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Jennifer Rouse ’08 to Serve as Founders Day Keynote Speaker

Annual ceremony pays tribute to those who shaped VWU’s history and bright future

University News | July 10, 2024 

At the beginning of each academic year, VWU celebrates the special tradition of Founders Day. The formal convocation ceremony and presentation of the annual Alumni Awards will be held on Thursday, September 5 at 12:00 p.m. in the Joan and Macon Brock Theatre of the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. “We look forward to once again paying tribute to our roots, recognizing key individuals who helped shape our history, and celebrating the institution's bright future,” says VWU President Scott D. Miller. 

This year’s keynote speaker will be Jennifer Rouse ‘08, a member of the Virginia Beach City Council and an assistant professor of Sociology and department chair for Social Sciences and Education at Tidewater Community College. Councilmember Rouse was elected in 2022 to serve as District 10 representative. Born and raised in Virginia Beach, she earned her undergraduate degree in English literature from Virginia Wesleyan then graduated with a Master of Science degree in sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University. While at VCU, she was awarded the L. Douglas Wilder Graduate Scholar Fellowship, which provided numerous research opportunities, including the opportunity to research the barriers and supports to serving low-income youth in Richmond. On City Council, Councilmember Rouse has been appointed to the Housing Advisory Board and Active Transportation Advisory Committee. She is also a liaison to the Minority Business Council, the Public Library Board, the Atlantic Park Community Development Authority, and the Something in the Water Festival. She will be honored with The Beacon Award following her address. 

In addition to Councilwoman Rouse’s Beacon Award, VWU is pleased to share its other 2024 Alumni Award recipients, an honor the VWU Alumni Council bestows upon graduates in recognition of outstanding professional and personal accomplishments: 

Distinguished Alumnus Award

David Green ‘98

Chief Financial Officer, Georgetown University 

Alumni Service Award

John-Henry Doucette ‘01

Editor and Publisher, The Princess Anne Independent News 

Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award

Kameron Clarke ‘21

Chief of Staff to Virginia Senator Angelia Williams Graves 

The entire Marlin community looks forward to paying tribute to our roots, recognizing key individuals who helped shape our history and our community, and celebrating the institution's bright future on Founders Day.