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...]

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...]

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...]