August 15, 2020

Alumna, COO Scales Cybersecurity Career

Throughout her four-year college career, Megan Carter Shepherd ’94 broke records with the Mary Washington swim team, winning championships and earning a top spot in the Capital Athletic Conference. But Goolrick Pool wasn’t the only place she made a splash. Double majoring in math and computer science, Shepherd dove into numbers, equations and formulas – […]

March and Resolution Demonstrate Mary Washington’s Stance

Eight minutes and 46 seconds. After walking from the University of Mary Washington campus to downtown Fredericksburg’s Market Square, a contingent of several hundred UMW protesters became silent as march organizer Kyree Ford ’21 set the timer on his iPhone. He directed the marchers to quietly observe the length of time a Minneapolis police officer […]

Memorializing George Floyd: UMW Board Passes Resolution, President Seeds Scholarship

In its June 10 meeting, the Board of Visitors of the University of Mary Washington unanimously passed a resolution declaring solidarity with the family of George Floyd and the scores of protesters who are making their voices heard. “We stand with the thousands in our country and around the world, including members of the Mary Washington community, […]

Free UMW Course Turns COVID-19 Inside Out

Political leaders and health experts who communicate the impact of COVID-19 to the public are just like anyone else. Some hit the mark. Some don’t. Understandable terms, relatable ideas and the confident presentation of useful information are key to delivering a successful message, said UMW Professor of Communication Anand Rao. And competent public discourse during […]

Connections Steer Geography Grad Toward New Job

For his first virtual interview, James Fendley paired a freshly pressed shirt and tie with basketball shorts and asked his family for an hour of quiet. But the best preparation came from UMW’s Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD). Throughout his final semester, the 2020 University of Mary Washington graduate scheduled regular phone calls […]

Governor Announces UMW Board of Visitors Appointments

The Virginia Governor’s Office today announced the appointment of Charles S. Reed Jr. ’11 of Sterling to the University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors. In addition, Sharon Bulova of Fairfax and Edward B. Hontz of Stafford have been reappointed to second terms on the board. The appointees will serve four-year terms, which will expire […]

“I stand with you.” A message from President Paino

To the University of Mary Washington Family:

Thank you for living our community values in your everyday lives in the midst of a global pandemic. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to social justice on campus, in the Fredericksburg community, and beyond. Thank you for lending your voices to righting wrongs and addressing the challenges of the past with a keen eye toward the promises of the future. Thank you for working tirelessly to make this world a better place for everyone.

Over the past few days, I have heard from several members of the Mary Washington community concerning a host of issues – most stemming from the systemic racism that’s embedded in the fabric of our nation – and the resulting injustices that have manifested themselves time and again throughout our troubled history. These injustices have caused immense pain and anguish for generations of African Americans. To our African American students, faculty, staff, and alumni, we stand in solidarity with you during these troubling times and we boldly proclaim that black lives matter.

We denounce the senseless killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, George Floyd, and a multitude of men and women who have died unjustly simply because of the color of their skin. We denounce police brutality, unfair judicial practices, and all forms of institutionalized racism that have created deeply entrenched racial disparities in this country.

We stand by our Guiding Principles and Values. UMW is dedicated to providing a diverse, accepting, and supportive environment that holds all of its members to the highest standards of conduct, scholarship, integrity, inclusiveness, respect, and engagement. We live this by fighting against explicit and implicit bias and for equity and access.

Our students of color must feel safe and valued on the entire campus and not just in “safe places” like the James Farmer Multicultural Center. I have heard students tell me that seeing more faculty who look like them, who have their shared experiences, would go a long way toward creating a more inclusive community. The progress we have made on this front over the last couple of years is just a start, we must continue those efforts by recruiting and retaining more faculty of color.

At yesterday’s town hall with students and throughout the week, I have heard great disappointment, hurt, and anger regarding the presence of UMW police when city police used tear gas and other means to disperse protesters on the streets of Fredericksburg. We will conduct a full and independent review of the incidents this week to determine the role of UMW police. In the days to come, I will announce the nature of that review and will commit to transparency throughout the process. I have reached out to city officials, including the police chief, mayor, and city manager, to ensure that UMW can work with the city toward a better understanding of what happened that evening.

What I do know is the individuals we have assigned to the regional crisis response team are not certified to deploy tear gas. Chief Mike Hall and the police report indicate that our officers were called in to protect a building and did not participate in any efforts to disperse the crowd. If engagements are found to have taken place outside established protocols, I will take action. Our police officers are public servants who have taken an oath to protect and serve. Chief Hall and the UMW police force hold themselves to a higher standard because of the critical role they play in helping all members of our community go safely about their daily lives. We expect them to stand by the principles of good community policing, and we pledge to be transparent in all law enforcement matters as not to erode public trust.

On April 25, 2020, I published a column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. In it, I expressed hope that we come out of the pandemic with a better understanding of how meaning and purpose grow in direct proportion to how much we invest in other people’s lives. I expressed how grateful I am for this opportunity to lead an institution whose mission is to prepare students to contribute to a community built on values of justice, equal opportunity, and love for one another. I stated that “it is not by accident that the first pillar of UMW’s vision, An Investment of Hope for the Future, is to promote the values of service, community, and civic engagement.” Those are the means by which we build that “Beloved Community” envisioned by Dr. King.

During this great time of pain and sorrow, I have been so proud of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have stood up against systemic racism and for social justice. I stand with you as we carry on this fight in the name of love.


Troy Paino

“I stand with you.” A message from President Paino

To the University of Mary Washington Family: Thank you for living our community values in your everyday lives in the midst of a global pandemic. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to social justice on campus, in the Fredericksburg community, and beyond. Thank you for lending your voices to righting wrongs and addressing the challenges […]

Hanna’s Journal Article Wins ‘Public Memory’ Award

As visitors to Southern plantation homes know, the information they receive depends on docents and the questions they’re asked, and by where on the site the group is congregated. In the parlor, for instance, tour-takers might hear about the residents’ family history and the placement of furniture. Outside, they will likely learn more about crops […]

Video Spotlights Theatre Students, Broadway Stars

When UMW Theatre performed Adam Gwon’s musical Ordinary Days in February, students couldn’t anticipate that just weeks later, they’d yearn for rehearsals with castmates and performances in front of live audiences. They also couldn’t have guessed they’d get to sing one of Gwon’s songs alongside Broadway stars. Seven UMW Theatre students were selected to appear […]