Giving Day Rings Up Record Donations

Generous alumni helped make Mary Wash Giving Day a ringing success, donating $449,631 in a 24-hour online campaign March 20. Donors – more than 700 of whom were first-time givers to Mary Washington – blasted past the day’s goal of 1,908 gifts in honor of the university’s 1908 founding. By day’s end, they’d made 2,987 gifts. The event allowed alumni, parents, and friends to contribute to all things Mary Wash. Donors dug deep to support UMW athletics; theatre; the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education, and Business; UMW Galleries; the Gari Melchers Home and Studio; the James Monroe Museum; Campus Recreation; the Fund for Mary Washington; and more. The University Center, serving as the on-campus Giving Day headquarters, bustled with activity. Social media lit up all day long, as UMW supporters created, shared, and liked posts about the event. President Troy Paino rallied support in Paino’s Day Out, a video on the theme “What can you do in a day?” The film drew 449 shares and more … [Read more...]

Here’s to Mary Washington!

SMALL RISK, BIG REWARD Mary Washington is among the top in the U.S. in LendEDU’s College Risk Reward Index, which considers student debt in relation to average early-career pay for graduates. In Virginia, the only public institutions near the top of the list were the University of Virginia, the College of William & Mary, U.Va.’s College at Wise, and UMW. ENGLISH ACCOLADE UMW is a top destination for English majors in the eyes of, which considers tuition, graduation rates, and program prominence. Ten schools nationwide made the 2018 list – and UMW took the No. 3 spot. SMART CHOICE Guide service College Factual rates UMW’s liberal arts and general studies program among the top in the nation – 47th of 352 ranked institutions. Geography and cartography came in first in Virginia and 12th nationwide. English ranked in the top five programs in Virginia and 83rd of 625 programs nationwide. … [Read more...]

Alum Directs James Monroe and Gari Melchers Museums

Scott Harris ’83 has been named executive director of university museums, overseeing the James Monroe Museum, the Gari Melchers Home and Studio, and the Papers of James Monroe. In his new role, Harris provides strategic direction and oversight for all aspects of both museums. Day-to-day operations at the Melchers Home and Studio continue to be the purview of Joanna Catron, assistant director and curator. Jarod Kearney is assistant director and curator of the James Monroe Museum. As executive director, Harris also oversees the ongoing work on the Papers of James Monroe, edited by Daniel Preston. That project recently received a three-year, $300,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to produce two volumes of Monroe’s selected correspondence and public documents, covering April 1814 to March 1821. … [Read more...]

RVA Mayor Recruits Student Teachers

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is determined to recruit excellent teachers for his city’s public schools, and he brought his quest to the College of Education during a daylong visit in December. Stoney told the students his own life was shaped by exceptional teachers who went beyond their job descriptions to help him get the most from school as he grew up in a single-parent home in Hampton Roads. An honor roll student, he became secretary of the commonwealth at age 32 and Richmond’s youngest mayor at age 35. That wouldn’t have happened, he said, “if it weren’t for great teachers.” Stoney told the students Richmond planned to hire 360 teachers for the next school year, and he said the main trait he looks for in a teacher is passion. He said Richmond is a great place to live, with half of its population ages 20 to 45. Board of Visitors member Heather Mullins Crislip ’95, whose children attend Richmond schools, joined Stoney for the afternoon visit and also urged UMW … [Read more...]

April Ryan to UMW students: “I’m Talking About You”

Veteran journalist April Ryan was the keynote speaker at UMW’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in January. A White House reporter since 1997, Ryan now heads the Washington bureau of American Urban Radio Networks, provides political analysis on CNN, and has written two books. Her UMW address was sponsored by the Office of the President and hosted by the James Farmer Multicultural Center. Ryan grew up in Baltimore and recalled listening to King’s speeches on vinyl. She encouraged the Mary Washington audience to reflect King’s values in their personal actions. “It takes all of us,” she said. “I’m not talking about a political party or a person. I’m talking about you.” … [Read more...]

Popular Adjunct Joins DoD to Combat Threats

Guy Roberts, who was an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, has taken a top position with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). President Donald J. Trump made the nomination last August, and the Senate confirmed Roberts to the post of assistant secretary of the DoD’s nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs. … [Read more...]

Heslep Amphitheatre, Morris Stage to Debut at Reunion 2018

The Heslep Amphitheatre – named for Donald B. and Josephine McPherson Heslep ’56 – is set to be dedicated June 2 during Reunion Weekend. The Hesleps have long been generous contributors to university initiatives, including a significant endowment for the UMW Philharmonic and $1.25 million for the amphitheatre renovation project. The Board of Visitors also recently approved another alumni name in connection with the project. The amphitheatre’s stage is to be called the Morris Stage in honor of Marceline “Marcy” Weatherly Morris ’50 and Elmer “Juney” Morris Jr. ’50. The naming recognizes 100 years of family legacy connections and the couple’s significant campaign gift toward the restoration of the amphitheatre. The Morrises met on campus when Marcy was a student at the all-female college and Juney, a World War II veteran, was allowed to enroll under the GI Bill. … [Read more...]

UMW Again Tops Peace Corps List

Once again, UMW has placed among the most prolific Peace Corps producers in the country. With 14 alumni currently serving around the world, UMW ranked fourth among small schools on the 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list released in February. “It’s just a culture we have here at UMW,” said Assistant Director for Career and Professional Development Kyle Danzey. “I always go back to the history. Look at the founding of UMW. We were a teachers college. We’ve always had a tradition of … providing some kind of service.” In all, 261 Mary Washington alumni have served in the Peace Corps since its 1961 founding. UMW recently became a Peace Corps Prep program partner, and the first 16 students were to be inducted this spring. The certificate program combines targeted coursework, service-oriented fieldwork, and professional development to prepare students for future volunteer positions. … [Read more...]

Student Advocate Lends an Ear

A newly hired victim’s advocate at the University of Mary Washington will provide an additional confidential resource for students who may have experienced sex- or gender-based violence. Erin Hopkins, who has worked in crisis management and teaching, sees her role as bridging the gap between UMW’s Office of Title IX and the students it protects against sex-based discrimination. “There are students who need to talk with someone but who are too afraid to go to the Title IX office,” said Hopkins. “I serve as a confidential advocate to educate students about their options and point them in the right direction for help.” Funding for the position has been provided as part of a $300,000 grant through the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women. UMW was among 45 institutions of higher education – one of only two in Virginia – to receive the funding in the fall of 2016 to help victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. … [Read more...]

Varsity Debaters Go National

University of Mary Washington’s varsity debate team of Gabe Lewis ’19, left, and Parker Coon ’19 competed in the 72nd National Debate Tournament, held in March at Wichita State University in Kansas. The national tournament featured 78 qualifying teams. It was the third time Coon had qualified and the second time for Lewis. While they didn’t reach the elimination rounds, they competed strongly, said Debate Coach Adrienne Brovero. To qualify for the National Debate Tournament, Coon and Lewis turned in an impressive performance at the District VII National Debate Tournament, hosted on the Fredericksburg campus. Coon and Lewis also reached the Sweet 16 of the American Debate Association national championship. … [Read more...]