July 4, 2020

UMW Awards Top Honors at 108th Commencement

For the first time in the University of Mary Washington’s history, four graduates received the Colgate W. Darden Jr. Award, presented to the graduate with the highest grade-point average (GPA) in the four-year undergraduate program. The Darden Award recipients are Sophia Josephine Lamp, Emily Lynn MacIndoe, Hollis E. Pultz and Lauren Marie Van Nostrand. The […]

National Gallery of Art Communications Chief Gives Graduates Rules for Success

Hard work is the foundation for integrity in the workplace, said Ann Elizabeth (Anabeth) Guthrie ‘97, as she outlined rules for professional success for 1,082 University of Mary Washington undergraduate candidates and their families and friends gathered on Ball Circle. The chief of communications for the National Gallery of Art, Guthrie delivered the 2019 commencement […]

UMW Graduates Class of 2019 in 108th Commencement

The University of Mary Washington graduated a total of ­­­­1,234 students during its 108th commencement in a graduate ceremony on Friday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium of George Washington Hall and in an undergraduate ceremony on Saturday, May 11, at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle, both at the Fredericksburg campus. The University […]

UMW Students Receive Awards of Excellence

University of Mary Washington students were honored for outstanding achievements at recent awards programs.   Department Awards Anika Hussain, Art Department Awards for Excellence; Mary B. Novitsky, Art History Award for Outstanding Research; Caitlin J. Kelly, Melchers Award for Excellence in Art History; Sara Elizabeth Fioretti and Anna M. Rinko, William A. Castle Award for […]

Top Class Council Officers Blaze Trail as First-in-Family

Nancy Pham’s parents are from Vietnam. Theo Zotos claims roots from Greece and Korea. She majored in communication and digital studies. He earned a degree in economics. She moved from her home in Falls Church, Virginia, into Westmoreland Hall freshman year. He drove his silver Nissan Sentra back and forth between campus and home in […]

19 Fun Facts About the Class of 2019

This morning marked Mary Washington’s 108th Commencement. It’s a time-held tradition that’s signaled the turning of a page, the start of a chapter, year after year, for more than a century. Still, each class is different. Here are 19 things that set the Class of 2019 apart from the crowd. It includes 1,082 undergraduate students […]

19 Fun Facts About the Class of 2019

Today marked Mary Washington’s 108th Commencement. It’s a time-held tradition that’s signaled the turning of a page, the start of a chapter, year after year, for more than a century. Still, each class is different. Here’s what sets the Class of 2019 apart from the rest: It includes 1,082 undergraduate students Most of them started […]

State Superintendent Steven R. Staples Addresses Master’s Candidates

State Superintendent Steven R. Staples challenged graduates to step up as leaders during his address at the University of Mary Washington’s graduate commencement Friday, May 8.   State Superintendent Steven Staples “We need high quality leadership,” said Staples, who pondered the question of whether leaders are made or born.   He recounted the impact of three diverse trailblazers–Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa—who shared common traits. “All three refused to simply accept circumstances ‘as they were’ and worked to make progress to improve life, despite obstacles and challenges,” Staples said. “And all three led from the heart.  Their leadership was an extension of their core beliefs and principles.” Staples addressed nearly 1,000 graduates, family members, friends and faculty, gathered in Dodd Auditorium. A total of 169 graduate degrees were awarded, including 87 Master of Education degrees, 47 Master of Business Administration degrees, 27 Master of Science in Elementary Education degrees and 8 Master of Science in Management Information Systems degrees. Five graduates received both the MBA and the MSMIS in a dual-degree program. Staples implored graduates to model qualities from such leaders of the past. “Refuse to accept ‘what is’ if ‘what could be’ is better,” he said. “Lead by your core principles.” As Virginia’s 24th superintendent, Staples is a leader in his own right. He serves as the executive officer of the Virginia Department of Education, the administrative agency for the commonwealth’s public schools. He also serves as secretary of the Board of Education. Pondering the ‘born’ or ‘made’ leadership dilemma, Staples said the answer may be a combination of the two. “Perhaps it doesn’t matter, as long as leaders are willing to accept the expectations, responsibilities, and challenges inherent in leadership . . . . as long as we are all ready to become one of those willing to dare greatly.” Pamela Bridgewater, a Foreign Service officer who served as U.S. Ambassador in three countries, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address on Saturday, May 9, beginning at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle.

State Superintendent, Career Ambassador to Speak at UMW Commencement Ceremonies

More than 5,000 parents, friends and well-wishers are expected to converge on the Fredericksburg campus to celebrate the University of Mary Washington’s 104th commencement ceremonies Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9. Steven R. Staples, superintendent of public instruction for the Virginia Department of Education, will give the graduate address on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. Pamela Bridgewater, a Foreign Service officer who served as U.S. Ambassador in three countries, will speak at the undergraduate ceremony on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle. Steven R. Staples As Virginia’s 24th superintendent, Staples serves as the executive officer of the Virginia Department of Education, the administrative agency for the commonwealth’s public schools. He also serves as secretary of the Board of Education. State Superintendent Steven Staples Previously, Staples served for two years as the executive director of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. He also was a faculty member at the College of William and Mary from 2008-2012 and worked in various capacities in four Virginia school divisions. In 1997, he was selected as Virginia Superintendent of the Year. Staples received his doctorate in education administration and supervision from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in education administration and supervision, as well as a bachelor’s degree in history and English from the College of William and Mary. Pamela E. Bridgewater Bridgewater retired from active duty in the U.S. Diplomatic Service in 2013 with the rank of Career Ambassador after 34 years of distinguished service. Bridgewater has served as U.S. ambassador in three countries under three different presidents: President Bill Clinton appointed her U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Benin; President George W. Bush named her U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana, and President Obama appointed her as Ambassador to Jamaica. Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater Among her extensive overseas tours, she became the first African-American woman to serve as consul general in Durban, South Africa, during the historic transition from Apartheid to a non-racial government. As the political officer assigned to cover Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, a former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa said, “Bridgewater established a degree of trust and confidence with Mr. Mandela and the ANC leadership that the U.S. had not previously enjoyed.” Her contributions to international affairs and public policy have resulted in numerous commendations, including two U.S. Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, the Charles Cobb Award for Trade Promotion, Department of State Superior Honor Awards and the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Award. The Fredericksburg native earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Virginia State University and a Master of Arts degree in political science from the University of Cincinnati. She completed course work and advanced to candidacy for the PhD degree from the American University School of International Service. She holds honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Virginia State University, and an honorary Doctor of Public Service from Morgan State University. For more information about the commencement ceremonies, visit www.umw.edu/commencement or call the Office of University Events and Conferencing at (540) 654-1065.

State Superintendent, Ambassador to Speak at UMW Commencement Ceremonies

Virginia’s chief education officer and a distinguished U.S. diplomat will speak at the 2015 commencement ceremonies for the University of Mary Washington Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9.   Steven R. Staples, superintendent of public instruction for the Virginia Department of Education, will give the graduate address on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. Pamela Bridgewater, a Foreign Service officer who served as U.S. Ambassador in three countries, will speak at the undergraduate ceremony on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle. Steven R. Staples As Virginia’s 24th superintendent, Staples serves as the executive officer of the Virginia Department of Education, the administrative agency for the commonwealth’s public schools. He also serves as secretary of the Board of Education. State Superintendent Steven Staples Previously, Staples served for two years as the executive director of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. He also was a faculty member at the College of William and Mary from 2008-2012 and worked in various capacities in four Virginia school divisions. In 1997, he was selected as Virginia Superintendent of the Year. Staples received his doctorate in education administration and supervision from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in education administration and supervision, as well as a bachelor’s degree in history and English from the College of William and Mary. Pamela E. Bridgewater Bridgewater retired from active duty in the U.S. Diplomatic Service in 2013 with the rank of Career Ambassador after 34 years of distinguished service. Bridgewater has served as U.S. ambassador in three countries under three different presidents: President Bill Clinton appointed her U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Benin; President GeorgeW. Bush named her U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana, and President Obama appointed her as Ambassador to Jamaica. Among her extensive overseas tours, she became the first African-American woman to serve as consul general in Durban, South Africa, during the historic transition from Apartheid to a non-racial government. As the political officer assigned to cover Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, a former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa said, “Bridgewater established a degree of trust and confidence with Mr. Mandela and the ANC leadership that the U.S. had not previously enjoyed.” Her contributions to international affairs and public policy have resulted in numerous commendations, including two U.S. Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, the Charles Cobb Award for Trade Promotion, Department of State Superior Honor Awards and the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Award. The Fredericksburg native earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia State University and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Cincinnati. She completed coursework and advanced to candidacy for the PhD degree from the American University School of International Service. She holds honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Virginia State University, and an honorary Doctor of Public Service from Morgan State University. For more information about the commencement ceremonies, visit www.umw.edu/commencement or call the Office of University Events and Conferencing at (540) 654-1065.