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...]

Second Act

Amphitheatre project to kickoff soon

One of the tangible signs of the success of the Mary Washington First campaign is the amphitheatre renovation and improvement project. The $3 million effort was supported by Donald B. and Josephine McPherson Heslep ’56, who pledged $1.25 million, Robert S. and Alice Andrews Jepson ’64, who pledged $1 million, and other generous donors. These architectural plans show the stage restored to its 1953 appearance, when the grove was a center of campus life. The seating will mimic an earlier era – about 1923 – in harmony with the wooded site and national preservation standards.   New, accessible pathways of stabilized granite and aggregate will blend with the natural setting. The site will be lighted by a combination of inconspicuous path lighting fixtures and standard campus lampposts. A level aisle across the center of the seating area will allow wheelchair access.   Terraces of groundcover along the seating area will be available for picnicking and small group … [Read more...]

Putting Mary Washington First

President Richard V. Hurley never lost sight of his goal for UMW: That it be one of the nation’s premier public liberal arts and sciences universities. His term in office began just as the country emerged from a shattering economic recession, a time when public funds for higher education dwindled. College students and their parents were also affected, with fewer resources to channel toward tuition and expenses. The five-year, $50 million Mary Washington First campaign is vital to the future of UMW, helping students and faculty stretch to their fullest potential. Money raised allows the university to do things it otherwise couldn’t: Extend more scholarships, endow more professorships, and enhance research and internship opportunities. As of mid-March, more than $47.5 million had been raised with more than three months remaining in the campaign. All of these help UMW attract high-caliber students and faculty, and position itself to keep improving well into the future. You’ll read … [Read more...]

Scholarship Success

Mary Washington First campaign results in help for students

For years, UMW has maintained highly competitive tuition while providing students a superior academic value. UMW Magazine is not the only source saying so; rankings institutions – Kiplinger’s, U.S. News, and Princeton Review among them – have placed UMW among the best academic values in the United States. The Mary Washington First campaign began in 2011, four years after the start of the Great Recession, when state budgets for higher education had been slashed across the nation. Virginia was hit especially hard: According to the Center on Budget and Policy, the commonwealth’s 2015 funding for public colleges and universities remained nearly 25 percent below pre-2008 figures. In that period, the average Virginia public college tuition rose nearly $3,000. Since the Mary Washington First campaign began, generous donors have created or pledged to fund more than 80 new UMW scholarships. That advances one of the top goals of the campaign: Increase student support while strengthening the … [Read more...]


President Richard V. Hurley has become known for high-fiving students as he passes them on campus, and as a president who doesn’t pass an opportunity to promote the university. To honor his retirement, UMW planned a blowout high-five challenge: Break the Guinness World Record of 432 pairs of simultaneous jumping high-fives. A Guinness World Records judge planned to be at the William M. Anderson Center for the competition April 13. Before the April challenge, the record for the most people performing a jumping high-five simultaneously was set in June 2015 in London during a celebration of National Women in Engineering Day. A jumping high-five pairs two participants, who take a little leap while slapping palms. To make it simultaneous, all pairs of participants must perform the move within five seconds of a signal being given. Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can check the results. … [Read more...]

UMW Among 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 honored … [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...]

Drawing History

Teresa Boegler ’16 and Sara Sanders ’13  received honorable mentions for the 2015 Leicester B. Holland Prize from the National Park Service’s Heritage Documentation Program. Boegler was honored for her drawing of the St. James House, a Washington Heritage Museums site in Fredericksburg and one of the city’s few remaining 18th-century frame houses. Sanders, a recent graduate of the joint historic preservation master’s degree program at Clemson University and the College of Charleston, based her submission on the 18th-century Pon Pon Chapel in the Jacksonboro, South Carolina, area. The Holland Prize recognizes the best single-sheet measured drawing of a historic site, structure, or landscape prepared to specific industry standards. The annual national competition is open to students and professionals. Boegler’s and Sanders’ works will be published in Preservation Architect, the online newsletter of the Historic Resources Committee of the American Institute of Architects. Each … [Read more...]

UMW Is a Peace Corps Top Producer

For the 12th year, the Peace Corps has ranked the University of Mary Washington among the nation’s top-producing colleges for alumni now serving as Peace Corps volunteers. UMW ranks eighth on the Peace Corps’ list of small schools or institutions with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates. According to the Peace Corps, UMW has 11 alumni currently serving around the world. UMW has been included among the top 20 of the Peace Corps’ list of top-producing small schools since 2005. In all, more than 230 UMW alumni have served the 27-month commitment around the world since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961. The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. … [Read more...]