UMW Celebrates Hurley Inauguration

  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...]

Even History Changes

I had my first “full circle” moment as a history teacher in the 1990s at the Museum of Natural History. I was with my students from Gompers High School in the Bronx on a field trip. We passed a painting showing explorer Richard Burton sneaking into Mecca on a hajj, and a student asked me what the painting was. I nearly cried. On a sixth-grade field trip to the museum, I had asked the same question of my teacher. I had another full-circle moment in Richmond this year at the workshop “The South in American History,” sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Back in the 1990s, I was majoring in history at then-Mary Washington College. The make-or-break class for history students was History 299, a course on how to research and write. I decided to write on Gen. George H. Thomas − a Union general and Virginia native. I was in Virginia, ground zero for the Civil War. I was in Fredericksburg, home to four major Civil War battlefields. It was the era of the Ken … [Read more...]


TO: All Alumni FROM: Derek M. Bottcher ’96 Have you visited campus lately? Shared a story with a co-worker, relative, or neighbor about your Mary Washington days? Attended an alumni event? If not, I challenge you to reconnect with our alma mater. Come out for the Eagles at the Anderson Center, the long-awaited arena where thousands can cheer on UMW’s winning athletes. Head down Campus Walk and stop by the renovated Monroe Hall where old-school murals coexist with the latest in learning technologies. Or, grab a whole-grain sandwich at the ever memorable Underground’s “Naturally Woodstock,” a partnership with the founders of the famous 1969 concert. Live far from Fredericksburg? Get connected at new UMW Networks starting across the country. Members are already helping to recruit the class of 2015. All of us share President Hurley’s vision − to make UMW the best public liberal arts and sciences institution in the country. Our alumni family is more than 30,000 strong and … [Read more...]

Grad Attends to Dance

Sara Crawford Nash ’01 has been named program manager for the National Dance Project (NDP) at the New England Foundation for the Arts. The NDP, begun in 1996, has been a primary patron for the contemporary dance field, supporting the production and touring of new dance works. Nash, who studied theater and dance at Mary Washington, has managed the USArtists International grant program at the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. She was senior producer in programming at Dance Theater Workshop in New York City; at Tanec Praha, an international contemporary dance festival in Prague; and at the British Council in London. The NDP, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, is the only national program supporting individual dance artists and companies. … [Read more...]

Mississippi Must Miss Dean of Business

Though Lynne D. Richardson moved to Virginia this summer, Mississippi won’t soon forget her. In September, Mississippi Business Journal named the new dean of the UMW College of Business among the 50 Leading Business Women in Mississippi for 2011. Before joining UMW, she served as a professor of marketing and dean of the College of Business at Mississippi State University. … [Read more...]

Legal Aid Honors BOV Vice Rector

Maryland Legal Aid celebrated its 100th anniversary in September; it also celebrated one of UMW’s own. The Hon. Pamela White ’74 was among the Top 25 Human Rights and Justice Champions recognized for outstanding achievement. White was specifically honored for providing numerous hours of pro bono counsel for Legal Aid, a private, non-profit law firm that provides free legal service, and for her dedication as an active member of the Equal Justice Council, the fundraising branch of Legal Aid. White, vice rector of the UMW Board of Visitors, has served as president of both the Maryland State Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association. She serves as judge on the Circuit Court of Maryland for Baltimore City. … [Read more...]

Poet Gets Coveted Fellowship, Returns to UMW

In only seven years since her graduation from Mary Washington, Allison Seay ’02 has made a name for herself and her poetry. In September, the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine awarded Seay the coveted 2011 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, one of the largest awards offered to aspiring poets in the United States. More than 1,000 poets nationwide vied for the $15,000 scholarship, but only five were chosen. Their work was featured in Poetry magazine’s November issue and on Seay, who received a master of fine arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will return to Mary Washington in January as the inaugural UMW Arrington Poet-In-Residence. She will give a reading, and she will teach the advanced poetry workshop and the creative writing seminar in poetry. … [Read more...]

Prosecutor Champions Victims of Domestic Violence

As a misdemeanor prosecutor, Joe Clark ’06 takes on crimes that might be considered minor. But as Arizona’s first domestic violence resource prosecutor, he’s aiming to tackle a problem that is major. Clark helped establish the Navajo County Domestic Violence Court, which targets first-time offenders and aims to break the crime’s repetitive cycle. The Arizona Prosecuting Attorney’s Advisory Council has named him Misdemeanor Prosecutor of the Year. With less than two years as a prosecutor under his belt, he also played a key role in establishing the county’s first domestic violence fatality review team, as well as protocols for handling child abuse and sexual assault incidents. In his current role, he serves as a resource for prosecutorial and law enforcement agencies statewide. … [Read more...]

Poli Sci Turns Out Winners

The Pi Sigma Alpha national political science honor society recognized Annie Morris ’11 as a winner in its national writing competition. Her winning Persuasion and the Bully Pulpit: Expanded Evidence on Strategies of Presidential Leadership presented the results of Morris’ undergraduate research on the influence of televised speeches. She showed that, contrary to popular belief, such speeches have the power to influence the votes of a small percentage of members of Congress. The ninth winner from UMW since 1997, the political science and sociology major developed the idea for the paper when she was taking the American Presidency class with UMW Assistant Professor of Political Science Chad Murphy. “I am honored, but more than that,” she said, the award “is a testament to the kind of professors and students the University attracts. Not many schools have departments that support their students as much as UMW.” … [Read more...]

Native Meadows Make News

Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont gets attention not only for the art that hangs inside, but also for the natural beauty of the estate outside. In August, public television’s Virginia Home Grown featured the work of Beate Jensen ’99, who supervises the preservation of landscape, grounds, and buildings on the 28-acre historic property in Falmouth, Va. Since graduating, Jensen has used her University of Mary Washington historic preservation degree to help fulfill Corinne Melchers’ wish that Belmont become a memorial to her husband, artist Gari Melchers, and a park where the public enjoys nature. The grounds are open to the public without charge during business hours. In 2000, Jensen made a bold move − she converted three acres of traditional, closely trimmed fescue and bluegrass lawn to towering native grasses. Today, Belmont boasts acres of fully established low-maintenance native meadow. Last summer, Virginia Home Grown host Amy Barton Williams headed up I-95 from … [Read more...]