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.

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.

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 fifth Great Lives season. She gradated from UMW in 2011, earning a Bachelor of Arts.  Graduating with 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.

 9925 K Pearlman PhotographyA member of the UMW class of 2014, Carly Winfield  is in her third year as the Student Assistant for Great Lives.  She is currently pursuing her B.A. in History with a minor in Museum Studies, as well as her certification in Museum Management  through the Virginia Association of Museums.  Carly has interned and worked for organizations such as the National Park Service and the Valentine Richmond History Center, and she is currently the Development/Fundraising intern at the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center.


Program Affiliates

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

L. HumesLiz Humes conducts audio interviews with Great Lives speakers for broadcast on her program, “Wordy Birds,” on WRIR 97.3 FM, which airs every Friday at noon from Richmond.  In addition to her radio work, Liz is an artist, writer, and activist who is currently president of the board of WRIR-LP FM.  She may be contacted at

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