Notable and Quotable

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...]

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Sally Abbott Pomputius ’62

Even before opening her Springfield, Ohio, practice in 1967, family physician Sally Abbott Pomputius ’62 took pride in caring for people − especially the disadvantaged. For her contributions to her profession and community, Pomputius received the UMW Distinguished Alumnus Award. Alumni awards were presented during Reunion Weekend. The 1993 Ohio Family Physician of the Year has delivered babies for unwed mothers, visited battered children, and treated nursing home patients. She was the only woman in her 1966 graduating class at the Medical College of Virginia, where she helped integrate the cafeteria. She worked with African-American women during childbirth, providing anesthesia that was not normally allowed to them. She earned a chemistry degree at Mary Washington in just three years. Pomputius is Clark County Medical Society president and Springfield Manor medical director, as well as a National Board of Medical Examiners diplomat and American Academy of Family Physicians … [Read more...]

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

Meara Henley Peterson ’05

Teenage pregnancy can be a touchy subject, but that doesn’t stop Meara Henley Peterson ’05 from talking – and doing something – about it. A pediatric nurse practitioner at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Peterson provides care, especially reproductive care, for adolescents, ages 12 to 22. Focused on fighting teenage issues like unplanned pregnancy and dating violence, Peterson delivers care and compassion – important qualities to teens in peril – when she treats patients from Milwaukee Public Schools, the Milwaukee Juvenile Detention Center, and the Downtown Health Center. She recently pushed to establish a school-based clinic that now provides health care services to sixth- through 12th-graders at the Alliance School of Milwaukee. For her hard work and dedication to providing medical care to adolescents, Peterson received UMW’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, reserved for recent graduates who have distinguished themselves in a profession or contributed … [Read more...]

Frances Liebenow Armstrong ’36 Service Award

Monecia Helton Taylor ’81

For Monecia Helton Taylor ’81, more than three decades of separation from life as a Mary Washington student have only strengthened the connection she has with her alma mater. Taylor is a member of the University Foundation Board. A former director of development at UMW, she served several years as a member of the UMW Alumni Association Board of Directors, holding a longtime spot on its executive committee and serving from 2004 to 2006 as president. For her enduring commitment to promoting Mary Washington, Taylor received the Frances Liebenow Armstrong ’36 Service Award, which recognizes alumni for the longevity, consistency, and breadth of contributions. Alumni awards were presented during Reunion Weekend. Taylor has given to Mary Washington’s celebrated Great Lives series. She has been a friend of the UMW-administered James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library and Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont and a member of the boards of the UMW Philharmonic Orchestra and the UMW … [Read more...]

Fighting for Rights

Aaron Samsel ’07 describes himself as a fighter for social justice. A first-year student at CUNY School of Law, he is putting that commitment to work this summer at CASA de Maryland, which advocates for the rights of immigrant workers in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., area. Samsel received a 10-week stipend from the Peggy Browning Fund to support his summer work. More than 500 students from 139 law schools applied for Browning Fellowships this year; about 70 were awarded. The fellowship is named in memory of Margaret A. Browning, a union-side attorney who was a member of the National Labor Relations Board from 1994 to 1997. Browning Fellows work in public-interest labor law positions nationwide. “I am looking forward to the challenges, responsibilities, and privileges that come with such an honor, and I know that this will propel me toward my future as a movement lawyer,” Samsel said in a Browning Fund press release. Since his UMW years, Samsel has completed social … [Read more...]

W&L Honors Judge White

Pamela J. White ’74, rector of the Board of Visitors, received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Washington and Lee University this spring. Since 2007, White has been a judge for the circuit court of Maryland for Baltimore City. White practiced law in Baltimore for three decades, handling cases involving discrimination, harassment, benefit disputes, wrongful discharges, and equal-pay violations. She was the first woman to be named a partner at Ober/Kaler, Grimes & Shriver. A UMW Distinguished Alumnus, White has been president of the Maryland State Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association. A supporter of legal services for the poor, she has done extensive pro bono work. In 2007, White was selected as a Maryland Super Lawyer, an honor that involves recognition of extraordinary professional powers and “the ability to leap tall courthouses in a single bound.” White earned her law degree at Washington and Lee University’s School of Law. In addition to leading the … [Read more...]

Chicago Teacher Earns Golden Apple

Katherine Dube ’97 was selected in May as one of the top high school teachers in the Chicago area. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn visited Dube’s school, TEAM Englewood Community Academy, to congratulate her for being among 10 recipients of the 2013 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award carries a cash prize and a tuition-free sabbatical to study for a quarter at Northwestern University. Dube, who majored in English at Mary Washington and earned a master’s degree from the University of New Hampshire, teaches high school freshmen who read at the fourth-grade to ninth-grade level. She makes her expectations for them clear right away: They’re going to college. Last year, her students achieved the highest reading gains for their grade level among 17 high schools, according to a Golden Apple press release. “Katherine believes that learning requires risk-taking, respect, and trust in the teachers and school,” the release said. She “is a dedicated and caring teacher who … [Read more...]