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Wesleyan Professor Wins the VFIC’s Harris Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

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Professor of Philosophy Dr. Lawrence D. Hultgren will be honored with the top statewide award from Virginia’s private colleges on Thursday, Nov. 5 in Richmond, Va.

By Megan Z. ShearinOctober 20, 2009

altNorfolk/Virginia Beach, Va. - Virginia Wesleyan College’s Professor of Philosophy Dr. Lawrence D. Hultgren has been selected by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) as the 2009 recipient of The Hiter H. Harris, Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. This is the top statewide award for faculty from Virginia’s private colleges.

Hultgren, who has dedicated his entire forty-year career to teaching undergraduates at Virginia Wesleyan and is widely known for his outstanding work in the classroom working one-on-one with students, will receive The Harris Award on Thursday, Nov. 5 at the annual VFIC Leadership Luncheon in Richmond, Va.

“This is a great honor that affirms Virginia Wesleyan’s dedication to teaching undergraduate students,” said Hultgren.  “Without a doubt, my students, and teaching my students, are my number one priority.”

Hultgren was chosen for the Harris Award from a pool of distinguished faculty members nominated by the fifteen private colleges and universities in the VFIC consortium. The criteria used by the Selection Committee focused on four areas for the nominees:

  • their impact on and involvement with undergraduate students;
  • their scholarly approach to teaching and learning;
  • their contributions to undergraduate education in the institution, community and profession;
  • and their endorsement from colleagues and current or former students.

“Over the course of his 40 years at the College, Dr. Hultgren has carved out a record of teaching innovation and excellence, making him both our longest serving and most esteemed faculty member,” notes Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Timothy O’Rourke.

“This is a great honor that affirms Virginia Wesleyan’s dedication to teaching undergraduate students. Without a doubt, my students, and teaching my students, are my number one priority.” - Dr. Lawrence Hultgren Deeply involved in the College’s academic program, Hultgren serves as the Coordinator of the Department of Philosophy, Director of the College’s PORTfolio Program, and Co-Director of its Environmental Studies Program. He is also widely published and is a regular speaker at regional and national professional and educational conferences.

The Award, which includes a stipend to support the recipient’s scholarly research or professional development activities, was created at the VFIC through an endowment gift from the family of the late Hiter Harris, Jr., a leading Virginia banker who was a member of the VFIC’s Board from 1973 to 1998.

About the VFIC
Founded in 1952, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges is a nonprofit fund-raising partnership supporting the programs and students of 15 leading private colleges in the Commonwealth: Bridgewater College, Emory & Henry College, Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, Lynchburg College, Mary Baldwin College, Marymount University, Randolph College, Randolph-Macon College, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, Sweet Briar College, University of Richmond, Virginia Wesleyan College, and Washington & Lee University.

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