June 7, 2023

A Message From the President – April

Dear UMW Community,

April is always a wonderful time of year, filled with end-of-semester showcases, celebrations, and ceremonies. We welcome the warmer spring weather, enjoying the return of many long-awaited outdoor activities, as well as some of our favorite campus traditions and the seeds of new ones.

Earlier this week, we celebrated UMW during our annual #MaryWashDay.  Our Mary Washington community stepped up with matching pledges, competitions, and tremendous support of our many academic, curricular, and co-curricular programs.  This support helps us enhance our programs, offer more enriching and holistic experiences for our students, and provide the resources needed to continue to forge ahead, test limits, explore new ideas and theories, collaborate with others, etc.  We thank the many donors from across all 50 states and around the world. We also appreciate the donors who shared in a meal and in learning more about our undergraduate research and creativity at the recent Scholarship Lunch. And, I can’t wait to see more of our students’ work at the 17th Annual Research and Creativity Day SymposiumI am always astounded at the exceptional results that represent hard work, determination, creativity, knowledge, and many hours of research. I encourage you to support your classmates and celebrate their accomplishments. 

Many additional accomplishments have filled our recent weekends. UMW’s Honors Program recently celebrated its milestone tenth anniversary with an alumni panel that exemplified how their “be more” mantra adds up to an experience that yields benefits in college and well beyond. High school students stepped up to the Innovation Challenge @ Dahlgren on April 1, where 125 students programmed robots for a simulated exercise and put collaboration, ingenuity and their STEM-related acumen to the test to compete for a $7500 prize purse.

In addition, UMW hosted the 33rd annual Multicultural Fair, a beloved event that promotes multicultural awareness by showcasing the diverse ethnic customs, cultures, food, music, and more of the UMW and greater Fredericksburg communities. This event demonstrates how we can appreciate and respect various cultures by watching, listening, and learning, as well as expand our view of the world and those around us.

Also, we are proud to announce that, in partnership with Germanna Community College, UMW has established the Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.  Current and future UMW students and Germanna transfer students – whether majoring in education or not – can be considered for the program.  In return for scholarships, Noyce Scholars commit to two years of teaching STEM-related courses in qualifying schools.  This program directly addresses the serious teacher shortage in these subject areas, as well as promotes community service and enrichment, impactful teacher-student learning experiences, exceptional work experience, and more.

Today is an exciting day as we welcome prospective students and their families to campus for an Admissions Open House.  This is one of my favorite campus events as it gives me an opportunity to publicly showcase the terrific accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students and welcome guests to our inviting, positive and vibrant campus.  Please join me in welcoming future Eagles and their families by sharing a smile, offering help navigating to a campus building, or answering their questions.  The heart of our beautiful campus is each of you and our guests will have a richer experience because of your participation.

Likewise, our ASPIRE values are the foundation of our close knit community.  Next week, I encourage you to dive into UMW’s inaugural ASPIRE Week as developed by Student Government Association Vice President, Jaylyn Long.  The week-long activities and events highlight our shared community values that guide us in our daily goals and interactions.  In addition, UMW athletic coaches and student-athletes are hosting Flip the Field which will provide immersions, clinics and friendly contests for faculty, staff and students in sports ranging from swimming to tennis to baseball to esports.  The event not only supports ASPIRE Week, but it also highlights the positive impact DIII athletics and student-athletes have in our community and the surrounding community.

As we welcome spring, we also acknowledge Earth Week, April 16-22, and UMW’s Arbor Day Tree Planting event on Monday, April 10th from 2 to 3 pm.  Join me for a ceremonial planting of sycamore trees on the streamside of Willard Hall.  In addition, at 4:15 p.m. that afternoon in the Digital Auditorium of the HCC, SGA is hosting a forum for UMW students.  I invite you to join me, Craig Erwin, VP for Administration and Finance, and Joey Zeldin, SGA President, to learn more about the state budget process and its impact on tuition and fees.

There is so much happening on and around our campus and it’s difficult to acknowledge everything.  Although there is much to do as the semester closes, it’s also important to take time to rest, recharge, and refocus.  Whether you enjoy running, yoga, bench sitting, watching movies, drawing, etc., take the time you need to balance your commitments, assignments, and work schedules.  

To UMW faculty, staff and students, I wish you the best of luck in preparation for final exams, research projects, grading papers, etc. To our seniors, I encourage you to remain steadfast and positive as you enter the final stretch of this semester.  And, I look forward to the many wonderful events and celebrations culminating in UMW’s 112th Commencement on May 6 when we welcome UMW alumna Jennifer Clift ’00 to deliver the commencement speech.     


Troy Paino

Message From the Provost – Commencement 2023 is Coming!


Commencement is fast approaching, and plans are in place for our ceremony on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle. The full schedule of events and related information may be found on the Commencement website.

Full-time teaching faculty are to be robed in their regalia and in two equal processional lines on Campus Walk starting at the Phi Beta Kappa Key no later than 8:45 a.m. The ceremony will conclude at approximately noon. Any teaching faculty who cannot be present must inform the dean of their respective college by Wednesday, April 26.

Any teaching or administrative/professional faculty seated on stage and related to a graduating student may assist with the presentation of the degree provided they have notified Ali Gauch Hieber at agauch@umw.edu no later than Friday April 28, so that the script can reflect their participation.

Full-time administrative/professional faculty are invited to process in the appropriate regalia. Those who wish to participate must contact Ali Gauch Hieber at agauch@umw.edu or 654-1276 by Tuesday, April 30, so a seat may be reserved on stage.

Regalia may be purchased or rented from Oak Hall online at or by phone (800) 456-7623. Rental pricing includes shipping charges: Master Ensemble ($39.98) or Doctor Ensemble ($65.98). Orders for rental regalia must be received by Oak Hall no later than Friday, March 31.

Tickets to the Commencement Luncheon are available to all full-time faculty and administrative/professional faculty participating in Commencement. They may be picked up from the Provost’s Office in George Washington Hall during normal business hours. For questions, email me and Amy O’Reilly.

I look forward to seeing you on May 6


Sharing Sad News in the Passing of Simpson Library’s Beth Perkins

The following message is from the Office of the Provost, with thanks to Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales:

Campus Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Elizabeth “Beth” Perkins, who served as the Library’s Head of Circulation from 1984 until her retirement in early 2012.

Beth once commented that in her position, “every day is different” and “I get to do many, many things.”  During her 28 years at UMW, her main task among those numerous responsibilities was to ensure that the library provided “superior library service.”  Towards that end, she administered library programs, supervised both students and full-time employees, and planned for future library developments.

Beth was at the forefront of integrating technology into the library and in the late 1980s, assisted with the upgrade from a card catalog to a complex automated catalog system.  She was so proficient at pinpointing problems during the early stages of library technology that she was often referred to as “Beta-Test Beth.”

Beth was actively involved with the Virginia Library Association’s Paraprofessional Forum and received the organization’s first “Paraprofessional of the Year” award in 1996.  Four years later, the prestigious periodical Library Journal recognized her contributions to the field by presenting her with its inaugural “Paraprofessional of the Year” award, whose criteria included “contribution(s) enabling the library to best serve its constituents and/or its community.”

In its lengthy March 15, 2000, cover story about Beth and the award, Library Journal observed that “she displays deep professional commitment. Perkins has a record of outstanding job performance, solid managing, and effective mentoring.”

Beth’s passions included books and music.  A few years after she retired, she moved to her home state of Mississippi, where she enjoyed reading and collecting books—especially signed volumes—and going to concerts all over the South.  She died peacefully at age 78 on March 14, 2023, surrounded by her family.  A celebration of her life will be held later this spring in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.


Timothy M. O’DonnellProvostUniversity of Mary Washington

Eagle Awards Presentation, April 13

The Eagle Awards Ceremony, planned in collaboration between the Office of Student Activities & Engagement, the Center for Community Engagement, and the James Farmer Multicultural Center, will be held on Thursday, April 13, at 5 p.m., in the University Center Chandler Ballroom. Submissions are currently closed.

For more information on specific awards, visit the Eagle Awards list web page.

The University of Mary Washington Eagle Awards highlight students, student organizations, staff and faculty who have provided leadership and contributed outstanding service through involvement in activities and organizations. The Eagle Awards are an opportunity for the University community to recognize those who have made extraordinary contributions to the campus and greater community.

PRISM Events, April 14

UMW PRISM Day of Silence VigilNoon to 1 p.m. | Monroe Fountain

Join UMW PRISM as a we hold a moment of silence in honor of those in the LGBTQ+ community and stand against homophobia and transphobia. UMW PRISM e-board members will be handing out free shirts in the CRUC starting Monday the 10th for everyone to wear on Friday at the fountain.

Breaking the Silence: Open Mic1 to 2 p.m. | The Underground

After UMW PRISM’s Day of Silence vigil, please join PRISM and the Aubade in our Breaking the Silence: Open Mic. All are welcome to come and share their poetry, stories, and music, or show support as an audience member. Free refreshments will be provided!

Undeniably Adjacent Improv Comedy Show, April 15

Extra extra! Read all about it! Local improviser banned from music!

Join the Undeniably Adjacent for some fresh improv comedy in their penultimate show of the year, where they say goodbye and bon voyage to one of their beloved seniors. It’ll be a hilarious night of improv comedy that’s sure to make the papers!

“Gabe Is Banned From Music: A Newsworthy Improv Comedy Show” is set to take place Saturday, April 15, from 7 to 9 p.m., in Monroe 116.

Last Chance: UMW Theatre’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Ends April 16


UMW Theatre will close its 2022-2023 season with Pride and Prejudice by Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Jane Austen.  Performances will be April 6-8 & 12-15 at 7:30 p.m., and April 16 at 2:00 p.m. in Klein Theatre, duPont Hall at the University of Mary Washington. Guests may also attend the Pay-What-You-Can Preview performance on April 5 at 7:30 p.m. The box office opens at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. AfterWords, a post-show talkback with the cast, will take place after the matinee performance on April 16. Tickets are $25 for standard admission and $20 for students, senior citizens, and military. Groups of ten or more can receive a discount as well.

UMW Theatre presents Pride and PrejudiceJane Austen’s beloved novel has been made anew with this modern adaptation of a classic tale. Pride and Prejudicetells the story of the Bennet family as they eagerly seek suitable matches for their four eligible daughters. While the younger Bennet sisters are just beginning their search for a husband, the elder Bennet sisters are racing against the clock to “ensnare” a respectable match. Elegant balls are hosted, and young ladies vie for the attention of prospective suitors, all except for Elizabeth Bennet, a free-spirited young woman who spurns the idea of games and marriage. As the pressure to marry grows stronger, Lizzy must battle societal expectations in search of her own independence. That is, until the mysterious and proud Mr. Darcy comes to town. He is the embodiment of everything that Lizzy despises, yet they are inexplicably drawn to one another. This comedy gives an ironic twist to gender expectations in society, finding humor in the rules and adversity that men and women face. As pressure to wed intensifies and the Bennett family grows more frantic, Lizzy must battle the judgment of others and reassess her own assumptions about what it is to fall in love.

Pride and Prejudice is based upon the 1813 book of the same name, written by English author, Jane Austen. This was the second of her six major novels that were published in the Regency period, inspiring many film adaptations and retellings of her popular works. Kate Hamill took the basis of Austen’s romance and turned it into a commentary on our contemporary society. Although she adds her own artistic flourish, the play still retains the general plot, conflicts, and characters prevalent in Austen’s original novel. The play first premiered on June 24, 2017, at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Garrison, New York. The vision was carried out by director Amanda Dehnert, and Kate Hamill herself originated the role of Elizabeth Bennet. Due to the show’s wide success, it jumped off-Broadway to Primary Stages at Cherry Lane Theatre, where the run was extended three times past its original premiere run. It accrued recognition and accolades from the initial production and has since progressed to community theatre and college productions.

Pride and Prejudice is directed by Marc Williams, assistant professor of theatre. Choreography is by guest artist Samantha L. Reynolds. Scenic design is by assistant professor Bridgette Dennett and costume design is by associate professor Kevin McCluskey. Lighting and sound design are by guest designers Cat Girardi and G Clausen, respectively. For further information, call the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit www.FredTix.com

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Pi Mu Epsilon New Members List and Book Sale, April 17

UMW announces new members of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honorary society, plus a Pi Mu Epsilon Book Sale.
The Pi Mu Epsilon Book Sale – raising funds for math honorary students – will take place Monday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in front of James Farmer Hall. The rain date is April 19.

Pi Mu Epsilon New Member List 2023

Jameson R. Bolin
Jennifer E. Bullock
Jenna P. Diehl
Karlie G. Jones
Victoria E. Mueller
Clark L. Saben
Emma P. Schieda
Aelliana M.M. Seidenstein

Good, Peck Present Mary Talk – ‘Making the Future’ – April 19

In the final Mary Talk lecture of this academic year – on Wednesday, April 19, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. – we will hear from faculty in UMW’s College of Education. Kevin Good, Ph.D., assistant professor of special education, and Kristina Peck ’08, associate dean of clinical experiences and partnerships, will discuss “Making the Future.” The lecture will take place online via Zoom. Please register in advance. You will receive a link to the streaming video, which can be watched live or at a later time, and will have the opportunity to submit questions.

What do you see as the future? Who shapes that future, and how? Explore how STEAM education through a “maker mindset” can open doors for learners to be creators of their own destiny. Learn about UMW’s newly opened Makerspace, which gives students real-life practice in science and technology while encouraging creative problem-solving. Be inspired as you hear how the Makerspace engages local schools, making the future brighter for all Fredericksburg-area scholars.

One Note Stand Spring Concert, April 21

The One Note Stand Spring Concert: WHO SUNG IT?

April 21, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. | Dodd Auditorium

Please join UMW’s The One Note Stand a cappella group for their annual spring concert. Admission is free.