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Virginia Wesleyan president will be keynote for TCC’s 69th Commencement Exercises on Dec. 16

Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott Miller will deliver the keynote address for Tidewater Community College’s 69th Commencement Exercises on Monday, Dec. 16, at Chartway Arena in the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Commencement, which begins at 6 p.m., will be streamed live at

Nearly 900 students will graduate from the college with either certificates or associate degrees.

President of Virginia Wesleyan since 2015, Miller has been recognized as a transformative leader among his peers. Inside Business recently included him on its Power List, which celebrates the most influential leaders in shaping Hampton Roads.

Miller oversaw Virginia Wesleyan’s transition to university status and continues to strengthen its identity among national liberal arts institutions. Last February, he joined TCC interim President Gregory DeCinque in signing the Fair Transfer Guarantee Agreement, which ensures a seamless path for those graduating from TCC and moving to Virginia Wesleyan to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Miller holds a doctorate in higher education administration from Union Institute & University in Cincinnati and an education specialist degree from Vanderbilt University. He earned a master’s from the University of Dayton and a bachelor’s from West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Lauren Lewis, 18, will be the speaker for the graduates. Lewis, who graduated from Churchland High School at 16, will be awarded her Associate of Science in Social Sciences at the ceremony. She plans to transfer to Norfolk State University’s nursing program in the spring.

TCC, Virginia Wesleyan formalize Fair Transfer Agreement

Tidewater Community College student Charleston Yancey has wanted to attend Virginia Wesleyan University since he was a kid. When he graduates with an Associate of Science in Social Sciences this May, his path to a four-year degree will be seamless thanks to the new Fair Transfer Guarantee agreement between VWU and TCC.

“It takes a lot of stress off of me,” Yancey said. “I have a plan. Now I can get there and graduate in two years and still stay in that four-year track.”

In a signing ceremony held at Virginia Wesleyan on February 27, VWU President Scott D. Miller and TCC President Gregory T. DeCinque formalized the new admission agreement. Beginning this fall, TCC graduates with associate of arts or science degrees will enter Virginia Wesleyan with junior class status. All lower-level general education requirements — including foreign language — will be deemed complete, allowing students to focus on courses for their major and upper-level elective credits necessary for their bachelor’s degree.

President DeCinque commended the agreement, praising the simplified process and the impact it will have on TCC students.

“This is more than a simple transfer agreement,” said President DeCinque. “This is a true partnership to help our students move from one excellent environment to another.”

“We have been good neighbors and partners with TCC for many years,” President Miller said. “We want their students to feel comfortable and confident making important decisions about their future. There can be frustrations that come with transferring to a four-year institution — loss of credits can add years to the pursuit of a degree, which, in turn, can rack up student loan debt. With the new Fair Transfer Guarantee, TCC students will have the opportunity to come to Virginia Wesleyan on even footing with students who started here as freshmen.”

Charleston Yancey and Graclyn Walker
TCC students Charleston Yancey and Gracyln Walker are VWU bound.

To make students’ transition to VWU even more seamless, VWU created the Marlin Fast Pass concurrent enrollment program. TCC students who declare their intent to transfer to VWU will be assigned a VWU academic advisor and issued a VWU student ID. They will have full access to the VWU campus—including use of the library and fitness center, and free admission to athletic and cultural events—before they even become students at VWU. And, students who have attained a 3.0 GPA at the completion of their freshman year at TCC will be eligible to concurrently enroll in 200- and 300-level VWU courses during their sophomore year.

This is a timely accomplishment, as Virginia Wesleyan opened an Enrollment and Advising Office on TCC’s Virginia Beach campus in December. VWU enrollment counselors work onsite at TCC each Wednesday, assisting students in person who are interested in transferring. Virginia Wesleyan also offers the Virginia Beach College Success Scholarship, a $10,000 annual scholarship program for Virginia Beach residents.

Yancey, 19, who attended the ceremony with his family in attendance, visited Virginia Wesleyan when he was a youngster and immediately felt it was “home.” His best friend, TCC student Graclyn Walker, also attended the signing event, as she will transfer to Virginia Wesleyan in the fall with plans to major in criminal justice.

TCC students interested in transferring to Virginia Wesleyan should visit or contact Nadine White-Shook at or 757-455-3213 for information.