Fredericksburg Stars Sparkle

Dancing With the Fredericksburg Stars returns to Dodd Auditorium at 7 p.m. Oct. 11. Proceeds will help endow the UMW Performing Arts in the Community Scholarship. Stars will dance with local professionals (pictured at right). Performers include dentist and UMW BOV member Theresa Crawley; Hope House Executive Director Lisa Crittenden; Rappahannock United Way President Janel Donohue; John Fick, president and CEO of J.F. Fick Inc.; Davenport & Co. Senior Vice President of Investments Regis Keddie II; Rose Hurley, wife of the UMW president; John Moss Jr., attorney for Rinehart, Butler, Hodge, Moss & Bryant; community volunteer and arts patron Florence Ridderhof; John Wack, Eastern Sports Management president and Fredericksburg Field House owner; and Joe Wilson, PermaTreat Pest Control owner and former BOV member. Learn more at or by calling 540/654-1065. … [Read more...]

Debaters Win Big at Nationals

UMW Debate brought home a national championship this spring, thanks to the persuasive powers of Colin McElhinny ’14 and Thomas Pacheco ’14. The team competed March 16 at the American Debate Association National Championship, held at Liberty University in Lynchburg. McElhinny and Pacheco were seeded second going into the final round, having beaten teams from Liberty, George Mason University, the University of Houston, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Minnesota. The final round was a rematch with Wake Forest University, the only team to defeat UMW in preliminaries. This time, the UMW debaters won a unanimous decision. Pacheco also won the Julia Burke Award for Character and Excellence in American Debate Association Policy Debate. It was the second national championship title for UMW Debate, which also won in 2009. … [Read more...]

Enrollment Strategist Is on the Job

Mary Washington welcomed a new associate provost for enrollment management in May. Kimberley Buster-Williams came to UMW from Northern Illinois University, where she was acting associate vice president for enrollment management. She has been director of admissions at the University of Michigan-Flint and worked in admissions at Old Dominion University and Johnson & Wales University. At UM-Flint, Buster- Williams oversaw a 33 percent student enrollment increase, encompassing freshman, transfer, graduate, international, returning, and high-achieving students, and veterans. Buster-Williams, a Richmond native, earned a master’s degree in education administration and an education specialist degree in higher education, both from ODU. At UMW, she will be responsible for admissions, financial aid, and the registrar’s office. She’ll also chair the Enrollment Management and Retention Committee. … [Read more...]

Alumni: Takes One to Know ’Em

Cynthia “Cindy” Lee Snyder ’75, who worked closely with Mary Washington alumni for nearly 25 years, retired in late June. In University Advancement since 1990, Snyder kept track of Mary Washington’s nearly 40,000 graduates. Along the way, she developed a deep appreciation and understanding of the UMW alumni community. Snyder’s impeccable memory, grasp of details, and caring attitude allowed her to greet generations of alumni by name at university events and recount stories of their lives and careers. Just mention a Mary Washington grad and Snyder can rattle off the particulars: hometown, profession, marital status, and more. UMW’s first director of national alumni engagement, Snyder had worked since 2011 to develop and engage alumni networks across the country, including areas such as New York, New England, Atlanta, California, and Florida. She was director of alumni relations from 1990 to 2011. A French major, Snyder formed tight-knit relationships with roommates at … [Read more...]

Talking the Walk

By definition, teachers are leaders. They “take people to a place where they couldn’t have gone without them,” Martha G. Abbott ’72 told a crowd at UMW’s Stafford campus in April. The university’s fourth educator-in-residence, Abbott is executive director of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. She gave graduates advice on impacting students’ lives and how to find success in a teaching career. “You need to have the fundamental attitude that all kids can learn,” Abbott said. “They have to feel that you think that they can learn.” Before entering the nonprofit sector, Abbott spent three decades with Fairfax County Public Schools. She majored in Spanish and minored in Latin at Mary Washington and earned a master’s degree in Spanish linguistics from Georgetown University. A 2004 UMW Distinguished Alumnus, Abbott also has been president of the Foreign Language Association of Virginia and chaired the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. … [Read more...]

Arab Culture Rocks

Students celebrated the rich heritage of a diverse group of people from more than 20 countries at Mary Washington’s Arab Culture Night. The March event, attended by UMW staff, faculty, and friends, featured entertainment, food, poetry, and a fashion show with traditional and modern styles. The event also included a display of cultural objects and shared facts and trivia from countries in the Middle and Near East.   … [Read more...]

Way to Go, Admissions Pro!

Jenifer L. Blair ’82, a former dean of undergraduate admissions at UMW, recently received the highest honor presented to a member of the Potomac & Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC). She received PCACAC’s Richard L. Apperson Award, given to a member whose career embodies the ideals of the association – providing extraordinary service to students, to the organization, and to the college counseling profession. The award was presented April 28 at the organization’s spring conference in Richmond. Blair earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Mary Washington and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Virginia. She is vice president for enrollment services at Richard Bland College of William & Mary in Petersburg, and she serves on the Executive Committee of the UMW Alumni Association Board of Directors as the vice president of Reunion Weekend. … [Read more...]

A Vibrant Spring

The 24th annual Multicultural Fair brought a rainbow of sights, sounds, and tastes to campus this April. One of UMW’s most popular events, the fair showcases cultures and traditions from around the world and draws thousands of people to campus each spring. This year’s fair offered performances by more than 30 music and dance groups, representing Ireland, Jamaica, and many other nations. A dozen UMW student groups, including BellACapella, Eagle Bhangra, and the UMW Salsa Club, also participated. Fifty vendors offered ethnic clothing, jewelry, pottery, instruments, and other wares, and food trucks served American and international cuisine. The James Farmer Multicultural Center sponsors the fair to involve the greater Fredericksburg community and to illustrate UMW’s commitment to enhancing cultural awareness. … [Read more...]

Runners Go the Extra Mile

Staff Sgt. Mitchell Brown encourages runners in the seventh annual Marine Corps Historic Half, which took place May 18 on the streets of Fredericksburg. More than 6,000 participants ran past UMW, a sponsor of the event. University volunteers showed up near sunrise to aid runners.Staff Sgt. Mitchell Brown encourages runners in the seventh annual Marine Corps Historic Half, which took place May 18 on the streets of Fredericksburg. More than 6,000 participants ran past UMW, a sponsor of the event. University volunteers showed up near sunrise to aid runners. … [Read more...]

Good Vibrations

Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman performed with the UMW Philharmonic Orchestra in March. The sold-out show, part of the William M. Anderson Celebrity Series, packed Dodd Auditorium. The annual series, now beginning its 12th season, has featured such talent as Broadway maestro Marvin Hamlisch, folk singer Judy Collins, country music legend Kenny Rogers, and renowned flutist Sir James Galway. … [Read more...]