Six longtime professors will be awarded emeritus status during the University of Mary Washington’s graduate and undergraduate ceremonies on Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9.
The ceremony is set to begin at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle on the university’s Fredericksburg campus. Galen F. deGraff will be named Professor Emeritus of Management; Martha V. Fickett will be named Professor Emerita of Music; Stephen W. Fuller will be named Professor Emeritus of Biology; Suzanne G. Houff will be named Professor Emerita of Education; D. Stan Soper will be named Professor Emeritus of Athletics, Health, and Physical Education; and Gary W. Stanton will be named Associate Professor Emeritus of Historic Preservation.
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.
Galen F. deGraff
Galen F. deGraff has been a business professor at the University of Mary Washington since 1994 and has taught the Strategic Management capstone seminar for 20 years. deGraff earned his MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate Business School and his doctorate in strategic management and international business from George Washington University.
deGraff flew in Vietnam as a combat assault helicopter aircraft commander in the 1968 TET invasion with the 173 Assault Helicopter Company (nicknamed the Robin Hoods) and on the staff of the 11th Combat Aviation Battalion. In 1991, deGraff wrote the book International Strategic Business Environments: A Comparative Empirical Assessment of the United Kingdom and the United States, which was published by George Washington University. In addition, deGraff’s doctorate dissertation was judged a finalist for best dissertation internationally by the Academy of International Business.
deGraff’s research and consulting interests are in the areas of strategy formulation, strategic management, international business, and the management of family and closely-held firms.
Martha V. Fickett
Martha V. Fickett is a professor in the music department at the University of Mary Washington. Fickett received her bachelor’s degree from UMW, her master’s degree in music from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and her doctorate in musicology from The Catholic University of America.
Fickett joined the music faculty at Mary Washington in 1968. She has done extensive research on Beethoven and received several grants to study the sketches for his Fifth Symphony. Fickett also completed a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar on Beethoven, which was held at Harvard University. In addition, Fickett is an expert on Gregorian chants and has received Faculty Development Grants from Mary Washington to study chants for the Feast of St. Martin of Tours.
Fickett’s introduction and edition of the Historia Sancti Martini (the Divine Office for the Feast of St. Martin of Tours) was published by the Institute of Medieval Music in 2006.
Stephen W. Fuller
Stephen W. Fuller is a professor of biology at the University of Mary Washington. Fuller received a bachelor’s degree in science from Cornell University and a doctorate from the University of New Hampshire. Fuller, who has been a professor at the university since 1972, teaches courses on biology, botany, plant physiology and tropical ecology.
An expert on phytoplankton and the ecology of estuaries, Fuller taught the department’s plant biology courses. In addition, he established Tropical Ecology, the department’s first course with an international field trip component. Since 1991, he has been wowing students with spring break trips to destinations such as Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Belize, and St. John.
Fuller served as chair of the Department of Biological Sciences for 12 years and as the University’s President of the Faculty Senate. Additionally, he was president of the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society and maintains a position on its governing board. Fuller has also been Chairperson of the Botany Section in the Virginia Academy of Science, and he has sponsored many student research projects throughout his career.
Suzanne G. Houff
Suzanne G. Houff is chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Houff taught multiple classes at the University of Mary Washington beginning in the year 2000, including education classes focused on elementary and secondary school students. Houff received a master’s in education from Virginia Commonwealth University, an Education Specialist degree in administration and supervision from George Washington University, and her doctorate in urban services/curriculum and instruction cognate from Old Dominion University.
Houff wrote 4 books focused on education. Her most recent book, an essay collection that she edited, is titled The Classroom Facilitator: Special Issue Questions and was published in 2010 by Rowman & Littlefield. Her other 3 books, Instructional Alignment (2012), The Classroom Manager: Procedures and Practices to Improve Instruction (2009) and The Classroom Researcher: Using Applied Research to Meet Student Needs (2008), were also published by Rowman and Littlefield.
Houff won the annual Outstanding Faculty Award for the Stafford campus in 2010. A past governing council member of the Virginia State Reading Association, she is past president of the association’s Virginia College Reading Educators Council. She also is a member of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Association of Teacher Educators in Virginia.
Stan Soper is an associate professor in the Athletics, Health and Physical Education department. Soper received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Frostburg State University, where he was a member of the track and field team from 1970-1972. He was later inducted into the Frostburg Athletic Hall of Fame.
Soper is the longest tenured coach at UMW after joining the athletic department as the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field coach in 1984. His teams have captured 48 Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) championships, and he has received CAC Coach of the Year honor 42 times in addition to having 49 All-American performances during his tenure. Soper served four years on the NCAA Cross Country/Track and Field Committee, and has taught both Contemporary Health Issues courses and physical education courses over his 31 years.
Soper coached 49 All-Americans and won a combined 48 conference titles. Soper also spent four years, on NCAA Division III Cross Country/Track & Field committees. He teaches courses focused on intercollege track and field for both men and women and contemporary health issues.
Gary W. Stanton
Gary W. Stanton is the chair of the historic preservation department and an associate professor of historic preservation at the University of Mary Washington. Stanton received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and both a master’s and doctoral degree in American folklore from Indiana University. Stanton began teaching classes at UMW in 1989 and became chair of the historic preservation department in 1995.
Stanton has done fieldwork in Idaho, Indiana, Montana, Nevada, South Carolina, St. Pierre, Utah and Virginia.
Stanton’s extensive knowledge of folklore and architecture has made him an important member of numerous groups, including the American Folklore Society, the National Council for Preservation Education, and the Vernacular Architecture Forum. Stanton has also served on He has served on the Fredericksburg Architectural Review Board, the Executive Board of the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation and the Executive Board of the Vernacular Architecture Forum.