Dr. Daniel A. Wubah, President of Millersville University, poses for a professional photo in Biemesderfer Executive Center. Photo courtesy of Millersville University

Shaun Lucas

On Sept. 9, university president Dr. Daniel Wubah gave his annual “State of the ‘Ville” address, updating the Millersville University community on the university’s progress towards several projects. Wubah also awarded five recipients of the first annual EPPIIC awards, given to campus members who honor the university’s EPPIIC values. Wubah discussed multiple other awards received by Millersville University community members, including Millersville receiving its eleventh consecutive Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.

“I am so pleased to see so many of you here today. I want to thank everyone in this auditorium and those who are joining us online,” Wubah said.

After introductions, Wubah thanked new cabinet members Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Mary Beth Williams, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Carlos Wiler and Interim VP for Finance and Administration Debbie Newsom. Wubah also honored new staff members Dean of College of Education and Human Services Dr. Lara Willox, Dean of College of Science and Technology Dr. Marc Harris and Assistant VP of Institutional Assessment and Planning Dr. Carol Runge.

A moment of silence was held for the passing of Millersville staff Renardo Hall, Gill Brown and Nick Celia.

Wubah announced the total enrollment for Fall 2022 as 6,862 total students, with 5,932 being undergraduates. This year, multiple new programs are being established, including a Bachelors of Science in Journalism major. New minor programs include English as a Second Language and Sports Studies. New online programs include Bachelors of Science in Management, Bachelors of Science in Arts in Writing Studies, Bachelors of Science in Interactive and Graphic Design, and a Bachelors of Science in Emergency Management.

Other programs established aid staff, as well, such as the accelerated secondary teaching certificate and a certification program in telehealth.

Last year, the “Imagine the Possible” campaign created 192 new scholarships and a total of approximately $1 million gifted to students overall. Notable gifters Wubah thanks include Nancy Adams, Steve and Lynn Pomponi and Jean Romig. While the original campaign goal was $90 million, as of Sept. 9, $98 million has been raised, nine months before the campaign’s original deadline.

“Affordability is one of our priorities and we made progress towards lowering the total cost of attendance last year. With the help of the PASSHE Board of Government, we froze tuition for an unprecedented fourth year,” Wubah said, referring to the 2021-2022 academic year. “While other institutions are increasing the cost, we are decreasing the costs. But the value keeps improving.”

Last year, 17 students joined Millersville’s integrated studies program for a total of 41 students, with two previous integrated studies students entering their bachelors program this fall. Wubah mentioned Grace C. Hussar, the first integrated studies student to graduate with a Bachelors in Social Work who is also now working towards a Masters in Social Work at Millersville.

“We know that the sky is indeed the limit for you [Hussar] and we look forward to your future accomplishments,” Wubah said.

In discussing transformative experiences on campus, the Promoting Rigorous Interdisciplinary Mental Health Education (PRIME) Grant aims to graduate more students interested in the mental health education field through practicing with technology and working clinical services.

“Hopefully, through building these continued relationships with Millersville and the PRIME program and these community agencies, you’ll start to see that the access to mental health care, affordability and accessibility, is going to increase in these communities,” Ryan Hererra, Clinical Psychology PRIME Grant recipient, said in a video package.

270 students shared personal research projects in “Made in Millersville 2022,” nine students later shared their projects in the National Conference of Undergraduate Research. Beyond academics, athletics in 2022 earned three PSAC championships, with Men’s Basketball and Women’s Tennis earning PSAC East titles. Nine Millersville student athletes earned all American status, with 199 earning PSAC scholar athlete titles.

The HEED award is given by the INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine to only 100 universities in North America. Wubah mentioned Millersville’s “Rainbow Graduation” and “Graduation of Color” events last year as key elements towards diversity efforts.

Wubah celebrated multiple improvements in academics, such as the renovation of Breidienstine’s 3D studio and other learning spaces. Wubah also mentioned Lombardo Hall’s continued process of becoming the new home to the Lombardo College of Business.

“Addressing facility needs is an important goal for our university. And we will continue working on it until we get it right,” Wubah said.

EPPIIC award recipients were as follows: The IT Webteam received the Exploration Award, Lauren Blevins received the Professionalism Award Dr. Elizabeth Powers received the 

Public Mission, Jennifer Wood received the Integrity Award, Christina Williams received the Inclusion Award and D’ann Ressler received the Compassion Award.

To end the talk, Wubah mentioned three broad areas the university aims to meet their mission on. These were improving enrollment, strengthening ongoing initiatives and completion of the “Imagine the Possible” campaign. With COVID-19 more under control, Wubah mentioned wanting to travel the country to connect with partners and donors.

“Ultimately, we have the power to move the needle on enrollments and ensure each student who enters our university will thrive in our community, get the best education, and walk across the commencement stage prepared to change the world,” Wubah said.