketing Manager

On Thursday, August 25, the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra (LSO) signed a formal partnership agreement with the University of Lynchburg. 

The deal allows for the group to use the University’s Sydnor Performance Hall as their main rehearsal space, as well as some of the surrounding storage.

The Lynchburg Symphony Youth Orchestra (LSYO) will also be allowed to hold weekly rehearsals there.

Dr. Cynthia Ramsey, University of Lynchburg Music Department Chair, says, “One of the most exciting possibilities I see with this partnership is the increased possibility for music education outreach programs in our community.”

“I believe this partnership will begin a ripple effect throughout the college and in the broader community….It is my hope that our students and the LSO/LYSO musicians will feel a real sense of pride to be a part of this collaboration,” Ramsey continues. 

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Student Group Helps Boost Classroom Presentation Skills

By Dr. Paula Youra ~ Guest Writer

Effectively delivering information to classrooms is a learned skill. Nobody is born with this skill, but anyone can easily learn how to acquire it. The Lynchburg Debate & Forensics Society helps students with the dreaded, but inevitable, classroom presentation. 

You might be aware that the Lynchburg Debate & Forensics Society has an award winning competitive team on campus. You might even know that this team has dominated collegiate debate and public speaking tournaments for the last ten years. But did you know that the team and coaches can help you transform your next classroom presentation from average to amazing?

We can help you with your speech design (what you want to say), the connection to your audience (how best to present to your peers and professor), and your delivery (how to reduce speech anxiety).

The Lynchburg Debate & Forensics Society meets every Wednesday on campus from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Just contact one of the team captains to get more information or see our schedule on Moodle with this simple self-enrollment:

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Welcome to the Hive Class of 2026!

Rylee McDonal ~ Copy Editor

Caption: University of Lynchburg Class of 2026

The class of 2026 was welcomed to the University of Lynchburg community with a series of Hornet Days  hosted from  August 19th through the 21st.

The aim of Hornet Days is to help  first-year students and their parents acclimate to campus life.

Among the traditional opening ceremony and class photo, there were many seminars revolving around traditions of the campus and community expectations. 

Kristen Cooper, associate vice-president for Student Development, said, “Hornet Days is an opportunity for us to introduce new Hornets to the campus community. It includes first-year students, transfer students, etc. And really allows us to introduce them to resources, provide them an opportunity to connect with each other, and provide them an opportunity to connect with faculty, staff, and administrators.”

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New Title IX Regulations and Coordinator

Em Maxey ~ Assistant Editor:

Margaret Pierre Photo by University of Lynchburg 

Margaret Pierre has joined the University of Lynchburg community as its new Title IX Coordinator. Title IX policies have been a hot button issue around the country especially in light of Roe v. Wade repeal.

“… In order to be in compliance with the US Department of Education, I acknowledge that there may be a need to change some of the current policies and procedures,” said Pierre. 

The Office of Equity and Inclusion will work closely with Pierre to draft policies that are equitible and provide a space free of harassment and discrimination, said Dr. Robert L. Canida II, vice president for Inclusive Excellence.

Some of the changes will include protection against discrimination in case oversight for LGBTQ+ students who are subject to discrimination based on the subject of “sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics.”

The new regulations also clearly reinforces the protection of all students and employees against all forms of sex based assault and discrimination (including but not limited to individuals that are pregnant or having pregnancy-induced conditions). 

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From the President: Plans for a New School Year 

Written by Alyssa Wilson ~ Editor-in-Chief

Photo retrieved from https://magazine.lynchburg.edu/article/president-alison-unmasked/ by Alyssa Wilson 

The University of Lynchburg is kicking off the 2022-2023 school year with a new strategic plan, improved enrollment and a deficit.

As higher education institutions around the country step into a new post-covid normal, Lynchburg is facing a $12 million financial shortfall that is of concern to some in the campus community. 

What is driving this deficit? 

President Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar says the projected financial deficit for this fiscal year is primarily due to three things: 

  1. There has been a smaller decline in overall undergraduate enrollment through attrition and graduation than the number of students that school is currently bringing in. 
  2. A small decline in graduate enrollment. 
  3. Various unavoidable increases in expenses. 

President Morrison-Shetlar and her team have been working to make a plan over the past year to address these concerns. However, during the summer break leaders across the university’s faculty and staff worked together to identify ways to create a realistic budget by fiscal year 2026. 

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