June 1, 2023

Four to Receive Emeritus Status at Commencement Ceremonies

Three longtime faculty members and one veteran administrator will be awarded emeritus status during the University’s graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12.

Friday’s graduate ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. Saturday’s undergraduate ceremony begins at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle on the Fredericksburg campus.

Martin A. Wilder Jr. will be named Emeritus Chief of Staff; Timothy Crippen will be named Professor Emeritus of Sociology; Michael Bass will be named Professor Emeritus of Biology and Environmental Science; and Joella Killian will be named Professor Emerita of Biology.

The title emeritus is bestowed on faculty members and administrators who have served the university for at least 15 years and who have attained the rank of professor or associate professor.

Professor of Environmental Science and Biology Michael Bass has served Mary Washington for more than 45 years, where he helped build the environmental science program. He also partnered with the City of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County on a variety of projects concerned with monitoring water quality, stream bank erosion and the impact of construction projects on bodies of water such as Massaponax Creek and the Ni River. He often involved his students in field-work, enabling them to present their findings at regional and national conferences.

Bass received a Ph.D. in 1976 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Professor of Sociology Timothy Crippen has been a member of the Mary Washington faculty for the past 36 years. For the past 20 years, he has focused his research on the connections between evolutionary biology and the social sciences. His publications focused on a range of topics including sociological theory, evolution and social behavior, and political sociology. He also served on the editorial boards of leading scholarly journals in his field and on numerous committees at UMW.

Crippen earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, after receiving an A.B. in sociology at Indiana University in Fort Wayne.

Professor of Biology Joella Killian has spent 34 years at UMW, where she developed a curriculum and delivered a courses on wide range of subjects including botany, ornithology, parasitology and entomology.

In 2013, Killian received UMW’s highest teaching honor, the Grellet C. Simpson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

She has served as the faculty sponsor for Mortar Board and the Ecology Club as well as numerous faculty committees. Killian is a member of the Entomological Society of America and the scientific research society Sigma Xi. She earned a Ph.D. in entomology from North Carolina State University.

Since joining University of Mary Washington in 1979, Martin A. Wilder Jr. has held vice presidential positions in admissions, enrollment and communications, enrollment management and financial aid. He also served as associate dean of admissions.

In addition, he served in the role of chief of staff and clerk of the board under UMW presidents Richard V. Hurley and Troy D. Paino. In 2016, he was presented the Washington Medallion, one of the University’s most significant awards, which recognizes an individual who has served Mary Washington with exceptional dedication. In 2017, the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling honored him with the Blackburn Award, which celebrates ethical standards and integrity. He was praised for helping achieve and improve equal access to higher education.

Wilder earned a bachelor’s degree in history, a master’s degree in education and a doctor of education with a focus on educational leadership and policy studies in higher education, all from the University of Virginia.