Impatient for Justice

Equal rights visionary took unpopular stand

Just about every college student finds one person who shines through the crowd and influences classmates for the good. For me, that person was Nan Grogan. When I was a freshman in 1963, she was the super-serious junior who was pushing the rest of us to join the civil rights movement. At her urging, I tutored poor black Fredericksburg children in a YWCA after-school program. I didn’t really know Nan back then, but I never forgot her. A few years ago I Googled her name and learned that since my first memories of her more than 50 years ago she has never stopped being an activist. Nan Grogan Orrock ’65 is among the South’s most veteran and well-respected advocates of social change. She is one of the longest-serving and most progressive members of the Georgia legislature and has left her mark on every sector of social justice: civil rights, women’s rights, worker rights, gay rights, environmental rights. She’s chased after cross-burning Ku Klux Klansmen, cut sugar cane in … [Read more...]

Farmer’s Field Goals

Courted to play hoops, '76 grad filled record number of baskets

Emmett C. Snead III ’76 became an agricultural success at a time when many other small farmers caved to debt and the pressures of giant agribusiness. It would be easy to credit Snead’s first bachelor’s degree, a double major in economics and business, with giving him the foresight and flexibility to make his living from the land throughout the late 20th century and into the 21st. But Snead also finds lasting value in his second bachelor’s, the one in geography from Mary Washington. The one he didn’t plan to get. Born into a dairy farming family in Fredericksburg, young Emmett always knew he would be a farmer like his father. At 6, he helped out by washing udders. By 10, he was raising his own leghorn chickens and delivering eggs by bicycle. He graduated from James Monroe High School; got a two-year degree from Louisburg College in North Carolina; and earned a bachelor’s degree from Emory & Henry College in 1973. He moved back home to his parents’ farm, where he helped … [Read more...]

Social Center

Eagle Village signs hotel, museum, more

For years Park & Shop was the closest place for Mary Washington students to shop. A sometimes-risky trek across U.S. 1 led them to the ’60s-style strip mall that offered the necessities of college life. Today, the UMW Foundation owns the property, and a pedestrian bridge makes crossing the highway a breeze. Now named Eagle Village, the area is being redeveloped into a mixed-use retail district with grocery and specialty stores, restaurants, student housing, office space, and a 93-room Hyatt Place hotel. The UMW Foundation bought the 23-acre property in 2007 at the request of the Board of Visitors, said Jeff Rountree ’91, foundation CEO. It was a rare chance to buy land next to campus, and it provided room to build premium student housing. Eagle Landing, a five-story apartment-style building, was constructed on the site that once housed a Roses discount store, and before that a Montgomery Ward. Eagle Landing opened in 2010, with 156 apartments. Beside it is the … [Read more...]