University of Mary Washington Then & Now

A Photography Exhibition

Posts in the 1970s category

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.

According to University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908–2008, “Among the new campus activities that appeared during the 1970s, the most extraordinary (and inexplicable) was something called the Wo-Man Contest.  The event was conceived in the fall of 1977 by the Afro-American Association, whose only male member, freshman Cedric Rucker, took the lead in the contest’s development and promotion.” 1  The event was immediately popular, and the popularity of the Wo-Man contest continued into the early 1990s, but was eventually phased out; however, in October 1999, the Mr. MWC contest appeared.  “Though Mr. MWC obviously shared certain farcical elements with the late Wo-Man contest, according to the Free Lance-Star it was ‘nothing like the controversial’ predecessor. ‘The new, feel-good Mr. MWC contest,’ it asserted, ‘is far kinder and gentler than Wo-Man.” 2

Today, the Mr. MWC tradition continues, simply under a different name: Mr. UMW.


Mr. UMW Contest, 2013
Contestants include: Mr. Alvey: Tyler Gimple; Mr. Apartments: Rob Jarvis; Mr. Arrington: John Rowley; Mr. Bushnell: Frank Kear; Mr. Custis: Drew Kalasky; Mr. Eagle Landing: Ethan Lane; Mr. Framar: Sam Relken; Mr. Jefferson: Brandon Smith; Mr. Mason: Kyle Phalen; Mr. Marshall: Nathan Bradley; Mr. Randolph: Ben Cunningham; Mr. Russell: Josh Mwandu
Alyssa Lieurance, "Mr. UMW," November 4, 2013, Personal Collection of Alyssa Lieurance, University of Mary Washington.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley, Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 252.
  2. Ibid., 721.

A tradition since Mary Washington’s inception, the annual commencement ceremonies have always been an important and special time for graduating seniors.  Today commencement occurs annually on Ball Circle. 

Modern Grads

UMW Graduates, 2011
Featured left to right: Caitrin Smith, Christine Melchione, Erin Lombard, Melissa Evich, and Kelly Reeder
Kelly Reeder, "Class of 2011," 2011, Personal Collection of Kelly Reeder, University of Mary Washington.

Class of 2013 Commencement (1)

The University of Mary Washington's 2013 commencement ceremony, 2013
"The University of Mary Washington's 2013 commencement ceremony," May 11, 2013, University of Mary Washington, UMW's Undergraduate Commencement 2013, University of Mary Washington Facebook page.

Westmoreland Hall was completed and ready for students in 1939. 1   The residence is located next to George Washington Hall, the administrative hub of campus and across from Randolph and Mason residence halls. With the addition of male students to the University in the early 1970s, Westmoreland served as home to some of the overflow of males in need of housing. In the fall of 1975, it was turned into a coed dorm. 2 After this proved a success, the first coed dorm, Willard Hall, was established. Today, the building houses 111 upper-class students. 3


Westmoreland Hall
"Westmoreland Hall," n.d., UMW Digital Archives, University of Mary Washington


Westmoreland Hall, 2014
Alexandria Parrish, "Westmoreland Hall," March 21, 2014, Personal collection of Alexandria Parrish, 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), 43.
  2. Ibid., 239.
  3. University of Mary Washington Residence Life, “Westmoreland Hall,” (Accessed April 21, 2014).