On the last day of September, University of Mary Washington students, staff, and faculty, along with community members, honored guests, and distinguished speakers, once again gathered in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium to welcome a new leader. The scenario was familiar, but this inauguration – the long-awaited ceremony that would formalize Richard V. Hurley’s title as UMW’s ninth president – felt overwhelmingly different. “When the Board of Visitors of the University of Mary Washington selected President Hurley, they selected the best leader possible for their academic institution,” said Stefanos Gialamas, president of American Community Schools of Athens, for which Hurley delivered the June commencement address in Greece. “Even though sometimes it takes a couple of efforts.” Gialamas’ remarks produced ripples of laughter throughout the audience, but the University couldn’t have been more earnest about embarking on a new era with a loved and respected … [Read more...]
A stack of business cards, one for each title she’s held at UMW, paints a picture of the kaleidoscopic career of Sallie Washington Braxton ’77. But her 33-year journey on the corporate ladder has been more horizontal than vertical. “I so enjoyed working at Mary Washington that I think the realization that [my job changes] were lateral moves wasn’t really at the forefront of my mind,” said the associate dean for advising services for the College of Business. “I just saw different openings and different areas of opportunity, and I knew what I enjoyed doing.” When Braxton came to work at her alma mater as assistant dean of admissions and financial aid in 1978, she discovered a particular passion for advising. Since then, she has worked as a director and a dean, with graduates and undergraduates, in Fredericksburg and in Stafford. Through all the changes, though, one thing has stayed the same: her focus on fostering students’ success. “Maybe I sacrificed my goals for theirs,” she … [Read more...]
Alumni survey results have UMW boasting… and bent on finding ways to be even better!
To get a clearer picture of its graduates, the University of Mary Washington asked for participation this spring in its first truly comprehensive alumni survey, complete with clickable answers, drop-down menus, and all the trappings you’d expect of an online poll. But rather than pop into view like a digital photo, the UMW image developed more like a Polaroid print, sliding into focus a little at a time. As results were tallied, numbers crunched, and comments analyzed, a picture began to emerge. It shows a professionally successful group of graduates who feel they left Mary Washington with the skills it takes to succeed, friendships that last a lifetime, and experiences they wouldn’t trade for the world. The survey committee – organized by UMW Chief of Staff Martin A. Wilder Jr. and composed of key members of Mary Washington’s faculty and staff, including Assistant Provost for Institutional Analysis and Effectiveness Taiwo Ande – is grateful to the more than 2,000 UMW alumni who took … [Read more...]