May 30 to June 1

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Ready for the World

University celebrates the Class of 2014 Top Honors The University of Mary Washington presented its top honors during commencement ceremonies Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10. … [Read more...]

Link to Our Future

Mary Washington First campaign is set for success

THIS IS YOUR PLACE. It’s where you made friends, challenged your intellect, and learned to be an adult – able to make your own way and contribute to the world. You’ve moved on now, but you’re still a part of this university, as important a part as Campus Walk, Ball Circle, and the bell tower. Mary Washington First is a five-year, $50 million fundraising campaign. Launched quietly in 2011, the effort just entered its public phase, with $30 million raised. The summer 2014 edition of University of Mary Washington Magazine features photos, stories, and commentary about the Mary Washington First campaign, a vital link in ensuring that this university, your university, expands its mission for generations to come. … [Read more...]

View From the Top

A Q&A with the President

Recently, Anna Barron Billingsley, associate vice president for University Relations, sat down with President Richard V. Hurley to talk about his plans for the University of Mary Washington. What follows are highlights of their conversation. How does the Mary Washington First campaign fulfill your vision for the university? I want the University of Mary Washington to be one of the nation’s premier public liberal arts and sciences universities. Private funds are key to having that dream become a reality. A campaign like Mary Washington First not only attracts new donors, but it also engages ongoing supporters and excites them about the university’s future. What will this campaign do for UMW? Money raised through Mary Washington First will allow us to do things this institution otherwise couldn’t do – offer more scholarships, endow more professorships, and enhance research and internship opportunities. All of these assist us in attracting the best and brightest students and … [Read more...]

Courting Excellence

Three professors and a student pursue academic passions

Emily Ferguson ’17 could have gone Ivy League. Instead, the high school valedictorian and future physician chose Mary Washington, lured by the James D. and Irene Piscopo Rodgers ’59 Alvey Scholarship, a full four-year comprehensive award. Private gifts like Rodgers’, which support the academic pursuits of UMW’s faculty and students, are crucial to bringing the best and brightest to campus. Premier colleges and universities embrace the time-honored tradition of establishing endowed scholarships and endowed distinguished chairs and professorships. The Shirley Van Epps Waple ’52 Professorships, for example, offer faculty members enhanced financial support for two years for research in their disciplines. These eight endowed awards enable UMW to attract, retain, and acknowledge outstanding faculty who are distinguished in their fields. A psychology major at Mary Washington, Waple, who died in 2010, became a credit counselor. She co-founded the Professional Adjustment Bureau of … [Read more...]

Learning to Change Lives

Laura Dick ’13 left high school with the credentials of a scholar and her choice of colleges. She was looking to study international development, maybe at Swarthmore or Haverford College. Then the St. Louis native heard of Mary Washington and its Alvey Scholarship for out-of-state students. Its full tuition, fees, room, and board turned her head. "It wasn’t just about awareness – it was about engaging with the world." – Laura Dick Dick visited campus and met Christine Exley ’09, who was also passionate about development. Exley was a Washington Scholar, the in-state equivalent of an Alvey. She had studied with Shawn Humphrey, associate professor of economics, and was about to graduate in math and economics. While Exley was an undergrad, she and Humphrey had started La Ceiba microfinance institution and the $2 Challenge. Exley showed Dick around the economics department and introduced her to the faculty. “She really loved the school,” Dick said of Exley, who now is finishing a Ph.D. … [Read more...]

Honoring the Ordinary

Though they lived more than two centuries ago, the people Allyson Poska calls “my peasants” experienced day-to-day drama that rivals any TV reality show. The UMW professor of history spins juicy tales of intemperance, extramarital liaisons, and murders, naming names and making connections. The Shirley Van Epps Waple Professor has made their business her business: enriching the historical record. “I study ordinary people,” Poska said of her career and of her latest research on the lives of Spanish peasant women who were brought to colonize the Argentine region of Patagonia in the 1780s. “In my profession, that’s really different.” Poska has spent hundreds of hours in archives in South America and Spain, poring over manuscripts in early modern Spanish. Deciphering letters, court papers, and other documents, the UMW Waple professor mines the intimate details of lives uprooted by the Spanish government to populate an area coveted by England. The resulting book, the working title of … [Read more...]

Teaching to Learn

Assistant Professor of Accounting Dave Henderson ’95 wants his students to learn about accounting practices and information systems. But the Shirley Van Epps Waple Professor seeks to impart a more profound lesson, one that will see the undergraduates through every facet of their lives. He helps them learn to keep learning. That’s a skill Henderson believes UMW is uniquely poised to impart. He’s his own case study. As a Mary Washington undergraduate, Henderson envisioned using his economics and business double major to ascend the ranks of the corporate world. But his liberal arts classes challenged him to learn in unexpected ways – to figure out how to identify a location by one photograph, for example, or to recognize a composer by just a few bars of music. That ability to learn from seemingly unconnected sources helped Henderson shape a career in financial analysis, accounting, and information systems. Ultimately, it gave him the flexibility to trade corporate-world … [Read more...]

Planning for the Future

STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – gets a lot of love these days in educational circles, but Professor of Education George Meadows believes the “E” part of the acronym is due more attention. The Shirley Van Epps Waple Professor, who teaches future elementary through high school science teachers, knows that the Virginia Standards of Learning emphasize the traditional sciences of biology, chemistry, and physics. But change is inevitable, and he wants schools, teachers, and the students themselves to be ready. Traditional sciences have labs, Meadows said. “What does engineering have? It has a makerspace.” That is, a space where users collaborate to employ and improve 3D printers and their increasingly adept MakerBot offspring. As a Waple professor, Meadows has devoted time and money toward equipping Fredericksburg-area elementary schools with the fast-evolving technological tools. He’s built support among teachers, parents, and administrators, … [Read more...]

Eagle Fight Song Scores!

Mary Washington has a fight song, its first ever. After a campuswide lyrics competition, the winning Soar, Eagle Nation, Soar! was unveiled at Devil-Goat Day in April. Women’s soccer coach Corey Hewson, M.Ed. ’05 and business major and pep band member Ronald May ’16 wrote the lyrics. Paul Murtha, an arranger for the United States Army Band, was commissioned to compose the melody. Soar, Eagle Nation, Soar! Verse 1: Soar, Eagles, soar March on to victory. Represent the heights with Pride and loyalty. We wear the gray and blue, Our honor, pure and true. So fight on Mary Washington, Soar, Eagle Nation, soar! Refrain U. M. Double U! We rule the nest! (That’s right!) U. M. Double U! We are the best! (Go! Pride!) U. M. Double U! We rule the nest! (That’s right!) Go! Fight! Soar! Verse 2: Soar, Eagles, soar High above the heights. Score just one more time Fly on to victory! Our gray and eagle blue Is mighty to the core! So fight on Mary Washington Soar, … [Read more...]