Nathaniel H. Brown

Nathaniel H. Brown, a professor of English at Mary Washington for more than 30 years, died Nov. 2, 2012, in New Mexico. He was 83. He was a scholar of Romantic poets, with a particular interest in Percy Bysshe Shelley. Harvard University published his Sexuality and Feminism in Shelley in 1979. Brown was an avid tennis player during his Fredericksburg years. He also was a jazz enthusiast. He moved to Santa Fe County, N.M., in 2007 to live with son Whitney Brown, daughter-in-law Beth Brown, and granddaughter Nola Grace Brown. Other survivors include daughter Curry Brown of Fieldale, Va., son Mackenzie Gates Brown of Austin, Texas, two brothers, and a sister. … [Read more...]

Bernard C. Lemoine

Bernard Charles Lemoine, professor emeritus of music, passed away Jan. 19, 2013. He was 83. A pianist, Lemoine joined the Mary Washington faculty in 1965 and served for 36 years. He taught music theory and focused on the 18th and 19th centuries, the period in which Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms wrote. He shared his appreciation of such Russian composers as Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev with his studio students. Lemoine had a bachelor of music degree from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, a master of music degree in piano performance from the University of Illinois, and a doctorate in music theory from the Catholic University of America. A native of Massachusetts, Lemoine lived in Fredericksburg. He was preceded in death by his wife of 37 years, harpist Suzanne DeLaney Lemoine. He is survived by two children, three grandchildren, and three brothers. … [Read more...]

Alice B. Rabson

Alice Rabson, retired professor of psychology and outspoken advocate of equality for all, died Oct. 22, 2012. She was 92. Rabson arrived on campus just as the coeducation era began, and she was an immediate and avid supporter of admitting men to what was then Mary Washington College. Throughout the 1970s and into the ’80s, she taught such topics as psychology of women, human sexual response, personality, and social psychology. Rabson helped form a Fredericksburg-area chapter of the National Organization for Women and encouraged students to join. She was among the founders of the Rappahannock Council on Domestic Violence, now called Empowerhouse. After she retired from Mary Washington in 1985, Rabson joined the Peace Corps at age 65. She served in the Marshall Islands, teaching English and psychology, and writing and distributing information about health topics. Back in Fredericksburg, Rabson continued to volunteer her time and talents. She was known for her crisply worded … [Read more...]

Professor to Take Air Force Academy Post

Professor of Psychology Christopher Kilmartin has been chosen to serve a one-year post as distinguished visiting professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. Beginning in July, Kilmartin will teach courses on violence prevention and gender studies in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. He also will consult with Air Force Academy sexual assault prevention personnel to help improve school programming. Kilmartin, a licensed clinical psychologist, is an internationally recognized expert on gender and on violence prevention. He held a three-year consultation with the U.S. Naval Academy on a revision of sexual assault and harassment prevention curriculum and worked with the Army on similar topics. The author of books including The Masculine Self and The Pain Behind the Mask: Overcoming Masculine Depression, Kilmartin holds a doctorate in counseling psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. … [Read more...]

George M. Van Sant

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy George Van Sant passed away Jan. 20, 2013, at age 83. He retired from UMW in 1990, and in 2004 he moved to Irvington, Va., with his wife, Melina Van Sant. She survives him, as do a daughter, four stepchildren, and nine step grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Edward Van Sant, and by three wives, Shirley Van Sant; Peggy Van Sant, the mother of his children; and UMW Professor of English Susan J. Hanna. See Closing Column to read more about his life. … [Read more...]

Poet Earns NEA Fellowship

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded Allison Seay ’02 a 2013 Literature Fellowship in poetry. The $25,000 NEA grant will allow her to work on a second collection. Her first book of poetry, To See the Queen, is scheduled for publication this spring. Seay, who received the UMW 2012 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, was acting UMW Arrington Poet-in- Residence last spring and taught advanced poetry and creative writing. She was awarded the 2012 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry, the 2011 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, and two fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. The Virginia native is contributing editor for The Hollins Critic. She has been a visiting professor at Lynchburg College, assistant director of the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and associate editor of The Greensboro Review. She received a master of fine arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a bachelor’s degree in … [Read more...]

Reginald W. Whidden

Professor Emeritus of English Reginald W. Whidden, former dean of the college, passed away May 8, 2012. He was 107. According to History of Mary Washington College, 1908-1972, by Edward Alvey Jr., Whidden was a beloved professor whose classes were quite popular. He rose through the ranks during his 27-year tenure at Mary Washington, helping shape the institution as it transitioned from a school for teachers to a liberal arts college. He worked to revise academics, refine the advising process, and revamp publications, all while maintaining a sense of humor and endearing himself to students. Whidden arrived late for his first interview with President Morgan L. Combs, then inadvertently insulted him, but joked later about the incident, according to Alvey’s book. “They must have really wanted me here,” Whidden said, “for, even after the remark, I got the job anyway!” Among other things, his efforts paved the way for a publication that detailed degree requirements, a revised … [Read more...]

Dale L. Wright

Dale L. Wright, an associate professor in the College of Education, died unexpectedly Dec. 26, 2012, while visiting her daughter in Virginia Beach. She was 61. Wright had taught aspiring elementary teachers at Mary Washington since 2001, focusing on language and literacy. She was director of the master of science in elementary education degree program, and she supervised teaching interns. One of her favorite courses to teach was children’s literature, which let her incorporate her background in drama and music, said Professor Marie Sheckels, chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. During her Mary Washington career, Wright traveled with students to Ghana, where they shared information and teaching techniques with elementary teachers, learning from one another, Sheckels said. Wright also had participated in the Oxford Round Table in Oxford, England. Not only was Wright a passionate teacher, “she was the very best kind of friend,” said Associate Vice President … [Read more...]

Books by Faculty

An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, Vol. IV: From the School of Illumination to Philosophical Mysticism Co-edited by Mehdi Aminrazavi, UMW professor of philosophy and religion, and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University professor of Islamic studies The period between the 13th and 16th centuries was one of the richest philosophical eras in Persian history, yet comparatively little is known about this time, between the fall of the school of Khurasan and the rise of the Safavids, who established control over all of Greater Iran. This fourth-volume text examines this period of Persian philosophy, dealing mainly with the Peripatetic school, Suhrawardi and the School of Illumination, and assorted incarnations of philosophical Sufism. I.B. Tauris in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies, January 2013     Using Inquiry in the Classroom: Developing Creative Thinkers and Information Literate Students By Teresa Coffman, UMW associate … [Read more...]

Van Sant and Mary Washington: His Impact Is Everywhere

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy George Van Sant passed away Jan. 20, 2013, at age 83. He retired from UMW in 1990, and in 2004 he moved to Irvington, Va., with his wife, Melina Van Sant. She survives him, as do a daughter, four stepchildren, and nine step grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Edward Van Sant, and by three wives, Shirley Van Sant; Peggy Van Sant, the mother of his children; and UMW Professor of English Susan J. Hanna. David Cain, distinguished professor of religion, offered this remembrance of his colleague and friend, George Van Sant, distinguished professor emeritus of philosophy, who passed away in January. The richer we are because of someone, the poorer we are when that someone is gone. Such a someone was George Van Sant. Some close to him called him “George”; some called him “Van” − almost as if his multifariousness needed more than one name. George or Van, as I knew him, was a commanding presence, not only because of his size, his … [Read more...]