Noted Historian, Navy Leader to Address Graduates

former president of the University of Richmond and a civilian leader for the Department of the Navy are the guest speakers at the University of Mary Washington’s 2017 commencement ceremonies.

Edward Ayers, president emeritus of the University of Richmond, will speak at the undergraduate ceremony Saturday, May 13, on Ball Circle.

Ayers, UR’s president from 2007 to 2015, is a historian of the American South and the author of several books. His The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2013.

A pioneer in digital history, Ayers is co-editor of the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States at the University of Richmond’s digital scholarship lab and is a co-host of BackStory With the American History Guys, a nationally syndicated radio show and podcast.

John D. Burrow, a deputy assistant secretary of the Navy, will give the graduate address Friday evening, May 12, in Dodd Auditorium.

Burrow oversees science, technology, and prototyping efforts of more than 25,000 scientists and engineers. He is the principal architect of initiatives to accelerate fielding of advanced technologies and war-fighting capabilities. He has taught at UMW, the MIT Naval Postgraduate School, and the University of Mississippi.

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