Class Notes

These are the unedited class notes as submitted by class agents and other alumni. Edited notes appear in the print edition.

If you prefer to submit Class Notes by mail, send to:

UMW Magazine – Class Notes
1301 College Ave.
Fredericksburg, VA 22401



Susan Garter

2020 was quite a year! I was disappointed that our 40th reunion was postponed due to COVID-19, but I look forward to celebrating with you all at a later date. 

I, Sue Garter, had hip replacement surgery in January 2020. During the summer, we moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, which was quite a feat during the pandemic. I still work for Verizon, although remotely these days. 

I met up with Becky Bradley Price in New York City right before the pandemic was declared, and we had a lovely luncheon with her daughter and future son-in-law. 

In September, Jan Stankiewicz McCarthy and her family stopped by our new place for a socially distanced barbecue. They were on their way to New Jersey. Jan and husband Mike are avid bicyclists, with Jan completing 2,020 miles biked in 2020. In December, Wendy Prothro Howard ’82 visited with Jan in Panama City, Florida, after both tested negative for COVID. 

After 37 years with Northrop Grumman, Sandy Slusher Smallwood learned that her part of the company was being divested to Peraton. Sandy has lived in Leesburg, Virginia, for 24 years and has a 3-year-old granddaughter. Her daughter manages a Merrill store in Leesburg, and her son works for the IRS in Seattle, Washington. Husband Tom, who used to play for Thunderbay, is still in touch with Rob Powell and Kevin Havens. Tom and Kevin have played music this past year at local wineries. 

Sandy has also recently been in touch with Jim Hely. They reminisced about the crazy things they did at MWC and swapped old pictures. Sandy, Barbara Gant Kinner, Deb Caton Campbell, and I have gone on girls’ weekend trips throughout the years. When we get together it seems as though no time has passed. 

Barb and husband Greg have been full-time RVers for three years and were spending the winter out West. Deb and husband Cliff sold their house in 2020 and were living in their RV on a beautiful lake just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee, while looking for a new house. They were also considering taking to the road in their RV in 2021. 

Becky Bradley Price’s younger daughter, Laura, had planned to get married in France but instead wed in New York City while Becky observed via Zoom. Becky’s elder daughter, Haley, and husband Matthew were expecting their first child in February. In summer 2020, Becky traveled cross country by car, taking back roads and avoiding crowded areas. Recently, Becky brought home a petite bernedoodle puppy named Callie. 

Ana Catoni-Yildirim’s daughter Ana Yildirim Adams ’13 gave birth to sweet baby Ayla at the beginning of the pandemic. Ana is proud that three family members are Mary Washington graduates; her mother was the late Carmen Zeppenfeldt Catoni ’50. 

Please stay in touch with our classmates through our Facebook group, MWC Alum 1980 and Friends, and email your updates to me for the next issue of this magazine. 


Lori Foster Turley

Susan Flournoy Pierce of Walker Jones PC in Warrenton, Virginia, was named a top personal injury lawyer in the November 2020 issue of Northern Virginia Magazine. After majoring in political science and English at Mary Washington, she earned a degree from George Mason University’s law school. 


Tara Corrigall

We are almost a year into the pandemic as I write these notes. Our everyday lives may include a slipper collection, improved baking skills, and the repeated use of “Zoom” as a noun, adjective, and verb, but we continue to cherish our college days and reconnect with friends and roommates. 

Varna Boyd moved back to Fredericksburg in 2018 to take a position with Dovetail Cultural Resource Group, an alumni-owned cultural resources management firm headquartered in Fredericksburg. Dovetail now has a scholarship program with the university, and the firm was highlighted in the University of Mary Washington Magazine last year. 

Varna shared that Margaret “Peggy” Frahm Smith was to welcome her first grandchild, a boy, in early spring. 

Eric Olsen is serving his third term as commonwealth’s attorney in Stafford, Virginia. He has been working in the area since 1989 and still plays Frisbee. Well, if the next reunion celebration gets out of hand, we know who to call for legal advice. 

In January 2020, Monica Peterschmidt Ettinger became director of operations for Bioenergy DevCo, which uses anaerobic digestion to recycle organics that otherwise would be incinerated or sent to landfills. Also in 2020, she and her husband, married 31 years, adopted a COVID puppy, Chai. They and their daughter had COVID, but their symptoms were mild. All were recovered by the holidays, and they were able to see their son and Monica’s 96-year-old mother-in-law, who lives next door. 

Jenifer Blair and I recently caught up with Trenda Powell Jacocks. She is married to Jake, who many of us remember for his romantic marriage proposal at our graduation ball. They spent 2020 with family at home in Fairfax Station, Virginia. Jake did his medical work and clinical work remotely, and Trenda served a congregation as associate pastor via Zoom and remained a pastor on call. Their elder daughter and her husband temporarily relocated to their home from Manhattan, Trenda’s 83-year-old mom joined the family bubble from March to September, and Trenda’s younger daughter and family were with them in June and July. 

Trenda and Jake traveled quite a bit in 2019 for their 60th year – to Hawaii for work and play, to Alaska, and to Ethiopia on a mission trip, with a side visit to Morocco. 

Ginger Deane Bushman’s daughter married her longtime sweetheart in September after a pandemic delay from May. They are now settled with a puppy, a cat, and baby on the way in July. Ginger’s husband, Scott, was to retire in late April, and they planned to relocate to North Carolina. The pandemic ended her contract work supporting students struggling to meet minimum standards, and she misses the kids but looked forward to new challenges. She keeps up with Ginger Wagner Pugh, Tad Gillie Stanley, and Laura Wong Dolloff ’83. 

Stay in touch, and remember that our 40th reunion is in 2022. 


Marcia Anne Guida

Susan Leavitt is still working. She sees Anne Marie Thompson Steen weekly. In October 2020 Susan had a hip replacement, but that won’t keep her down – she was training for the July 2021 Iron Man competition in Spain! Susan rejoined UMW’s College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board. 

Condolences to Sharon Arnold, who lost her father in January 2020. Sharon retired from full-time work in May 2020. After helping her brother clear out and sell the family home, she was helping her gentleman friend keep his business afloat and focusing on creating a fun-filled retirement life. MWC pal Judith Sweetman Gwynn has travel plans for 2022, so that will keep her dreaming of the adventure trail! 

Scott Harris, executive director of the University of Mary Washington Museums, gave the opening Great Lives lecture this year on George Washington and James Monroe. He’s been focused on guiding UMW Museums through the pandemic and is always on the funding hunt for operations and special projects, including restoration of Belmont’s horseshoe staircase at Gari Melchers Home and Studio. In a James Monroe Museum online program in March, Scott interviewed Lynne Cheney, historian and former second lady, about her latest book. And in winter 2020, the White House History Quarterly included Scott’s article The First White House Christmas Tree Remembered: The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. 


Christine Waller Manca

Greg Chambers finished his tour as adjunct researcher at the University of Virginia and was busy restoring the family farm in Orange County, Virginia. 

Greg keeps in touch with Rich Mason ’87, who lives in Florida. He runs into other alumni in Richmond and North Myrtle Beach South Carolina, having fun at beach music and shag dancing events. He looked forward to his granddaughter attending UMW in the future. 

Jena Efird Abernathy joined global organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry as a senior client partner and sector leader of healthcare board services in the firm’s healthcare practice. 

Anne Baber Wallis was saddened to hear of the January 2021 death of poet and author Richard McCann, who was an assistant professor of English at Mary Washington from 1983 to 1986. She posted a memory of being McCann’s student on her personal blog, Getting to Good: A Journey Through Love, Grief, Horses, and Music. 

She wrote, in part: 

“He called us his Blue Girls, quoting John Crowe Ransom, as we walked the brick pathways from the English department to the dining hall: ‘Twirling your blue skirts, travelling the sward/Under the towers of your seminary/Go listen to your teachers old and contrary/Without believing a word.’ For us, he was neither old nor contrary, and we believed every word. 

We knew he was mocking us, just a bit, but he also knew just who we were. We were, indeed, Blue Girls. We walked with him, proudly, as though he were a beautiful object we’d acquired. We took him to the dining hall, white linens and all, as our guest. We ate through mediocre food with laughter and cunning jokes. We were splendid blue girls, and he was our guide.” 


Joanne Bartholomew Lamm

No notes this time from any of you. Send your news for next time! 

Chris Lamm and I, Joanne Bartholomew Lamm, are proud of our daughter, Rebecca Lamm Vail ’13, as she completed her first semester at George Washington University in the MBA program. Her undergraduate years at Mary Washington surely helped shape her to succeed academically. Thanks, Mary Wash! 


Lisa Harvey


René Thomas-Rizzo


Beverly J. Newman

Jay Bradshaw


Jim Czarnecki

In January, Courtney Elliott Gardner became the director of Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Spring, Texas. Before joining Pearl Fincher, she was executive director of the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News, Virginia. Read more about Courtney in Notable and Quotable on page 20.