WLU’s new Protestant minister changes campus ministry


Haley Blakemore

A graphic of CM^2’s photography contest made in Canva by Haley Blakemore.

After only a month in her position, Diann Nickerson is changing the way campus ministry is run.
Nickerson worked as a transfer coordinator and academic advisor for 22 years at Ohio University Eastern. But when she saw a newsletter from the West Virginia Annual Conference covering the daily life of former campus minister Debra Dague, she discovered a new passion.

“I’ve done lots of different things, but it’s always on the academic side,” Nickerson said, “I thought wouldn’t it be nice to work with students to help them discover their faith journey?”

When she got the job, she knew what immediately needed to be changed. “There was a clear delineation of Catholic campus ministry and Protestant campus ministry,” she said. To solve this issue, she worked with the Catholic Campus Minister, Shirley Carter, to form CM2, “a new ecumenical endeavor on campus between both Catholic and Protestant campus ministry to serve the needs of the university by offering programming for people of all faiths and religious backgrounds.”

One event that CM2 hopes to host regularly are free luncheons on Tuesdays. Local photographer Daniel Karen will also attend to teach students how to take professional photos with their phones.

New fellowship activities include campus ministry Mondays located at the St. Thomas Aquinas Center and multiple service projects. One of these projects is especially close to Nickerson’s heart, Learn to Loom, which allows students to crochet and knit hats for different charity organizations. During her previous jobs, Nickerson was involved with a similar organization, Hat not Hate, which focuses on making hats for anti-bullying campaigns at various schools. Learn to Loom will take place throughout the semester.

A photo contest with the prompt “Where do you see God on the Hilltop?” will also be taking place throughout the semester, as reported in issue 5 of The Trumpet. The photos submitted will decorate the halls of the chapel.

“We want to show students and faculty and staff that we care about them, and we want to share things with them,” Nickerson said.

A member of Kappa Phi, a Christian women’s group on WLU’s campus, said about Diann, “She is super sweet and understanding. She is always willing to talk and listen. She even waves to me now every time she sees me!”

If you want to get involved with campus ministry, Nickerson says to just walk through the doors of the chapel. The fellowship events are open to anyone on campus. To contact Diann about any questions, call 304-336-8083.