A Welcome Home

University Center Is at 'the Heart of UMW'

It’s not just the sparkling dining facility – with its individual stations offering meal choices to suit every taste – that makes the newly opened University Center special. It’s not just the meeting rooms, the student-centered office space, the Jamba Juice and Qdoba restaurants, or the comfortably furnished living room, all encompassed in 108,000 square feet over four floors. What best defines the University Center, at the heart of campus overlooking Ball Circle, is its universal purpose. It’s everybody’s. Vice President for Student Affairs Juliette Landphair reminded those assembled for the center’s dedication Sept. 17 that Mary Washington was founded on democratic principles, to prepare women to teach in public schools. As the single-sex teachers’ college expanded, integrated, became coeducational, and transformed into a premier liberal arts and sciences university, UMW’s democratic mission has strengthened. The new building “continues the important institutional theme of … [Read more...]

Fulk Art

This Mary Washington grad's palette is places and spaces

By Anna B. Billingsley How does someone get to have a global enterprise carry his name? How does he get to be the life of every party, not to mention the inspiration behind these parties? To design spaces and create occasions for celebrities and tech moguls? To be featured in Architectural Digest? And to produce a named collection within an iconic American retail brand? How? For Ken Fulk ’87, it’s by dreaming big and never saying no. “Yes, this is exactly the life I envisioned for myself,” Fulk said in August on the morning of Pottery Barn’s launch of the Ken Fulk Collection, 60 pieces that reflect the designer’s whimsical and sophisticated style. The interview was in The Magic Factory, the eclectic San Francisco headquarters of Ken Fulk Inc., its three floors abounding with exquisite decorative touches and fresh flowers. Fulk finds power in saying yes. His modus operandi: Accept the challenge, then find a way. “When I was 4 years old, I did this parlor trick,” he said. … [Read more...]

Facing an Ugly Truth

In her new book, Kristen Green ’95 examines her home county’s segregationist past

By Edie Gross For years, newspaper journalist Kristen Green ’95  covered stories about inequality in poor, minority communities around the country. But one story she hadn’t yet tackled nagged at her. In 1959, her Virginia home county had closed its public school system rather than integrate its classrooms. Perhaps, Green thought, it was time to turn her reporter’s eye on the role her own community – and her own family – had played in perpetuating racial segregation. There was a book there, she knew. She’d read historical articles detailing Prince Edward County’s refusal to desegregate as part of Virginia’s so-called “massive resistance” to integration. And she’d begun grappling with the realization that her beloved grandparents, Mimi and Papa, had been part of an effort to shut black children out of school. Papa had passed away while Green was a student at Mary Washington, and Mimi was ill and unwilling to talk about the past. But Robert Taylor, a longtime friend of her … [Read more...]