September 23, 2014

UMW Hosts 41st Family Weekend

More than 1,500 friends and family of current students visited the University of Mary Washington Sept. 19-21 for Family Weekend 2014. Family Weekend, now in its 41st year, welcomes the families of students to UMW to showcase campus life, academics and the Fredericksburg community.

Family Day  -v2“The parents and families of our students are truly a part of our extended Eagle family,” said Doug Searcy, vice president for student affairs. “We love having the chance to invite them to campus and show them what life at Mary Washington is all about.”

The weekend featured more than 25 events including an education abroad fair, a student club showcase, a family cookout and a tour of Brompton, the home of UMW President Richard V. Hurley. The faculty and deans participated in open houses, hosted lectures and greeted families at a breakfast and reception on Saturday morning.

UMW also partnered with the Fredericksburg Visitor’s Center for the second annual Bingo in the ‘Burg program, which invited families to tour historic downtown Fredericksburg with bingo cards featuring the names of businesses. More than 30 participating businesses gave out stickers that corresponded to the spaces on the bingo cards, and winners were eligible to receive prizes, including a free semester of textbooks worth up to $600.

The next Family Weekend will take place September 18-20, 2015.

UMW Dedicates Technology Convergence Center

The University of Mary Washington formally dedicated its Information and Technology Convergence Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 18.

New ITCCThe four-story center, adjacent to Simpson Library and straddling Campus Walk, opened to students in August. The 77,000 square-foot structure features open, flexible classrooms and collaboration spaces, communal furniture and multiple student work centers.

“Yes, it is a technology-enabled building that supports our digital spaces, but it does so to further enhance personal connections,” said Jeffrey W. McClurken, special assistant to the provost for technology, teaching, and innovation. “These form the center of knowledge creation and are at the core of the deeply collaborative experience of learning.”

“It is also a manifestation of UMW’s leadership in the field of digitally enabled creativity,” added McClurken, who oversees the Convergence Center.

Information and Technology Convergence Center

The center features a digital auditorium, a digital gallery, a data center, audio/video production spaces and the new Digital Knowledge Center. Also, the university’s Speaking and Writing centers, the Division of Information and Technologies, and the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies have relocated to the building.

Calling the building a “game changer,” Board of Visitors Rector Holly T. Cuellar said she’s delighted to see the Convergence Center full of students and buzzing with activity.

“Not only will this space enhance the experience of UMW students, it will grab the attention of prospective students in unprecedented ways,” Cuellar said.  “With access to technological innovations like the ones offered in this building, our students will be well-prepared for any type of career and will become skilled, adaptable producers and consumers of digital resources.”

The $40 million building is designed for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification requirements, meaning the building meets stringent requirements for green design, construction and operations.



UMW To Host 1st Congressional District Debate

The University of Mary Washington will host the 1st Congressional District Debate on Monday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium.

Rob Wittman

Rob Wittman

The debate will present Republican Rep. Rob Wittman, who has held the seat since 2007, and Democratic challenger Norm Mosher. The 1st District includes more than 15 counties and includes parts of Stafford, Spotsylvania, and the city of Fredericksburg. The event is free and open to the public.

Wittman, a resident of Montross, co-chairs the House Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus and serves on the House Natural Resources Committee. Prior to his election to Congress, he served in the House of Delegates for the Northern Neck.

A former captain of the U.S. Navy, Mosher is a resident of Irvington. He served on the Irvington Town Council and as chair of the Lancaster County Democratic Committee.

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies, will moderate the program. Panelists will be Chelyen Davis, assistant editorial page editor at The Free Lance-Star, and Ted Schubel, news director for B101.5 and WFVA’s News Talk 1230.

Norm Mosher

Norm Mosher

The debate is co-sponsored by the Fredericksburg Area Chamber of Commerce; The Free Lance-Star; UMW’s Young Democrats; UMW’s College Republicans; The Blue and Gray Press; and the university’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

For more information about the debate, contact Stephen Farnsworth at Additional information on each candidate can be found on their respective websites: and

UMW to Host Lecture in Observation of Constitution Day

The University of Mary Washington will commemorate Constitution Day, Wed., Sept. 17, with a public lecture by Doug Smith, executive director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier.

Washington DCThe lecture, “Does Our Constitution Still Work?,” will be held on Tues., Sept. 16 at 5 p.m. in the Underground in Lee Hall.  Smith will speak about current support and criticism of the U. S. Constitution among citizens and lead an interactive conversation about citizen engagement.

In addition, the University will erect chalkboards on Campus Walk between Lee Hall and Trinkle Hall to elicit student reflection on the contemporary significance of the Constitution.  The chalkboards will have two prompts asking members of the university community to reflect in writing on the ways in which the Constitution impacts their lives and what they think about the Constitution that ought to be amended.

Constitution Day, sometimes referred to as Citizenship Day, commemorates the September 17, 1787, signing of the Constitution by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. The national observance of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution originates from legislation adopted by Congress in 2004 that requires all publicly funded educational institutions to provide educational programming related to the Constitution on that day.

UMW’s Constitution Day programming is a joint effort of the Center for Honor, Leadership and Service, the Department of Art and Art History and the Office of the Provost. For more information, please contact the Center for Honor, Leadership, and Service at (540) 654-1364.

Washington Monthly Rates UMW Among Nation’s Top Schools

Washington Monthly magazine has ranked the University of Mary Washington 25th among master’s universities in the nation in its 2014 College Guide and Rankings.

relay for life 02The university was listed among 671 other schools across the nation and was one of only two Virginia institutions to make the top 25.

The Washington Monthly rates schools based on their contribution to the public good. The criteria includes social mobility that encompasses recruiting and graduating low-income students; research that produces cutting-edge scholarships and Ph.D.s; and service that encourages students to give back to their country.

“Unlike U.S. News and World Report and similar guides, this one asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country,” wrote editors of the Washington Monthly college guide. “Are they educating low-income students, or just catering to the affluent? Are they improving the quality of their teaching, or ducking accountability for it? Are they trying to become more productive—and if so, why is average tuition rising faster than health care costs? Every year we lavish billions of tax dollars and other public benefits on institutions of higher learning. This guide asks: Are we getting the most for our money?”

The University of Mary Washington’s academic reputation has garnered national recognition in numerous selective guidebooks including U.S. News and World Report, Forbes, the Fiske Guide to Colleges and the Princeton Review’s 2015 edition of “The Best 379 Colleges.”

UMW Honors 9/11 Victims

The University of Mary Washington’s Association of Student Veterans paid tribute to the lives lost in the September 11th attacks on Thursday, Sept. 11. The event began at 8 a.m. in front of George Washington Hall with the raising of the American flag and a bugler tribute. A moment of silence was observed throughout campus at 8:46 a.m.

911 commemoration_flagThe Association of Student Veterans extended the opportunity for all members of the UMW community to join in a moment of reflection and remembrance on this 13th anniversary of the attacks on our nation.

Organizer Golda Eldridge, who is director of leadership at UMW, said the ceremony provides a chance to “come together and celebrate America’s strength and resilience in the face of this ongoing threat.”

“We can remember the lost and recognize the opportunity our nation has to preserve and protect freedom around the world,” said Eldridge.

Contact Eldridge at (540) 654-1665 or for more information.

U.S. News Ranks UMW Among Top Five Public Universities in the South

U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Mary Washington’s undergraduate program fifth among public southern universities in the “Top Public Regional Universities – South” category in its 2015 edition of America’s Best Colleges. The university has been ranked in the top 20 among southern universities for eight consecutive years and currently stands 13th among all southern universities in the same category.

geology 4The listing was announced Sept. 9 in the magazine’s online edition. U.S. News & World Report bases its rankings on peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. For the full list, visit

In addition, Virginia Living magazine’s State of Education issue for September cited the University of Mary Washington among its list of Old Dominion’s featured high schools and colleges for 2014. The university was noted for science, math and technology due to its new master’s degree program in geospatial analysis.

In recent years, the university has seen its academic reputation garner national recognition in numerous selective guidebooks, including Forbes, the Fiske Guide to Colleges and the Princeton Review’s 2015 edition of “The Best 379 Colleges.”

UMW Celebrates Eagle Nation Day, Sept. 6

The University of Mary Washington will hold its second annual Eagle Nation Day on Saturday, Sept. 6.

The daylong event begins at 10 a.m. at the Battleground Athletic Complex off Hanover Street and features a host of activities, including an interactive exhibit by the Children’s Museum, water balloon games, moon bounces, horse and pony rides and a screening of the children’s movie “Brave.” The day ends with UMW Women’s Soccer and Field Hockey NCAA Competitions.

The event is co-sponsored by Fredericksburg Field House, B101.5, Paragon Village and Splitsville, Children’s Museum of Richmond-Fredericksburg, and SweetFrog. For more information call (540)654-1153.

autographs Bee darrell-green-with-kids horse-rides obstacle-course slide

Galleries Showcasing Two Exhibits

The University of Mary Washington Galleries is hosting its inaugural Melchers Gray Purchase Award Showcase, the first time the collection has been shown together since the founding of the Purchase Award in 1995. The exhibit is one of two shows that opened Thursday, September 4, at UMW Galleries, including The [Visual] Poetry of Logical Ideas” at the Ridderhof Martin Gallery.

Click to view slideshow.

The exhibitions will run through Sunday, Oct. 5. Admission is free and open to the public.

The Purchase Award Showcase features the work of students who have won the Melchers Gray Award, a recognition presented to one student each year during the Annual Student Art Exhibition. The award-winning work becomes part of the university’s permanent collection. This exhibition will feature more than 20 works including sculptures, painting, prints, photographs, mixed media and digital media pieces.

“The [Visual] Poetry of Logical Ideas”explores the relationship between rationality and beauty- between the perfection of a conceptual form and the visual pleasure it manifests. This gallery also will exhibit the “Arthur Hash: Wearable Objects.” Hash’s recent works utilize digital fabrication technologies, such as 3-D printing, which will be on display.

Ridderhof Martin and duPont galleries are located on the Fredericksburg Campus near the intersection of College Avenue and Thornton Street. They are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (540) 654-1013 or visit

The Sisterhood of Success Leads UMW’s Leadership Colloquium

Kathy Korman Frey, an award-winning entrepreneur and founder of the Hot Mommas Project –the world’s largest collection of women’s case studies, will give the keynote lecture “The Sisterhood of Success” at the annual Leadership Colloquium at the University of Mary Washington. The conference, centered on the theme, “real women, real issues, real solutions,” will take place at UMW’s Stafford campus from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 6.

Kathy Korman Frey

Kathy Korman Frey

Frey, a former Harvard graduate student, established the Hot Mommas concept when she designed a firm comprised of highly skilled consultants who specialized in planning bootcamps with a 94 percent success rate. The project gained momentum through student interest during her time at George Washington University, and Frey decided to write her first case study. The Hot Mommas Project is the recipient of a Coleman Foundation Case Award, and Frey currently serves on the board of United Women in Business and The Closet.

The colloquium also will feature a panel discussion on mentoring, a Metzger Award presentation and networking opportunities.

The registration fee, $179 for registrants before October 1, $199 from October 1-31, and $219 from November 1-6, includes breakfast, a buffet luncheon, afternoon tea, and all sessions, forums and materials. For more information or to register, visit