On Campus

Building Momentum for UMW

With two groundbreakings and a rededication ceremony, the agenda for the late September meeting of UMW’s Board of Visitors didn’t leave a lot of wiggle room. Thursday, Sept. 20, marked the official start of construction on the four-story Information and Technology Convergence Center. Newly installed BOV Rector Pamela J. White ’74 said the structure represents UMW’s commitment to giving students the tools they need to build successful careers, remain lifelong learners, and master digital information. Designed to blend with campus buildings, the nearly 77,000-square-foot center will straddle Campus Walk and connect to the Simpson Library’s third floor. It will include a digital theatre, data center, café, media labs, and flexible gathering spaces. It’s slated to open fall 2014. On hand again at Friday’s mid-day groundbreaking for the five-story Hyatt Place hotel at Eagle Village, White said the 66,500-square-foot facility, the first to qualify for Virginia Tourism Development … [Read more...]

Campus Conference Targets Poverty

The Poverty Action Conference convened at UMW with three world-class speakers, 14 global poverty experts, 17 student presenters, and a dozen exhibits by such graduate schools as Georgetown and Johns Hopkins universities. The October conference, organized by Shawn Humphrey, associate professor of economics, and his students, was part of an ongoing effort to end global poverty. Humphrey also initiated the student-run microfinance group La Ceiba and conference host Two Dollar Challenge. Speaker Jonathan Lewis, founder and host of iOnPoverty, energized listeners with his words and left feeling energized by the conference. The lecturer at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, University of California, Berkeley, is known for his blogs at The Huffington Post and the Skoll Foundation’s Social Edge. Lewis wrote: The Poverty Action Conference is extremely valuable in three respects: One, students with powerful learnings from overseas projects can and do share them with peers. … [Read more...]

A Fiddler’s Holiday

Last December’s fiddling frenzy on the stage of Dodd Auditorium can now be viewed in your living room. The UMW Philharmonic performed its annual Holiday Pops concert in 2011 with the Jay Ungar and Molly Mason Family Band. In addition to filming the concert, a television production crew shot footage around campus and at various locations in Fredericksburg. It was all a gamble. The University hoped PBS would pick up the show – and it has. Created by Emmy Award-winning producer Jim Brown, A Fiddler’s Holiday showcases the talents of the UMW Philharmonic and its conductor, Kevin Bartram. PBS has agreed to forward the finished program in its entirety through a national feed to all PBS channels. Thanks in part to UMW alumni requesting it of their local stations, it will be carried on many PBS affiliates. Brown said the concert is appropriate not only to the time of year but also to the time in history. “The music celebrates the winter season, the holidays, and is performed in … [Read more...]

UMW Rakes in the Ratings

In higher education, whether the topic is advanced degrees, graduation rates, or good deals, the University of Mary Washington is bound to be part of the conversation. UMW is ranked in every major selective guide publication, including the most recent editions of: Fiske Guide to Colleges’ list of best-buy public schools. Twenty-one schools made the cut, based on academics, quality of campus life, and cost for a typical student. Of those, 18 are in the U.S., and only one – UMW – is in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, D.C. The Princeton Review’s The Best 377 Colleges, based on the largest and longest-running college student survey, and its The Best Value Colleges, which includes 150 schools and considers undergraduate academics, costs, and financial aid. U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges. UMW is sixth on the publication’s list of top public regional universities in the South, which weighs data about each school in 16 areas related to academic excellence, and 16th on … [Read more...]

More Than Making It

3-D printing has taken off in the last few years as the technology has become more affordable and widely available. And as often is the case with emerging technologies, it’s landed at UMW. Today a Simpson Library classroom – dubbed the Think Lab – is home to 3-D MakerBot printers and a first-year seminar called Mashups and MakerBots. Instructional Technology Specialist Tim Owens and Professor of Education George Meadows team up there to teach printing, electronics, and robotics. This fall, 16 first-year students from across disciplines are learning the basics of circuitry and automation while designing 3-D objects, from the simple – think key rings and iPad covers – to intricate works of art. Seven of Meadows’ master of science in education students are using the lab to get to know the technologies, too. Meadows hopes the graduate students’ time in the Think Lab will make them more confident and willing to try new things in the classroom when they are teachers. And they … [Read more...]

Politics on the Move

The C-SPAN Campaign 2012 bus rolled onto campus in late September. The traveling political nerve center, with TVs streaming headline news, computer kiosks filled with facts, and an array of digital devices and interactive features, visited schools across Virginia, targeting first-time voters. Stephen Farnsworth, UMW political science professor and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, gave an interview aired live on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal from inside the bus, and students climbed on board to express their views on the recent presidential election. International affairs major Samantha Litchford ’15 told The Free Lance-Star the experience was awesome. “It brings Washington a little closer,” she said. … [Read more...]

Mason, Randolph Take the LEED

Two half-century-old dormitories are now state-of-the-art living and learning spaces. After a year of extensive renovations, UMW’s adjoining Mason and Randolph halls opened to residents for the fall semester. On Sept. 21, President Richard V. Hurley and the Board of Visitors rededicated the buildings with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Alumni Association President Patricia Boise Kemp ’69 shared memories of her sophomore year in Mason with those gathered for the celebration. Judge Pamela White ’74,rector of the BOV, told the crowd that she lived in Marshall Hall, near Sunken Road. As she trudged up the steep hill past Mason and Randolph, she developed “Mason envy,” she said. The two buildings were “the cherished centerpiece of the campus.” Today’s renovated Randolph and Mason halls house nearly 400 students. While adding features like elevators and air conditioning to the buildings, project workers also upgraded the subterranean hallway once known as “the tunnel.” Now called “the … [Read more...]

New Traditions Warm UMW’s Welcome

The evening after the University of Mary Washington ushered more than 1,300 new undergraduates into a fresh academic year, a brilliant tradition began. At the inaugural “Eagle Gathering” each student carried a candle and passed its flame to another, bringing a glimmering gold to the night on Ball Circle. The ceremony represented the “torch of knowledge” at the center of the UMW Seal. “This light symbolizes the core values of our community,” President Richard V. Hurley told new students at the Thursday, Aug. 23, gathering. “It stands for the desire to learn, to grow, to serve, to lead, and in all things, to give our best in search of meaning and truth.” The day before, with temperatures nearing 90 degrees, hundreds of freshmen embarked on a five-day orientation, lugging futons and air fresheners, Ramen and area rugs into Alvey, Virginia, Bushnell, Jefferson, Randolph, and Russell halls. Of the new students – 978 freshmen and 324 transfers – 40 had already met at Pre-Flight, … [Read more...]

Returning Leaders Share Wisdom

A trio of powerhouse alumni – ambassador, CEO, and psychologist – shared the secrets behind their success with UMW students this fall. In September, Rose McCartney Likins ’81, U.S. Ambassador to Peru, told international relations students how a curiosity about the world fueled her three-plus decades as a diplomat. Former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador and dean of the Foreign Service Institute’s School of Professional and Area Studies, Likins said her public policy work taught her the importance of reaching out to people on a personal level. A distinguished UMW alumna who delivered the 2005 commencement speech, Likins encouraged those interested in similar career paths to concentrate on communications skills and explore a variety of disciplines. Also in September, Psychology Graduate-in-Residence Wendy Sulc ’98 brought inspiration to campus. A pediatric psychologist and research assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Miami’s Mailman Center for Child … [Read more...]

Awards Abound

The second half of the year got off to a stellar start for Jeff McClurken ’94, UMW associate professor and chair of history and American studies. In July, McClurken was named website review editor for the quarterly Journal of American History, the leading scholarly publication in that field. In August, he received UMW’s J. Christopher Bill Outstanding Faculty Service Award for his contributions to digital history efforts, his commitment to incorporating technology in the classroom, and his service as chair of multiple University committees. The honor also recognized McClurken for his efforts in the community, with the public school systems and the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, and for the lectures he delivers across the country. In late September, C-SPAN recorded his U.S. History in Film class discussion of Gone With the Wind for possible inclusion on a future segment of American History TV’s Lectures in History. Other recent honorees on campus include: • … [Read more...]