Cheryl Hawkinson-Melkun

Assistant Professor of Communications

Cheryl Hawkinson-Melkun, assistant professor of communications in the University of Mary Washington College of Business, passed away unexpectedly June 19. She was 56. A highlight of her 16- year UMW tenure was the founding of the Stafford Campus Writing Center. She was the center’s first director, beginning in the fall of 2004. Regarded as a demanding yet patient professor, Hawkinson-Melkun used her knowledge and influence to help the many students who passed through the center and her classrooms become better communicators. Hawkinson-Melkun recognized the difference in the needs of traditional and nontraditional students. She was known for her ability to bring out the best in her students and for her determination to help them succeed. Hawkinson-Melkun was lauded as a generous and supportive supervisor who empowered her staff members to grow and excel professionally. She is survived by her family: Keith, Charlotte, Jared, and Hannah Melkun; parents Elden and Elaine; and … [Read more...]

Reunion Weekend 2012

[Read more...]

Scenes From Reunion Weekend 2012

  Reunion Weekend 2012 was a record-breaker! Scores of alumni from classes ending in 2s and 7s reveled in the nostalgia of returning to campus, and attendance topped that of any reunion in Mary Washington history. In addition to great weather, grads enjoyed Alumni College classes taught by UMW professors, a fun-in-the-sun reunion picnic, and special class gatherings. Also on tap were campus tours, wine-tasting, trolley trips to Carl’s for Fredericksburg’s famous frozen custard, an All-Class Party featuring dance band DC Fusion, activities for the tots, a chance to chat with President Richard V. Hurley and first lady Rose Hurley, and much more. … [Read more...]


Charlotte Elizabeth Scott Myers ’36 N. Marshall Schools ’36 Audrey Alrich Silver ’36 Sara Elizabeth “Liz” Clark ’37 Virginia Richardson Parker ’38 Stella Miles Hood ’39 Marjorie Horner Webber ’39 Fern Carson Greear ’40 Margaret Richards Knight ’41 Betty Johnson Studebaker ’41 Anne Hargroves Parker White ’41 Eleanor Sommers Hartless ’42 Elsie Davis Todd ’42 Johanna Theresa Crittenden Greer ’43 Betty Rogers Zylewitz ’43 Eileen T. Landers Chase ’44 Priscilla Moyer Wilson Ashton ’45 Josephine Bruno Edmundson ’45 Harriet Hall Johnson Waymack ’45 Jane Howard Patrick ’46 Gloria Brown Schoonmaker ’46 Elizabeth Stallings Sharpe ’46 Florence Marie Mason Conrad ’47 Auralea Cox Curtis ’47 Helen Dawn Singleton Darfus ’48 Frances McGlothlin Borkey ’49 Elizabeth Louise “Betty Lou” Fitzgerald Braden ’51 Laura Costarelli Williams ’51 Bernard T. Burchell ’55 Harold Franklin Carder ’55 Sari Glasser Erlanger … [Read more...]


Phyllis Quimby Anderson ’44, who lost her husband Christine Doumas Conlin ’50, who lost her husband Georgene Kirkendall Harrison ’50, who lost her sister Mildred Jones Bonner ’52, who lost her husband Susan Hutcheson Jurgens ’52, who lost her husband Laura Milster Orville ’55, who lost her husband Jan Rutan Wright ’60, who lost her husband Barbara Ashley Firesheets ’61, who lost her mother Barbara “Bobbie” Brookes Nation ’61, who lost her mother Georgene Branch Burton ’62, who lost her husband Pam Brookes Weiseman ’63, who lost her mother Ryan Stewart Davis ’66, who lost her father Mary Karen Vellines ’70, who lost her mother and her husband Norah M. Heckman ’73, who lost her father Jennifer Carder Hightower ’77, who lost her father Joan Castner Niederlehner ’77, who lost her mother Jennifer Miller Strobel ’77, who lost her husband Judy Kemp Allard ’79, who lost her mother Darcy Driscoll ’82, who lost her mother Matthew J. Kelly … [Read more...]

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

Allison N. Seay ’02 The résumé of Allison N. Seay ’02 reads like pure poetry. She won this year’s Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry for her collection, To See the Queen, and last year’s Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship. She’s also won an Academy of American Poets prize, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg award, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts fellowships. In recognition of her successes, Seay received the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, reserved for a recent graduate who’s either distinguished herself in her profession or contributed significantly to Mary Washington. As UMW’s Arrington Poet-in-Residence last semester, Seay falls into both categories. Her work has been accepted for publication in Crazyhorse, Meridian, Arts and Academe, Pleiades, Poetry, Harvard Review, Mississippi Review, The Southern Review, and Mid-American Review. To See the Queen, also a semi-finalist for Tupelo Press’ 2011 First/Second Book Award, is to be published in April 2013. A … [Read more...]

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Nellie Linn King ’92 Nellie Linn King ’92 has defended the accused for more than 15 years. The owner of The Law Offices of Nellie L. King in West Palm Beach, Fla., she handles cases involving allegations of drunk driving, domestic battery, aggravated felony, and murder. Lauded by colleagues for her leadership and volunteerism, she is president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The 2,000-member organization, known as “Liberty’s Last Champion,” promotes the administration, knowledge, and integrity of criminal defense. … [Read more...]


Historian Neil Howe has spoken and written extensively on the collective personalities of today’s generations. With co-author William Strauss, Howe coined the term “Millennial Generation” and wrote the best-selling Generations, 13th Gen, The Fourth Turning, and Millennials Rising. Howe’s articles have appeared in such national publications as The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. What follows are excerpts from his address to UMW graduates at the May 12 Commencement Ceremony. A generation is a group of people who share a basic outlook on life shaped by their common age location in history, their common “generational setting.” Youth, on the other hand, is just an age bracket. It’s like an empty hotel room that different generations move into – with their own baggage – and then soon leave. Sometimes that room swells with sweet music, sometimes it throbs with death metal, sometimes it’s utterly silent. But it’s never the same. Bottom line: All of you Boomer … [Read more...]

Sabrina Johnson

At one point in her career, Sabrina Johnson was well on her way to the bench. In the early ’90s, she earned a law degree, passed the bar, worked for Alexandria Circuit Court, and had aspirations of becoming a juvenile court judge. Luckily for Mary Washington, Johnson’s personal and professional life had come to a turning point, and she felt it was in her family’s best interest to move. She took a job as a counselor with the Department of Employee Relations in Richmond, and her career turned away from the courtroom. October will mark 15 years since Johnson joined the UMW team. As associate vice president for human resources and affirmative action-equal employment opportunity officer, she deals with issues involving personnel policy and employment laws; handles concerns and complaints from employees and students; provides management consultation; and heads an eight-person staff. While juggling all this, she tries to stay ahead of issues that might crop up. “You know what it … [Read more...]

Sadie’s Smile

Alumna turns a mother’s worst nightmare into help for disfigured children

As Sara Showalter Ablard ’92 skated with her daughter last August, she worried. None of the children at the roller-rink birthday party were wearing helmets, and management didn’t offer them. When Sadie fell and hit her head, Sara helped her up. When it happened again, Sara headed for the door. The party was just a bad memory by bedtime. After a bath and a story, Sara snuggled in close to “soak up some Sadie” and tucked her in tight. It would be the last time. At 5, Sadie had played violin, begun learning French, and taken up knitting. Sara wasn’t surprised when Sadie wanted to raise and release a butterfly; what caught the mother’s attention, though, was the look on her daughter’s face when the child realized the beautiful insect wasn’t coming back. Now butterflies remind Sara that Sadie won’t be coming back, either. “They’ll fly in front of my face and cling to me,” said Sara, a marriage and family therapist who lives in Purcellville, Va. “Maybe they were there before; … [Read more...]