May 27, 2015

Golf Cart Driver Frank Powell Retires from UMW

frankpowell_facebook_may20Mary Washington students knew him affectionately as the “golf cart man,” the friendly gentleman who drove around campus in a golf cart greeting students while keeping the campus clean.

Frank Powell retired on Friday, May 15, after more than a decade on UMW’s grounds crew. According to Powell, when he first started in September of 2004, he was assigned to drive around campus in the golf cart to clean up the cigarette butts that littered campus walkways. The variety of trash collected expanded and changed over the years.

“Students always came up to me and thanked me,” said Powell. “They told me how much better I made the campus look.”

Although he is no longer present on campus, Powell says he will always remember his time at UMW. “All the grounds crew were so nice to me,” said Powell. And he certainly won’t forget the  students.

“I felt like I was one of them,” he said. Driving around campus and saying hello to students made Powell feel  not only younger but also proud. “I felt like I was doing something worthwhile, and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was just an awesome time.”

Warm congratulations, Frank, from a less tidy campus that is missing a faithful friend!

Gari Melchers Receives Trip Advisor Award

Gari Melchers Home & Studio today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. Certificate of Excellence winners include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience.

Print_Logo_COE2015_ENWhen selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period as well as business’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site.  To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at Gari Melchers Home & Studio and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said Director David Berreth “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognized by one’s customers. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our museum and our continued commitment to excellence.”

“TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional hospitality businesses that have received consistent praise and recognition by travelers on the site,” said Marc Charron President, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on businesses that are focused on delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive increasing hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”

Identity Theft Seminar, May 27

BB&T will be presenting a seminar on Identity Theft on Wednesday, May 27 in Lee Hall, Room 412 at 3 p.m.

Leadership UMW Graduates & Entering Class

leadership_umw_14-15Leadership UMW’s 2014-15 cohort completed the program’s inaugural year of classes, leadership assessments, and mentoring on May 4, 2015. They wrapped up the year with group project presentations and discussions with the President and Cabinet on recommendations for key university initiatives: coordinated university project management, support for new faculty and staff housing, the application of OrgSync in the academic departments and establishing supportive connections between the university’s undergraduate and graduate students.

President Hurley’s closing remarks summed it all up…“You just never know where your leadership skills will lead you”.

Congratulations to the graduating class of Leadership UMW 2015:

Elisabeth Burick
Lisa Chinn Marvashti
Greta Franklin
Edward Gray
David Henderson
Tessa Howard
Rose Maddox
Carolyn Parsons
Scott Powers
Jose Sainz
Anika Wilson

leadership_umw_mentors_14-15A special thank you to their mentors:

Kevin Bartram
Joni Wilson
Jonathan Levin
Rita Dunston
Kenneth Machande
Scott Jones
Ken Tyler
Doug Searcy
Rosemary Arneson
Mark Thaden
Deborah Hydorn

And a warm welcome to the new Leadership UMW Cohort 2015-16

Courtney Clayton
Matthew Troy
Deb Hovey Boutchyard
Leigh Penn
Rhonda Stills
Margot Jebb
Rachel Graefe-Anderson
Shannon Hauser
Gary Hobson
Marissa Miller
Deborah Zies
Mele Richardson
Catherine Seller
Donovan Garcia
Kelly Graham
Zachary Hatcher
Keith Mellinger

Learn more about the program at the Leadership UMW website. Leadership UMW 2014 was led by Dr. Lynne Richardson, Dr. Douglas Searcy, Dr. Mark Safferstone, Dr. Sabrina Johnson, and Dr. Golda Eldridge.

UMW Among Marine Corp Half Sponsors

Nearly 10,000 runners from 47 states and 10 countries recently made their way through the University of Mary Washington campus for the eighth annual 13.1-mile Historic Half, the Historic 10K or the Semper Fred 5K. University Relations, Advancement and Admissions staffers cheered the runners on and provided water at the Sunken Road water stop as they headed towards downtown Fredericksburg.

New Campaign Gifts

University Advancement announces Mary Washington First Campaign gifts and pledges:

  • A gift of $265,777 to endow a new student scholarship was received from the estate of an alumna of the Class of 1959.
  • A $9,886 grant was received from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund to enable UMW faculty to attend the 2015 Jessie Ball duPont Seminars.
  • More than $31,000 in gifts have come in to endow the Robert Ericson Environmental Research Fund.

The $50-million Mary Washington First Campaign began July 1, 2011, and went public April 26, 2014. As of May 15, 2015, Mary Washington alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff, and businesses have committed nearly $40 million in gifts and pledges. The Campaign is scheduled to conclude June 30, 2016. Visit or call 540/654-1024 for more information.

Admissions Phone-a-thon Volunteers Needed

The University of Mary Washington’s Office of Admissions will be hosting three Phone-a-thons this month (see dates below).

Thursday, May 14
Tuesday, May 19
Wednesday, May 20

Volunteers are needed to make follow-up calls to confirmed students reminding them of important next steps towards enrollment (i.e. First Year Questionnaire submissions, Housing and Dining Agreement submission, and Orientation registration). Training will begin at 5 p.m. each evening in the Admissions conference room in Lee Hall.  Telephone calls will begin at 5:30 p.m. and run until 7 p.m.  Refreshments will be provided.

For additional information and registration, contact Director of Admissions, Melissa Yakabouski at 540-654-2000 or

Virginia Public Service Week Winners

Winners of the Virginia Public Service Week drawings of $100 Macy’s gift cards:

Tuesday’s winner:  Michael Jackson
Wednesday’s  winner:  Erin Metcalf
Thursday’s  winner:  Cris Dargan
Friday’s winner: Summer Phillips


2015 UMW Award Winners

Charles Coleman Memorial Service Award
Charles Coleman was an employee of 29 years who demonstrated pride, dedication, and loyalty throughout his many years of service. This award was established in honor of his dedication and exemplary service.

The 2015 Coleman Award Winner is Cathy Byram, Office Manager
Cathy helps keeps the Department of English, Linguistics, & Communication running smoothly. This year, especially, Cathy took on extra and unusual projects to help the department until a new full-time Office Manager could be hired. She served on the hiring committee, reading applications and participating in the interviews with candidates.  During the period when the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication did not have an Office Manager, Cathy was a driving force in getting the office cleaned, reorganized, and in a welcoming condition for the new hire. All in ELC are indebted to Cathy for her excellent attention to details and being willing to help solve problems as they emerge.  Cathy’s Champion is Mary Rigsby.

Coleman Nominees

Timmy Wallace, HVAC Supervisor
Champion is Dan Quann
Timmy has shown great dedication and loyalty to the university, over the years by hard work and growing within his job and within his department.  Timmy has always had the can do attitude, he steps up and takes on anything asked of him.

Kathy Sandor, Bookstore Manager
Champion is Erma Baker
Kathy is proud to tout the store as UMW brand central for campus, and represent the retail arm of our UMW family business.  Kathy truly leads her team by example and always with the best interest of UMW in mind.


Richard V. and Rosemary A. Hurley Presidential Commendation
The intent of this award is to honor Mr. and Mrs. Hurley, who have consistently demonstrated a desire to recognize and reward outstanding service of University employees, and who have led by example in their work at Mary Washington.

The 2015 Hurley Award Winner is Martha Burtis, Alum and Director of the Digital Knowledge Center
Martha has gone above and beyond in helping improve course materials.  She took on a survey project that took over two years to complete. Throughout, she was proactive and incredibly inventive.  For instance, she developed a new WordPress Plugin. The project is so successful that it has now garnered national attention.  As the Director of the new DKC, Martha has also been a huge help to UMW students.  Students rave about their experiences with DKC tutors.  More importantly, their work is substantially improved.  In short, Martha’s work is a huge boon to faculty and students alike.

Martha has created DTLT’s new Digital Knowledge Center, which has been absolutely essential to the learning experiences of students.  Students are increasingly using digital technologies and new media, which require resources and a support system outside the classroom.  Martha is helping our students become digitally savvy; giving them the tools and resources they need for the future, whether graduate school or the job market.

Richard V. and Rosemary A. Hurley Presidential Commendation Nominees

Sallie Braxton
Assistant Dean for Advising
She loves this university and will do whatever she can to help students, faculty and staff to achieve our mission. We are blessed to have her in the College of Business AND at the University of Mary Washington.

Bethany Friesner
Associate Director of Residence Life for Staffing and Residential Education
Bethany is incredibly dedicated to helping students engage in learning experiences while living in University housing.  In the last couple of years she has created and developed the Living Learning Community program which led to a University-wide initiative connecting living on campus with active learning and faculty relationships

Zafeer Mobashar
Audio Visual Tech
Zafeer is steadfast in all his tasks; whether videotaping a message from one of UMW’s donors or setting up sound and lights for an event.   Zafeer always stay one step ahead of the weekly events.

Allyson Moerman
Associate Vice President for Finance and Controller
She is ALWAYS willing to take the time to explain a concept to her own employees, someone else’s employees, students, faculty, staff, etc., and she does it with incredible patience.  She listens to concerns from all areas and tries to make quick but sound decisions for UMW.

Joni Wilson
Director Landscape and Grounds
Joni goes above and beyond to not only create a beautiful, healthy campus environment, but to initiate, innovate, and continue efforts to improve the environment, make UMW more sustainable, and connect her department to faculty and students.

John Wiltenmuth
Associate V.P. for Facilities Services
If it is 3:00 AM and there is an emergency on campus, you will always find John onsite, working alongside his staff bailing water, mopping floors, overseeing an excavation or running a snow blower, relieving staff and sending them home or inside to rest while staying on the job himself.

2nd Annual UMW Athletics Gala, May 21

Guess who’s back!

NFL Hall-of-Famer Darrell Green returns to host the second annual UMW Athletics Gala presented by Sodexo Dining Services.

Ryan Kerrigan

Ryan Kerrigan

Spend a star-studded evening with Green, plus fellow Redskins heavyweights, running back Alfred Morris and linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. Bid on awesome auction items like autographed Redskins memorabilia, tickets to professional sporting events, vacation getaway packages, and more.

Snag a table near special guests Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw, University of Mary Washington President Richard V. Hurley, UMW Athletics Director Ken Tyler, and other VIPs.

The cocktail-attire event – with a social hour, dinner, live and silent auctions, raffles, and entertainment – showcases UMW’s athletics department and more than 450 student-athletes, who split their passion between the playing fields and giving back to the Fredericksburg area.

“Our teams do some amazing work in the community and constantly look for ways to make an impact in the lives of youth and children,” said Director of Athletic Development and Promotions Philip Pierce. “They represent UMW and this community every day, and they do it purely for the love of their sport and this campus.”

Last year’s lavish event, featuring Green, plus Redskins DeAngelo Hall netted more than $45,000. The funds go to strengthen recruitment, facilities, and support for UMW’s talented student-athletes, whose Division III status makes them ineligible for athletic scholarships.

Green, who became a UMW special assistant for student-athlete development and public relations in 2013, is one of the NFL’s greatest defensive backs, fastest players, and most pervasive record-setters. A father of four, he formed the faith-based charity Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation in 1988.

Alfred Morris

Alfred Morris

Despite being partially deaf, Kerrigan achieved a cumulative total of 38 career sacks by the end of the 2014 season, becoming the Redskins’ sixth all-time franchise sack leader. Morris, who has six brothers and still drives a ’91 Mazda, became the fourth running back in the Redskins’ franchise history to achieve at least three 1,000-yard seasons.

Three lucky $10 raffle winners will get to pose for a picture with the powerhouse trio and score a football autographed by them. New this year is a $25 “Stock your Cellar Raffle” which will see one lucky winner going home with a wonderful selection of 25 white and red bottles of wine.

Make your game plan now to be part of this “elegant evening for a meaningful mission,” and help the Eagles soar.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit, or contact Pierce at (540) 654-1153 or

#UMWSocial Annual Report

It’s a little more than just “hanging out on Facebook” all day. UMW’s social media team has been busy expanding the university’s reach on social media one tweet, post and photo at a time. We’ve learned that despite having carefully curated content, sometimes all it takes is a picture of a squirrel to break the internet and a post with Dean Rucker will break records any day. Here’s a snapshot of our results for the 2014-15 academic year:

We grew our Twitter presence by 18% this past year, increasing from 2,800 to 3,317 followers. We’re using #UMW and #MyMaryWash to talk about our university and staying in touch with our incoming Class of 2019 with #UMW19. We ended the year with 850 re-tweets, 977 favorites and 1,619 mentions. Check out some of our most popular tweets from the year:

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Despite a slight dip on our Facebook followers (we lost 537 when Facebook removed inactive accounts), we were still able to increase our total followers by 4%, from 18,534 to 19,352 followers. We reached an average of 74,671 people per month with a record number of 149,273 in April. And we engaged an average of 9,205 people per month with likes, comments, shares and clicks.

We’ve seen the most success this year on Instagram with a 47% growth rate over the past academic year, from 1,255 to 1,842 followers. Photos of Dean Rucker and the fountain topped the charts for most liked photos and we ended the year with a total of 9,858 likes. Here’s the picture of the fountain that topped our records for most likes on a post this year:


LinkedIn is becoming even more relevant to us with its new YOUNIVERSITY platform for higher education.  As in, Admissions and LinkedIn might soon be friends. This year, we created a team of content contributors from across campus to update the page and increased our followers from 18,226 to 20,119, a 10% growth rate. We’re still working on collecting the numbers on impressions.

YouTube was our project for the semester as revamped and branded our account. Today we’re at 18,917 views and 54 subscribers and we’re excited to watch those numbers soar.

Statistics reflect data measured between September 2014 and April 2015.