The Blog @
Southern Virginia University
  1. Photos: Institute Social

    September 25, 2014

    Take a look through these photos and you’ll notice something about everyone in them. They’re all smiling. Even the lasagna is smiling if you look closely.

    Last Friday, the Buena Vista Institute hosted a social to kick off the semester. What better way to start the semester then eating delicious food with friends at the institute? I mean, sure, last time I went to one of these socials things got a little heavy with a mysterious murder, but it was still really fun.

    This activity was just as great. As the first social of the semester, there were plenty of opportunities to meet new people. They introduced this year’s institute council: Erik Flores, Maggie Wright, Tatiana Monsen, Richard Thorman, Cody Hosier, and Bronwyn Himes. They’ve taken it upon themselves to do everything they can to help the rest of us help ourselves by signing up for institute classes this semester. If you haven’t already, be sure to register now!

    The whole activity was pretty chill, but there were other memorable moments. The Elders had compiled an awesome video showing why so many students attend Institute. We got to sing happy birthday to Bishop Rodriguez. The food was amazing. (Don’t tell anyone, but I may have carried away a whole thing of extra lasagna. But I swear, Bronwyn and Maggie said I could.)

    All in all, it was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and enroll for institute classes. A big hand to the new Institute council that pulled it off!

    (Post by Alec Johnson ’14. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)

  2. Photos: Convocation 2014

    September 20, 2014

    Southern Virginia University’s faculty and administration donned their academic robes and hoods for the annual Convocation ceremony last week. Glade Knight, chair of the university’s board of trustees, President Reed Wilcox, and Provost Madison Sowell all spoke at the event. Each of them mentioned in their remarks the legacy that the late Paul K. Sybrowsky, who served as university president from 2012 to 2014, left behind at Southern Virginia. Provost Sowell finished Convocation with a speech on the Code of Honor.

    Following the event, a number of students left notes on a thoughtful mural in memory of President Sybrowsky, who passed away just two days before Convocation.

    (Post by Hannah King ’13. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16 and Bronwyn Himes ’17.)

  3. United States Constitution Day!

    September 17, 2014

    constitution-bToday is Constitution Day! That means that throughout this week, colleges and universities across the country will celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.

    Here are a few suggestions for how you can celebrate Constitution Day.
    • The home of the primary author of the constitution — James Madison’s Montpelier. Montpelier is only a two-hour drive from campus and will be hosting various events including remarks on the Constitution, a horse parade, Constitution-themed games, hot air balloon rides, carriage rides, musical performances, and fireworks to celebrate Constitution Day on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.
    • The original copy of the United States Constitution on permanent display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. — a three-hour drive from our campus.
    • The Von Canon Library to see a special Constitution Day display — featuring books and DVDs from the library as well as information about the Constitution and its creation.
    Go Online
    • See how much you know about the Constitution. offers both a simple and an advanced quiz.
    • Educate yourself with a few Ted-Ed videos related to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
    (Post by Hannah King ’13.)
  4. Video: Travel Study in China!

    September 12, 2014


    I’m a senior at Southern Virginia University and have enjoyed the many opportunities that this enchanting university offers.  At Southern Virginia, every student can be a superstar; we are all recognized by our peers and professors for what we achieve. One aspect of this university that I did not recognize until this summer was the flavorful experience of going on a Travel Study trip. I had heard wonderful stories from students about their travels, but I didn’t think I would be able to go. Once I found the time and learned that I had earned a $400 voucher, I decided it was time to further enrich my Southern Virginia experience.

    I joined Dean Bouchelle and Professor Brotherson’s group and we traveled to China! Along with traveling to China, I received three business credits and three humanities credits — what a deal!

    I gained a broader prospective of the business world as we visited some of the leading cities in the world: Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. While we were in Shanghai, we met with top executives from Ford, Melaleuca, Nu Skin, and Abbott, and lawyers at the Martin Hu & Partners law firm. It was fascinating to interview the individuals about their experiences as they worked in China. I feel more enriched and aware of opportunities since traveling to China.

    On the trip, we were fed like kings and queens — the meals were unbelievable! My favorite experience was meeting some of the students that were English majors at our sister school. I made immediate connections with a few of the girls, and we continue to keep in touch today.

    I experienced a different culture – one unlike anything I had ever seen before. When I returned home, I was full of gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity I was given at Southern Virginia.

    I made a video in hopes of highlighting my experience. I encourage the knights at Southern Virginia to continue to complement their experience at Southern Virginia and take advantage of a Travel Study opportunity.

    (Post and Video by Kirsten Laurence ’15.)

  5. The Art and Attitude of Brian Kershisnik

    September 12, 2014

    Although I’m no artist, I have to say I gleaned some real insight from the works and words of artist Brian Kershisnik, who visited campus this week for both a leadership lecture and the opening of an art display. He presented big ideas in a normal and relatable way. Some things came across because he said them. Others didn’t need saying.

    Kershisnik began his leadership lecture with an introduction to his artwork. He shared a little of the explorative process — creating something, tweaking it, changing it drastically, naming it and often finding real meanings only when the piece is complete. He encouraged those in attendance to risk making mistakes and to exceed the minimum expectation.

    “If you’re assigned to do two paintings, do five,” he said.

    It’s not that you have to overachieve, or have backups in case you lose a painting, or even because your first 500 paintings will be bad — though he assured us that they will. It’s because this is how you find out what you’re sustainably passionate about. It’s how to figure out what you really love to do. It’s not just a secret to learning, but a secret to learning about yourself.

    One of the most notable things about Kershisnik’s lecture and artwork was his comfort-level with his faith. He probably couldn’t hide it if he wanted to, not only because he feels conviction, but because it’s a seminal part of him and he’s comfortable with himself. His lecture addressed the death and resurrection of Christ, spiritual inspiration, and personal connections to God.

    Check out the Corridor Gallery to get your own feel for Kershisnik’s artwork. Of the 21 paintings on display there, my favorite is “Jesus and the Angry Babies.”

    (Post by Stephen Taylor ’15. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)