March 3, 2024

Gari Melchers Home and Studio to Host Illustrated Presentation

Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont will host a free illustrated presentation, The Painted Garden: A Favorite Motif in American Impressionism, on Sunday, May 3.

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent, 1885

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent, 1885

The illustrated presentation by Joanna Catron, curator of  Gari Melchers Home and Studio, will show how early 20th century American impressionist painters demonstrated an appreciation for the art of gardening through a preference for using gardens as subjects. The program will begin at 2 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

The presentation will survey how Americans painters became the stylistic heirs of French impressionist painters and will showcase the work of painters including John Singer Sargent, Frederick Frieseke, Childe Hassam and Gari Melchers.

The presentation coincides with museum’s display of The Crimson Rambler, a Gari Melchers work featuring a view of the artist’s private garden. The piece is on loan to the museum from private collectors through Sunday, June 7.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio is a 28-acre estate and former residence of the artist Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne. The property, which is operated by the University of Mary Washington, is both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.

In the Garden, by Childe Hassam, 1892

In the Garden, by Childe Hassam, 1892

Located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, Va., a quarter mile west of the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17, it is open daily with an admission charge. The museum also serves as the official Stafford County Visitor Center.

For directions and other information, call (540) 654-1015 or visit

Celebration of Life for Grace Mann, April 24, Noon

Dear UMW Community:

"Beauty"- Photo by Grace Mann

“Beauty”- Photo by Grace Mann

Please join Feminists United along with the Mary Washington community on Friday, April 24, at 12:00 noon, for a celebration of the life of Grace Rebecca Mann. We will gather on the lawn in between Mason and Randolph halls to remember and celebrate the accomplishments and life of an extraordinary individual who touched so many with her spirit and joy.

We ask that attendees dress for Grace in bright, joyous colors complete with activist buttons. Grace radiated joy and good into the world, and we will honor her memory by doing the same. There will also be an opportunity for all to share a happy memory or joyous moment they shared with Grace. As the press may be in attendance at this event, speakers should plan accordingly.

Additionally, as Grace worked to support victims and survivors of sexual assault, we will honor her by supporting those who continue that work in her name by setting up a table to collect donations for the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault.

Let us come together to celebrate Grace, a person who was “never ‘just’ anything.”

Further questions may be directed to Paige McKinsey, President of Feminists United, at

Stan Soper’s Retirement Celebration, April 24, 2:30 p.m.

Please join us in celebrating men’s and women’s cross country and track and field coach Stan Soper’s retirement on Friday, April 24 at 2:30 p.m. Soper came to Mary Washington in 1983 and is the longest running tenured coach in UMW’s history.

Please note event time change:

2:30 p.m. – Celebration in the Anderson Center Concourse. All of campus is invited to stop by and enjoy cake and beverages as we wish Stan well on his retirement.

3:00 p.m . – Presentation of Department Gifts by Ken Tyler.


Turdean’s Students Host Exhibit at Dahlgren

Senior students in Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Cristina Turdean’s Museum Design and Interpretation class hosted an exhibition, “The Road to Desegregation in King George County, Virginia,” at UMW’s Dahlgren Campus.

The exhibition provided the historical context of African American education in King George. Students recorded oral histories, interviewing Ralph Bunche alumni and others who had involvement in the historic school.

A full news article about the exhibit can be found here.


James Monroe Museum Acquires Previously Unknown Portrait of Fifth President

A previously unknown portrait of James Monroe—Revolutionary War hero, legislator, diplomat, Virginia governor and fifth president of the United States—will be exhibited for the first time on Saturday, April 25 at the James Monroe Museum.

James Monroe Portrait

James Monroe Portrait

The newest addition to the James Monroe Museum’s collection, the portrait will be on display for the celebration of the fifth president’s 257th birthday, which will feature live music and treats from 1 to 3 p.m. The celebration is free and open to the public.

The unsigned oil portrait depicts Monroe in 1820, roughly halfway through his two-term presidency that was called the “Era of Good Feelings.”

The painting was sold at a New Jersey auction in 2013 as a “portrait of a stately gentleman,” not identified as Monroe. In late 2014, it was purchased by Michael Meyer, owner of Meyer Fine Art in Yonkers, New York and brought to the James Monroe Museum for analysis and consideration of purchase. The museum purchased the Monroe portrait in March 2015 for $16,000, using private funds administered by the University of Mary Washington Foundation.  To offset this expenditure the museum is seeking institutional and individual donors, all of whom will be recognized as sponsors of the purchase.

The James Monroe Museum is a National Historic Landmark owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia and administered by the University of Mary Washington. Founded in 1927, it is the nation’s largest repository of artifacts and documents related to the fifth president of the United States.

For more information about the museum’s hours of operation and directions, call 540-654-1043 or visit

Scanning Through History

It’s the ultimate combination of old and new.

Decked out in full body armor as a gladiator from the ancient Roman Empire, Senior Harry Rol clamps on his helmet and steps onto a 3-D printing scanner in the University of Mary Washington’s 21st century classroom known as the ThinkLab.

“You really look the part,” said Associate Professor of Classics Joe Romero, as Rol strikes a pose, knees bent with shield and sword at the ready.

Scanning Through History

Students relive the past using 3-D technology.

Five UMW Political Science Students Present at Research Conference

Political Science StudentsFive University of Mary Washington political science students recently presented their research papers at the Ninth Annual Virginia Political Science Student Research Conference, held at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond on April 10.

The students and their papers are:

  •  Mariah Young of Chesapeake, Va., “Do “Black Lives Matter” to Media?: A Quantitative Analysis of Race and Language in the Reporting of the Ferguson Protests.” Young is a senior political science and journalism double major, and is a graduate of Great Bridge High School.
  •  Ciara Peacock, of Roanoke, Va., “The Unheard Voices of U.S. K-12 Education Policy: No Child Left Behind and Students’ Perspectives on Public Education.” Peacock is a senior political science major, and is a graduate of The Emma Willard School.
  • Bree Fines, of Stafford, Va., “Origins of the American Public’s Perception of Chinese Military Threat.” Fines is a junior international affairs major and a graduate of Stafford High School.
  • Benjamin Hermerding, of Brainerd, Minn., “Not Your Grandpa’s Parties: The Effect of Post-Materialism on American Political Parties in Virginia.” Hermerding is a senior political science major and an Alvey Scholar at UMW. He is a graduate of Brainerd Senior High School.
  • Jonathan Polson, of Alexandria, Va., “The Effect of Television News Consumption on Governmental Approval.” Polson is a senior political science and journalism double major and a graduate of Bishop Ireton High School.

The first paper was prepared under the direction of Chad Murphy, assistant professor of political science, the second paper was prepared under the direction of Rosalyn Cooperman, associate professor of political science, and the final three papers were prepared under the direction of Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the UMW Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

UMW Observes National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The University of Mary Washington observed National Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April with three public events: Fear 2 Freedom, The Clothesline Project and Take Back the Night.   UMW Clothesline Project Fear 2 Freedom kicked off the month of events on April 1. UMW’s Talley Center for Counseling Services worked with Fear 2 Freedom to provide after-care kits for those affected by rape, child abuse, domestic violence and sex-trafficking. Kits prepared by participants during the event were donated to local hospitals, Safe Harbor and the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault. Each kit included a T-shirt, sweatpants, underwear, Freedom bear and storybook, essential toiletries and a personal note. The Clothesline Project  displayed T-shirts on Ball Circle April 8-9. In this nationwide project, students and members of the greater Fredericksburg community who were affected by sexual violence decorated T-shirts that provided a visual testimony to their experiences. Take Back the Night, held on Wednesday, April 8 in front of Lee Hall, encourages survivors and other community members to speak out and take a stand against sexual violence. Take Back the Night takes place nationwide and has been an empowering event for survivors and their supporters for more than 35 years. These events were co-sponsored by Empowerhouse, the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault (RCASA), and by several UMW offices and organizations including Alpha Mu Sigma, Feminists United, the Office of Judicial Affairs and Community Responsibility, Psi Chi Honor Society, Student Anti-Violence Educators (S.A.V.E.), the Talley Center for Counseling Services and the Office of the Title IX Coordinator.

UMW Admissions Seeks Feedback

Did you have a senior in high school this year that embarked on the college admission process at UMW and/or other colleges and universities?  We’d like to hear about your experiences – what you thought worked, what was missing, what we need to improve on or keep doing!

Please join the Office of Admissions for lunch on either Wednesday, April 29 or Thursday, April 30 at noon to share your feedback.

To RSVP or for additional information, contact Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Melissa Yakabouski at 540-654-1669 or