July 1, 2022

Jessica McGraw: Mother of All Reunions

Office of Alumni Relations Administrative Assistant Jessica McGraw '07 greets guests at a recent Alumni Toast. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Office of Alumni Relations Administrative Assistant Jessica McGraw ’07 greets guests at a recent Senior Toast, the first event of its type in more than 25 years. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

It’s back! More than 1,000 alumni are headed to the University of Mary Washington for the first Reunion Weekend in three years. Today through Sunday, generations of grads from the past seven decades will have the chance to reconnect with Mary Wash friends, faculty and their beloved alma mater.

As administrative assistant for the Office of Alumni Relations, Jessica McGraw ’07 has played a tremendous role in pulling off what’s being billed as the Mother of All Reunions. Thanks to her team’s meticulous planning, alumni will spend four days enjoying 85 events: learning opportunities, campus tours, parties and picnics, class photos, family activities and of course, Carl’s Ice Cream.

Since coming aboard last October, McGraw said she’s gained “numerous responsibilities” in preparation for this weekend, including designing name tags and buttons, proofreading brochures, running reports and processing payments. Her desk has been a whirlwind, with a rainbow of event tickets and welcome packets to assemble, but everything is spotless by the time she heads out for the day. Whew!

McGraw, who also holds a master's degree, earned a bachelor’s in political science from Mary Washington in 2007.

McGraw, who also holds a master’s degree, earned a bachelor’s in political science from Mary Washington in 2007.

For McGraw, who earned a bachelor’s in political science from UMW and a master’s degree in administration and management from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Illinois, a favorite charge has been chatting with older alums over the phone.

“I’ve spoken to so many who formed lifelong friendships while they were in college,” she said. “I love hearing their stories.”

This weekend will be an honor, McGraw said, helping them create even more Mary Washington memories … while also savoring some of her own.

Q: What brought you to Mary Washington?
A: I was born and raised in California, but we came here when my husband was stationed at Quantico. After I graduated, I spent a year working in Admissions, then we moved to Chicago, followed by New Orleans. When we returned to Fredericksburg, I got a job working in the Registrar’s office before being hired for my current position.

Q: What are some highlights of this year’s Reunion Weekend?
A: Open houses at the recently renovated Seacobeck Hall and the Hillel Center, the alumni authors event and a reception for the newly formed Black Alumni Affinity Group. I’m personally excited for Professor of Political Science Jason Davidson’s America Entangled Alumni College lecture.

Q: What’s most rewarding about your job?
A: Getting to talk to extraordinary alumni who have such positive feelings about Mary Washington.

Q: Most challenging?
A: Trying to accomplish everything during part-time hours!

Q: What might people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I love Formula One racing and have driven on a racetrack before.

Q: What’s your favorite thing on your desk?
A: My UMW polar bear! It’s so adorable.

Q: How do you spend your free time?
A: I sew, walk my dog and read.

Q: Have you read any good books lately?
A: I really liked Tina Brown’s The Palace Papers. I’m fascinated by the British monarchy.

Q: What do you like best about the UMW campus?
A: That little bridge that connects Seacobeck to the Palmieri Plaza.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: EGBOK: Everything is going to be okay.

Reunion Weekend 2019, May 31-June 2

Each year the Office of Alumni Relations hosts Reunion Weekend on the Mary Washington campus. Over 800 alumni and guests are expected to come back to campus and participate in dozens of intellectual, cultural, and social activities. While alumni from all classes are welcome at Reunion Weekend, classes ending in fours and nines from 1949 to 2009 are invited back to campus this year to celebrate their milestone reunions. This very special Reunion Weekend will be held May 30 – June 2, 2019.

We would like to extend the invitation for the entire campus community to participate in the various events throughout the weekend in order to connect with former students. The Reunion Weekend schedule is listed online at http://alumni.umw.edu/reunionweekend. Online pre-registration is closed, but you may register in person on campus! Walk-Up Registration will be located in the lobby of the University Center and will be open from 8am-5pm on Friday and again from 7:30am-3pm on Saturday. If you are interested in seeing who is currently signed up to attend, visit the registration page and click “Attendee List.” Click the column header labeled “Preferred Class Year” to sort the list by class year.

We hope to see you there!

 

Reunion Weekend 2015

Each year the Office of Alumni Relations hosts Reunion Weekend on the Fredericksburg campus. Nearly 800 alumni and guests are expected to come back to campus and participate in dozens of intellectual, cultural, and social activities. This year, the classes ending in fives and zeroes are invited back to campus May 29-31 to celebrate their reunions.  Current faculty and staff are invited to participate in the various events throughout the weekend  and have the opportunity to connect with UMW alumni.

The Reunion Weekend schedule is listed online at http://alumni.umw.edu/reunionweekend.  Alumni Relations will waive the Saturday picnic lunch fee for current faculty and staff who wish to attend.  Email alumni@umw.edu with your name and guests names by May 22 for nametag and catering purposes.

If you are interested in seeing who is currently signed up to attend, visit the registration page (http://alumni.umw.edu/reunionweekend2015) and click “Attendee List.” Click the column header labeled “Preferred Class Year” to sort the list by class year.

Alumni Come Home to UMW for Reunion Weekend

Faculty and staff will come together with more than 700 UMW alumni and their guests at the Fredericksburg campus this Friday through Sunday for Reunion Weekend. The weekend offers alumni the chance to learn from current faculty members through Alumni College sessions in history, economics, psychology, biology, historic preservation, political science, physics and art.

Alumni from 1947 to 2002 will meet on Friday night for gatherings by class year and on Saturday night, alumni from across the university’s history will join for an All-Class Party at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center.

Reunion Weekend also will feature open houses of new university facilities, walking tours of campus, and special events like yoga at Ball Circle and a Virginia wine tasting. Dozens of faculty and staff volunteers will be on-hand to welcome alumni back to campus and assist with the weekend’s events.

A full schedule is available at http://www.umw.edu/reunionweekend/. For more information, contact Mark Thaden at (540) 654-1011.

Volunteer for Reunion Weekend, June 1-3

Are you interested in volunteering for Reunion Weekend?  We are expecting over 700 alumni and guests to visit UMW the Friday, June 1 through Sunday, June 3, and we need your help to make everything run smoothly.  If you have not done so already, please check out the Reunion Weekend website at www.umw.edu/reunionweekend to see the schedule  and recent announcements.

In order for Reunion Weekend to be a success, we need dozens of volunteers to assist with a variety of tasks.  There are over 150 different shifts available throughout the weekend, and duties range from riding the trolley to Carl’s to taking tickets at the picnic.  This year we’re using VolunteerSpot, an online coordination tool, to help us organize the volunteer registration process.    Please click the link below to view the various volunteer opportunities and to sign up.  Once you enter your email address, select the day you are interested in volunteering and a menu of volunteer opportunities will be available.  Choose whichever ones best fit your time schedule and talents.

http://www.volunteerspot.com/login/entry/762345634252728038

You are welcome to sign up for as much or as little as your schedule will allow.  Each volunteer will receive a free Reunion Weekend t-shirt.  Volunteer shirts will be in red so alumni and guests know who is working the event.   Mark Thaden, director of Alumni Relations, will send a follow up note the week before Reunion Weekend confirming your time and duties as well as any other specific information you may need for your shift.  Please feel free to forward this to any alumni, friends, or colleagues who may be interested in volunteering.

If you would like additional information or if you have any questions, contact Mark Thaden at (540) 654-1011.