November 24, 2017

Suited for Success

UMW Alumni Make Forbes’ 30 Under 30

Finding Your Voice

Psychology major lands top auditory internship

Award-Winning Accolades

Presenting the top university awards of 2017.

The Sky’s the Limit

Meet the University of Mary Washington’s undergraduate Class of 2017: 1,035 graduates boasting five types of degrees in countless areas of study. With freshly-minted diplomas in hand, where will our world-ready graduates go?

UMW’s Office of Career and Professional Development asked just that in its 2017 Exit Survey, which addressed post-graduation plans for the class of 2017. Here’s what we learned from the 727 responses:

More than half of the class know the next stop on their journey.

When the survey was taken several months ago, 18% of graduates had enrolled in a graduate program and 38% of graduates were already employed. Beyond that, another 15% had committed to military careers or volunteer service.

While master’s degrees top the list for higher education, students are also pursuing Ph.Ds, and J.Ds.

Although almost 80% of those headed to graduate school intend to receive a master’s we also have potential future lawyers and perhaps even professors in the mix.

The majority of students headed for graduate school are pursuing a degree in education.

True to our institution’s founding as a teacher’s preparatory school, a full 48% of our students pursuing continuing education reported that they are seeking a degree in education.

Grad Survey



Cap-tivating Stories

As the Class of 2017 marched onto Ball Circle for the University of Mary Washington’s 106th commencement ceremony, so did a parade of brightly decorated and eye-catching caps. More than just glue and fabric, the colorful decorations told the stories of the 1,035 soon-to-be alumni.

Courtney Burrows '17 Courtney Burrows '17

For first-generation student Courtney Burrows, commencement was a significant moment – and her decorated cap provided the perfect way to share the meaning of the day. Topped with bright blue flowers, her cap boasts the words, “Nevertheless she persisted.”

“My mom is also in school while working full time and we’ve been through a lot together,” said the history major who will stay at UMW to finish her master’s in education next year. “This phrase is something that means a lot to both of us.”

Brittany Olenslager '17 Brittany Olenslager '17

Name: Brittany Olenslager
HometownCulpeper, Virginia
Major: Environmental Science, Natural Track
Post-graduation: Hoping to work with the Culpeper Soil and Water District as a field technician

True to her academic career, Brittany Olenslager reflected her passion for the environment and love of the sciences while looking to the future.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart – this is one of my favorite Confucius quotes. I wanted something inspiring that looked to the future. The main goal of environmental scientists is to help the environment so I reflected that too.”

Chris Markham '17 Chris Markham '17

Name: Chris Markham
Hometown: Fluvanna, Virginia
Major: Journalism
Post-graduation: Pursuing a career in journalism

For journalism major and athlete Chris Markham, his cap was a way to look back on each area of his life at Mary Washington – writing for the Blue & Gray Press student newspaper, running track & field and running on the cross country team.

“My cap has my last race numbers for both track and cross country,” said Markham. “And it has the last story I wrote for the Blue & Gray Press.”

Megan Joslin '17 Megan Joslin '17 Megan Joslin '17

Name: Megan Joslin 
Hometown: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Major: History with a minor in education
Post-graduation: Pursuing a master’s degree in education at UMW

History major Megan Joslin took a quote from author Shel Silverstein to reflect a hope that she has for all students and added a shout-out to her mom and dad.

“The quote speaks to the hope that you can do anything if you try,” said Joslin. “My parents have been especially supportive so I added a thank you message to the bow.”

Ultimate Frisbee cap Robby Pratt '17 (left) and Zachary Norrbom '17 (right) Robby Pratt '17 (left) and Zachary Norrbom '17 (right)

Name: Zachary Norrbom
Hometown: Arlington, Virginia
Major: Studio art with a minor in education
Post-graduation: Pursuing a master’s degree in education at UMW

Ultimate Frisbee captain Zachary Norrbom teamed up with co-captain Robby Pratt to recognize the team that has made all the difference to their time at Mary Washington.

“Ultimate Frisbee is the best nonofficial sport there is,” said Norrbom. “Under the Frisbee, I have my number and “MOG” for “Mother of George,” the name of our team. I’ve been captain for two years now and will be returning next year as captain so this team means a lot to me.”

And under the regalia? The duo couldn’t help but sport their ‘lucky onesies.’

“We won a pumpkin carving contest our sophomore year and used the money to buy these onesies,” said Norrbom. “Then we wore them in our next Ultimate Frisbee game and won and they’ve been lucky ever since.”

What’s the story behind your cap? Share on social with #UMW17.

Making (Brain) Waves

UMW peaks the charts in contemplative studies

The New Guy

Introducing a first-year experience like no other.

The New Guy

Introducing a first-year experience like no other.

Peace Corps Props

Rated second among small institutions for volunteers, where will UMW take you?

Beyond the Catalog

Experience UMW for yourself. Join us for an Open House, April 14.