UMW Graduates 1,190 in 106th Commencement

The University of Mary Washington graduated 1,190 students during its 106th commencement in an undergraduate ceremony on May 13 and a graduate ceremony on May 12. Edward Ayers, historian and onetime University of Richmond president, addressed undergraduates Saturday morning on Ball Circle and encouraged them to capitalize on an uncertain future, reminding them that there have been many tumultuous times in American history. Rachelle Serena Dambrose ’17, whose GPA was 3.9, received the Colgate W. Darden Jr. Award for finishing with the highest grade-point average in the four-year undergraduate program. At the graduate commencement on Friday night in Dodd Auditorium, Navy Deputy Assistant Secretary John D. Burrow challenged the 155 master’s degree recipients to step up as much-needed leaders. Four longtime professors and an administrator were awarded emeritus status at commencement: Manning Collier, associate professor emeritus of mathematics, served for 35 years. Steve Hampton, … [Read more...]

Theater’s It!

UMW Theatre began its 2017-2018 season less than a month after the start of fall classes with Christopher Durang’s comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike followed by the perennial favorite Little Shop of Horrors, Nov. 2 through 19. The season continues spring semester with: Feb 15-25 • Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl. A provocative and meditative comedy reveals technology as a catalyst for connecting or isolating us. When Jean answers a persistently ringing phone in a cafe, she becomes entangled in a dead man’s life. April 12-22 • Medea by Euripides. This powerful play first performed in 431 B.C. reveals the capacity in all of us to do the unthinkable. A gritty, visceral translation by Robinson Jeffers captures the essence of Medea’s rage, jealousy, and pride. Broadway Weekend, May 18-20, 2018 Producing Director and Professor Gregg Stull will lead patrons on a weekend of Broadway theater, seeing three of the season’s hottest hits. Patrons get to relax and enjoy the … [Read more...]

Fleming Enchants Dodd

A Dodd Auditorium audience showed world-renowned soprano Renee Fleming the love in September as she opened the UMW Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2017-18 Celebrity Series. Fleming, a National Medal of the Arts recipient, said she was excited to make her “Fredericksburg debut,” offering works by European composers followed by Broadway favorites. She answered insistent standing ovations with three very different encores: Bjork’s Virus, Lerner and Loewe’s I Could Have Danced All Night, and finally Puccini’s moving O mio babbino caro. While on campus, she and National Institutes of Health neuroscientist and engineer David Jangraw gave a talk about music and the mind, discussing the therapeutic effects of music on the brain. Fleming, a four-time Grammy winner, recently retired from the Metropolitan Opera. Upcoming: The Holiday Pops Concert on Friday, Dec. 8, with the Irish Tenors – Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns, and Ronan Tynan –  who will perform songs from their best-selling album We Three … [Read more...]

Airmen, Code Breakers, Orwell, and Tesla Among Great Lives Subjects

The William B. Crawley Great Lives Lecture Series returns in January for the 2018 season. Jan. 18 Jonas Salk, Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs, author of Jonas Salk: A Life Jan. 25 Women Code-Breakers of World War II, Liza Mundy, author of Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II Jan. 30 Dale Carnegie, Steven Watts, author of Self-Help Messiah: Dale Carnegie and Success in Modern America Feb. 1 Lawmen and Outlaws of the Old West, Thomas Clavin, author of Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West Feb. 6 The Women Soldiers of World War I, Elizabeth Cobbs, author of The Hello Girls: America’s First Women Soldiers Feb. 8 Nikola Tesla, W. Bernard Carlson, author of Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age Feb. 13 The Tuskegee Airmen, Todd Moye, author of Freedom Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen of World War II Feb. 15 Sam Phillips: Godfather of Rock ’n’ Roll, Peter Guralnick, author of Sam Phillips: The Man Who … [Read more...]

UMW Homecoming

[Read more...]

Summers Nets Win at Regional Tennis Championship

For the first time in 17 years, UMW women’s tennis sent a player to the ITA Small College National Championships. Rachel Summers ’20 won the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Division III Southeast Regional singles championship in September, becoming the first UMW player to win the bracket since Lea Schon ’01 in 2000. At the national championship, held in mid-October in Rome, Georgia, Summers finished seventh with a win over Ana Maria Buraya of New York University, 6-2, 6-3. A native of Arlington, Virginia, Summers is a chemistry major. … [Read more...]

Fall Sports Start on a High Note

Several of UMW’s fall sports got off to an impressive start with rankings among the top Division III teams in the nation. Men’s soccer jumped into the United Soccer Coaches’ national ranking in September. It was their first national ranking since 2010, and their highest since their final-four season of 1997. Field hockey started with a 5-1 record and climbed to 14th in the nation, as ranked by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. The Eagles had defeated ninth-ranked Franklin & Marshall College the week before their ranking. Volleyball started the season ranked seventh in the nation by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, the team’s highest ranking ever. The Eagles defeated 16th-ranked Eastern University the opening weekend, and have continued their winning ways. The men’s cross country team consistently has been ranked regionally by the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association of America. And in tennis, the men’s and women’s tennis … [Read more...]

Give It Your Best Shot!

This edition’s photo takes us back to the 1980s, when the Mary Washington sciences were housed in Combs Hall. Chemistry and other science departments moved to the Jepson Science Center when it opened in 1998, in part because the Combs lab space was cramped and outdated. The student pictured here studies powders and liquids in a Combs Hall chemistry lab, but that is all we know about her. If you can help us identify her, we’d like to hear from you. Go online to and click on “Get the Picture” to leave a comment. Or send an email with “Get the Picture” in the subject line to You may also write to: UMW Magazine – Get the Picture 1301 College Ave. Fredericksburg Va. 22401-5300 … [Read more...]

You Got It!

Sally Crenshaw Witt ’64 commented online that the student pictured in the middle in the last edition’s Get the Picture was her suitemate Brunhilde “Prunie” Wyrick ’64. Sally didn’t remember the name of the girl pictured on the right, but she did remember that she had a bright yellow VW bug! Patricia “Bonnie” Polt ’64 chimed in that she was the girl on the right who had the VW, which she named “Bumble” because of its color. Bonnie and Prunie were roommates, and “Nancy,” the girl on the left, lived on their hall, but Bonnie didn’t recall her last name. Bonnie thinks that the photo was probably taken in either their junior or senior year in their dorm, Ball Hall, but she didn’t remember what they were doing or why the photo was taken. These days, Bonnie lives in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, with her husband; between them they have 11 grandchildren. If anyone identifies the girl on the left, it’s not too late to let us know. Other names mentioned as possible IDs were Allie-Blue Habel … [Read more...]

Books by Alumni and Faculty

Books by UMW Alumni Fear the Drowning Deep By Sarah Glenn Peters Marsh ’10, M.Ed. ’11 Skyhorse Publishing, October 2016 Sixteen-year-old Bridey Corkill has hated the sea since she saw something lure her granddad off a cliff and into a watery grave. NPR critic Caitlyn Paxson said the author paints a portrait of an Isle of Man fishing village “where people are disappearing and mythical creatures may be to blame.…When [Bridey] finds a mysterious young man washed up on the beach, she will have to put aside her terror of the sea to protect her loved ones.” NPR named Fear the Drowning Deep among its best books of 2016.       Pretend We Are Lovely By Nicole L. “Noley” Reid ’95 Tin House Books, July 2017 Set in Blacksburg, Reid’s debut novel details a summer in the life of a Virginia family seven years after the tragic and suspicious death of a son and sibling. Kirkus, in a starred review, wrote of “prose that ambulates between stark, … [Read more...]