December 1, 2023

Blakemore Pens Editorial on General MacArthur for ‘Great Lives’ Lecture

Professor of Modern European History and Military History Porter Blakemore

Professor of Modern European History and Military History Porter Blakemore

Professor of Modern European History and Military History Porter Blakemore, a former naval officer and aviator, penned an editorial in The Free Lance-Star newspaper in advance of his “Great Lives” lecture on General Douglas MacArthur on Feb. 18. View the lecture here.

DOUGLAS MacArthur is one of the most famous American military officers of the first half of the 20th century. As a young brigadier general in 1918, he was poised for a distinguished future that held great promise.

Yet his potential produced enigmatic success and failure in the career that followed. Today, while some historians consider him one of the great captains of history, others disparage his accomplishments.

The truth falls somewhere in the middle. Read more.

GREAT LIVES: MacArthur was the best – and worst – of American generals (The Free Lance-Star)

Governor Appoints to Monroe Museum Board of Regents

Outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently announced appointments to the Board of Regents of the James Monroe Law Office Museum and Memorial Library. Among the appointments from UMW are Porter Blakemore, associate professor of history;  Jeffrey W. McClurken, professor of history and special adviser to the UMW president; Rita Thompson of Fairfax, director of Rappahannock Scholars Program and a retired Fairfax County School Board member. To read more, visit

Gubernatorial appointments for Jan. 8 (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

University Philharmonic Fall Program

The fall program for the University Philharmonic Orchestra will be exciting. The Orchestra will perform its Masterworks concert featuring Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony on Oct. 22. Then on Dec. 9 it will present Christmas with Tony Bennett.  Tickets for the Masterworks concert are on sale now.  Tickets for the Christmas with Tony Bennett show will be available to Friends of the Philharmonic starting Monday, Oct. 10, at 10 a.m. and to the general public starting on Oct. 24 at 10 a.m.  For tickets or more information call 540/654-1324 or email

Joshua Bell Comes to Mary Washington

Renowned violinist Joshua Bell will be appearing with the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, 2016, in Dodd Auditorium.  Accompanied by the orchestra, he will perform the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor. Tickets are available at or by phone at 540-654-2016.

UMW to Host Historic Concert

Legendary Three Tenors Singer Performs with Philharmonic

The UMW Philharmonic and Music Director Dr. Kevin Bartram announced that legendary tenor José Carreras has agreed to perform a rare concert with the orchestra on Saturday, October 17 in the William M. Anderson Center.

José Carreras is best-known for his record-breaking appearances with Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo in the Three Tenors. Now, for the first time in nearly a decade, and for the ONLY time tin 2015, this international superstar makes his triumphant return to America-at UMW!
Carreras is coming directly from Europe for this single performance. “I am thrilled to come to Fredericksburg for the first time and perform in this unmatched atmosphere,” Carreras said. “The program will contain great music from opera, operetta, musical, and song in an evening to remember!”

Tickets are now on sale at or by calling (540)654-1324.

UMW to Host Jewish Cultural Awareness Events

The University of Mary Washington will host two events as part of the Jewish Cultural Awareness Celebration, sponsored by the James Farmer Multicultural Center. Both events are free and open to the public. The Kristallnacht Commemoration will take place on Monday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. On this day 76 years ago, tens of thousands of Jews awoke to find their stores, businesses, homes and synagogues destroyed. Immediately after, more than 30,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps, marking the beginning of the Holocaust. The event, which features talks by Marcel Drimer, a Holocaust survivor, and Porter R. Blakemore, associate professor in the Department of History and American Studies, takes place in Lee Hall, Room 411. Vanessa Ochs, author of “Inventing Jewish Ritual,” will give the keynote lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411. Ochs won the National Jewish Book Award in 2007 and was awarded a Creative Writing Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. A professor in the University of Virginia’s Department of Religious Studies and Jewish Studies Program, she teaches Judaism, spiritual writing and anthropology. For more information on either of these events, please visit or call (540) 654-1044.

Faculty-Led Study Abroad Trips Reach Milestones

A group of students during the 2011 “Spain for All” trip.

Carol Quinn has been back in the United States for less than a week and she is already thinking of her next trip to Europe.

The University of Mary Washington senior was one of nine students who visited London, Amsterdam, Wurzburg, Munich and Vienna with the Psychology in Europe study abroad trip. The students, led by Associate Professor of Psychology Dave Kolar, spent two weeks at historical and cultural sites relevant to the study of psychology.

“The trip inspired me to return and do some of my own traveling in Europe,” Quinn, a psychology and sociology major, said. “I’m eager to go back. I wasn’t ready to leave at all!”

This summer, more than 100 students are studying abroad, either as part of UMW faculty-led trips, or through programs at other universities or organizations. Members of the UMW field hockey team recently traveled to Italy with Coach Lindsay Elliot to train and compete on an international scale.

Some trips have become UMW staples, like “European Capitals – London, Paris, Berlin, Prague and Vienna,” now in its 20th year, “Spain for All,” celebrating its 10th anniversary and “Psychology in Europe,” in its fifth year.

Students in the 2012 Psychology in Europe program visit the Camden Lock Market

Denis Nissim-Sabat, professor of psychology, developed the Psychology in Europe trip to expose students to the history of psychology they learn about during the year.

“History comes alive for them,” he said, noting the students’ opportunities to visit sites from a Holocaust concentration camp to Sigmund Freud’s house.

For Jose Sainz, director of the Center for International Education and associate professor of Spanish, the Spain for All program’s success is due to its emphasis on academic, cultural and personal experiences and its ability to adapt to students’ needs. Although the program started 10 years ago solely with Spanish courses, now it offers courses across disciplines, as well as service learning opportunities and internships.

“After a decade leading students, we still get messages on Facebook and emails from students who are now long gone from campus indicating that attending the program was one of the highlights of their time at UMW,” Sainz, leader of the trip, said.

Sainz and Associate Professor of Spanish Marisa Martinez-Mira will take 34 students to Spain this summer, from June 24 through July 27.

For two decades, the European Capitals program has been going strong. This year’s group of 16 students, led by Jack Kramer, distinguished professor of political science, and Porter Blakemore, associate professor of history, will return on Friday, June 8 after four weeks of travel.

The European Capitals trip makes a stop at British Parliament in London

According to the political science department’s newsletter, the trip includes a briefing with a member of the British Parliament, a private tour of the Palace of Westminster, a tour of Versailles, a concert of classical music provided by the Imperial Orchestra in Vienna and a briefing at the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin.

According to Kate Jordan, study abroad program assistant in the Center for International Education, summer study abroad programs like Spain for All and European Capitals are appealing for students because they require less time commitment than a semester-long or full-year program, while offering unique coursework.

“Not only do short term faculty-led study abroad programs give students flexibility in their course choices, but they have the opportunity to have an amazing intercultural experience at the same time,” she said. “Summer study abroad is also less expensive than many semester abroad programs, making it more attractive for some students.  In today’s increasingly competitive job market, students with international experience definitely have an edge.”