The University of Mary Washington has established the Center for Economic Research in partnership with the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance and the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce.
A local source for regional economic analysis and expertise, the center was strategically created as a part of UMW’s Department of Economics to capitalize on access to highly regarded faculty and opportunities for student engagement. Through internships and employment opportunities, the center will provide hands-on learning opportunities for students to assist the center’s faculty in the research and preparation of reports on the regional economy.
“The center will produce reports generated by faculty experts who actually live and work in the region,” said UMW President Richard Hurley. “This allows for a better understanding of the nuances of the data collected and thereby enhances the validity and usefulness of the information.”
Tim Schilling will lead the center as the newly appointed director. Previously an adjunct professor of economics at UMW, Schilling has taught economics at a number of educational institutions. He also has served as the associate director for programs at the Powell Center for Economic Literacy in Richmond and as director of economic literacy programs at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for 16 years. Schilling has a master’s degree in economic history from Central Michigan University in history.
The center will appoint an advisory board to assist in prioritizing the region’s needs for research and reports. The board will be comprised of UMW faculty in addition to representatives from the Alliance and the Chamber.
“This type of collaboration demonstrates that we are serious about our region’s competitiveness,” said Curry Roberts, president of the Alliance. “As Virginia’s rapidly emerging fourth metropolitan area in the Urban Crescent, the Fredericksburg region faces stiff competition for economic development projects. UMW is a phenomenal asset for our area and can clearly assist us with timely, accurate and unbiased information we critically need.”
During its first year, the economic research center plans to complete a study on the nearly 70,000 commuters who live in the Fredericksburg region in order to better inform regional business decisions. The center also will establish the framework for the completion of semi-annual regional economic reports, with the first report expected to be disseminated in the spring of 2016.
“It is imperative that we gain a better understanding of our current population’s job trends and capabilities so we can create even better local employment opportunities, said Susan Spears, Chamber president and CEO. She noted that the region has grown more than 400 percent since 1970 and is projected to nearly double again by 2040. “More than 40 percent of our workforce leaves the region daily, she said. “The time is right for this partnership. Together, we will strengthen our business base and add to our community’s overall quality of life.”
The establishment of the center within the College of Arts and Sciences is made possible through major gifts from the Alliance and the Chamber with support from UMW. The college is one of seven priorities of the $50-million Mary Washington First Campaign which is expected to conclude June 30, 2016. For more information on ways to support the sustainability of the center, go to marywashingtonfirst.umw.edu or call 540-654-1024.
For more information about the center, contact Tim Schilling at (540) 654-1515 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In response to overwhelming and unprecedented demand, the University of Mary Washington Department of Theatre & Dance is bringing “Always…Patsy Cline” by Ted Swindley back to Klein Theatre. Performances will be July 9-12, July 16-19, and July 23-26 at 7:30 p.m., and July 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $40 for standard admission, $35 for students, senior citizens, UMW alumni, and the military and $25 for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are on sale at umw.tix.com.
“Never in the history of our program have we experienced such a demand for tickets,” said Director Gregg Stull, chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance and the Department of Music. “We are thrilled to be able to offer this thrilling production to the greater Fredericksburg community this summer.”
UMW’s original production ran in Klein Theatre for three sold-out weeks in February.
“Always…Patsy Cline” is based on the true story of Louise Seger, a fan of Patsy Cline, who gets the chance to meet Cline when she comes to her hometown for a show. Louise and Patsy become fast friends, bonding after the show over the troubles of life. Their friendship grew through a series of letters and phone calls that continued until Cline’s untimely death. The musical features many of Patsy Cline’s hits, including “Crazy,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” and “I Fall to Pieces.”
Virginia Patterson Hensley, known as Patsy Cline, was a country singer from Winchester, Va., who crossed over in the 1960’s from country and western into the pop-music charts. She died at the age of 30 in a plane crash in 1963. Ten years later, Cline became the first female solo artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Her plaque in the Hall of Fame reads: “Her heritage of timeless recordings is testimony to her artistic capacity.”
“Always…Patsy Cline” features two local students in the roles of Patsy Cline and her friend and fan, Louise Seger. Senior theatre major Taryn Snyder, who grew up in Fredericksburg before moving to Rochester, N.Y., to attend high school, plays the role of Patsy. Fellow senior theatre major Emily Burke, who graduated from James Monroe High School, plays Louise. Burke is the recipient of the Susan Mulholland Breedin ’86 Scholarship and Snyder received the Debby C. Klein Scholarship for 2013-14. Both students are members of Alpha Psi Omega, the national collegiate theatre honorary fraternity.
“Always…Patsy Cline” is directed by Stull, with musical direction by Christopher Wingert. Scenic design is by associate professor Julie Hodge and costume design is by associate professor Kevin McCluskey. Lighting and sound designs are by guest artists Catherine Girardi and Anthony Angelini. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit umw.tix.com.