January 23, 2022

Mary Wash Debate Team Zooms to National Victory

UMW students Avery Dover (left), a freshman from Wichita, Kansas, and Ainsley Rucker, a junior from Winchester, Virginia, finished first last week in the American Debate Association’s Fall Championship Tournament.

UMW students Avery Dover (left), a freshman from Wichita, Kansas, and Ainsley Rucker, a junior from Winchester, Virginia, finished first last week in the American Debate Association’s Fall Championship Tournament.

University of Mary Washington students have made it convincingly clear: They know how to debate.

In keeping with a longstanding winning tradition, the UMW Debate Team last week wrapped up back-to-back weekends of competitions with a first-place finish at the American Debate Association’s Fall Championship Tournament, proving they’ve adapted successfully to an online format.

Ainsley Rucker and Avery Dover were undefeated throughout the preliminary rounds and entered the elimination rounds as top seeds. They also each received individual speaking recognitions – Rucker, a junior from Winchester, earned second place, and Dover, a freshman from Wichita, Kansas, was the top speaker. The tournament, held via Zoom, attracted teams from states across the country, including California, Texas, Florida and Massachusetts. The pair debated teams from University of Houston, Missouri State University, University of Minnesota and Samford University.

The tournament’s topic was antitrust reform, and UMW’s team successfully argued both sides of the issue. In the finals, Rucker and Dover effectively advocated for antitrust reforms regarding patents, winning a 3-0 decision over a team from Liberty University. This was their second tournament win and final round against Liberty in November. The duo recently competed in that school’s debate tournament, besting teams from James Madison University in the semifinals, and Liberty in the finals. Read more.

James Farmer Hall Officially Dedicated

The University of Mary Washington dedicated James Farmer Hall yesterday in a ceremony attended by professors, current UMW students, Board of Visitors members and former Farmer students. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi

The University of Mary Washington dedicated James Farmer Hall yesterday in a ceremony attended by professors, current UMW students, Board of Visitors members and former Farmer students. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi

On what was described as “a beautiful spring day in the middle of fall,” thunder could be heard yesterday during a ceremony dedicating University of Mary Washington’s James Farmer Hall.

As Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. was remembered by numerous speakers – professors, current UMW students, members of the UMW Board of Visitors (BOV), and former Farmer students – the gathering of about 100 people on Campus Walk could discern strains of his distinctive booming voice. The BOV voted in July of 2020 to rename the former Trinkle Hall in honor of the late civil rights icon who taught at Mary Washington for a dozen years.

COVID protocol prevented an official observance of the Board action until yesterday afternoon. Members of the community stood on Campus Walk adjacent to the bust of Farmer, which faces the building now bearing his name.

In the brief but moving ceremony, President Troy Paino said Farmer’s legacy is alive and well on campus today. And BOV Rector Heather Crislip ’95 called the occasion “long overdue.” Read more.

Mary Wash Debate Team Zooms to National Victory

University of Mary Washington students have made it convincingly clear: They know how to debate. In keeping with a longstanding winning tradition, the UMW Debate Team last week wrapped up back-to-back weekends of competitions with a first-place finish at the American Debate Association’s Fall Championship Tournament, proving they’ve adapted successfully to an online format. Ainsley […]

James Farmer Hall Officially Dedicated

On what was described as “a beautiful spring day in the middle of fall,” thunder could be heard yesterday during a ceremony dedicating University of Mary Washington’s James Farmer Hall. As Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. was remembered by numerous speakers – professors, current UMW students, members of the UMW Board of Visitors (BOV), and […]

Mary Washington Names New Chief Diversity Officer

Shavonne Shorter has been named University of Mary Washington’s new associate provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. Photo by Dr. Kai Kuang.

Shavonne Shorter has been named University of Mary Washington’s new associate provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. Photo by Dr. Kai Kuang.

After a nationwide search, Shavonne Shorter has been named associate provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at University of Mary Washington. She will assume the role in January.

Shorter will serve on both the president’s and provost’s leadership teams, providing guidance as UMW continues striving to achieve its goals with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion. She will be responsible for developing a university-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, and continuing the work of building a more inclusive Mary Washington. She also will supervise the university’s Office of Disability Resources, Office of Title IX, SafeZone and all diversity education and training programs.

“I am most looking forward to partnering with the members of my new UMW family to continue and extend the rich legacy of diversity, equity and inclusion excellence both on and around campus. This is what immediately drew me to UMW,” Shorter said. “I look forward to the opportunity to conduct a campus-wide listening tour as I get to work for the good of the university.” Read more.

Mary Washington Names New Chief Diversity Officer

After a nationwide search, Shavonne Shorter has been named associate provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at University of Mary Washington. She will assume the role in January. Shorter will serve on both the president’s and provost’s leadership teams, providing guidance as UMW continues striving to achieve its goals with respect to […]

Tears, Applause and Song Greet Freedom Rides Marker

The old bus terminal – with its segregated restrooms and waiting areas – is no longer there.

Posing with the historical marker, from left to right, James Farmer Multicultural Center Associate Director JoAnna Raucci and Director Marion Sanford, Freedom Rider Dion Diamond and Assistant Director Christopher Williams. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Posing with the historical marker, from left to right, James Farmer Multicultural Center Associate Director JoAnna Raucci and Director Marion Sanford, Freedom Rider Dion Diamond and Assistant Director Christopher Williams. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

In its place, a permanent historical marker to commemorate the first stop on the 1961 Freedom Rides was unveiled yesterday afternoon, the result of efforts by University of Mary Washington staff, faculty and students, in partnership with the City of Fredericksburg. Sixty years after the history-making journey – in the presence of an original Freedom Rider and a vintage 1960s bus transported from a Roanoke museum – a diverse crowd mingled at the site and intertwined their voices as they sang “stayed on freedom,” many with tears in their eyes.

The project was spearheaded by Christopher Williams, a friend and mentee of Dr. James L. Farmer Jr., who organized the Freedom Rides to desegregate interstate travel. Farmer later taught at Mary Washington, where Williams is now the assistant director of UMW’s James Farmer Multicultural Center, dedicated to honoring the late civil rights icon’s legacy.

The nearly two-year process culminated on May 4 of this year when the state Department of Historic Resources approved the marker, and a smaller gathering honored the Freedom Rides’ 60th anniversary with the posting of a temporary marker.

To a crowd of more than 100 yesterday, Freedom Rider Dion Diamond, 80, said, “I wasn’t on that bus that came through Fredericksburg.”  A sophomore at Howard University when the sit-ins and Freedom Rides began, he said he just couldn’t stay away from the movement. Read more.

Tears, Applause and Song Greet Freedom Rides Marker

The old bus terminal – with its segregated restrooms and waiting areas – is no longer there. In its place, a permanent historical marker to commemorate the first stop on the 1961 Freedom Rides was unveiled yesterday afternoon, the result of efforts by University of Mary Washington staff, faculty and students, in partnership with the […]

Alum’s Running Shoe Targets Body and Sole

After earning a psychology degree at UMW, Mike Ambrose ’11 turned his passion for ultrarunning into a career with French footwear manufacturer Salomon. Photo courtesy of Mike Ambrose.

After earning a psychology degree at UMW, Mike Ambrose ’11 turned his passion for ultrarunning into a career with French footwear manufacturer Salomon. Photo courtesy of Mike Ambrose.

American runners can now access comfortable, lightweight and responsive footwear that will give them a feeling of empowerment. That’s the way University of Mary Washington alum Mike Ambrose ’11 describes the Salomon Ultra Glide. The technologically advanced shoe he conceived and helped design hit the market this month.

“I want people to feel like they can fly,” said Ambrose, who started trail running for fun at Mary Washington. Now, as Salomon’s lead product line manager for trail running, his life revolves around it. An ultra-race runner who lives in France, Ambrose used a degree in psychology to build a pioneering career, designing footwear that crosses continents and climbs into your mind. Read more.

Alum’s Running Shoe Targets Body and Sole

American runners can now access comfortable, lightweight and responsive footwear that will give them a feeling of empowerment. That’s the way University of Mary Washington alum Mike Ambrose ’11 describes the Salomon Ultra Glide. The technologically advanced shoe he conceived and helped design hit the market this month. “I want people to feel like they […]