Notable and Quotable

UMW in Trans*ition

By Kristin Davis

The University of Mary Washington stood in virtual silence when Charles Girard ’12 first arrived for a campus tour in April 2008. The University was on the high school senior’s short list of prospective colleges, and that visit was all he needed to make a decision. He showed up on the day of UMW’s annual National Day of Silence, an observance by schools and campuses around the country to draw attention to the harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students. “I was walking with my dad around campus,” Girard recalled. “I thought, ‘I should go here.’ ” Girard, who was born female but identifies as a male, grew up outside Charlottesville with a twin brother. He did not always identify as a male, but as a teenager he began to question his identity. “On my first day of college, I introduced myself to my college roommate as Charlie,” Girard said. At age 20, he began taking hormones that deepened his voice. As far as Girard knows, he is the first “out” … [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...]

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...]

Frances Liebenow Armstrong ’36 Service Award

Phyllis “Bee” Melillo Shanahan ’55 For years, Phyllis “Bee” Melillo Shanahan ’55 was UMW’s Long Island liaison. In New York, she represented her alma mater at college fairs, hosted receptions for accepted students, and helped with admissions recruitment. For her enduring commitment to promoting Mary Washington, Shanahan received this year’s Frances Liebenow Armstrong ’36 Service Award, which recognizes alumni for the longevity, consistency, and breadth of their contributions. Shanahan has served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors. She tirelessly gathered and submitted her classmates’ news for publication in University of Mary Washington Magazine, serving as Class Agent for a decade, from 1965 to 1975. She’s a longtime Reunion Weekend volunteer, along with her late husband, John, who was awarded “honorary alumnus” status for his enthusiasm and support of his wife’s service to her alma mater. During their 52-year marriage, the couple traveled extensively in … [Read more...]