The Great Lives Team

Since the inception of the Great Lives program in 2004, University of Mary Washington Professor of History William B. Crawley ( has served as Director of the Series and instructor of the course “Great Lives: Biographical Approaches to History and Culture.” The recipient of a B.A. in History from Hampden-Sydney College, where he was Phi Beta Kappa, he earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in History from the University of Virginia. He has been a member of the History faculty at UMW for over 40 years, during which time he won several awards for outstanding teaching and held a number of administrative positions; he is currently Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History. He is the author of a biography of twentieth-century Virginia politician of William M. Tuck titled Bill Tuck: A Political Life in Harry Byrd’s Virginia, as well as The Centennial History of The University of Mary Washington, published in 2008.

Linda's PhotoLinda Catullo recently joined the Great Lives team as the Coordinator of Community Events. She previously worked at the University as the Director of Events and Travel Programs before leaving to take a position as the Director of Development for Fredericksburg Academy. She is thrilled to be back at the University. Linda has over 15 years of experience planning events and has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. She has two publications, Graduate Education Issues and Challenges: Community College Applied and Workforce Baccalaureates and The Status of Crisis Management at NASPA Member Institutions. Linda’s husband, Patrick, is the Assistant Director of Athletics, the UMW Women’s Tennis Coach and is an alumnus of UMW. They live in Fredericksburg with their two sons, Ryan and Chase.

Douglas E. Noble, Director of Dodd Auditorium and Events AV Office has  been with UMW for seven years.  Prior to coming to the University, Douglas taught Theatrical Design for 17 years in different colleges and universities across the country.  He received his undergraduate degree from SUNY Geneseo in Dramatic Arts and his MFA in Lighting Design from the University of Oklahoma. He has lighted more than 200 productions during the past 25 years in theatre.

  Jason Varga has recently joined the Great Lives team as the Manager of the new Office of Webcasting and Video 0977 K Pearlman PhotographyRecording at UMW. Great Lives is the first large project this new office is producing. Prior to coming to the University, Jason has worked in production on motion pictures, television and political advertisements, and music videos. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in Visual and Performing Arts and his MFA in Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts from the Florida State Graduate Film Conservatory.


Kelly Reeder, Program Assistant for Great Lives, is starting her sixth Great Lives season. She graduated from UMW in 2011, earning a Bachelor of Arts. Graduating with as a History major, she was the Department of History and American Studies Almont Lindsey Award recipient for superior academic achievement and service to the department. When not helping Dr. Crawley with Great Lives Q&A, she supports the United States Marine Corps as a Logistics Analyst

Courtney Photo for Great Lives

Courtney Kuzemchak, a sophomore at the University of Mary Washington, is starting her first year as the Student Assistant for Great Lives. A native of Pennsylvania, she is pursuing a degree in Historic Preservation. During the summers, she volunteers at the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County, Pennsylvania.


Program Affiliates

Brian Jay Jones of Damascus, Maryland provides liaison with Biographers International Organization, of which he is President. He is the author of Washington Irving: An American Original (2008) and Jim Henson: A Biography (2013).  His website is

Jack Bales ( is the longtime Reference and Humanities Librarian at UMW’s Simpson Library and serves as research consultant for the series and for the Great Lives class, a service he has provided since the series began.  The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree in English from Illinois College and his master’s in library science from the University of Illinois. Although a librarian by vocation, he is a writer by avocation and is the author of a number of books and articles on his own “great lives,” including authors Horatio Alger, Kenneth Roberts, and Willie Morris. He has spent the last few years researching the history of the Chicago Cubs and has written articles on the team for Nine: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture.


  1. Benjamin Forbes says:

    I am wondering what you are thinking of for the upcoming year for the great lives series.
    When will the list be published?

    • Linda Catullo says:

      It will be up on the website next week and postcards went out this week. Hope you enjoy the upcoming season of Great Lives!

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