University of Mary Washington Then & Now

A Photography Exhibition

Posts in the 1940 category

There have been a variety of formal events at UMW throughout the years. Some of the more iconic formal events have included the Junior Ring Dance, the Senior Ball, and the Spring Formal, all of which today are put on by the Class Council. The Junior Ring dance, however, another notable formal function, began in the 1950s as a part of the Junior Ring Ceremony where juniors are presented with their college rings.1 The Junior Ring Dance “developed in the course of a quarter century to become the biggest campus social event of the spring semester” and is still put on today, but with much less of an emphasis as a major school event, and more as an opportunity for juniors to receive their junior glasses.2 The Grad Ball, a dance for graduating seniors held during “Dead Week,” (the week between the last day of classes and Commencement) is more popular today since it is the last time the seniors can dress up and go to a University event with their friends as students at the school. The Grad Ball is also where seniors can get their senior glasses. Lastly, Spring Formal, known for its off-campus venues, started in the 1990s.3 Spring Formal today is the only Class Council event that costs money for a ticket since the venue is always off-campus. The venue is kept a secret in order to keep the event safe and without drunk driving since those students who are over 21 can consume alcohol at the formal.

Formal Function at Dodd Auditorium, 1940

Formal Function at Dodd Auditorium, 1940
From left to right: Winnie Hudson, Leighton Stevens, Mary Wilcox, Katherine Roberts, Lee Keith, and Harold Weiss
"Formal Function at Dodd Auditorium," 1940, The Centennial Collection, UMW Digital Archives, University of Mary Washington.

Junior Ring Dance, March 13, 2014

Junior Ring Dance at the Jepson Alumni Center, March 13, 2014
From left to right: Gibran Parvez, Jessica Reingold, Elizabeth Henry, Catherine LeBouton, Lauren Johnson
Ethan Lane, "Junior Ring Dance at the Jepson Alumni Center," Junior Ring Dance, March 13, 2014, UMW Class Council Facebook, University of Mary Washington.

Show 3 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 450.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid., 719.

UMW has a number of athletic teams, including a variety of sports. Mary Washington’s rugby club was formed in 1984 and quickly became a beloved sport, dubbed as “Mary Washington’s football”. 1 Within the first few years of the club’s formation, it routinely beat the teams of larger schools like Duke, North Carolina State, Penn State, and Georgia. In 1991, the team ended an undefeated season with a win at the Virginia State Championship. The women’s Rugby team is also popular and equally successful, placing 4th nationally in their division in 1994.

The school’s basketball program in particular has evolved significantly from its humble beginnings and  become an important part of UMW life. The 2013-2014 men’s basketball team had the greatest season in the history of the school.2 The team’s success led to a significant increase in spirit school-wide, and students packed the Anderson Center to its capacity for the boys’ last two games. This change in school-spirit did not go unnoticed by the team, and senior guard Marcellus Holley stated that “Seeing the atmosphere on campus the past two days, and knowing we did something historic this year – together – is something I’ll always take with me.”3 The Eagles closed out the season at the NCAA Sectional Final with a 25-6 record .

As demonstrated by the photographs below, Mary Washington has a long tradition of established sports. In addition to these traditional sports, newer activities have also gathered considerable traction on campus. Quidditch, based on the game featured in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, is a new addition to UMW student activities. Yet, in a short time, it has developed a devoted following which regularly meets for practices and games, including traveling to compete against teams at other schools.


Men's Rugby 2013
From left to right for UMW: Matt Bursely, Ryan Miller, Pat Byrne
"Mothers vs. ODU", November 2013, Personal Collection of Kaitlynn Wickersham, University of Mary Washington

2014 Men's Basketball resized

2013-14 Men's Basketball Team
From left to right:
Back row: Isaac Blue, Ryan Greer, John Lutkenhaus, Kevin Sullivan, Tyler Snow, Asa Scott, Mike Sniezek
Front row: Dom Morra, Taylor Johnson, Dajon Daniel, John Yoxthimer, Dylan Farinet, Marcellus Holley, Bradley Riester
"2013-14 Men's Basketball" 2013, Personal Collection of Clint Often, University of Mary Washington.

Team Now - Quidditch 2014 Resized 1

Quidditch Team, 2014
From left to right: Quinn Ogden, David Vocal, Riley Starrs, Chris Baker, Zoe Page, Melissa Westfall, Dakota Peacock, Ted Stanton, Shona DiPaula, Lauren Meyer, Roni Cena, and Megan Joslin
Jessica Reingold, "Quidditch Team," February 19 2014, Personal Collection of Jessica Reingold, University of Mary Washington.

Show 3 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 737.
  2. University of Mary Washington Athletics, “UMW Men’s Basketball Falls to Williams in NCAA Sectional Final, Capping Greatest Season in School History,” University of Mary Washington,  (Accessed April 18, 2014).
  3. Ibid.