Scenes From Reunion Weekend 2013

Some donned tiaras in a nod to Mary Washington’s May Queen. Some draped themselves in peace signs and beads. Whatever their generation, UMW alumni were wrapped up in nostalgia at Reunion Weekend 2013. The three-day event, for those who graduated in years ending in 3 or 8, offered Alumni College sessions, class competitions, and a Virginia-wine tasting. An update from President Richard V. Hurley, a rollicking Saturday night all-class party, and a bittersweet farewell brunch had alums packing new Mary Washington memories and saying “so long” – until next time! Photos by Terry Cosgrove and Reza A. Marvashti … [Read more...]

Alumni Seen

Click the images below to see what some UMW alumni are up to. … [Read more...]

On Leaving

For my graduating class

Leave the bricks. Although you wish that you could walk them in other places, other paths, that finding your way from cap and gown to nine-to-five was well-worn and obvious as the route up to the dining hall, it is not. And it is not meant to be. Besides, some freshman will soon need them. So leave them. Leave each tree, but carry in your eye their stunning gold, four years of fall distilled and hung in one glowing corner of your memory. You might take one leaf to help recall the way the russet walk was mirrored in their canopies, but even such a small echo can grow heavy after passing years. So leave the trees. Leave the covers of the books, but keep the shape of each inked word. Collect voices that shaped you, made you breathless with anger, breathless with love; those things you keep. Pack carefully away the look that one professor gave you when you were finally able to believe each good thing they’d told you all along: that this place is your … [Read more...]

Analyst Pegs Personalities to the Letter

For JoNeal Hendricks Scully ’59, a handwritten note can be the scene of a crime. She zeroes in on evidence others might miss, probing each penned character for possible leads. Is it larger or smaller than normal? More pointed or more round? Slanted to the left or to the right? Little details can give Scully big tips about a penman’s personality. She has used them to weigh in on everything from criminal investigations to romantic relationships. But her decades-long career as a certified handwriting analyst came together much like the mysteries she solves – one clue at a time. “It’s like working a puzzle,” said Scully, who studied history, education, and psychology at Mary Washington. “You keep coming around and around. You’re looking for so many things.” Scully taught school for a while after college, but it wasn’t for her. Three years overseas, two children, and one decade later, she decided to revisit her love of psychology. She was excited until the graduate-school … [Read more...]

Diplomat Welcomes New Challenge in China

Ambassador Clifford A. Hart ’80 calls his upcoming diplomatic assignment a choice job that any China hand would aspire to. Starting later this year, Hart will be consul general for Hong Kong and Macau. His fluency in Mandarin and Cantonese will serve him well, and so will the 30 years of State Department experience he brings to the role. Hart is ready for whatever frustrations his new job may bring, as his most recent position proves. He is wrapping up an assignment as special envoy to the Six-Party Talks, with the challenging task of persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program. “The talks themselves haven’t convened since ’08 for a whole bunch of reasons, most to do with North Korea’s misbehavior,” Hart said. But as special envoy since 2011, Hart has worked with China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea to further a shared interest in North Korean denuclearization. Hart’s interest in the Foreign Service dates to his teen years. He skipped his last year of … [Read more...]

Principal Gives Kids Everything She’s Got

Wherever Melanie Kay-Wyatt ’92, M.Ed. ’06 goes, she hears a familiar chorus. Standing outside the ballet studio where her youngest daughter dances. Walking through the aisles at the grocery store. Relaxing at the nail salon. Even during vacations to Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Disney World. “Mrs. Wyatt! Mrs. Wyatt!” they shout, excited − and sometimes even a little shocked − to spy their middle school principal in a civilian environment. Kay-Wyatt, a Fredericksburg teacher and administrator since 1997, has made forging strong relationships with students the cornerstone of her career, chatting them up in classrooms, hallways, lunchrooms, and everywhere in between. So when they spot her out and about, she’s only too happy to engage. “You have to build some kind of connection with them or you lose them,” she said. “That relationship piece is key.” Mentoring tweens wasn’t in Kay-Wyatt’s original career plan. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business at University … [Read more...]

Grad Student Fosters Pet Project

Pepper was about to be killed when Christine Exley ’09, then 17, fell in love with the 20-pound pit bull. The dog, shoehorned into a crate, had survived a month − three weeks longer than average − among the constant influx of strays at the animal shelter. “She never lost her spirit,” Exley said. “I took her home.” Eight years later, the doctoral student of economics at Stanford University is trying to save dogs on a larger scale. To do so, she’s applying a lesson learned in a freshman economics class at Mary Washington. Shawn Humphrey, associate professor of economics, taught his students that the discipline could be used to solve real-world problems – and ultimately help make the world a better place. With so many people looking for pets, and with millions of dogs being killed every year, Exley thought the problem to be solved was in matching them. In early 2012, she and fellow animal-lover Elena Battles started, a company that helps bring together dogs and the … [Read more...]

Get the Picture

Mary Washington students hit the airwaves in 1939, when Dramatic Arts and Speech Professor Harold H. Weiss developed a course in beginning and advanced broadcasting. A state-of-the-art studio opened in the newly built George Washington Hall, and Station WMWC was born. News, interviews, talent, and inspirational talks aired three hours a day by the mid-1940s, and a fancy studio was built in duPont in the mid-1950s. Students still run WMWC, UMW Radio, but the growing popularity of TV had forced broadcasting courses off the curriculum by 1963. If you know the names of these broadcasters in training or have any other information about this photo taken inside the campus studio, please add a comment below. Give It Your Best Shot! Last issue’s photo of a young woman on horseback drew a flurry of letters, emails, and online posts from readers who thought they recognized the rider. Carmen Zeppenfeldt Catoni ’50 of Caguas, Puerto Rico, posted on the UMW Magazine website that she … [Read more...]

Books by Alumni

The Life and Death of Poetry: Poems By Kelly Cherry ’61 In her ninth book of poetry, Cherry, former poet laureate of Virginia, examines the role that language and communication – from silence and the unsaid to literature and poetry – play in people’s lives. The collection won the 2013 L.E. Phillabaum Poetry Award. Charles Rammelkamp, poet, fiction writer, and editor, wrote of the work, “Steeped in poetic tradition, Kelly Cherry’s poems are nevertheless fresh and unique, bursting off the page.” Louisiana State University Press, March 2013     March With Me By Rosalie T. Alico Turner ’62 Motivated partially by this year’s 50th anniversary of the sometimes-forgotten Children’s March, Turner tells the separate, yet related, stories of Letitia and Martha Ann, two girls – one black and one white – growing up in Birmingham, Ala., during the time of the civil rights movement. The book follows the girls’ family dynamics and life struggles as they’re shaped by … [Read more...]

Books by Faculty

Social Skills Deficits in Students With Disabilities: Successful Strategies From the Disabilities Field By UMW Associate Professor of Education Helen Nicole Frye Myers This text targets anyone who works with children with disabilities, including parents, teachers, counselors, and psychologists. The book looks at the effects of the social challenges often faced by youngsters with special needs. Counselors and special educators along with a psychologist and an occupational therapist weigh in on how to support development of these important skills and share with readers the strategies that have worked for them. Rowman & Littlefield Education, February 2013     Environmental Issues: Looking Towards a Sustainable Future, Fourth Edition By UMW Professor Emeritus of Geology Robert L. McConnell and Coastal Carolina University Associate Professor of Marine Science Daniel C. Abel The authors of this fourth-edition text focus on using real-world environmental … [Read more...]