January 19, 2020

President Paino: UMW Positioned to Think Big

Mary Washington President Troy Paino charged the faculty and staff to “think big” at the All-UMW Assembly on Tuesday. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Mary Washington President Troy Paino charged the faculty and staff to “think big” at the All-UMW Assembly on Tuesday. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

On the cusp of a new decade, the University of Mary Washington is poised to meet the changing needs of a student body that will become even more diverse. President Troy Paino delivered that message Tuesday at an All-UMW Assembly, while also sharing accomplishments, updates and reflections.

Monday’s launch of UMW’s Farmer Legacy 2020 celebration gave him a sense of optimism, Paino told faculty and staff in Dodd Auditorium, but he expressed concerns over how the upcoming election and polarized politics may impact campus life in the coming year. As a public university, UMW must encourage civil debate, he said, asking faculty and staff to reflect on the values of the late Mary Washington history professor and civil rights icon Dr. James Farmer and the University’s yearlong commitment to action in his honor. “We have to remind ourselves of our roles as mentors and advisors to these young people,” he said, noting that many UMW students will be voting in a presidential election for the first time.

Mary Washington is serving a more diverse and underrepresented student population than ever before, Paino said. In an effort to make the external environment more inclusive and reflective of our values, he said, the University will begin exploring and executing the recent recommendations made by the Campus Environment Committee, including a name change for Trinkle Hall.

“We need to look back to understand who we are, but we also can look forward in terms of who we aspire to be,” Paino said. Read more.

Launch Party Ignites Farmer Legacy 2020 Celebration

A wreath on the James Farmer bust on UMW’s Campus Walk recognizes Farmer’s 100th birthday and UMW’s Farmer Legacy 2020 celebration. Photo by Tom Rothenberg.

A wreath on the James Farmer bust on UMW’s Campus Walk recognizes Farmer’s 100th birthday and UMW’s Farmer Legacy 2020 celebration. Photo by Tom Rothenberg.

Nearly 500 people turned out yesterday to help UMW kick off Farmer Legacy 2020, a yearlong celebration of Dr. James L. Farmer Jr., the day after what would have been his 100th birthday.

The hourlong launch party packed plenty of emotion, from student accounts of life-changing experiences they’ve gained through UMW – and learning about Farmer’s legacy – to a moving rendition of Happy Birthday by Mary Washington gospel ensemble Voices of Praise.

Held in the UMW University Center’s Chandler Ballroom, the celebration commenced a year of events paying tribute to Farmer, the late Mary Washington history professor who founded the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and made an immeasurable impact on the civil rights movement as a member of the Big Six. Fredericksburg residents, Board of Visitor members and colleagues in higher education joined UMW students, faculty and staff in recognizing Farmer and his contributions, and vowing to follow in his footsteps by dedicating themselves to civic action and inclusion.

Honorary celebration chair, Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, the last surviving member of the Big Six, had to cancel plans to attend yesterday’s launch due to a recent cancer diagnosis. Attendees signed a card for him. Read more.

UMW Launches Centennial Celebration of James Farmer on Jan. 13

Happy birthday, Dr. James Farmer!

This year, UMW will celebrate the centennial birthday of the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington history professor Dr. James L. Farmer Jr., who died in 1999.

This year, UMW will celebrate the centennial birthday of the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington history professor Dr. James L. Farmer Jr., who died in 1999.

Two decades after his death and on the day after he would have turned 100, the late Mary Washington professor and U.S. civil rights pioneer Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. is being lauded by the community in which he spent his final years.

Monday, January 13, 2020, not only will serve as a celebration of Farmer’s birthday, it will be the official kick-off for UMW’s Farmer Legacy 2020: A Centennial Celebration and Commitment to Actiona year of signature events and other activities related to Farmer and various social justice milestones.

Honorary chair of Farmer Legacy 2020, U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), had intended to headline Monday’s celebration of his longtime friend and fellow fighter. Both men were among the original 13 participants in the 1961 Freedom Rides, organized by Farmer’s Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Unfortunately, a recent cancer diagnosis prevents Congressman Lewis from attending.

The UMW community is deeply grateful to Rep. Lewis for his commitment to Farmer’s legacy; Lewis gave an extraordinary commencement address at Mary Washington in 2011 when the University celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides. Last fall, Lewis met with a UMW contingent, including President Troy Paino, on Capitol Hill to reminisce about Dr. Farmer and offer support to the yearlong centennial celebration.

Student Government Association President Jason Ford was among a UMW contingent on a recent visit to Washington, D.C., to speak with Rep. John Lewis about the Farmer Legacy 2020 celebration.

Student Government Association President Jason Ford was among a UMW contingent on a recent visit to Washington, D.C., to speak with Rep. John Lewis about the Farmer Legacy 2020 celebration.

Student Government Association President Jason Ford, a senior from Culpeper, Virginia, was a member of the UMW group that met with Lewis. At Monday’s event, Ford will address that moving experience and share his affinity for Dr. Farmer, a man he never met, but whose booming voice and engaging lectures impacted generations of Mary Washington students.

Ford will be joined by junior Courtney Flowers and President Paino, all of whom will make brief remarks prior to a Farmer birthday celebration and cake-cutting Monday, January 13, at 2:30 p.m. in Chandler Ballroom of the University Center. The event is open to the public.

UMW’s yearlong commemoration will examine the historical context of Farmer’s life and the ways in which our society currently acts on principles important to him, including civic engagement, access and inclusion.Twice, through UMW’s Fall Break Social Justice Trips in 2018 and 2019, Ford has taken in sites visited by Farmer during the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Flowers, from Torrance, California, was so compelled by what she learned about Dr. Farmer during a high school project she decided to travel all the way across the country to attend Mary Washington, a school at which Farmer taught and one that features a James Farmer Multicultural Center.

Growing up in Texas and Mississippi, James Farmer felt his heart “swell with rebellion” when he personally witnessed the injustices of Jim Crow. At age 22, Farmer co-founded CORE, which organized several protests of segregated facilities in the 1940s and 1950s. Spearheaded by Farmer, CORE led the 1961 Freedom Rides into several Southern states to test Supreme Court rulings that outlawed segregation in interstate transportation and bus terminals.

After moving to Spotsylvania County in the early 1980s, Farmer served as Distinguished Professor of History at Mary Washington College from 1985 until his retirement in January 1999, shortly before his death later that year.

“What would Dr. Farmer fight for today?” is the question the UMW community will be asking throughout 2020, the centennial year of his birth.

For the event on Monday, campus parking restrictions will be lifted. Accessibility issues should be directed to the UMW Office of Events and Conferencing at 540-654-1087.

For updates and other information, visit https://www.umw.edu/farmer/.

Coffee with the President, Nov. 20 and 21

Dear UMW Faculty and Staff,

President Paino invites you to join him for coffee and conversation at the final “Coffee with the President” events this semester. Upcoming opportunities include:

  • Wed., Nov. 20, 4-5 p.m., Stafford Campus, South Building, Room 210
  • Thurs., Nov. 21, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Trinkle Hall, Room 207

Thank you,

The Office of the President

Coffee with the President, Oct. 21

Dear UMW Faculty and Staff,

President Paino invites you to join him for coffee and conversation at the next “Coffee with the President,” scheduled for Monday, October 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Hurley Convergence Center, Room 210. Additional upcoming opportunities include:

  • Wed., Nov. 20                    4-5 p.m., Stafford Campus, South Building, Room 210
  • Thurs., Nov. 21                  2:30-3:30 p.m., Trinkle Hall, Room 207

Thank you.

Office of the President

Help Shape UMW’s Future By Sharing Your Voice

A Message from the President

Dear Mary Washington Community,

Last spring, the University began sharing plans to engage in rebranding to ensure that UMW is authentic, distinctive, and compelling on the higher education landscape. After a national search for firms that understand education, but can consistently present universities in fresh ways, ten firms were invited to campus for preliminary pitches to a group of faculty and staff. The field was narrowed to four firms, ranging from small boutique shops to international, full service agencies, and then further narrowed to two groups that demonstrated the most alignment with and affinity for UMW’s mission, culture, and community.

During the fall All-University Assembly for employees, I announced that the University had selected from that final two a branding partner: Mindpower (www.mindpowerinc.com) of Atlanta. Mindpower has worked with more than 100 higher education institutions and was heartily recommended by schools ranging from Harvey Mudd to Indiana State to Mount St. Mary’s. Each school commended Mindpower’s ability to listen intently to the community, to interact respectfully and collegially, and to develop authentic and distinctive creative concepts. When asked “Why UMW?” Mindpower’s CEO, Lisa Jordan, responded that UMW was “ready to zag,” signifying our willingness to chart our own path and to stand independently against short-lived trends and short-sighted goals. In other words, they saw that Mary Washington wants to make its mark in a way that stands the test of time.

When a brand stands for something, not everyone will agree with it. In fact, if a brand is universally embraced, it probably doesn’t stand for much. We understand this, and yet, we believe a strong brand is rooted in truth, which should come from the people who live the UMW experience.

This is why I am asking for your help. UMW needs your voice in this work.

There are two ways I ask you to be involved: 1) Participate in a group or open forum in October to share what you think makes UMW exceptional, and 2) Complete a comprehensive survey later this fall that will help validate and refine the initial qualitative research.

Our timeline is ambitious for the process. Mindpower began its conversations on campus this past week, hosting multiple focus groups of students, faculty and staff who represented the broadest cross section of campus possible. The team will return twice in October: once to meet with external groups like alumni, parents, and donors, and a second time to converse in more depth with the campus community.

From October 22 to 24, the team will be on campus and they want to hear from you. Please join one of our two open forums for faculty and staff on Wednesday, October 23, at 4 p.m., or on Thursday, October 24, at 9 a.m. The locations will be announced later this month. Your opinion and willingness to share your input is all that is required. The qualitative research will inform a comprehensive survey that will be sent to the entire campus and every constituent for whom we have current contact information. After the research phase in the fall/winter, Mindpower will work diligently through the spring and summer to develop a creative concept for UMW. Our goal is to launch the new brand in the fall of 2020.

Please join us in shaping the way UMW is presented, framing the stories we tell, and giving our message a fresh and compelling narrative. If you have questions or would like to learn more about the process, please contact Vice President for Advancement and University Relations Lisa Jamison Bowling ’89 (lbowling@umw.edu) or Director of University Marketing Malcolm Holmes (mholmes3@umw.edu). We have a shared goal of creating and establishing a brand that is as exceptional as UMW.

Sincerely,

Troy D. Paino, J.D., Ph.D.
President

 

 

 

 

UMW Earns ‘Great Colleges To Work For’ Recognition

UMW has earned the 2019 ‘Great Colleges to Work For’ distinction. The recognition was announced today in a special insert in ‘The Chronicle of Higher Education.’

UMW has earned the 2019 ‘Great Colleges to Work For’ distinction. The recognition was announced today in a special insert in ‘The Chronicle of Higher Education.’

University of Mary Washington has been recognized as a 2019 Great College to Work For.

Now in its 12th year, the Great Colleges to Work For survey is one of the largest and most respected workplace recognition programs in the country. The results, released today in a special insert in The Chronicle of Higher Education, reveal that of 152 four-year institutions nationwide that participated in this year’s survey, UMW is among 60 selected for the distinction.

The survey is conducted by ModernThink, a Delaware-based strategic human capital consulting firm. It highlights colleges that get top ratings from their employees regarding workplace practices and policies.

Since taking the helm at Mary Washington in 2016, President Troy Paino has worked diligently with leadership to improve workplace environment, zeroing in on key components identified in a survey completed shortly before his arrival, including communication, collaboration and compensation.

“There were opportunities to do a better job of communicating with the campus, to make them more aware of both challenges and opportunities,” Paino said. “When people start feeling that they can actively participate in making a place better, morale is going to improve.” Read more. 

An Invitation to Have Coffee with the President

UMW President Troy Paino. Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

UMW President Troy Paino. Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

From the Office of the President:

Dear UMW Faculty and Staff,

Last year I launched a series of coffee talks with faculty and staff to create a direct line of communication between the President’s Office and people who lead our core educational mission. The conversations were invaluable to me as we worked collectively to shape our strategic vision, establish community values, and share the challenges and opportunities before Mary Washington.

I welcome all faculty and staff to join me for informal, open discussion of the topics of greatest interest to those who attend. Occasionally, the coffees will focus on a particular issue facing us or may include other leaders who represent areas critical to institutional progress. Upcoming opportunities include:

  • Mon., Oct. 21                     10:30-11:30 a.m., Hurley Convergence Center, Room 210
  • Wed., Nov. 20                    4-5 p.m., Stafford Campus, South Building, Room 210
  • Thurs., Nov. 21                  2:30-3:30 p.m., Trinkle Hall, Room 207

My goal is to engage in the most transparent and direct lines of communication possible so that all members of UMW are equally informed and engaged in making the University the best place it can be. Whatever the event, I commit to candid conversation and intensive listening.

I hope to see you there. Your insights and involvement are not only welcome but also necessary for strong institutional leadership.

 

Sincerely,

Troy D. Paino
President

An Invitation to Have Coffee with the President

UMW President Troy Paino. Photo by Norm Shafer.

UMW President Troy Paino. Photo by Norm Shafer.

From the Office of the President:

Dear UMW Faculty and Staff,

Last year I launched a series of coffee talks with faculty and staff to create a direct line of communication between the President’s Office and people who lead our core educational mission. The conversations were invaluable to me as we worked collectively to shape our strategic vision, establish community values, and share the challenges and opportunities before Mary Washington.

A new series of coffee talks will kick off on Wednesday, September 18, at 9:30 a.m. in Monroe Hall, Room 111. I welcome all faculty and staff to join me for informal, open discussion of the topics of greatest interest to those who attend. Occasionally, the coffees will focus on a particular issue facing us or may include other leaders who represent areas critical to institutional progress. Additional upcoming opportunities include:

  • Mon., Oct. 21                     10:30-11:30 a.m., Hurley Convergence Center, Room 210
  • Wed., Nov. 20                    4-5 p.m., Stafford Campus, South Building, Room 210
  • Thurs., Nov. 21                  2:30-3:30 p.m., Trinkle Hall, Room 207

My goal is to engage in the most transparent and direct lines of communication possible so that all members of UMW are equally informed and engaged in making the University the best place it can be. Whatever the event, I commit to candid conversation and intensive listening.

I hope to see you there. Your insights and involvement are not only welcome but also necessary for strong institutional leadership.

 

Sincerely,

Troy D. Paino
President

President Paino: UMW Fosters Connections, Community

Mary Washington President Troy Paino spoke with faculty and staff during the All-UMW Assembly. The University is gearing up to  welcome a new class of students. Photo by Norm Shafer.

Mary Washington President Troy Paino spoke with faculty and staff during the All-UMW Assembly. The University is gearing up to welcome a new class of students. Photo by Norm Shafer.

What makes Mary Washington shine in Virginia’s intensely competitive higher-education environment? According to President Troy Paino, it’s connections and a sense of community. He delivered that message at his All-UMW Assembly on Friday, where he shared accomplishments, updates and reflections with a roomful of faculty and staff, as the campus prepares to welcome a new and diverse class of students this week.

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In a world where news headlines show that human bonds are increasingly frayed, Paino told the crowd in Dodd Auditorium, Mary Washington is “a place where transformative relationships are formed.” He pointed to studies that show college graduates attribute their future success to three factors: mentorship experiences, opportunities to apply learning outside the classroom and a strong sense of community. That’s precisely what UMW offers, Paino said. Read more.