Since the inception of the Great Lives program in 2004, University of Mary Washington Professor of History William B. Crawley (email@example.com) 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.
Abbie McGhee, Coordinator of Community Events, works with major institutional events such as the Fredericksburg Forum, Commencement, Family Weekend, and is responsible for the logistics of the Great Lives program. After working at a variety of higher education institutions, Abbie came to the University of Mary Washington in 2007. The recipient of a B.A. in Communication from Radford University, where she was Omicron Delta Kappa, she earned an M.A. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a focus in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from Virginia Tech. A member of the Association of Collegiate and Conference and Event Directors International (ACCED-I), she is a Certified Collegiate Event Professional (CCEP).
Jack Bales (http://jackbales.com/) 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.
Tim Owens is primarily responsible for the Great Lives website, as well as for other technical services including the taping and distribution of the lectures online and through various social media outlets. He has worked for two years in the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies at UMW as an instructional technology specialist. He comes from his alma mater, Longwood University, where he worked for five years in the Information Technology department after graduating in 2007.
Kelly Reeder, Program Assistant for Great Lives, has been involved with the lecture series for almost three years. A 2011 UMW graduate with a B.A. in History, she was the recipient of the Department of History’s Almont Lindsey Award for superior academic achievement and service to the department. Currently, she also supports the United States Marine Corps as a Logistics Analyst at Quantico.
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 a forthcoming biography of Jim Henson. His website is www.brianjayjones.com.
Liz 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.