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...]

Weather Whammy Welcomes UMW Freshmen

As if the first week of college can’t be hair-raising enough for freshmen, Mother Nature slung some serious surprises at hundreds of new students who converged on the University of Mary Washington in August. A magnitude-5.8 earthquake; a dangerous, havoc-wreaking thunderstorm; and a category-3 hurricane came not so neatly wrapped inside a span of just five days. On Tuesday, Aug. 23, the quake, with an epicenter just southwest of Fredericksburg, caused campus buildings to be evacuated and the University to close early. On Thursday, Aug. 25, just one day after freshmen moved in, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell issued a state of emergency under threats of a severe thunderstorm that shut down power on the Fredericksburg campus, merited a University-wide student alert, and postponed the Honor Convocation scheduled for that evening. Two days later, Hurricane Irene swept in from the Atlantic, releasing a fury that delivered more than 4 inches of rain and 40-mph winds; the very first day of … [Read more...]

Easy as One T3

UMW police officers have a new ride. Though they weren’t sure what to expect when the T3 Series electric standup vehicle (ESV) arrived this summer, the groundbreaking gadget has made campus police more approachable. And that is just what President Richard V. Hurley hoped for when he requested that the force adopt the Segway-like vehicle. “When we have it out, it attracts a lot of attention,” said Police Department Business Manager James DeLoatch. “It’s a good conversation piece, and [the officers] really enjoy operating it.” With three wheels and a low center of gravity, the T3 is more stable than the Segway. It’s taken some tinkering to get it down to speed for campus use. The low-noise, zero-gas emission ESVs max out at 20 miles per hour, but UMW’s model is set at half that for safety reasons. “It’s really cool to ride, but we don’t want to see anybody flying down Campus Walk,” DeLoatch said. The battery-operated machines are not approved for on-street use. T3s are … [Read more...]

Freshman Blogs for Seventeen

For Berkley Schmidt ’15, the transition to college life has been more public than that of most freshmen. Schmidt is broadcasting the details of her year to a national audience through her blog on As one of Seventeen Magazine’s “Freshman 15,” Schmidt chronicles her first-year experience with once-a-week posts about everything from “what to bring to college” to “how to survive a hurricane.” Schmidt described to the world her first week as part of the UMW Class of 2015: The second day here, as we were walking to convocation dressed in our formal attire, a storm fired away on the little town of Fredericksburg. Luckily we had just reached the covered walk when the skies opened up, but the real fun began as we reached the library. Sirens blasted as faculty and Orientation Leaders rushed us inside. We were in a tornado warning! We just had another aftershock from the earthquake that same morning and we were already in our next natural disaster. Disasters aside, the … [Read more...]

Braymer Wins Metzger Award

The woman responsible for growing the popular Leadership Colloquium for Professional Women received its highest honor in November. Meta Braymer, vice president for economic development and regional engagement, received the Patricia Lacey Metzger Distinguished Achievement Award during the sold-out 18th annual Leadership Colloquium. The award recognizes not only Braymer’s 30 years of exemplary work in higher education, but also her extensive involvement in business and community organizations. The late Patricia Metzger, a UMW professor and founder of the colloquium, was a friend and colleague of Braymer. Given annually, the award recognizes individuals who uphold high standards in their personal and professional lives while fulfilling career goals of significant stature. Braymer has held various positions at Mary Washington, including dean of the faculty and vice president for graduate and professional studies. She oversaw the planning, design, construction, and budget of the … [Read more...]

Fulbright Winner Means Business in Tunisia

More than 4,500 miles lie between Fredericksburg, Va., and El Mourouj, Tunisia, where a Fulbright Specialist Grant allowed Mukesh Srivastava to spend a month this fall. The first faculty member of the UMW College of Business to receive a prestigious Fulbright award, Srivastava hopes his work there will help bridge the distance between the U.S. and the country on Africa’s northernmost tip. This grant “will expand the global reach of UMW through the development of student and faculty exchanges and research collaborations with Tunis Business School [TBS],” said Srivastava, who worked with TBS faculty in October to develop and implement the school’s graduate program in management and information technology. Part of Tunis University, TBS is Tunisia’s first English-language business school. Srivastava, who is associate professor of management information systems and associate dean of the UMW College of Business, is one of more than 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who will … [Read more...]

Monroe Gets Makeover; Murals Remain

After two years of renovations, Monroe Hall reopened with the fall 2011 semester and was rededicated with celebration and ceremony Sept. 16. The rededication came almost 100 years after Monroe, Mary Washington’s first academic building, opened its doors to students, said William B. Crawley Jr., distinguished professor emeritus of history and American studies. “Commemorating the reopening of Monroe could hardly come at a more appropriate time historically,” said Crawley, who is also the University Historian. He has had an office in Monroe Hall for more than 40 years, and this is the second time he’s seen the building renovated. That sunny September afternoon, a crowd gathered in front of the building’s familiar columns and façade for an outdoor ceremony. The Board of Visitors was on hand for the official ribbon cutting. President Richard V. Hurley, Rector of the Board Dan Steen ’84, and Provost Jay Harper spoke, as did Crawley and Jeffrey W. McClurken ’94, associate professor … [Read more...]

Poet’s Words Reach Widening Audience

There might not be a lot of literary firsts left for UMW Professor of English and Arrington Distinguished Chair in Poetry Claudia Emerson. She was named Virginia poet laureate in 2008, received the Donald Justice Award for poetry in 2009, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship earlier this year, and recently was inducted into the prestigious Fellowship of Southern Writers. And that’s on top of the Pulitzer Prize she claimed in 2006 for her poetry collection Late Wife. Early this fall, though, Emerson squeezed in a couple more premieres – her début appearance at the National Book Festival and publication in The New Yorker. In late October, the magazine included Emerson’s Catfish. On a September Saturday at the book festival, from a stage on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Emerson discussed the journey that led to her life as a writer. She read from her works, which include Pharaoh, Pharaoh; Pinion: An Elegy; Late Wife; and her latest collection of poetry, Figure Studies. … [Read more...]

Psychology Grad Dissects Discrimination

Matthew Hunsinger ’01 is so passionate about what causes stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination that he’s made a career of it. As assistant professor of psychology at Mary Baldwin College, he studies the factors that influence the way people feel toward those of different races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations. His research brought him back to the University of Mary Washington this fall, where he was the guest of the Department of Psychology as its 2011 Graduate-in-Residence. During the three-day visit, Hunsinger spoke to UMW psychology classes, met with students interested in pursuing careers in experimental social psychology, and gave a public lecture called Paths to Improving Intergroup Relations: Decreasing Intergroup Bias in a Diverse World. He lives in Staunton, Va., where he teaches social cognition, cognitive psychology, conflict resolution, and learning and behavior. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mary Washington, he earned a … [Read more...]

Best-Selling Biographer Joins Great Lives

Charles J. Shields is practiced in the art of putting other people’s experiences into words. The best-selling author and self-described “literary detective” will capitalize on that skill in his new role as associate director of the UMW Great Lives public lecture series. Shields will work with Great Lives Director William B. Crawley Jr., distinguished professor emeritus of history and American studies, to pump up promotion of the annual spring-semester event. The series already enjoys a national reputation among biographers. “There is no other program quite like it in the United States,” Shields said. “My goal is to make the program visible to, and accessible by, a larger audience beyond the Fredericksburg region.” A Great Lives lecturer, Shields got a rousing ovation when he spoke about reclusive novelist Harper Lee last spring. He is the author of The New York Times best-selling biography Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee. Shields will lead the next series on Jan. 24, … [Read more...]