Patient Doctor

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Maureen Marks has always been surrounded. She’s the oldest of seven kids. She has five of her own, and six grandkids. She’s in a book club. She takes community college classes at night. She’s going to France this summer with nine friends she’s known for decades. And for the past six years, she’s been a doctor – seeing streams of patients into the evenings at her family practice in eastern San Diego. But at dawn, when Marks jumps in the pool to swim, she has only one person to listen to. It’s the same voice she’s listened to as long as she’s lived. Her own. It’s what pushed her to learn several European languages, what inspired her to swim from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf five times. It’s the voice that didn’t let her forget, decades later, five kids later, that the chemistry degree she earned at Mary Washington College in 1975 was really a pre-med major. She dreamed of being a doctor. A love letter barrage Maureen Argo came to Mary Washington College when it was just … [Read more...]

A Walk to Remember

Commencement 2013

The black-gowned columns marched under joyful campanile bells and through the strains of Pomp and Circumstance, with bagpipes skirling at the rear. The mingled sounds of undergraduate commencement morning, May 11, were all the more delightful because of one the Class of 2013 didn’t hear – thunder. A storm the night before had rinsed the Carmen Culpeper Chappell Centennial Campanile, Campus Walk, and the commencement stage in Ball Circle. The Eagle Pipe Band had rain gear at the ready, and some degree candidates and family members carried umbrellas to fend off a predicted morning soaking. But when Acting Provost Ian Newbould took the stage to welcome those gathered, he commented on the blue sky. The crowd let loose a cheer. Nothing would dampen this day. President Richard V. Hurley set the tone of the morning, praising graduates for their intelligence, energy, creativity, integrity, and commitment. He suggested that they express appreciation for the family members who … [Read more...]

Potter’s Fire

Finished pottery demonstrates a variety of forms and glazes.

Spotsylvania County resident Charles Shoemake wanted to build a lasting gift to wife Ellen, who is a potter. But as the couple worked on a wood-fired kiln on their farm, his health declined. He passed away in May 2012, the project unfinished. Ellen Shoemake was determined to see the dream realized. She turned to the University of Mary Washington and Assistant Professor of Art Jon McMillan, an expert in building and firing kilns. For two semesters, McMillan and a group of his students made trips to the Shoemake farm, contributing countless hours to the project. Through their work, the students learned the principles and practicalities of an ancient method of firing pottery. At last the kiln was completed and filled with works by McMillan and his students. For research, they tried different combinations of materials – in all, seven kinds of clay and 50 glazes. For 36 hours in early May, McMillan and students including Christina Bendo ’13, Trey Foster ’13, Anna Moulis ’13, … [Read more...]

Field of Opportunity

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When Meta Braymer met with then-Mary Washington President William M. Anderson Jr. for a job interview in 1989, she was excited about the possibility of helping to expand educational opportunities for students. But she also was a bit nervous about commuting daily from her home in Richmond. Thousands of commuter miles and hundreds of audio books later, Braymer is glad she took the job. Hired in 1990 as associate vice president for academic affairs and director of graduate and continuing education, Braymer oversaw the development of the University’s Stafford campus, which opened its doors to students in 1999. “When we opened that campus, it was absolutely thrilling to stand at the door and hear people say thank you for the ability to earn a degree close to home,” Braymer said. She credits a top-notch team of faculty and staff for bringing the Stafford campus to fruition. What started as 48 acres of vacant farmland now includes two state-of-the-art buildings with 23 classrooms, … [Read more...]