July 23, 2024

UMW’s 2024 Reunion Weekend is One for the Ages

Edna Gooch Trudeau ’59 and Danielle DeSimone ’14 graduated 55 years apart. Yet, each returned to the University of Mary Washington’s Reunion Weekend for the same reason.

“I’ve kept in touch with friends I met here 69 years ago,” said Trudeau, tearing up as she recalled classmates she has lost over the years. But her face brightened as Ann Brooks Coutsoubinas ’59 arrived. Trudeau added, “I absolutely loved my time at Mary Washington.”

DeSimone expressed the same sentiment after reuniting with friends she met on her first night in college. “It’s so wild that it has been a decade since we graduated. We can’t wait to relive everything.”

Over 600 graduates and guests returned to the University of Mary Washington for 2024's Reunion Weekend, May 30 through June 2. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

Over 600 graduates and guests returned to the University of Mary Washington for 2024’s Reunion Weekend, May 30 through June 2. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

Over 600 graduates and guests gathered for 2024’s Reunion Weekend, held May 30 through June 2. Some came with canes and walkers, while others were there with strollers in tow. Yet, everyone was excited to reconnect with the campus and each other and rediscover all the things they loved about UMW.

UMW Honors 2024 Alumni Award Recipients at Reunion Weekend

Jay Dugger ’90 was always ready to go toe-to-toe in debates with his political science professors. In the decade after he graduated, the scholarship and legal acumen he once showcased at Mary Washington helped him earn a law degree from the College of William and Mary, pass the bar, go into private practice, make partner and become the youngest sitting judge in Virginia.

2024 Alumni Award recipients Simran Kaur-Colbert '11, Susan Leavitt '83 and Jay Dugger '90 with President Troy Paino at UMW's Alumni Awards ceremony on June 1 during Reunion Weekend. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

2024 Alumni Award recipients Simran Kaur-Colbert ’11, Susan Leavitt ’83 and Jay Dugger ’90 with President Troy Paino at UMW’s Alumni Awards ceremony on June 1 during Reunion Weekend. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

“Jay has been a champion for not only what is the law, but also for the people who are impacted by those laws,” Rich Cooper ’90 said of his friend. Now the chief judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Hampton, Virginia, Dugger has helped create programs to reunify families, reduce child truancy and provide educational and behavior services to children in the delinquency system.

His support of underserved communities earned him the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Mary Washington, honoring graduates who have made significant contributions in their profession and community, while being leaders in their fields.

Nominated by Cooper – who received the same award in 2020 – and Michael Michalowicz ’90, Dugger was honored in a June 1 ceremony in Seacobeck Hall’s Weatherly Wing during Reunion Weekend. Alumni joined President Troy Paino in celebrating Dugger, Susan Leavitt ’83 and Simran Kaur-Colbert ’11, as well as Dori Eglevsky, former rector of UMW’s Board of Visitors (BOV), who was named an honorary alumna. Alumni Awards Vice President Sean Lynch ’95 announced the honorees, who were selected by the Alumni Association Board of Directors (AABOD).

Learn more about 2024’s Alumni Award recipients at Giving.umw.edu.

2023’s Reunion Weekend Brings Back Beloved Barbecue Bash

“Reunion brings together alumni spanning eight decades for a chance to reconnect with campus and each other,” said Executive Director of Alumni Engagement Mark Thaden ’02. “While their stories may differ, their love of Mary Washington transcends generations.”

“Reunion brings together alumni spanning eight decades for a chance to reconnect with campus and each other,” said Executive Director of Alumni Engagement Mark Thaden ’02. “While their stories may differ, their love of Mary Washington transcends generations.”

Please note: All faculty and staff are invited to celebrate Reunion Weekend, June 1-4, 2023. View a complete schedule of events and be sure to register.  

As Marshall Hall’s former president, Jay Bradshaw ’88 has fond memories of his years living “down the hill.” He recalls carefully climbing the icy incline each winter, getting pelted by water balloons on a spring evening and sleeping in the building’s lobby to keep cool on late summer nights.

Now, he’s ready to make one more memory. The University of Mary Washington will hold a final Grill on the Hill – a student-led tradition that began in the 1980s and ran until 2015 – to say farewell to Marshall and Russell halls during 2023’s Reunion Weekend, June 1-4. The two residence halls will soon make way for the new home of UMW’s Department of Theatre and Dance, anticipated to breathe fresh life into the east end of campus.

Bradshaw helped plan the June 2 cookout, which will include picnic fare, live music by Sean Michael Dargan ’90 and a chance to visit these buildings that housed thousands of students since the 1960s. “This is a wonderful opportunity to see old friends and relive great memories from our college days,” Bradshaw said.

More than 700 alumni, families and friends are expected to return to Mary Washington for the four-day Reunion Weekend, celebrating class years ending in 3 and 8. Yet, all are welcome to partake in parties and picnics, campus tours, lectures, family fun, class photos, arts and cultural events, beverage tastings, trips to Fredericksburg’s iconic Carl’s for ice cream and more. Read more.