October 25, 2021

One Month Left: x2 Match to Beyond the Classroom Endowment

Beyond the Classroom Endowment

You know firsthand the value of high-impact learning experiences at Mary Washington — undergraduate research, independent study, study abroad, and internships. We created the Beyond the Classroom Endowment to ensure that UMW students will always have these meaningful opportunities to apply and expand their learning.

I am grateful to Dr. Cathie Woteki ’69 and her husband Tom Woteki for matching all gifts to the Beyond the Classroom Endowment through the end of July. Generous donors have already given more than $26,000 since the match was announced in late May, and their total impact exceeds $50,000 thanks to this dollar-for-dollar match. Overall, we are about two-thirds of the way to our target of $250,000 by the end of 2021, with an ultimate goal of $1 million.

I hope you will take a moment to hear about the impact of gifts to the Beyond the Classroom Endowment in this short video message from Cathie. If you have not already given, please consider donating before the match ends July 31. Thank you for all of the ways you support Mary Washington students!

With gratitude,

Dr. Keith Mellinger, Dean
College of Arts and Sciences

P.S. Read more about Cathie and the match in this story.

Make Your Gift for the x2 Match


UMW Offers Free Course to All: ‘Life After COVID’

Building on the enthusiastic response to last year’s COVID-19 in Context course, the University of Mary Washington is offering another free, open-to-all series in June. Life After COVID, delivered to homes, backyards and porches via Zoom and YouTube, will run Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 1 to July 1.

Life After COVID artwork featuring a man on a ladder leaning on a coronavirus cell, looking through a telescope. “We view opportunities such as the Life After COVID course as part of our mission as a public liberal arts and sciences institution,” said UMW College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger, who is co-facilitating the course with Assistant Dean Betsy Lewis and Communication and Digital Studies Chair Anand Rao.

UMW’s largest course ever, last year’s COVID-19 in Context event reached nearly 2,000 participants in 39 states, plus Washington, D.C., and countries across the globe, including Canada, England, France, Switzerland, Japan and Ghana. Like its predecessor, the course this summer will bring together current and incoming students, alumni, parents, community members, faculty and staff to explore timely COVID-related topics, Rao said. “It’s a big tent for academic discussion, which is the best model of what higher education can provide in today’s world.” Read more.

UMW, Marstel-Day to present climate series (Fredericksburg Today)

“A Climate of Change” Featured in The Free Lance-Star

A Climate of Change flyer“A Climate of Change,” hosted by UMW and Marstel-Day, a local environmental consulting firm, was featured in The Free Lance-Star. This three-part series of public discussions with local leaders, held on Tuesdays in April on Zoom, aims to amp up critical dialogue about climate change and issues like environmental justice, clean energy and conservation. Following each discussion, UMW College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger and Marstel-Day President and CEO Rebecca Rubin will moderate a public question-and-answer session. Read more.

A Climate of Change: An Earth Day Mini Series

A Climate of Change FlyerCLEAR (Climate Environment and Resilience) is presenting “A Climate of Change,” an Earth Day mini-series of public sessions to talk about environmental issues facing the Fredericksburg region. They will happen every Tuesday in April, at 4 p.m. via Zoom. After the presentations, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger will moderate a Q&A with Rebecca Rubin of the Fredericksburg-based environmental firm Marstel-Day.

Climate and Environmental Justice, 4/6

  • Delegate Josh Cole – Virginia House of Delegates, District 28, President of Stafford County NAACP
  • Qasim Rashid – Human Rights Lawyer and Author
  • Kendyl Crawford – Virginia Interfaith Power and Light, Director, Member of the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice

Register in advance for this webinar:



Climate and Clean Energy, 4/13

  • Dr. Matt Eberhardt – Deputy Superintendent, Fredericksburg City Public Schools
  • Mayor Katherine Greenlaw – Fredericksburg City Mayor
  • Robert Courtnage – Fredericksburg Clean and Green Commission
  • David Cooper – The Brisben Center

Register in advance for this webinar:



Climate and Conservation, 4/20

  • Daria Christian – Executive Director, Friends of the Rappahannock
  • John Tippett – Professor, UMW
  • Alan Rowsome – Executive Director, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust

Register in advance for this webinar:


Mellinger Writes Editorial on Sir Isaac Newton for “Great Lives” Lecture

Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton

College of Arts and Sciences Dean and Professor of Mathematics Keith Mellinger wrote an editorial about Sir Isaac Newton in advance of his “Great Lives” lecture on Feb. 2. The Zoom talk may be accessed online at umw.edu/greatlives.

BORN ON Christmas Day in 1642 to a family of humble roots, Isaac Newton grew to be regarded by many as the most influential scientist who ever lived. As a child, he showed great talent, and before the age of 30, he laid the foundations for mathematical and scientific theories that changed the world.

Michael Hart’s often debated 1978 book, “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History,” placed Newton in second place, perhaps a surprising outcome for one whose work was not political or religious, areas where individuals tend to have profound influence.

After a deep dive into Newton’s contributions, one can easily be convinced. Read more.

GREAT LIVES: Sir Isaac Newton left an indelible mark on society (The Free Lance-Star)

Endowment Endeavors to Enhance Student Experiences

UMW theatre students on a pre-pandemic trip to New York City and Broadway. The Beyond the Classroom Endowment will ensure Mary Washington students continue to experience extraordinary learning opportunities like this one.

UMW theatre students on a pre-pandemic trip to New York City and Broadway. The Beyond the Classroom Endowment will ensure Mary Washington students continue to experience extraordinary learning opportunities like this one.

The UMW historic preservation students were on a mission. As part of a 2019 study abroad trip to Paris, they were determined to find the grave of James Monroe’s daughter, Eliza, and make sure it was in good shape.

Success. After clearing away some plant growth, the students were able to report that Eliza Monroe Hay’s grave marker was intact. This trip benefitted not only the students but also the University’s James Monroe Museum.

Similarly, geography students brought prestige to UMW when they won the World Geography Bowl last year at the Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers competition in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Study abroad, domestic trips for research, unpaid internships – all of these beyond-the-classroom opportunities, some of which are unique to Mary Washington – greatly enhance students’ education. But they often come with a price tag.

During the 2019-20 academic year, more than 250 UMW students applied for grants to support supplies and travel related to internships and undergraduate research projects. Sadly, their requests exceeded available funds by close to $100,000.

The coronavirus pandemic abruptly halted student travel, while also tightening all university budgets. Even so, said College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Dean Keith Mellinger, “students needed money for lab equipment and studio projects, books and subscriptions, and some were also still looking for funding for day-travel to places like Washington, D.C., to visit museums or archives.” Read more.

Virginia Business Profile on UMW

Lee Hall

President Troy Paino, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger and Professor of Communication Anand Rao were interviewed for a Virginia Business profile on the University of Mary Washington entitled, “The Mother of Innovation.”

Don’t try to be something you’re not.

That’s one way to sum up the approach that Troy Paino has taken to guiding the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg since assuming the school’s presidency in July 2016.

“I knew as an outsider that Virginia had a crowded and competitive marketplace for higher education,” says Paino, who previously served as president of Missouri’s Truman State University. “I don’t think I fully appreciated it until I got here.” Read more.


‘COVID-19 in Context’ Course Highlighted on Education Blog

UMW’s eight-week “COVID-19 in Context” course was highlighted in a post on Bryan Alexander’s blog, “Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education.” The article primarily focused on private liberal arts institutions – singling out the University of Mary Washington as a public liberal arts university.

The University of Mary Washington – that unusual thing, a public liberal arts university – also taught/teaches a summer seminar on the pandemic. Topics include biology, policy, communication, elections, climate change, social justice, art, literature, chemistry, geography, history, and finance. Professors of communication and math facilitate. Read more.