Making Waves

Sherry Farrington Green ’60 was strolling along a beach in Thailand in December 2004 when she turned to chat with someone over her shoulder. That’s when she saw the tsunami. “It’s not a wave. It’s a wall of water. You don’t even hear it. We started to run and I said, ‘We have to get up a tree,’ ” recalled Green, who was “hanging on like a monkey” about 25 feet in the air when that wall of water hit the shore. “I never thought I could shinny up a tree, but it’s amazing what you can do when you have to.” The tsunami claimed the lives of more than 230,000 people and injured another 125,000. Green was supposed to fly home the next day, but despite her close call - the water surged up to her chest while she clung to that tree - she was in no hurry to leave town. Instead, she packed her suitcase and made for the nearest hospital, where she volunteered for four days. “It was the most amazing and powerful experience of my life,” said Green, who’d always wanted to be a … [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...]