June 29, 2022

Chemistry Alums Mourn Passing of Beloved Professor

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Emeritus Bernard Mahoney

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Emeritus Bernard Mahoney

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Emeritus Bernard Mahoney was in his element teaching and advising students during his nearly four decades at Mary Washington.

When alumni learned he had passed away on May 9 of this year, tributes began pouring in, reflecting on his many attributes: his “laughing” Irish eyes, his delightful Boston brogue, his knack for making even the most challenging of courses fun. Most of all, they spoke of how he made an impact on their lives and livelihoods, cheering them on for years, even after they graduated.

“He was my catalyst to succeed,” says Amanda Bruch McNeil ’80, crediting Dr. Mahoney for helping launch her career in the oil and gas industry at a time when it welcomed few women. “Without him, I never would have pursued that dream.”

Dr. Mahoney came to Mary Washington, then the women’s college of University of Virginia, in 1965. He held bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston College and a doctorate in physical chemistry through University of New Hampshire. He also earned several prestigious fellowships, including from Harvard Medical School, the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

At Mary Washington, he served as department chair, was instrumental in creating the Bachelor of Liberal Studies program, and helped design the Jepson Science Center. He became a distinguished professor, earned UMW’s Grellet C. Simpson Award, and was granted emeritus status upon his retirement in 2002. Read more.

Alum Honors Friend’s Supportive Spirit with Scholarship and Bench

Class of 1993 alums and friends of Coby Frye, who helped fund the bench. From left to right: Patrick Fines, Warren Fischi, John Cheatham, Keith Park and John Anstey. Photo courtesy of John Anstey.

Class of 1993 alums and friends of Coby Frye, who helped fund the bench. From left to right: Patrick Fines, Warren Fischi, John Cheatham, Keith Park and John Anstey. Photo courtesy of John Anstey.

John Anstey ’93 remembers meeting Carl “Coby” B. Frye ’93 on the first day of their freshman year at Mary Washington.

“His infectious laugh and broad smile immediately put me at ease,” John says. The pair, who lived a few doors down from each other in Westmoreland Hall and later roomed together, became inseparable. “And that friendship carried us through our time at Mary Washington and into adulthood.”

After Coby died unexpectedly in spring of 2019, John decided to channel his grief into something meaningful. He and his wife, Kara Lee Matala ’94, established the endowed Carl B. Frye Jr. ’93 Scholarship for University of Mary Washington students who embody Coby’s positive, “can-do” attitude. In addition, the couple raised funds, along with six of their classmates, to memorialize their friend by naming a bench for him on Campus Walk, a place where they made so many memories together as students. Read more.

MARY TALKS: President Troy Paino’s “Here’s Another Nice Mess”

MARY TALKS: President Troy Paino's "Here's Another Nice Mess"

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

For this season’s finale, we will will hear from Troy D. Paino, Ph.D., president of the University. Dr. Paino will present, “Here’s Another Nice Mess: How Do We Respond to this Moment?”

COVID has disrupted our lives and torn at the fabric of our communities, plunging some into an existential crisis. In addition to this global health crisis, we are facing social unrest, democracy in peril, climate change, growing inequality, a mental health epidemic, drug abuse, lost faith in institutions, internet-fueled misinformation campaigns, increased violence, racial strife, and more.

While these times might feel unprecedented, the University of Mary Washington was founded during a similarly fraught time. Indeed, the University owes its very existence to the Commonwealth’s investment of hope in our democracy’s future in 1908. One hundred and fourteen years later, how do we respond to this moment and foster a spirit of renewal?

Wednesday, April 20
7:00-8:00 p.m. (EDT)
Online (via Zoom)

If you haven’t already, register below to watch the Talk online. You 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 ‘Shuggie Bain’ with Mary Washington’s Mother of All Book Clubs

Book Club 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 Shuggie Bain, by Douglas Stuart. This book is a national bestseller and was a finalist for the National Book Award.

From Amazon: Shuggie Bain is the unforgettable story of young Hugh “Shuggie” Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in run-down public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatcher’s policies have put husbands and sons out of work, and the city’s notorious drugs epidemic is waiting in the wings. Shuggie’s mother Agnes walks a wayward path: she is Shuggie’s guiding light but a burden for him and his siblings. Agnes’s older children find their own ways to get a safe distance from their mother, abandoning Shuggie to care for her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety.

A heartbreaking story of addiction, sexuality, and love, Shuggie Bain is an epic portrayal of a working-class family that is rarely seen in fiction… [I]t is a blistering debut by a brilliant novelist who has a powerful and important story to tell.

Pick up a copy of the book and start reading–we will begin posting discussion questions on Monday, April 18. 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 11/22/63: A NOVEL with Mary Washington’s Mother of All Book Clubs

Mary Washington Mother of All Book Clubs starts 11/22/63

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 11/22/63: A Novel, by Stephen King. This book was named one of the Ten Best Books from The New York Times and also won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

From Amazon: “On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back?

In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.”

Pick up a copy of the book and start reading—we will begin posting discussion questions on Monday, February 28. 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: 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