Dear Alumni and Friends,
As we celebrate the 140th year since the founding of Wesley, it is a good time to reflect on the College’s past, present and future. It was in 1873 that what we now know as Wesley College originated. From humble beginnings as the Wilmington Conference Academy to a two-year junior college to the four-year vibrant liberal arts college we have today—the name changed along the way, but the mission to maintain the United Methodist traditions and enlighten mind and spirit remains true.
The theme for the year is “Memories and Milestones,” and you’ll find a history timeline in the magazine that details the journey of Wesley College. We were blessed that the Rev. Dr. Jervis Cooke, Wesley’s 13th president, returned to campus to help us launch our “Memories and Milestones” celebration during Founders Day this past March. His tenure involved a great deal of change, including the move to become a four-year liberal arts college.
Improvements continue to be made that help shape the future of Wesley. The new plazas continue to encourage a greater sense of community on campus, and now with the Health Sciences Building secured, plans are underway to expand the health and science-related programs. The renovations in that building will start soon, with a projected opening in 2014.
In addition, the College community has made it a priority to improve the retention rate on campus, an area that most colleges are addressing throughout the country. Armed with 10 recommendations as a result of a two-year study, most suggestions have been implemented, helping students in a variety of ways. The improvements include, but are not limited to: more work opportunities on campus, centralizing student services including the business, financial aid and registrar offices in one area, instituting first year seminars, and more financial aid review, all aimed at helping our students succeed.
It is our strong commitment to student enlightenment and empowerment that keeps us reaching for new opportunities and milestones. We are thankful for the strong foundation of alumni and other support that has built Wesley and will continue to strengthen our College. I encourage you to find new ways to connect to your alma mater, visit, and see for yourself the positive changes taking place throughout campus.
With warm regards,
Dr. William N. Johnston