May 23, 2024

Betsy Chinn Retirement Celebration, August 3

Betsy Chinn

Betsy Chinn

Dear Staff and Faculty,

The Office of the President invites you to a reception honoring Betsy Chinn, Office Manager and Deputy Clerk of the Board of Visitors, on Wednesday, Aug. 3, in George Washington Hall, Room 103, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Over the past several decades, Betsy made tremendous accomplishments throughout her career and left lasting, positive impressions on those around her. Those who know Betsy, know she is especially kind, caring, funny, hard-working and a true professional. Starting as a clerk typist in the Registrar’s Office in 1973, her career led her to work in many departments on campus, some of which included student records, development and management information systems, bookstore, disbursing office, business and finance, and finally, the Office of the President. We will greatly miss her in the Office of the President and in Board of Visitors meetings, where she has seen presidents, administrators and many, many board members come and go over the years.

Please stop by to thank Betsy for her many, varied years of service at Mary Washington and to share your good wishes for her retirement.

Office of the President

Student Affairs Pros Recognize UMW’s ‘Rock Star’ President

University of Mary Washington colleagues have long known how committed President Troy D. Paino is to the student experience – and to the faculty and staff who work day in and day out to make it the best it can be.

UMW President Troy Paino
UMW President Troy Paino

Now, student affairs professionals throughout the Southeastern United States are spreading the news. NASPA, the organization of student affairs administrators in higher education, will recognize Paino with its Region III President’s Award for 2022 during a summer symposium in Charleston, South Carolina, June 12-15.

“This prestigious award signifies that your fellow student affairs colleagues value the contributions you are making in the field,” awards committee co-chairs Stephen M. Howard and Nicholas Hudson wrote in an email informing Paino of the honor. “It also exemplifies your hard work within the profession, your institution and NASPA Region III.”

In supporting Paino’s nomination for the recognition, UMW Vice President for Student Affairs Juliette Landphair emphasized the president’s compassionate approach to strategic planning and decision-making and pointed out, “He is, above all, a student-centered leader.” Read more.

A Message From The President

Dear UMW Community,

Welcome to the first installment of A Message from the President. This monthly message will be a staple throughout the academic year and is part of an ongoing effort to improve communication on campus. If there are topics or issues you would like for these messages to address, please submit suggestions to

There is not much to update as it relates to this year’s state legislative session. The budget is in conference and members are awaiting the special session to get back to work. Hopefully we will know more in advance of the April message so I can report how the state budget impacts UMW. Until it’s approved, we cannot finalize our fiscal year 2023 budget, including tuition and fees for the 2022-2023 school year.

The spring semester not only brings warmer temperatures and signs of new life, but also an exciting and promising time of year that we call “yield season.” This is the critically important time between offers of admittance to prospective students and the deadline to make a deposit for enrollment. Events like last Saturday’s Destination UMW are opportunities for us to communicate what is so special about a Mary Washington education with these admitted students and their families. A special thanks to all those responsible for making the event so successful. From the Admissions team to our faculty and staff and students who came out on a Saturday to interact with these prospective Eagles and their families, you made a positive difference. I heard nothing but great things about your interaction with these admitted students, and you convinced more than a few students that Mary Washington is the place for them.

With just a little over a month left in yield season, all of us can play an important part in providing a warm, genuine and positive welcome for students and their families as they visit campus. Whether it’s holding a door open, saying hello, answering questions or offering to escort a family to a meeting room, your efforts matter. The following are some important events to put on your calendar:

  • April 9 – MOVE (Multicultural On-Campus Visit Experience) and UMW Multicultural Fair
  • April 15 – Open House for prospective students and their families
  • April 23 – Destination UMW for Fall 2022 admitted students and their families

I wanted to especially thank those who work so hard to make our campus look clean and beautiful. The combination of COVID, the January 3rd snow storm, the underground utilities project, and a reduced crew has made taking care of our campus a significant challenge. Despite that, those who work to maintain our grounds and buildings have gone above and beyond the call of duty to restore campus. I have heard several compliments that our campus once again “shows well.” The campus is especially beautiful as the flowers and trees start to bloom.

The underground utilities project is progressing so we can have heat and hot water for years to come. However, its disruption has interfered with everyone’s enjoyment of campus these past several weeks, particularly on Ball Circle. Fortunately, the work has moved from Ball Circle to in front of Westmoreland Hall, enabling our crew to begin preparing the heart of campus for spring traditions like Devil-Goat Day and, most importantly, commencement.

Speaking of commencement, it saddens me to report that I must miss this year’s ceremony. As hopefully all students and their families can understand, I need to be at my youngest daughter’s college graduation that is scheduled for the same day, May 7th, in a different state. This is particularly difficult for me because the Class of 2022 holds a special place in my heart. These graduates have endured a lot over their time at UMW, and I wanted to be there to congratulate them during this much deserved joyous occasion. In addition, this year’s graduation ceremony returns to its traditional location: Ball Circle! Commencement has not been on Ball Circle since 2019, and there is no better location for such an occasion. Marching into the warm embrace of a crowd of friends and families brimming with pride to the sound of bagpipes always fills my heart with joy, and I am sorry to miss it.

In an effort to compensate for my absence, I am doing several things to honor this year’s amazing graduating class, including:

  • offer opportunities for photos with the president in full regalia,
  • attend a Senior Toast to celebrate the graduating class and convey what they mean to me and this community,
  • attend commencement rehearsal on May 6th before I must run to the airport to catch a plane, and
  • record a congratulatory video message that will be shared at commencement.

Please stay tuned for more details about these celebratory opportunities.

As we enter the home stretch of this academic year, I want to encourage expressions of kindness toward one another. The last two years have strained those human connections that give our lives and work so much meaning. As we find more opportunities now to interact with one another, remember a warm smile and kind word go a long way.

Thank you all for making Mary Washington such a wonderful and caring community.



Troy Paino

Conversations with President Paino on Monday, March 21 at 1:30 p.m.

Dear UMW Faculty and Staff,

Please join President Paino on Monday, March 21st from 1:30-2:30 p.m. for Conversations with President Paino.

The session will be held in-person in the newly renovated Seacobeck Hall, Room 145.

Thank you.

Office of the President


Holiday Greetings from President Paino

Dear UMW Community,

As the semester comes to an end and we prepare for winter break, I wanted to extend my heartfelt gratitude and best wishes to you and those you hold dear.

Since March of 2020, we all have endured additional strain – pandemic struggles, political and social unrest, and personal or family health and financial challenges. With cooperation and support from all of you, we have kept COVID-19 transmission rates extremely low and have made campus life as normal as possible given the circumstances. You have exemplified what it means to be a part of a caring community, and your resilience has allowed us to move forward and fulfill our mission.

I know the holiday season can sometimes exacerbate stressful feelings and situations, taking a toll on our emotional and physical well-being. Please take care of yourself and enjoy those customs that enrich your life and give you peace of mind. My hope is that you enjoy laughter, good food, family, and friends as we reflect on this past year and look forward to the next.


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.


Conversations with President Paino

A message from the Office of the President. 

Dear UMW Faculty and Staff,

President Paino invites you to join him for Conversations with President Paino, formerly known as Coffee with the President. These sessions will offer informal opportunities to share insights and engage in candid discussions that are aligned with our community values and in support of making University of Mary Washington the best it can be. Occasionally, the sessions may focus on a particular issue facing us or may include other leaders who represent areas critical to institutional progress.

Sessions will be offered at the following dates and times:

  • Monday, October 4                         10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, October 13                3-4 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 11                 2:30-3:30 p.m.

More information will be forthcoming.

Thank you.

Office of the President

President Paino Focuses on What Matters Most in UMW Address

As the University of Mary Washington welcomed students to campus last week, President Troy Paino expressed “true joy” as he gathered with many of his colleagues for the first time since March of last year. Speaking in Dodd Auditorium last Monday, Paino was visibly moved as he delivered his all-University address in person to more […]

President Paino Focuses on What Matters Most in UMW Address

As the University of Mary Washington welcomes students to campus this week, President Troy Paino expressed “true joy” as he gathered with many of his colleagues on Monday for the first time since March of last year. Speaking in Dodd Auditorium, Paino was visibly moved as he delivered his all-University address in person to more than 100 faculty and staff, while those still teleworking watched on livestream.

UMW President Troy Paino. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

UMW President Troy Paino. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Paino, who wore a mask in adherence to UMW’s indoor face coverings policy, shared his concerns about the Delta variant. But having witnessed the campus community’s commitment to mitigating the spread of the virus, he said he was confident in Mary Washington’s resilience and ability to adapt. “Our capacity to serve our students and fulfill our mission” will be renewed and strengthened after the adversity we’ve all faced, he said.

Touting a 90 percent vaccination rate among students and employees, Paino said the University will continue to monitor the situation and follow guidance from local and state health authorities. Finishing the last academic year among schools with the lowest number of cases, Mary Washington has been a model for the Commonwealth, he said. Furthermore, Chief of Staff Jeff McClurken, who managed UMW’s pandemic response with Interim Provost Tim O’Donnell, was asked to chair a team of COVID directors from Virginia colleges and universities.

Flanked by banners declaring the values that matter at Mary Washington, Paino announced that more than 7,000 members of the UMW community helped create “a collective expression … that is authentic to who we are.” Mary Washington will continue to collaborate with Atlanta-based firm Mindpower to refine and reinforce the Matter brand to tell our story to prospective students and their families, he said.



He also encouraged faculty and staff to focus on fostering connections with current students, especially those who came to UMW during the pandemic. “Individualized attention … the human interaction with our students inside and outside the classroom,” he said, “that’s the Mary Washington experience.”

The president also provided updates on construction projects, including the newly renovated Virginia Hall, which new students began moving into this week; the anticipated spring 2022 completion of Seacobeck as the new home of the College of Education; and the Maxine and Carl D. Silver Hillel Center, which will serve as a hub for UMW’s Jewish students. Funds have been secured from the General Assembly to start planning for a new theatre, Paino said, as well as a revitalization of the duPont, Pollard and Melchers arts complex.

Mary Washington has begun a nationwide search for a new chief diversity officer to succeed Sabrina Johnson, who retired earlier this year, Paino said. Citing UMW’s recent rankings on the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges and Washington Monthly’s list of institutions that serve a public good, he added that Mary Washington is on the verge of hiring a full-time sustainability coordinator.

Paino concluded his address with praise for faculty and staff, emphasizing their role in helping UMW students discover what matters most to them. “I wish you well as we welcome our students back to campus,” he said, “and be reminded of the important work we do together.”


A message from President Paino

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

On Monday, I recorded this video as a year-end message of appreciation and encouragement for all of you. At that time, we had no idea when a verdict would be rendered or what to expect in the trial of Derek Chauvin. Now that we know the outcome, my sentiments expressed here take on even more poignancy and meaning. We must continue to strive to be better and to hold ourselves and our nation accountable as a place where all can live with dignity, purpose, and acceptance.

When I consider all the visible and unseen challenges each of you has confronted this past year, I realize that this year has come at a great price, but also with tremendous reward. The way that this great community continues to overcome the unimaginable fills me with a sense of hope for the future.

Wishing you all the best,

Troy Paino