The Blog @
Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: Academics

  1. Independence Day: Let Freedom Ring!

    July 2, 2014


    Everyone knows that we celebrate Independence Day on July 4 — with patriotic displays, parades, barbecues and fireworks — but it’s the wrong day, according to John Adams.

    John Adams wrote to Abigail that “The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the history of America,” because the Continental Congress voted for Independence on July 2.

    Here are some interesting Independence Day facts:

    • Not all states voted for independence that day — New York’s delegates abstained because they hadn’t been given permission by their state to vote on the question of independence. They approved the action of the Continental Congress July 9.

    Independence Hall

    Independence Hall (National Park Service photo)

    • The Declaration of Independence was officially signed August 2, 1776.

    John Trumball Declaration

    John Trumbull painting in the U.S. Capitol (Architect of the U.S. Capitol photo)

    • This is what the room looks like today. Not exactly as we saw it in the movie “National Treasure.”

    Independence Hall room

    Signing room (National Park Service photo)

    • In 1776, there were about 2.5 million residents of this new country. Now there are more than 310 million residents.
    • The “Dunlap Broadside,” or original printed version of the Declaration of Independence, consisted of 200 copies. Only 26 have been accounted for.
    • Independence Day has been celebrated since 1777 but didn’t become a federal holiday until 1870.

    loud bangs

    So this Friday, be sure to celebrate! My favorite part is the fireworks — the louder, the better. If you’re in Buena Vista for the summer, check out the annual ballon rally and firework show at the Virginia Military Institute.

    Some Von Canon Library resources about our declaration for independence:


    “Founding Mothers: the women who raised our nation”
    by Cokie Roberts

    “The annotated U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence”
    edited by Jack Rakove

    “Foreign affairs and the Founding Fathers: from Confederation to Constitution, 1776-1787″
    by Norman A. Graebner

    “The faiths of the Founding Fathers”
    by David L. Holmes


    “John Adams”
    HBO Films (DVD)

    Columbia Pictures (DVD)

    “A More Perfect Union”
    BYU Productions


    “Suicide Pact: 56 men put their lives on the line by signing the Declaration of Independence”
    by William Hogeland
    American History August 2013

    “When in the course of human events it became necessary to celebrate July 4th”
    by James R. Heintze
    Phi Kappa Phi Forum
    Summer 2009

    (Post by Melissa Davis. Photos by Melissa Davis and Eryn Davis.)

  2. Photos & Videos: Commencement

    June 30, 2014

    We enjoyed a beautiful Commencement on May 8, 2014, with addresses by Elaine S. Dalton and three graduating seniors. View their speeches and a Commencement video below.

    Commencement 2014 Video

    Elaine S. Dalton

    Valedictorian George Ryan Sloan

    Salutatorian Sariah Benson Rodriguez

    Senior Speaker Gregory J. Turner

    (Post by Hannah King ’13. Photos by Brinn Willis ’07, Jordan Wunderlich ’16, Hysen Justo, and Hannah King ’13. Videos by John Worthington ’13.)

  3. Senior Art Show Opening

    May 2, 2014

    Graduation is almost here, but not before the 2014 Senior Art Show has its opening presentation. On Tuesday, April 29, the dance studio in the Student Center was transformed into an art gallery. Students each took several moments introducing themselves to the audience and then proceeded to describe the pieces that they had spent nearly an entire semester working on. The artists provided candid explanations for their works’ themes and creation process. They shared with us from where they had drawn their inspirations. Following their presentations there was time allotted for questions from the audience.

    I really enjoyed seeing the different mediums each student used and then hearing from each artist personally why they felt drawn to that type of representation (i.e. oil painting, charcoal, and acrylic paint). The seniors have worked hard all semester and have been preparing for this moment for years. The Senior Art Show is a great coming together of different styles, techniques, and artistic feelings. The students, all of whom are more than capable of producing amazing artwork, come from different parts of the country and each offer a unique viewpoint concerning the role of art in their lives.

    The presentations started on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and actually, the display is still going on! That’s right; the exhibits are being showcased until May 8, which is  the same day as graduation! Ten seniors in total were featured in the presentation, and three exhibits featuring their amazing works are currently open. The three exhibits can be found in the Game Room, the Corridor Gallery, and the Fawson Alumni House. Hurry up and go see the fruits of your fellow Southern Virginia students’ labors!

    (Post by Brian Caycho ’16. Video by John Worthington ’13. Photos by Lindsey Morgan ’13.)




  4. Getting Through Finals

    It’s that time of year. Classes are done, summer is just around the corner, and you’re ready to collapse into a burned out pile and binge on Netflix for a few weeks. Except there’s one more obstacle, the most dreaded two words in your entire college career. They are unavoidable, inevitably waiting as the gatekeepers to your freedom.

    Final exams.

    Since most Southern Virginia students are pretty good at staying on top of their reading throughout the semester and rarely need to cram right before finals (right??) this guide isn’t really for you. But for the unfortunate few who are staring down the hopeless gauntlet at your harbinger of doom, we have a few tips.

    First, you have to recognize that finals are here and there’s nothing you can do about.

    I know it seems like the odds are simply stacked against you.

    But you have to pull out those books and motivate yourself. Time to get to work.

    Take a deep breath. You know what you need to prepare. Maybe.

    You’ll have to stay focused, no matter how difficult it is.

    You’ll quickly realize you should have paid more attention in class.

    But don’t give up!


    Even if it seems like the amount of knowledge you have to retain is overwhelming.

    After a long night, it’s time to take the test. You’ll be okay.

    Because once it’s over, you’re free. Which I imagine is going to look like this.

    Or this.

    heel click photo 2vmycs4.gif

    Or, maybe, a bit like this.

    (Post by Cody Ray Shafer ’14.)

  5. Photos: Faculty Appreciation Dinner

    March 21, 2014

    If you asked any Southern Virginia University student or alum what the best thing about Southern Virginia University is, I believe that the majority of them would put the faculty at the top of their list. The professors here develop close connections with their students. They change us, inspire us and refine us. Though students do many small things to thank their professors, once a year they hold a Faculty Appreciation Dinner where students serve dinner, provide entertainment, and publicly express their gratitude in a formal setting.

    (Post by Hannah Benson Rodriguez ’13. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)