January 23, 2022

MARY TALKS: Food Waste & the World’s Stupidest Problem

Mary Talks: Kashef Majid

Join us ONLINE for the next Mary Talk of the 2021-22 academic year!

We will hear from Dr. Kashef Majid, professor of marketing at Mary Washington, as he presents “Stop Wasting our Food: Food Waste and the World’s Stupidest Problem.”

Why is it that we squander one-third of all food? Households in the U.S. waste thousands of dollars each year on uneaten food “because we’ve been tricked,” Dr. Majid says. In a new course called Alleviating Food Waste, Dr. Majid helps UMW students explore the root causes of unused food and how the issue can be remedied.

Wednesday, February 2
7:30-8:30 p.m. (EDT)
Online (via Zoom)

To watch the Talk online, register here. You then will receive a link to the streaming video, which can be watched live or at a later time. You also will have the opportunity to submit questions to be asked of the speaker at the end of the Talk.

We look forward to seeing you online!

Register here.

Read THE LOWLAND with the Mary Washington Mother of All Book Clubs

Mother of All Book Clubs banner

We are beginning the next round of reading in our online literary group, the Mother of All Book Clubs! This club is open to anyone with a connection to Mary Washington–alumni, parents, donors, faculty, and staff. Join us!

Our next selection is The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri. This book was a finalist for the National Book Award, among other honors, and appears on dozens of booklists.

From Amazon:

The Lowland is an engrossing family saga steeped in history: the story of two very different brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn apart by revolution, and a love that endures long past death. Moving from the 1960s to the present, and from India to America and across generations, this dazzling novel is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.”

Pick up a copy of the book and start reading–we will begin posting discussion questions on Monday, January 10. You might consider supporting an independent bookstore, or you could try your local library system.

We look forward to reading with you!

All the best,

The Alumni Relations Team

Announcement of Vice President for Advancement Search

A message from the Office of the President.

To the University Community,

As you may be aware, we are beginning a national search for a new Vice President for Advancement.  We are seeking a highly qualified individual for this critical area of operations for the University and will work diligently to ensure that we get the right person to lead this unit.

I have asked Jeffrey McClurken, Chief of Staff, to chair the search committee. The other members of the search committee are:

  • Devon Cushman, Class of 1993 and BOV Chair of Administration, Facilities, Finance, and Advancement committee
  • Jackie Gallagher, Professor and Chair, Geography Department, UFC representative
  • Patti Kemp, UMW Foundation Board, Class of 1969
  • Keith Mellinger, Dean of Arts and Sciences
  • Dana Norwood, Biology major, Social Justice minor, Class of 2022, SGA representative
  • Marion Sanford, James Farmer Multicultural Center
  • Catherine Seller, Advancement
  • Mark Thaden, Alumni Relations, Class of 2002
  • Alicia Tisdale, Financial Aid, USC representative
  • Susan Worrell, Interim Vice President for Advancement

The committee will be assisted in its work by Greg Duyck, Principal and Advancement Practice Leader of the executive search firm of WittKieffer with the goal of having candidates on campus in the spring.

Troy

Take your holiday cookie decorating skills up a notch!

Christmas Cookies picture

Want to take your cookie decorating skills to the next level (or just have some fun)?!

Get into the holiday spirit with us and former UMW staff member Ameeta Rajagopal, the owner/operator of Ameeta Bakes. This cookie extraordinaire will lead us in a virtual cookie decorating lesson from the kitchen in recently renovated Willard Hall.

We’ll supply the recipes and tips, and you’ll join us via Zoom from the comfort of your own kitchen. Bake your cookies in advance so you can follow along with the decorating!

Thursday, December 16
6:00-7:00pm (EST)
Online (via Zoom)

When you register, the confirmation email will include links to Ameeta’s Holiday Baking Packet with recipes, tips, tricks, and more to help you prep for the class.

We can’t wait to see you online!

Register here.

Read THE LOWLAND with the Mary Washington Mother of All Book Clubs

Mother of All Book Clubs banner

We are beginning the next round of reading in our online literary group, the Mother of All Book Clubs! This club is open to anyone with a connection to Mary Washington–alumni, parents, donors, faculty, and staff. Join us!

Our next selection is The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri. This book was a finalist for the National Book Award, among other honors, and appears on dozens of booklists.

From Amazon:

The Lowland is an engrossing family saga steeped in history: the story of two very different brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn apart by revolution, and a love that endures long past death. Moving from the 1960s to the present, and from India to America and across generations, this dazzling novel is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.”

Pick up a copy of the book and start reading–we will begin posting discussion questions on Monday, January 10. You might consider supporting an independent bookstore, or you could try your local library system.

We look forward to reading with you!

All the best,
The Alumni Relations Team

Read THE NIGHT WATCHMAN with Mary Washington’s Mother of All Book Clubs

We are beginning the next round of reading in our online literary group, the Mother of All Book Clubs! This club is open to anyone with a connection to Mary Washington — alumni, parents, donors, faculty, and staff. Join us!

Our next selection is The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich. This book won the Pulitzer Prize this year, is a New York Times bestseller, and is on countless booklists.

From The New York Times:

“Early in this banquet of a novel that invites us back into Louise Erdrich’s ongoing Chippewa chronicles, a character on the reservation boasts, ‘Law can’t take my Indian out of me.’ Unfortunately, the United States government is hoping to do just that through the Termination Bill, an Orwellian plan that promises to ’emancipate’ Indigenous people from their lands and their tribal affiliations…

The novel’s title character, Thomas Wazhashk, is a night watchman for a factory where women of the Turtle Mountain clan work by day, using gemstones as drill bits for Defense Department ordnance and for Bulova watches. Among these working women is Thomas’s niece, Patrice, known against her will as Pixie. Thomas watches over the dark, possibly haunted factory to protect these gems from thieves. The novel follows the fates and struggles and adventures of these two people and the ever-expanding circles of their relations.”

Pick up a copy of the book and start reading–we will begin posting discussion questions on Monday, November 22. You might consider supporting an independent bookstore, or you could try your local library system.

We look forward to reading with you!

All the best,
The Alumni Relations Team

MARY TALKS with Sushma Subramanian: “How to Feel: the Science and Meaning of Touch”

Join us ONLINE for the first Mary Talk of the 2021-22 academic year!

In these times of the internet and digital communication, some say we are out of touch. Many people fear that we are trapped inside our screens, becoming less in tune with our bodies and losing our connection to the physical world. But the sense of touch has been undervalued since long before the days of digital isolation.

Because of deeply rooted beliefs that favor the cerebral over the corporeal, touch is maligned as dirty or sentimental, in contrast with other forms of communication and perception. In this Mary Talk, journalism professor Sushma Subramanian will explore the scientific, physical, emotional, and cultural aspects of touch, reconnecting us to what is arguably our most important sense.

Wednesday, September 8
7:30-9:00 p.m. (EDT)
Online (via Zoom)

To watch the Talk online, register here. You then will receive a link to the streaming video, which can be watched live or at a later time. You also will have the opportunity to submit questions to be asked of the speaker at the end of the Talk.

We look forward to seeing you online!

Register Now.

Read EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU with the Mary Washington Book Club

We are beginning the next round of reading in our online literary group, the Mother of All Book Clubs! This club is open to anyone with a connection to Mary Washington–alumni, parents, donors, faculty, and staff. Join us!

Our next selection is Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng. This critically acclaimed book was the debut novel from the author of Little Fires Everywhere.

From Amazon: “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet. So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.”

Pick up a copy of the book and start reading–we will begin posting discussion questions on Monday, August 23. You might have a small-business bookseller you like to support, or you might want to try your local library system. But if you need the book shipped, below are some links to larger online providers.

We look forward to reading with you!

All the best,
The Alumni Relations Team

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Target

Looking ahead to future selections in order to get on library waitlists? Here is the next book we plan to read (keep in mind that changes are possible):

The Code Breaker, by Walter Isaacson

Come out to the ballgame with UMW Alumni

Fredericksburg-area alumni are invited to join us at the FredNats ballpark for Mary Washington Alumni Night!

We’ll be cheering on our FredNats as they battle the Carolina Mudcats. Wear your Mary Wash gear and come join us!

Register here for a free game ticket. Then meet us at the stadium on gameday to pick up your ticket starting at 6:15pm; look for the blue UMW Alumni tent near the main gate. The ballpark has food and beverage concessions available; Thursday also is “Thirsty Thursday” with $2 beer specials.

Thursday, August 26
7:00-10:00pm (EDT)

FredNats Ballpark
42 Jackie Robinson Way
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401

Please note: Masks are required for unvaccinated attendees, though masks are welcome and encouraged for any guests who feel more comfortable wearing them. The outdoor nature of this event will enable social distancing for those who prefer it.

Pre-registration is required for this event, as tickets are limited. Parking is $5 per vehicle, and the park is cashless.

We look forward to seeing you at the ballpark!

 

REGISTER

Thaden, Devlin Interviewed in The Free Lance-Star on LGBTQ Oral History Project

Executive Director of Alumni Relations Mark Thaden

Executive Director of Alumni Relations Mark Thaden

Executive Director of Alumni Relations Mark Thaden ’02 and Associate Professor of History and American Studies Erin Devlin were interviewed in The Free Lance-Star about Mary Washington’s LGBTQ Alumni Oral History Project. UMW Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives just launched the oral history collection, made up of recorded interviews and transcripts by students in Devlin’s oral history seminar in 2019.

When Mark Thaden first arrived at the University of Mary Washington in the late 1990s, the campus LGBTQ group met quietly, behind closed doors, in an upstairs room of the campus center.

“It was a social group, but it was very much about support,” said Thaden, a 2002 graduate of UMW who is now the university’s executive director of alumni relations.

Thaden said he was not out when he came to UMW from rural Maryland and a small, Catholic high school. At the club carnival early his freshman year, he was excited to see that there was an LGBTQ campus group, but he was too nervous at first to approach members.

Associate Professor of History and American Studies Erin Devlin

Associate Professor of History and American Studies Erin Devlin

Luckily, a friend signed him up to receive the group’s emails and the meetings became formative in his journey toward self-acceptance.

“That’s where I started feeling more comfortable, being with people who were comfortable with themselves,” Thaden said. “That’s where I started feeling like it was OK.”

Thaden’s memories and those of two dozen other LGBTQ alumni were recorded and transcribed in 2019 by students in Associate Professor Erin Devlin’s Oral History seminar. Read more.