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August 2009

Pfeiffer receives six-figure gift from alumna, retired teacher

On the heels of a $1-million unrestricted gift from the estate of late veteran banker William G. White just this past May, Pfeiffer has again received another significant contribution. This time, the sizeable six- figure donation comes from an alumna and longtime Charlotte-Mecklenburg School teacher who taught in that system for nearly 30 years.

The Cabarrus native, who asked not to be identified, has a deep compassion for special needs children and has made plans to establish an endowed internship program at Pfeiffer to benefit Victory Junction. To read more, click here.

Former Merrill Lynch executive, Pfeiffer trustee keynotes opening convocation

An innovator and author, Rob Knapp, veteran Merrill Lynch executive and a longtime member of Pfeiffer’s Board of Trustees, will keynote this year’s Opening Academic Convocation at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, in the Merner Gym on the Misenheimer campus.

In a 34-year career at Merrill Lynch, Knapp was known to put the long-term development of his teams ahead of short-term gains. His former managers are some of the most successful leaders in the company and are consistently recognized for their accomplishments. A graduate of Wake Forest University, he is the author of the book “The Supernova Advisor” and president of the Supernova Consulting Group.

Sunday Night Alive! At Pfeiffer University

As an outreach of the Village Church at Pfeiffer, a series of events will be held at 6 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month for area youth groups at no cost – and groups of any size are invited to join these special praise and worship festivities.

The intent is to grow this ministry over the next year and outside input is encouraged as Pfeiffer strives to help youth ministries and youth groups thrive, said Rev. Dana McKim ’82, minister to the university.

The first event will be held in the chapel on Sunday, Sept. 20 with performances from “ The Sight and Sound Tour,” which will feature worship and concert by Four Days Late or Haley McGuire, a testimony and Gospel presentation by a band member, and a concert by Ohio Avenue (pictured above right). More details to follow. For additional information, contact McKim at or (704) 463-3409.

Back in session, Pfeiffer welcomes new and returning students

When nearly 300 new students and their families arrived on Pfeiffer’s Misenheimer campus on Aug. 15, they were welcomed with lots of fanfare. Area Stanly County businesses, staff from every department on campus, and upperclassmen were available to assist with registering for classes, moving into residence halls, providing refreshments, directing them to where they needed to be and some even did some dancing in the lounge of the Stokes Student Center to provide entertainment while students waited in line.

"Everyone was extremely nice and helpful. At every turn, someone was there to assist us.” said Cathy Beaver, a parent from Winston-Salem, who along with her husband, Darrell, helped their son Steven, a music major, adjust to campus life. “They treated the day like it was their life, not simply a job. It really eased my anxiety.”

Steve Cumming, associate vice president of enrollment management, said most offices on campus as well as the alumni board were significant in making the new registration process easier for families. He said the university’s goal was to ensure the day was welcoming. There were also a 'Week of Welcome' events for new and returning students.

“We really wanted to put families at ease, so we tried to provide a fun and relaxing, but helpful atmosphere,” he explained. “An emphasis this year was incorporating area businesses. We want new students and families to know they are not only joining the Pfeiffer community, but the Stanly County community as well, so vendors were on hand to also welcome families.”

The university also welcomed back hundreds of adult students. New students in the School of Adult Students attended new orientation sessions last week and all adult learners began classes on Aug. 25.

What & Who’s New?

When the new academic year begins, not only were there 300 new students, but 25 new faculty and staff members also joined the university family.

Two faculty members will assume a set of new responsibilities this academic year. Dr. Michael Thompson, associate professor of history, and Dr. Ashley Oliphant, assistant professor of English, have been chosen to serve in the Faculty Fellow Program, a new pilot initiative launched by the Office of Academic Affairs.

Faculty Fellows will work part-time in a yearlong internship that will include opportunities to participate in the decision making of academic administration and collaborate on projects and programs specific to academic needs. Thompson will work on a new model for the Honors Program and Oliphant will work with the Francis Center on service learning initiatives.

Francis Center hosts open house

The Francis Center for Servant Leadership held an open house on Aug. 20 to introduce new faculty fellow Oliphant and Bridget Ferrigan, who began her role as the 2009-2010 AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) outreach coordinator on Aug 3. Ferrigan comes to Pfeiffer from the Michigan Campus Compact, and also held a similar position at Olivet College in Michigan. She is a graduate of Michigan State University.

Ferrigan will work with students to organize service projects around the area and will be in charge of supervising events, including the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Challenge. She will also work with members of the Francis Center to coordinate volunteer placement with the more than 100 community partners for students and campus opportunities.

A new freshmen experience

A newly enhanced Freshman Year Experience program, which includes a semester-long course entitled the “The Pfeiffer Journey,” offers incoming students an opportunity to consider their values, as well as guidance to help identify their place in the world. On Sunday of th is year’s move-in weekend, more than 130 freshmen, faculty, staff, alumni and friends assembled in the Merner Gym to fill, seal and package more than 50,000 meals for those in need around the globe through an organization called "Stop Hunger Now ." University officials said this project provided the launch of this more in-depth first-year initiative and was a great experience for all who participated. Pictured Jim '77 and Susan '77 Cashion.

Charlotte campus to get facelift

University officials recently announced that a five-year renovation of the Charlotte campus will begin early next month. The first phase will start with painting the exterior of the building, landscaping, and new signage on Park Road. Renovations to enhance the appearance of the lobby, with a new reception area and furniture, will also occur. The main hallway will be repainted and new artwork will replace the current scheme and a small new conference space will be added. Through an expanded contract with Sodexho, a fulltime lawn maintenance staffer and housekeeper will also be hired.

“Following a review of our surveys, we heard from our students the need to improve the physical appearance of the campus, and these renovations are designed to help address those concerns,” said Michael Poll, vice president for enrollment management and marketing. “We want to make this an inviting place where our students are not only here to learn, but are proud and excited to be here.”

The Follett Education Group started making some modifications in the bookstore last week and will continue through next month. Additional campus improvements will be announced as they are scheduled.

Library gets important new resource

Students, faculty and staff on all campuses will begin the new academic year with a much needed library resource. Following an aggressive fundraising effort, the university now offers a collection of 119 core scholarly journal titles in 15 disciplines through JSTOR, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the community discover and a vast range of intellectual content in a trusted digital archive.

According to Lara Little, library director and reference and periodicals librarian, the database contains full runs of the journals back to the first issue, but most of these are journals to which Pfeiffer does not subscribe. Those offered are the most important journals in the main academic fields and this collection is essential for students to do scholarly research.

“Faculty have regularly asked about the possibility of acquiring this collection for years, and students who have used it at other universities have found it invaluable,” Little explained. “As the collection is online, acquisition of the collection benefits all of Pfeiffer's students, as Charlotte, RTP and distance education students have access to it as well. JSTOR is an outstanding and important scholarly resource, and we are excited to be able to offer it.”

IT establishes assistance center

The Information Technology (IT) Department has established a Technology Assistance Center as a one-stop shop for IT technical assistance. The center is located on the first level of the Administration Building on the Misenheimer campus. Students, regardless of campus
or program, can reach the center at (704) 463-3002.  The Technology Assistance Center hours are currently 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., but Lee Norris, chief information officer, said he anticipates an expansion soon of these hours, which be communicated as they are scheduled.

IT has also established a new web site ( ) to provide support and communications. The site is updated frequently with support information, documentation and tutorials, and other important IT information. Users can also find online support or submit a request for assistance at

Pfeiffer works with VA to enhance GI Bill benefits, named most military friendly

Pfeiffer is among 38 colleges and universities across North Carolina that have entered into Yellow Ribbon Program agreements with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to improve financial aid for veterans. Pfeiffer expects at least 20 students and will contribute $2,000 per undergraduate and $4,000 for each veteran in the School of Adult Studies.

The Yellow Ribbon Program is reserved for those veterans eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the 100 percent benefit level. This includes those who served at least 36 months on active duty or served at least 30 continuous days and were discharged due to a service-related injury.

"We hope to see a strong response to this great new benefit," said Michael Poll, vice president for enrollment management and marketing at Pfeiffer. "We are fortunate to have this opportunity to help our veterans advance their education."

Pfeiffer was named by G.I. Jobs to its 2010 list of Military Friendly Schools. This list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are "doing the most to embrace America's veterans as students," according to the magazine.

Rich McCormack, G.I. Jobs publisher, noted this list is important to veterans as they seek to further their educations with the recent passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The bill has given veterans virtually unlimited financial means to go to school, he said.

Provisions of the Yellow Ribbon Program include payments for tuition and fees, housing, and a books and supplies stipend. Benefits are payable for training pursued on or after Aug. 1. The tuition and fee benefit is paid directly to the school. Additional information can be obtained by visiting the VA's web site at or by calling (888) 442-4551.

Students get writing assistance with the opening of new lab

The Writing Lab is a free service offered to all students at Pfeiffer through drop-in one-on-one assistance. The lab is staffed with undergraduate students who can answer questions about writing assignments for any class. Lab consultants will offer feedback as well as brainstorm, draft, organize, and help revise papers, according to Sorina Riddle, coordinator of developmental education. The lab works on a first come, first serve basis, so students are encouraged to visit the lab well before an assignment is due.

For Pfeiffer students on other campuses, there is online tutoring available through Smarthinking. If students need tutoring for writing or any other discipline, contact the university Learning Center to get a password and username to access the 24/7 resource.

The Writing Lab is located on the third floor of the library on the Misenheimer campus, and hours are noon until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional information, contact Sorina Riddle at or (704) 463-3367.

Men’s basketball to play live on CBS

Division II has announced an eight-game regular-season men’s and women’s basketball package with CBS College Sports. Pfeiffer will host Queens University in a Conference Carolinas men’s basketball game on Jan. 30, 2010 to be played live on CBS College Sports Television. Game time is tentatively set for noon in Merner Gym on the Misenheimer campus. Click here to read more.

More than 100 Pfeiffer student-athletes among conference Presidential Honor Roll

Conference Carolinas announced its spring 2009 Presidential Honor Roll. Each institution within the conference has emphasized their commitment to academic importance as they have stressed student-athletes achieve a grade point average of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) at their institutions. Pfeiffer had 121 student-athletes with a qualifying grade point average. To read more, click here.

For more Falcon News or team schedules, visit

Dr. Chuck Ambrose, Pfeiffer president, was recently named among a list of University of Georgia graduate school, where he earned his Ed.D., alumni recognized for their important contributions to society and their efforts to “make a difference” in their communities. Ambrose also appeared on WFAE’s (the region’s NPR station) Charlotte Talks on Aug. 5 to discuss Pfeiffer and its mission of servant leadership. Click here to listen to the broadcast.

Anne Cullen, MCE student and director of Christian education at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlotte, was featured in a segment on News 14 Carolina about her church’s blessing of their young worshippers’ backpacks as the start of school begins. To view the segment, click here.

Dr. Luke Dollar, assistant professor of biology, was featured in a radio interview recently aired on National Geographic Weekend, a new show hosted by Boyd Matson that conducts segments with some of the most respected explorers. To hear the interview, click here. Dollar, who works to save endangered predators and creates new opportunities for the people of Madagascar, was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2007.

Dr. Jewell Mayberry, associate professor of English, was featured in the Salisbury Post Aug. 21 issue. Mayberry, who spent several weeks in China as a Fulbright-Hays scholar, shares her story about being quarantined there following exposure to the H1N1 virus, or swine flu. To read the article, click here . Mayberry spent five weeks in China this summer examining the country’s history, culture, society and economic growth.

Kathy Odell, director of human resources, is the recipient of the West Stanly Rotary Club's Governor’s Starfish Award, which is given to someone who makes a difference in the lives of others in a quiet, humble and ethical way, according to Dave Burleson, president of District 7680, who said “Kathy, in all that she does, is the embodiment of these qualities.”

SAS students Matthew Underwood, Deborah Freeman, Norman Maddox and
NaTanya Nesbitt were inducted into Pfeiffer’s Epsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma during a ceremony held July 22 on the Charlotte campus. Mecklenburg County Sheriff Daniel “Chipp” Bailey ’70 received an honorary membership.

Aug. 28 – Liz Mellott, the founder of Petey's Promise pet food bank, will visit Dr. Ashley Oliphant’s Writing I classes at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in preparation for a donation drive for the organization and learn about how the current economic situation has affected pet owners in the area. For details, contact Oliphant at or (704) 463-3123.

Through Sept. 3 – Before engaged couples or those contemplating marriage purchase the wedding rings or order the cake, they are encouraged to explore their strengths and differences in a safe, supportive and constructive environment. The Pfeiffer Institute will offer premarital counseling sessions from 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. on Thursdays. The cost to register for the entire six-week premarital workshop is $80 per couple. For details, call (704) 945-7324.

Sept. 1-24 – "UnNaturalLight," a series of photographs by Misenheimer artist Jack Burgess, will be on display in the Grace and Cameron West Art Gallery. A reception will be held Sept. 11 from 7-9 p.m. These events are free and open to the public. For details, contact Joshua Cross, assistant professor of art and gallery director, at or (704) 463-3160.

Sept. 6 – A 4 p.m. organ recital featuring Matthew Brown, music director at First United Methodist Church in Salisbury, will be held in the Henry Pfeiffer Chapel. Works by Bach, Peeters, Sweelinck and Schumann will be performed. For details, contact Dr. David Palmer at or (704) 463-3142.

Sept. 11-12A Christian Educators Fellowship (CEF) Conference will be held on the Misenheimer campus. The theme “CE 2.0” will discuss the technological issues, theoretical and practical knowledge of the Internet for educational ministry. This national conference will be webcast across the country. For details, contact Dr. Patty Meyers at or (704) 463-3101.

Sept. 25-27 – Pfeiffer will celebrate “Always Pfeiffer” with alumni, students and friends during Homecoming 2009. This tradition celebrates the university’s rich heritage and allows alumni to reconnect with campus and fellow classmates while providing an opportunity to make new friends. Visit the Homecoming 2009 web site for details or call (800) 338-2060 ext. 6.

Sept. 27 – The Department of Music will present the Pfeiffer University Alumni Choir to perform a homecoming concert. The event will begin at 2 p.m. in the Henry Pfeiffer Chapel. For details contact Joe Judge ’87, director of choral activities, at or (704) 463-3148.

Sept. 29 – The Francis Center will host a daylong colloquium “Banking on the Future: Exploring Microfinance as Service” that will join academics, practitioners and faith-based communities to explore the principles, methods and best practices in microfinance and its link with servant leadership. Scholars and professionals from across the globe will present. The event, which will be held from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on the Charlotte campus (4701 Park Rd.), is part of the annual Campus Week of Dialogue Sept. 28-Oct. 2. For details, email Cost is $25, which includes a meal. To register by Sept. 22, click here .

Oct. 1 – Pfeiffer and the Greater Charlotte Healthcare Executives group will host an ACHE session titled “Cultural/Language Challenges of Diverse Patient Population” from 4-6:30 p.m. on the Charlotte campus, 4701 Park Road. The free event will feature a distinguished panel of professionals and is open to students, faculty and interested participants. For details and to RSPV, contact Dr. Carol Vogt at

Oct. 18 – A presentation and talk at 6 p.m. in the chapel with Jamie Tworkoski of To Write Love on Her Arms , a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide, will be held. More details to follow.

Oct. 23-Nov. 1
– A production of the Stephen Sondheim musical thriller “Sweeney Todd” will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 23, 24, 30, 31 and Sunday matinees will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 25 and Nov. 1 in the campus theatre, located on the third floor of the Admin Building on the Misenheimer campus. Sweeney Todd is a character who first appeared as the main antagonist of “The String of Pearls” (1846-1847). Most know the title character played by actor Johnny Depp in a 2007 film, which won a Boston Globe Award.

Oct. 27 – Friends of the Library will host its author’s brunch at 10 a.m. featuring author J.C. Boone.

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We look forward to staying connected with you and sharing your good news with fellow alumni, faculty, staff, and students.