Give It Your Best Shot!


In 1972, it was evident across the country and the campus that the times were changing.

By then, “Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia” was authorized to admit men, and “The University” − common parlance in the Old Dominion for the fruit of Thomas Jefferson’s all-male academic vision − had begun to accept women. In July 1972, Mary Washington claimed its independence and became an autonomous liberal arts college looking forward to educating the women and men of a growing urban corridor.

That month, Ms. Magazine hit the stands with Gloria Steinem as editor. The feminist and co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus came to Fredericksburg that fall to campaign for Sen. George McGovern for president after her preferred candidate, Rep. Shirley Chisholm, lost the Democratic Party nomination to the South Dakotan. McGovern in turn was handily defeated by Richard M. Nixon.

Daniel A. Dervin, professor emeritus of English, attended the McGovern rally and snapped this photo of Mary Washington students with Steinem. Can you identify the young women or remember any details about the rally?

If you can, leave a comment below or send an email with Get the Picture in the subject line to

In the last issue!

When Frances Ferguson Rowan ’58 spotted her fellow art major in the summer 2012 edition of Get the Picture, she emailed University of Mary Washington Magazine from her Reston, Va., home. A little farther down the East Coast, Mary “Kay” Martin Britto ’58 of Wrightsville Beach, N.C., also recognized the painter posing with a portrait outside Melchers Hall the year they all graduated, and she picked up the phone.

“Kay Britto called me and said, ‘I think this is you,’” said Bonnie Hatch Bowden ’58 of Wilmington, N.C. And it was.

A favorite art professor, Julien Binford, who in 1956 instituted UMW’s annual major art exhibit, assigned students to copy other painters’ works to teach technique. Bowden re-created this oil painting from a work lent by a New York art dealer for the professor’s class.

“We all loved Mr. Binford,” wrote Bowden, a potter with a master’s degree in art education from the University of Illinois. He “taught us so many wonderful things about painting and color and design, things I have used my entire life.”



  1. ann chryssikos mcbroom says

    red and black plaid shirt and glasses is Linda Spagnolo, class of 76

  2. Linda Spagnolo Mitchell says

    Ann Chryssikos correctly identified me as the one with the glasses and red and black jacket. What ‘heady stuff’ for a barely 18 year old first semester freshman, looking forward to voting for the first time in the upcoming 1972 election! Unfortunately the haze of the time has erased the specifics of Gloria Steinem’s speech, but I do remember she really rallyed the crowd about the importance of grassroots movements – that all of “little people” counted – something that still rings true in today’s politics as well. (Think Tea Party!) I still have a “gassroots” campaign button from that day along with a whole page of McGovern memorabilia in my Freshman year scrapbook. I do know I worked my way to the front of the crowd mostly because I am so darn short and wanted to be able to see and hear better, never imagining I’d end up so close to Ms. Steinem. She was graciously shaking hands and kindly greeting everyone. What she said specifically, again I unfortunately can’t recall. I must admit that I was quite naive at the time about Ms. magazine and who exactly I had just met, and it wasn’t until sometime later that I realized her accomplishments and her celebrity. But that day was one of many exciting ones in the fall of 1972 at MWC – distributing campaign materials, manning campaign headquarters in Fredericksburg, a MWC bus ride to Charlottesville to hear Sen. John Tunney speak (as a Rhode Islander my first chance to see UVA) — McGovern was going to end the Viet Nam War and change the world! I will always remember that fall as exciting and a wonderful way to kick off a college career.