UMW Among the Top in Technology, Value

The University of Mary Washington has been ranked 20th among “50 Most Technologically Advanced Small Colleges” by The Best Colleges Online 2015. In addition, the College Affordability Guide has recognized UMW as Virginia’s most affordable college and rated 13 of its academic programs as the most affordable degrees in the country. The Best Colleges Online ranked UMW, the only Virginia school on the list, using factors including technology awards, progressive science and technology degrees offered, and advanced campus technology offerings. UMW was recognized for the Hurley Convergence Center. The College Affordability Guide looks at affordability for average- and low-income students and focuses on three factors: financial cost, opportunity cost including graduation rates and ability to repay loans, and program flexibility in ways students can earn credits. Academic programs recognized include biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, fine arts, foreign language, … [Read more...]

Fourth Monroe Medal Awarded

University of Mary Washington awarded educator and community leader Gladys White Jordan its Monroe Medal in March. UMW has given only four such medals, which are among the university’s most distinguished honors. The Monroe Medal recognizes individuals who in some extraordinary way have provided lasting service to humanity and society. Jordan, a retired, award-winning teacher, has long ties to Mary Washington. As a girl, she worked alongside her parents at Brompton, then the home of Dorothy and Grellet C. Simpson, Mary Washington president from 1956 until 1974. “My mother worked as a housekeeper for the Simpsons,” the Stafford County native said. “I would help her when they had parties.” Born in 1938, Jordan came of age when Virginia’s colleges and universities were segregated by race. She attended Virginia State College, where she earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. The Simpsons believed in her abilities and helped her with tuition. In March, the Board of Visitors … [Read more...]

Educating About the Birds and Bees

Maggie Magliato ’17 wants everyone to support the important work of bees, birds, butterflies, and other insects, so she’s creating a pollinator walk on campus. The international environmental firm Marstel-Day liked the effort so well that it honored Magliato with its Innovation in Environmental Stewardship Award. “We are trying to teach people how important and easy it is to incorporate pollinators into their own landscaping,” Magliato said. “There are many plants at UMW that support pollinators, so the tour will help people understand how and which pollinators interact with each type of plant.” Magliato, who is studying biology and environmental science, will create the pollinator walk with UMW Landscape Director Joni Wilson ’00. The walk will allow anyone walking on campus to learn about plants that are important to the region’s pollinators. Marstel-Day, which is based in Fredericksburg, gave Magliato $2,500 and is providing her with a project adviser. Marstel-Day judges selected … [Read more...]

On Liberia’s Ebola Front Line

By Laura Moyer Lyn Howell Gray ’69 resisted leaving Liberia as the Ebola virus sickened West Africans in 2014. Gray and her Liberian colleagues employed by an aid organization urged pragmatism, not panic. People could stay safe, they emphasized, by avoiding the person-to-person contacts that spread the virus, especially when caring for the sick or preparing bodies for burial. But the aid organization insisted that its American employees return to Washington, D.C., because the epidemic had overtaken medical facilities and airlines were suspending service. “Being forcibly evacuated was difficult because we had to desert our colleagues at such a bad time, and there was important work we could be doing,” Gray said. She and husband Jim left with a few hastily packed belongings, not knowing when or even if they’d be able to return to their home of many years. As it turned out, they were absent only two months, returning when safe medical care and airline service could again be … [Read more...]

Dog Helps Alum Get to Work

By Edie Gross Winter is off duty, so he greets a visitor to his Fredericksburg home with all the tongue-lolling, tail-wagging enthusiasm a Labrador pup can muster – which is a lot. Then he settles with a contented sigh at the feet of Brian Parsons ’85. But when Winter steps outside each morning for the duo’s two-hour commute to Washington, D.C., the Seeing Eye dog is all business. He guides Parsons to a nearby bus stop, onto a train, onto Metro, and finally to an office at the Department of Homeland Security, where Parsons has worked since 2006. “When you put the harness on, he becomes completely locked in,” Parsons says of the dog he partnered with in September 2015. “It’s like a knife through butter going through Union Station now. It’s like a Swedish slalom – he’s weaving me in and out of people, and I’m along for the ride. He’s amazing.” Parsons, who has been legally blind since birth, had used a white cane since middle school to detect obstacles in his path. But in … [Read more...]

Wong Savors World Series Win

By David Driver Being heralded by 800,000 adoring Kansas City Royals fans as he walked a World Series victory parade route last fall, Jin Wong ’97 found himself in a far different place from Mary Washington’s dusty playing fields. But it was as a baseball player and business administration major at Mary Washington that Wong received the guidance and developed the discipline that has taken him to the pinnacle of baseball. He is assistant general manager/baseball administration for the World Series championship team. Kansas City won its first World Series title in 30 years on Nov. 1, 2015, beating the New York Mets to take the fall classic in five games. “It was overwhelming,” Wong said. As for the parade, which he participated in with his wife, Libby, and sons Kai and Tate, “It was an amazing sight to see. Fans came out in droves. “A championship brings every walk of life together. Everyone was wearing Royals blue,” Wong said. “I could not be more proud to be a part of … [Read more...]

Styling on Broadway

By Lisa Chinn Marvashti ’92 Makeup artist Madeline LeCuyer ’11 moves like a ninja. Armed with powder and hairspray, she dodges bright lights and big lenses, stalking stray hairs and slick skin. “You don’t want actors to look shiny because it will read as oil or sweat,” said LeCuyer, who returned to her alma mater last fall to prep the student stars of UMW’s first-ever TV commercial. “We want actors to look pristine at all times.” LeCuyer has helped folks put their best faces forward since a college play got her all tangled up in hair. From She Stoops to Conquer at UMW to Aladdin on Broadway, the theatrical stylist and professional wigmaker has been coiling and crimping her way to the top. Growing up in Newport News, she loved lipsticks and liners, polish and gloss. Live theater? Not so much. Dragged to a performance of The Music Man, she begged to sit in the back near the exit. By intermission, though, she was ready to get close to the action. Her father, a sculptor, and … [Read more...]

Hooray for Hurley

UMW Takes a Fond Look Back

This time, Richard V. Hurley really is retiring. On June 30, he’ll step down as the University of Mary Washington’s ninth president, leaving an academic community thankful for his six years of approachable, forward-looking leadership. In 2010, Rick Hurley was on the brink of retirement as UMW’s chief financial officer, having served as acting president after the departure of the university’s seventh president. Then UMW’s eighth president resigned unexpectedly, and the Board of Visitors asked Hurley to take the reins. He responded with enthusiasm and a solid commitment to the university and its people. That commitment translated to big things: The construction of the William M. Anderson Center. The state-of-the-art information and technology facility now called the Hurley Convergence Center. The sparkling University Center at the heart of campus. And the Mary Washington First campaign that’s closing in on a $50 million fundraising target. Hurley’s commitment showed in small … [Read more...]

Closing Column

An open letter to Mary Washington students

When Truman State University senior Erica Nolan learned in February that her school president would be leaving to become the 10th president of UMW, she wrote a letter to Mary Washington students. This is an excerpt. Dear University of Mary Washington Students, Writing this has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It’s primarily because I’m still in shock that President Troy Paino is leaving Truman State University. It’s also because President Paino is impossible to put into words. To UMW, Troy Paino is currently just a man. To Truman, he is so much more than that. He’s our biggest cheerleader. He’s a role model to every student who walks on campus. He’s a father figure when you need one, and he will always and forever be our own personal T-Pain [a nickname he’s called by Truman students]. If you ever have the opportunity to meet a Truman student or alum who had the privilege of having Paino as president, I can guarantee they have a personal Paino story. He’s willing … [Read more...]

Get the Picture

Give It Your Best Shot! This 1964 photo is of members of the Matthew Fontaine Maury Science Club of Mary Washington College. We know about the club’s namesake – a 19th-century naval officer, oceanographer, and Fredericksburg native who sailed around the globe. But we know nothing about the aspiring scientists pictured here. If you think you can identify any of them, please tell us! Leave a comment on this page or send an email with “Get the Picture” in the subject line: UMW Magazine – Get the Picture 1301 College Ave. Fredericksburg, Va. 22401-5300.   You Got It! Linda Tucker Weaver ’68 and Donna Sheehan Gladis ’68 recognized one of their classmates, psychology major Frances “Franny” Scavullo ’68, pictured selling pumpkins on Lee Hall patio in the fall/winter 2015 issue of UMW Magazine. No one identified the woman on the right. If you know her, please get in touch with us. A big thank you to Linda and Donna for helping us. We use the information from this … [Read more...]