On Campus

Winter Means Great Lives at UMW

The Chappell Lecture Series: Great Lives begins its 11th season in January 2014 with a lecture on one of America’s most vilified figures, assassin John Wilkes Booth. Washington, D.C., attorney and writer David O. Stewart, author of the recent historical novel The Lincoln Deception, is the speaker. The remaining 17 lectures cover a wide range of figures, from Spartacus and Augustus to Bob Dylan and Jim Henson. Among the speakers are two Pulitzer Prize-winning biographers, David Garrow (Martin Luther King Jr.) and Debby Applegate (Henry Ward Beecher). The final program features Reeve Lindbergh, daughter of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, who will discuss her famous parents, based on her family memoir, Under a Wing. Jan. 16 John Wilkes Booth by attorney David O. Stewart: The Lincoln Deception Jan. 28 Jim Henson by Brian Jay Jones: Jim Henson: The Biography  Feb. 4 Martin Luther King Jr. by David Garrow of University of Pittsburgh Law School: Bearing the Cross: Martin … [Read more...]

Family Weekend: BINGO!

More than 1,300 visitors came to campus for UMW’s 40th Family Weekend in late September. They enjoyed such events as a chemistry magic show, the annual 5K run, guided campus tours about Civil War history, a cookout, and more. A UMW family favorite was “Bingo in the ’Burg,” a game sponsored by UMW and the city of Fredericksburg to help families better get to know students’ second home. Moms, dads, and siblings visited downtown businesses, where they collected stickers to fill bingo cards. A win meant a 10 percent discount at participating stores. UMW guests enjoyed the game, and it was rewarding to Fredericksburg business owners and officials to see so many students and their families downtown. “It was a synergy of efforts that makes sense on a lot of levels,” said Julie Perry, Visitor Center manager. “And frankly, it was just plain fun.” … [Read more...]

UMW Board Welcomes Members

In late October, the Virginia Governor’s Office announced the appointment of three new members to the Board of Visitors. Tabitha Edinger Geary ’92, Kenneth Lopez ’92, and Lisa Taylor ’85 will serve four-year terms, which expire June 30, 2017. They succeed Daniel K. Steen ’84, Mary J. Berry, and the Honorable Pamela J. White ’74, whose terms have ended. White, departing rector of the UMW Board of Visitors, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve her alma mater. She added, “I am particularly proud to have played a role in naming and supporting Rick Hurley as UMW’s ninth president.” White also applauded the contributions of Berry and Steen, whom she succeeded as rector.   Tabitha Geary, Richmond Geary is vice president of marketing strategy and analytics for SapientNitro, an integrated marketing and technology services firm based in Boston. Her career in marketing and consulting has spanned 20 years, including four years as co-founder and managing partner of … [Read more...]

Leading for the Arts

UMW President Richard V. Hurley and Tiffany Kelly, director and owner of Dance Trance Fredericksburg, danced a rumba for arts education in August. Hurley and eight other area leaders partnered with professionals from Fredericksburg’s Strictly Ballroom Dance Studio for the fundraising event Dancing With the Fredericksburg Stars. Community leaders prepared for weeks for the inaugural event in Dodd Auditorium. Their polished, crowd-pleasing performances raised more than $65,000 to endow the UMW Performing Arts in the Community Scholarship for regional students who excel in music, theater, or dance. … [Read more...]

Rate This! UMW Scores Big

UMW is making the grade in higher education. Take a look at where Mary Washington stands in the most recent major selective guide publications: Affordable Colleges Online in July rated UMW 44th on its “Affordable Colleges With High Returns” list and 20th on its “Cheap Colleges With High Starting Salaries for Graduates” list. Ratings were based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Data System, Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, and Payscale.com. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education named UMW among the top 100 minority-degree producers for 2013. For management information systems master’s degrees, UMW ranked eighth for Hispanics, 23rd for all minority groups, and 24th for African Americans. Rankings are based on U.S. Department of Education reports submitted by institutions. EducatedQuest.com, a college guide website that aims to deliver more detailed profiles than other publications, named UMW in August to … [Read more...]

Freshman Files

The University of Mary Washington welcomed 954 first-time freshmen to its bachelor of arts and bachelor of science programs this fall. The new students came from Virginia and 24 other states, including Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Connecticut. Twenty-two percent of the newcomers identified themselves as African American, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, or multiracial. The middle 50 percent of the 954 entering freshmen – meaning 25 percent scored higher and 25 percent scored lower – earned an average high school GPA of 3.53. Mean SAT scores ranged from 1020 to 1200, and mean ACT composite scores ranged from 22 to 26. … [Read more...]


When C-SPAN wanted to feature Fredericksburg in its 2013 Cities Tour, its film crew found a lot to talk about at the University of Mary Washington. C-SPAN visited two UMW authors, the UMW James Farmer Collection, and the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library for part of its weekend-long broadcasts in late September. You can still see the broadcasts online at c-span.org/LocalContent/Fredericksburg. Videos from UMW: Timothy O’Donnell, professor of communications, talked to C-SPAN about UMW’s James Farmer Collection, housed in the Simpson Library archive. The video includes O’Donnell’s narrative about Farmer’s life as a major player in the struggle for civil rights, and footage of the late professor of history’s lectures to Mary Washington students. In the classroom scenes, Farmer − who had been scheduled to speak at the 1963 March on Washington − recalls watching the march on TV from a Louisiana jail cell where he and others were locked up for civil disobedience. Jeffrey … [Read more...]

UMW Leads in Digital Education

Rather than fear the future of higher education in the digital age, the University of Mary Washington is shaping it. A leader in digital learning and teaching, UMW hosted OpenVA − the Open and Digital Learning Resources Conference − in October and brought together Virginia’s leaders in higher education with some of the country’s most innovative thinkers. To open the two-day event, President Richard V. Hurley and UMW’s Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies (DTLT) invited Virginia university presidents, administrators, faculty, and other decision makers. Members of the UMW Board of Visitors, administration, faculty, staff, and students listened as innovators presented ideas, then led discussion of what's next for Virginia education. These opening sessions, titled Minding the Future, were sponsored by UMW and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The following day, nearly 40 Virginia educators and technologists presented ways they use or envision using … [Read more...]

Prof’s Philosophy? Service

UMW Professor of Philosophy Craig Vasey, chair of the Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion, received the J. Christopher Bill Outstanding Faculty Service Award in August. The award, named for a late psychology professor who served UMW for nearly three decades, recognizes a longtime member of the teaching faculty who has been heavily and consistently involved in a variety of service roles, including to a department, the University, and the community. An expert on race theory, contemporary French philosophy, and feminist philosophy, Vasey played a key role in establishing UMW’s women and gender curriculum. He has led the commemoration of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom and served on the James Farmer Visiting Professorship Committee and the Steering Committee for the UMW Strategic Plan. In the community, Vasey helped found the Maury Neighborhoods Association and is the Fredericksburg Sister City Association’s director of cultural events. He represents … [Read more...]

UMW Survey Draws National Attention

An opinion survey conducted for the Center for Leadership and Media Studies brought nationwide attention to the University of Mary Washington this fall as Virginia prepared to elect a new governor. The surveys show that Virginia, once solidly Republican, is decidedly a “purple” state, said Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Stephen Farnsworth, who designed the survey questions with input from his UMW students. National media paid attention not only because Virginia was one of just two states this fall with a governor’s race, but also because “Virginia is America in miniature,” Farnsworth said. “We have our liberal Northeast in Northern Virginia. We have our Sun Coast in Virginia Beach. We have our industrial heartland in Hampton Roads, and we have our agricultural and Southern Christian conservatives west and southwest of Interstate 95.” The survey found that likely voters favored Democrat Terry McAuliffe over Republican Ken Cuccinelli for governor, and … [Read more...]