UMW to Award Emeritus Status at Commencement

Six longtime professors will be awarded emeritus status at the University of Mary Washington’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 10.

Six professors will be given emeritus status at the UMW Commencement ceremony on May 10.

Six professors will be given emeritus status at the UMW Commencement ceremony on May 10.

David Cain will be named Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Religion; James F. Gaines will be named Professor Emeritus of French; David Hunt will be named Professor Emeritus of Theatre; Kathryn E. Loesser-Casey will be named Professor Emerita of Biology; Donald Rallis will be named Professor Emeritus of Geography; and Stephen P. Stageberg will be named Professor Emeritus of Economics.

The title of emeritus is bestowed on faculty members who have served the university for at least 15 years and who have attained the rank of professor or associate professor.

The university’s undergraduate commencement ceremony, which will begin at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle, will feature an address by Rebecca Rubin, founder, president and CEO of Marstel-Day. Kenneth Lopez ’92, the founder and CEO of A2L Consulting, will be the guest speaker for the graduate address on Friday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the William M. Anderson Center.

David Cain

David Cain has taught religion at UMW since 1970, with a special interest in Kierkegaard, contemporary Christian theology and Dostoevsky studies. He is widely published in the areas of Kierkegaard studies, Elie Wiesel, religion and literature, contemporary Christian theology, and dialogue among religions.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he was awarded the title of Distinguished Professor, UMW’s highest academic rank, in 1994. In 1992, he received the Grellet C. Simpson Award, the university’s most prestigious award for a senior member of the faculty.

A former full-time minister at Clarendon Congregational Church in Clarendon, Vermont, Cain received a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. from Princeton University and a bachelor of divinity degree from Yale University.

James F. Gaines

After teaching for 20 years at Southeastern Louisiana University and serving multiple terms as head of its Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Jim Gaines joined the Mary Washington faculty in 1998 and completed two terms as chair of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages before returning to full-time teaching.

During his UMW tenure, Gaines completed his two most recent books, “The Molière Encyclopedia” and “Molière and Paradox,” as well as numerous professional articles and a growing number of translations from different centuries of French poetry and prose. He plans to continue his research activities in several scholarly societies and to publish in the near future his volume of poetry, “Downriver Waltz,” and a novel co-written with his son John (UMW Class of 2005), “Life Sentence.”

Gaines received a bachelor’s degree in French from Michigan State University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in French from the University of Pennsylvania.

David E. Hunt

David E. Hunt Jr. first came to UMW in 1982 and became a titled professor in 2001. An expert on scenery design, scenery lighting, scene painting and theatrical makeup, he has designed scenery or lighting for more than 150 theatre and dance productions.

Hunt received an AMOCO Excellence in Scene Design Award for his production of “Much Ado About Nothing.” He is an accomplished artist whose work hangs in local galleries and is widely commissioned by private collectors.

Hunt received a bachelor’s degree in 1973 in drama from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a master of fine arts degree in scene design from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Kathryn E. Loesser-Casey

In the 20 years Kathryn E. Loesser-Casey has been at Mary Washington, she has taught 11 different courses – many of which she developed – in the Department of Biological Sciences. She has mentored more than 42 undergraduate research students, 16 of whom received departmental honors for their work. She also has been active in her field of expertise, cardiovascular disease mechanisms. Since joining the UMW faculty, she has published 10 peer-reviewed research articles and co-authored a book chapter. In addition, Loesser-Casey has received funding for major grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Science Foundation.

She received a bachelor’s in zoology from Drew University in 1976 and a Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Rutgers in 1988. She did two postdoctoral fellowships, one in the Department of Biology at University of Pennsylvania and the other in the Internal Medicine Department at the Medical College of Virginia.

Donald Rallis

A native of South Africa, Donald Rallis arrived at UMW in 1990. He created field programs in South Africa, Cambodia, Australia and New Zealand, and is known for integrating web technologies into his classes. He is an expert on apartheid and other current political developments in his homeland, as well as the geography and history of South Africa.

He is writing a book called “Online Around the World: A Geographic Encyclopedia of the Internet, Social Media, and Mobile Apps,” about using technology to further geographic education.

He received a bachelor of arts degree and a bachelor of science with honors degree, both in geography, from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and a master’s degree in geography from University of Miami. His doctorate is from Pennsylvania State University.

Stephen P. Stageberg

Stephen P. Stageberg has been at Mary Washington for 32 years and has led the faculty procession and carried the official mace at Commencement for three quarters of that time.

Stageberg received his undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees from Georgetown University, where he also served for four years as the school’s assistant director of athletics. He also served as an aide to former U.S. Senator William Proxmire.

In addition to his long tenure as faculty marshal at UMW, Stageberg has served as Intervarsity adviser, faculty representative to the NCAA, Class Council adviser and in many other key campus roles.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.