July 20, 2024

Reunion Weekend 2019, May 31-June 2

Each year the Office of Alumni Relations hosts Reunion Weekend on the Mary Washington campus. Over 800 alumni and guests are expected to come back to campus and participate in dozens of intellectual, cultural, and social activities. While alumni from all classes are welcome at Reunion Weekend, classes ending in fours and nines from 1949 to 2009 are invited back to campus this year to celebrate their milestone reunions. This very special Reunion Weekend will be held May 30 – June 2, 2019.

We would like to extend the invitation for the entire campus community to participate in the various events throughout the weekend in order to connect with former students. The Reunion Weekend schedule is listed online at http://alumni.umw.edu/reunionweekend. Online pre-registration is closed, but you may register in person on campus! Walk-Up Registration will be located in the lobby of the University Center and will be open from 8am-5pm on Friday and again from 7:30am-3pm on Saturday. If you are interested in seeing who is currently signed up to attend, visit the registration page and click “Attendee List.” Click the column header labeled “Preferred Class Year” to sort the list by class year.

We hope to see you there!


UMW Art Alumni Come Full Circle

She doodled so often she didn’t even realize she’d done it: Drawn a tiny image in the margin of her English paper. Anna Prezioso ‘09 was a junior at the University of Mary Washington, on track to become a high school English teacher, when she turned in the assignment. The absent-minded doodle would change the […]

UMW Student Composers Perform Works at UMW and UVA

UMW student and alumni composers had performances of their music at the Hurley Convergence Center on Friday, Feb. 19, and at Open Grounds on the campus of the University of Virginia on Feb. 20 as part of a composer exchange with UVA coordinated by Assistant Professor of Music Mark Snyder.

The program Friday night consisted of Powers for banjo, harp, electric guitar, electric bass, euphonium and timpani, Psychotropic for fixed media and Con todo mi corazón  for soprano, banjo, keyboard and electronics by Mary Paige Rodgers ’16, Invocation for banjo, harp, electric guitar, electric bass, euphonium and timpani by Michael Prime ’17, Hazel Colored Nebula  for piano, harp, electronics, electric bass and  bass drum, Gridlife for fixed media and Cloud for soprano, piano and electronics by Austin O’Rourke ’17, Fortune for banjo, harp, electric guitar, electric bass, euphonium and bass drum by Justin Carrico ’15, Sorrows Weep Not for oboe, guitar and electronics by Stephen Hennessey ’15 and Tarragon for fixed media by Becky Brown ’15. Performing in the concert were Becky Brown: harp, Justin Carrico: electric bass, Stephen Hennessey: electric guitar & classical guitar, Mary Paige Rodgers: banjo: electric guitar, Austin O’Rourke: timpani, bass drum, electronics, synth and piano, Margeaux Ducoing: soprano, Gracie Hardy: clarinet, Danny Arslan: piano, Michael Prime: euphonium, Michael Morley: oboe.

The program at UVA included the same personnel, but added Becky Brown’s Hold Still for live art and electronics and Stephen Hennessey’s Ausgang for processed guitar & electronics. It was held at Open Grounds, a modern manifestation of Jefferson’s founding principles, as it encourages collaborative, cross-disciplinary work across the University. OpenGrounds connects scholars, researchers, artists and external partners in ways that will generate innovative results.

Mary Paige Rodgers is a graduating senior at UMW. She will earn a BA in Music with a minor in Business Spanish. She is primarily a steel string guitarist, but enjoys playing banjo and writing electronic music on the side. Powers is a tribute to Mary Paige’s great-grandmother, who passed away. The piece evokes an emotion of life and magic, because Mary Paige always imagined her Grandmother Powers that way. Con todo mi corazón is Mary Paige’s most recent piece that processes vocals and banjo through Ableton Live. This piece has phrases repeated in both English and Spanish, and tells a story about life and love. Psychotropic is a piece Mary Paige wrote using lines from the 1985 documentary Children of Darkness, which focused on the controversial treatment of young patients with mental illnesses.

Michael Prime has been studying music for 8 years, his instruments including euphonium and harp. He is currently a junior at the University of Mary Washington, double majoring in Music and Computer Science, and studies composition with Dr. Mark Snyder. Invocation was largely influenced by the 5th movement of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, “Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath.” Invocation tells a story of witches during a ritual, beginning with the initial gathering and moves on toward the beginning of the rite itself. The piece then moves to a calmer section as the witches see their spell starting to take, and culminates with the completion of the ritual and the ancient spirits freed.

Austin O’Rourke (b. 1995) is a composer, producer, songwriter and performer studying music composition with Mark Snyder at the University of Mary Washington. Austin’s compositions have been described as “organic,” “touching” and “incredibly emotional.” His works have been presented at the EABD, Root Signals, N_SEME, the West Fork New Music Festival and his piece “Hazel Colored Nebula” has been awarded 2015’s ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. After his studies, he aspires to focus his work on video game music composition and sound design. Hazel Colored Nebula is a piece dedicated to the aesthetic similarities between irises (avg. 12mm in diameter) and the star-forming gas clouds called nebulae (avg. 8,000 light years in diameter). Gridlife is a piece composed exclusively of iPhone recorded sounds and processing. It is dedicated to transforming a tangible place into a stress dream. Cloud is the three-dimensional object formed from the water-colored brush strokes of a cloud being painted in our sky.

Justin Carrico recently received his Post Baccalaureate degree in music from the University of Mary Washington. He plans to begin graduate studies for composition in the fall of 2016. The late romantic composers as well as modern electronic musicians influence Justin’s compositions. Fortune is a word with a somewhat ambiguous meaning. Semantically it can mean good, bad, wealth or merely the future. The title, much like the piece, can be interpreted differently depending on context. This work was originally composed for concert band, and its realization as a nontraditional ensemble is a testament to Fortune’s malleability.

Becky Brown is a 2015 Music and Computer Science graduate of the University of Mary Washington, studying electro-acoustic composition with Mark Snyder, and harp performance with Grace Bauson. She has been a performer of Dr. Snyder’s music at festivals including SCI National and Regional Conferences, Ball State New Music Festival, Third Practice and Electronic Music Midwest, as well as in his guest artist appearances at numerous universities. Her own works have been performed at Root Signals, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, and West Fork New Music Festival. In addition, Brown has engineered or assisted on recordings in a wide range of genres, and composed music for theatre and dance. She is the tech director of the Electroacoustic Barn Dance at UMW. Artemisia dracunculus is my favorite spice; it adds an un-sugared sweetness to savory foods that I have come to depend on. Specifically, a combination of mushrooms/balsamic vinegar/garlic/tarragon is more ubiquitous in my diet than almost anything else I can cook in a pan. I have come to accept this as a natural extension of my tendency to over-listen to songs I like, making Tarragon a piece about mashing the repeat button of food. Hold StillA multimedia self-portrait, 2015. Pencil, copper, and Arduino on paper, poetry and video in Max/MSP/Jitter. Drawings anchor my memories far better than photographs; poetry tells my stories better than prose. This piece is more true to me than I am to myself.

Stephen Hennessey earned his B.A. in Music from the University of Mary Washington in 2014 where he studied composition with Mark Snyder. He resides in Central Virginia, pursuing an oneiric aesthetic that confuses the boundary of human and computer/raw audio and synthesis, while serving The Electroacoustic Barn Dance as Programming Director since 2014. Sorrows Weep Not is an abstract song: a sentimental statement for severe want of words. Its binary form is modeled after the track “Vowels” off the 2003 EP “A Quick Fix of Melancholy” by Norwegian avant-garde group Ulver. All electronic sounds are produced through the live performance, and are realized within Ableton Live/Max4Live using both native and community-produced patches. Ausgang is a sentimental  work  structured  around  the  development  of  a  simple  melody through  episodic  processing.  Source  material  for  the  electronic component  is  generated  entirely through the live performance, and is realized within Ableton Live, using both standard devices and community-produced Max4Live patches.

Gracie Hardy is a freshman studying Music and Historic Preservation at the University of Mary Washington. She grew up in a small town in Eastern Oregon, where she began her music studies. For six years Gracie was member of the Eastern Oregon University/Community Band, where she enjoyed studying under Teun Fetz. In high school Gracie placed first in the District Solo Competition on clarinet in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and competed at the Annual Oregon State Solo Competition twice. She also competed with her high school band at the Annual State Band Festival twice. Gracie has been fortunate to study under Sharon Sanders, Jeff Sizer, Teun Fetz and Katie Fetz. She is involved in the University of Mary Washington’s Small Instrumental Ensemble, the Concert Band, and takes private lessons from Doug Gately. Gracie plans to pursue her passion in music performance on clarinet.

Danny Arslan is a third-year music student at the University of Mary Washington. At 20 years of age, Danny enjoys performing many different genres of music, but is primarily focused on his classical studies.


Singer, illustrator and competitive dancer Margeaux Ducoing currently lives in Fredericksburg, Va. Born in California and raised in Louisiana, Margeaux is a fifth-year senior at the University of Mary Washington where she double majors in Music and Studio Art and minors in Museum Studies. Her main instrument is voice, as a soprano, while also trying her hand at piano and ukulele. She has performed in different UMW ensembles such as the UMW Choir, UMW Chamber Choir, Philharmonic, and the all-girl a cappella group BellACappella; and has worked with composers Austin O’Rourke and Mary Paige Rodgers on collaborative pieces. Outside of school, Margeaux also performs in the rock cover band Satie Quintuplets.



Hands-On History

Alumna Audra Medve makes a career by taking care of history.

Peace Corps Ranks UMW as Top-Producing Small College

For the 11th year, the Peace Corps has ranked the University of Mary Washington among the nation’s top-producing colleges for alumni now serving as Peace Corps volunteers. Taylor Parker ’11 (left) served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana. UMW ranks 20th on the Peace Corps’ list of small schools or institutions with less than 5,000 undergraduates, making it the seventh-highest volunteer-producing institution in Virginia this year and the sixth-highest all-time producer in the Commonwealth. According to the Peace Corp, UMW currently has nine alumni serving around the world. UMW has been included in the top 10 of the Peace Corps’ list of top-producing small schools since 2005. In all, more than 230 UMW alumni have served the 27-month commitment around the world since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961. Leah Kieff graduated from the University of Mary Washington in 2011 with a degree in political science and currently works as a community economic development volunteer. She credits UMW with helping to prepare her for service in Moldova, where she works with a non-governmental organization that provides medical and social services to the elderly. “I wanted a job where I knew I was making a difference and where my work was helping to make the world a better place,” said Kieff, 26, a native of Fairfax, Va. “One of the many things I love about Peace Corps is that no two days are the same. There’s always a new adventure or funny moment to be had.” The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. For the full list of top-producing colleges and universities, visit peacecorps.gov.

UMW Alumnus Donates Hollywood Memorabilia for Auction

The University of Mary Washington Marketing Club is teaming up with the 2014 Executive-in-Residence, Dan Wolfe, to auction off a number of unique Hollywood memorabilia.   $_57 Donated by Wolfe, the auctioned items include a 25-movie box set of NBC Universal’s greatest hits, as well as T-shirts from many popular movies, including the recent box office smashes “Neighbors” and “Pitch Perfect.” The auction is being conducted through the eBay account of Professor Kashef Majid, the faculty advisor to the marketing club. The club is using these donations as an opportunity to practice marketing skills, and club president Lauren Strayhorn said they plan to promote the auction on their website and Facebook page. The auction ends Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. The collaboration is a part of the university’s Executive-in-Residence program, which unites students with career experts in business in order to gain knowledge and skills by interacting and working with professionals. Funds raised will go toward a club field trip in the spring to visit a Washington, D.C., ad agency. A 1984 UMW alumnus, Wolfe is currently the executive vice president of NBC Universal’s Worldwide Creative Operations, where he works to market the company’s movies in worldwide campaigns.

UMW to Host Tohoku Tomo Screening, Nov. 12

The University of Mary Washington will host a screening of the documentary film “Tohoku Tomo”on Wednesday, Nov. 12 to bring attention to the ongoing efforts to rebuild the Tohoku region of Japan, which was directly impacted by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan. Philp Holbrook, a 2007 UMW alumnus, was cinematographer of the documentary.   Film ScreeningTranslated as “Friends of Tohoku,” the film is a story of friendship and commitment to Japan’s recovery following the earthquake. The screening will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Combs Hall, Room 139 on the Fredericksburg campus. Admission is free and open to the public. Wesley Julian, a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, was in Japan on March 11, 2011, when the earthquake struck. Seeing the devastation first-hand and losing a close friend in the tsunami, he returned to the USA committed to helping bring attention to the ongoing needs in the areas devastated by the tsunami. In 2013, with funding from a Kickstarter campaign, Julian and a small team traveled back to Japan to interview individuals and organizations that have been working in the Tohoku region since March 11. Philip Holbrook joined him as director of photography. “It was important to me to not forget what happened, but also to tell the story of what’s happening now in Japan,” Julian said. “The film captures the stories of people who saw a need and did what they could to make a difference. My hope is that it will inspire others to visit the area and be a part of the rebuilding efforts in Japan.” The film includes over a dozen interviews, footage from the impacted areas, and features J-Pop artist Maynard Plant from the band “Monkey Majik;” Stu Levy, producer of the film “Pray for Japan;”and host of Tokyofoodcast, Etsuko Nakamura. Both Julian and Holbrook will attend the screening at UMW and will be available to answer questions and discuss the film. The event is sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office and the English, Linguistics, and Communication Department. For more information, contact Anand Rao at arao@umw.edu.

UMW Hosts 2014 Homecoming Events

Approximately 3,000 alumni, students and guests converged on the Fredericksburg campus on Saturday, Oct. 25 for the University of Mary Washington’s 2014 Homecoming Weekend celebration.

UMW Homecoming 2014Festivities included UMW’s second annual tailgating event that hosted more than 450 fans who gathered at the Battleground Athletic Complex for an afternoon of sports competition. The UMW Eagles enjoyed three wins, including women’s soccer that took a 3-1 victory against Penn State Harrisburg, and women’s volleyball that scored 3-0 in two games against Penn State Harrisburg and Virginia Wesleyan College. The men’s soccer team lost 3-2 in overtime against Wesley College.

Homecoming also served as a reunion for UMW’s alumni, with graduates from classes ranging from 1969 to 2014 represented at the tailgate. The weekend was the fifth year reunion of UMW’s Class of 2009. Forty alumni from 2009 celebrated their anniversary with a class party at J. Brian’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in downtown Fredericksburg that evening. The Alumni Association’s Washington, D.C. Network also hosted a brunch at the Sunken Well that brought in 35 alumni.

This year’s Homecoming concert, which will feature DEV, will take place Thursday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m. in the Anderson Center. For more information, please contact the Office of Student Activities at (540) 654-1061.

U.S. Ambassador to Visit UMW

Rose Likins visits with students.

Rose Likins visits with students.

U.S. Ambassador and alumna Rose McCartney Likins will visit the University of Mary Washington on Tuesday, October 21 to meet with international relations students. Likins graduated from Mary Washington as an international affairs major in 1981 and has served as ambassador to Peru and El Salvador. In 2005, she was UMW’s commencement speaker and the winner of the university’s Outstanding Alumnus Award.

For more information, contact jkramer@umw.edu.

Movie Executive Shares Expertise As UMW’s Executive-in-Residence

NBC Universal executive Daniel R. Wolfe urged local community leaders and students at the University of Mary Washington to strive for innovation in their businesses and their careers. Wolfe, a 1984 alumnus and executive vice president of NBC Universal’s Worldwide Creative Operations, spent two days this week at UMW as the 2014-14 Executive-in-Residence.

Dan Wolfe '84 talks with UMW students.

Dan Wolfe ’84 talks with UMW students.

“Maintaining the status quo is not a strategy,” said Wolfe, sharing his motto for business and a concept he strives to live by. According to Wolfe, businesses can either hold onto their success model until it becomes irrelevant, or continuously look to change and innovate.

What is the secret to innovation? Wolfe encourages business leaders to look to their consumers for answers.

“The biggest thing is – are we listening to our consumer?” asked Wolfe. “The ability to ask questions, the ability to let your guard down and say ‘let me ask what would be a better way to do this’ is so important for any business and for any individual to keep growing,” said Wolfe.

After graduating from UMW, Wolfe said he moved back home to Virginia Beach with his parents. A few years later, his college roommate, a movie fanatic, died in a car accident. The incident got Wolfe thinking about his passions and purpose, and he ended up moving to Boston for grad school before heading out to Los Angeles.

With all his success, Wolfe still credits his time as Mary Washington for the balance he is able to keep in the Hollywood industry.

College is “really where you build your foundation,” he said. “And I think that’s what’s really served me well.”