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...]

Stepping Up to Lead

Wife-and-husband team gives its all to alma mater

As her late-morning class wrapped up for the day, Anne Marie Thompson Steen ’83 and her friends let their thoughts wander from political science to a more pressing topic: lunch. As usual, though, a classmate’s last-minute questions would keep them from Seacobeck. Anne found her future husband, the ever-inquisitive Daniel K. Steen ’84, “annoying” back then. But the 1981 student government elections would bring change to the undergrads, both political and personal. Working together – Anne, a junior, as vice president; Dan, a sophomore, as lobby chairman – they became friends. Three decades later, with the lessons they learned in college polished by lives and careers, the Steens are poised to push UMW even further. “I get excited about it,” Dan said of the Mary Washington First campaign, which the Steens are chairing. “Mary Washington made a tremendous difference in our lives and the lives of so many friends. Anne and I are passionate about what the university has to … [Read more...]

Especially Ours

Planned makeover will revive cherished amphitheater

It opened with a flourish, a sylvan setting for commencements, May Day celebrations, concerts, plays, and the rituals of campus life. But nature had its way with the Mary Washington amphitheater, chipping at its Greek-style columns and graceful character as a century slid by. Even in its darkest hour, with words like “decrepit,” “dilapidated,” and “dangerous” hurled its way, this refuge off Campus Walk drew visitors. The birches and oaks that enclose the amphitheater keep their secrets – of private thoughts, late-night trysts, promises spoken. Now a major makeover is planned for this iconic campus spot. Thanks to a $1 million gift from Robert S. and Alice Andrews Jepson ’64, and two other significant alumni donations, nearly half of the estimated $3 million cost of renovations has been raised. Architects, consulting with historic preservationists, plan restored and replaced elements, weather-resilient seating for 600 rising into spruced-up woods, and handicap accessibility. … [Read more...]