UMW Student-Run Business Launches Online Platform

UMW students visit an artisan in a Honduran village

The University of Mary Washington student-run business, Esfuerzo de Amor, launched an online platform to sell its products on Friday, Nov. 9. The site is the result of the combined efforts of senior Aaron Leung, UMW’s Center for Economic Development and the UMW Bookstore. Esfuerzo de Amor is run by La Ceiba MFI. The business sells its products, which are made by women in two communities in Honduras, in UMW’s bookstore and at Heritage Gifts in downtown Fredericksburg. Artisans from La Brisas and Villa Soleada craft the clutches from recycled chip bags and soda labels they find littering the area. The project, which originated in 2008, was started by UMW student Rachel Mason. Mason taught women in Siete de Abril to make the clutches; now the artisans also create bracelets, earrings, hairbands, key chains and more. The project started as a way to decrease the amount of trash burned in the streets, but has evolved into a way to help women in poverty. Seventy percent of the profit … [Read more...]

UMW Students Give Back During Fall Break

Junior Abbey Doherty

Fall Break offered little respite for Abbey Doherty. The junior spent the University of Mary Washington’s designated mid-semester break working to better the lives of an Eastern Shore community. Doherty was one of eight UMW students who spent four days in the town of Exmore, Va., as part of an Alternative Fall Break trip organized through the office of Community Outreach and Resources (COAR) and Habitat for Humanity. “I had such a phenomenal experience working with our group from UMW and everyone on the Habitat site,” said Doherty, who participated in an alternative break trip for the first time. “Not only were we a bonded group but we also were all there for the sole purpose of making a small yet important difference in someone else’s life. To us, an opportunity to give back was more than enough of a reason to ‘give up’ break.” The students spent seven hours a day nailing molding, painting doors, installing plumbing, cutting shelving and getting to know members of the … [Read more...]

UMW Alumna Shares Experiences as U.S. Ambassador with Students


Rose McCartney Likins, the U.S. ambassador to Peru, visited the University of Mary Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 19. Likins, a 1981 UMW graduate, met with international affairs and political science students and spoke to several classes during the trip. … [Read more...]

Incoming Students Experience Traditions, New and Old, at UMW

Orientation Day 08

A glow of candles welcomed new University of Mary Washington students as they filed into Ball Circle Thursday, Aug. 23. Soon the flames spread from person to person, eventually reaching each candle. Faculty and staff joined nearly 1,000 students for the inaugural Eagle Gathering. The candlelight event was part of the five-day orientation for incoming students. “The light we passed at Eagle Gathering represents the torch of knowledge that can be seen at the center of our institutional seal,” said President Richard V. Hurley. “It stands for the desire to learn, to grow, to serve, to lead, and in all things to give our best in search of meaning and truth.” Doug Searcy, vice president for student affairs, hopes Eagle Gathering will become a time-honored tradition at UMW. “Standing on Ball Circle as students, faculty and staff raised their candles to the alma mater was a moving experience,” Searcy said. “This inspirational event set a tone of community and connection to start … [Read more...]

UMW Welcomes New Students for Orientation

More than 1,300 new students moved into residence halls Wednesday, Aug. 22.

The University of Mary Washington welcomed nearly 1,300 new undergraduate students on Wednesday, Aug. 22, marking the start of the five-day new student orientation. The incoming students include 981 freshmen and 273 transfer students. Of the freshmen, nearly 30 percent identified themselves as Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian, African-American or multi-racial. About 15 percent are from out-of-state, including 28 states and several foreign countries. The students started the day by moving into their residence halls, assisted by more than 200 UMW students, faculty and staff, including orientation leaders and members of athletic teams. Among the orientation events, President Richard V. Hurley gave a welcome address to students and families. “It was easier than I thought it would be,” said Ebony Tunstall of Tappahannock, Va., who moved into Alvey Hall this morning. “I'm just excited to meet everybody.” Zachary Eisig of Damascus, Md., finished moving into his room … [Read more...]

Students From Across Disciplines Represent UMW Nationally

Ethan Bottone_featured

University of Mary Washington student Ethan Bottone earned national distinction as a member of a regional team placing second in the Association of American Geographers World Geography Bowl last month in New York City. Perhaps more impressive, he helped claim that win as a sophomore in a competition dominated by graduate students. The Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers team—made up of mostly graduate students—missed first place by a mere 20 points. In November, Bottone secured a spot on the team after placing third overall in the regional bowl. “Competing against grad students was really nerve-racking at first, because I was just sitting there thinking, ‘Wow, some of these people have been in college since I started high school',” Bottone said.  “But after answering a few questions, I just felt settled down and ready to play, like there wasn't any gap between our educations.” The geography department isn’t the only opportunity for UMW students … [Read more...]

UMW Named to President’s Community Service Honor Roll for Third Year

During UMW's Beak Week, students volunteered to build picnic tables for Habitat for Humanity

The University of Mary Washington has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the third consecutive year.  UMW is one of 642 U.S. colleges and universities recognized for engaging students, faculty and staff in substantial, relevant and meaningful service to communities. The honor, presented to UMW’s Community Outreach and Resources (COAR), was awarded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. The more than 500 students in COAR volunteered 6,815 hours in the community during the 2010-2011 academic year. UMW assisted dozens of local agencies, schools and hospitals, including Habitat for Humanity, for an economic impact of more than $145,000. In 2011, COAR was honored at the University of Mary Washington Leadership Awards, receiving the Outstanding Overall … [Read more...]

Historic Preservation Students Blend Humanities and Sciences

NS Mt Vernon 9

When Audra Medve first visited Mount Vernon as a child, she was struck by the timelessness of George Washington’s home, so much so that she returned dozens of times. She never could have imagined she would be an intern at the estate decades later as a senior in the historic preservation program at the university named for Washington’s mother. Medve enrolled at the University of Mary Washington after the Navy transferred her husband to the Washington, D.C. area in 2008. “There are very few undergraduate degrees in historic preservation available in the United States, and when I decided to return to school I realized I lived within 30 miles of a truly wonderful program,” Medve said. Medve’s internship is one of a dozen this spring through UMW’s historic preservation department, regarded as among the best in the nation. Each year, internships range from local preservation organizations like the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation and the Fredericksburg Area Museum, to … [Read more...]

UMW Students Spend Spring Break with Habitat for Humanity

Students build a house in Wilmington, N.C., during a 2011 Alternative Spring Break trip

While some of their friends soaked up sun on the beach, 51 University of Mary Washington students donated their time building and rehabilitating houses—and having the time of their lives in the process. This year, the student-run Community Outreach and Resources (COAR) team organized three alternative spring break trips, in Wilmington, N.C., Avery County, N.C., and Cookeville, Tenn., from March 3 through 11. At each location, the students collaborated with Habitat for Humanity to help eliminate substandard housing. Senior Vicky Hudspeth, the COAR alternative spring break coordinator, has been on two previous spring break trips, leading the trip to Bunnell, Fla., in her sophomore year, and this year led the trip in Cookeville. “In the past, we have done almost every stage of construction, including laying the foundation, installing siding and drywall, and laying sod,” Hudspeth said.  “It is an incredible week where we can give back to the communities and help those in need, … [Read more...]

UMW’s Lady Eagles Capture CAC Championship


Senior guard Katie Wimmer scored 15 points, and classmate Jenna McRae added 14 to pace the seventh-ranked University of Mary Washington women's basketball team to a 50-46 win over visiting York College to claim the 2012 Capital Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday, February 25 at the William M. Anderson Center. The Eagles improved to 27-0 on the year, tying the school record for consecutive wins with 27, and gained an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles, in much the same way they played Thursday night in the CAC semifinals, played from behind throughout much of the first half, trailing by as many as six on two occasions. But a late 4-0 spurt gave UMW the lead at 24-23 at halftime, punctuated by a McRae three pointer. In the second half, the lead changed hands five times before UMW took the lead at 34-33 with 9:50 remaining on a three-point basket by Sarah Jones. The Eagles then used a jumper by McRae and a layup from Aby Diop to build the lead to five, at … [Read more...]