Give It Your Best Shot!

In the ’80s, computer science students worked on terminals like this one in Combs Hall’s subterranean “B7.” Professor Ernie Ackermann, Mary Washington’s first director of academic computing, said that back then the terminals were connected by wires to the main computer – a Prime (brand) 750.

Mary Washington’s 750 was about the size of a built-in professional-style refrigerator – much taller than the average man and double his width. An upgrade from the college’s Prime 500, the 750 had two to eight megabytes of memory and 1,200 megabytes of disc storage.

“We also had a disc drive about the size of a washing machine,” Ackermann said, “and a large, noisy line-printer.”

We think many of you will remember the terminals but can anyone identify the mustachioed user?

If you know this student, please leave a comment below or send an email with Get the Picture in the subject line to

In the last issue, a 1964 Battlefield photo showed freshmen wielding “pots, pans, and pins to rid themselves of beanies.” We asked readers to help name the students and to explain the connection between the commotion and the shedding of the requisite first-year caps.

Jan Latven Allnutt ’60 wrote to identify herself at the far left of the image clutching a pan and sporting a headband. Beside her, Susan Cramer Drouin ’60 wears an unbuttoned sweater and nearby Johanna VanTol Goetz Bullock ’60 is in rolled-up jeans.

Pre-nursing student Kaye L. Carrithers ’73 (not pictured) remembers wearing her Mary Washington beanie. The photo shows a noise-making match between the Devils and the Goats, she said. If the freshmen were more boisterous, they got to lose the beanies. “That’s probably why the students in the picture had the pots and pans. Some people really hated the beanies, but I thought they were fun,” wrote Carrithers, who transferred before graduation. “By the way, I was a Devil.”

We finally have a name to put with the foamy face in the 1989 Devil-Goat Day photo featured in the Summer 2011 magazine. Michael P. Tringale ’89 wrote to say the soaped-up senior is Kimberley Rivenbark Jesser ’89.


  1. Nancy Pida Remmers says

    In the picture above… “with Jan Latven Allnutt ’60 wrote to identify herself at the far left of the image clutching a pan and sporting a headband”…. I want to identify myself, as well. I am the gal to the right, wearing glasses…. Nancy Pida Remmers “63.