Support the Great Lives Series on #MaryWashDay!
Who We Are
The William B. Crawley Great Lives Series brings renowned biographers to the Mary Washington campus to speak on “Great Lives” – those who have influenced history or culture in a significant way. Since its inception in 2004, Mary Washington has hosted lectures on politicians, authors, celebrities, musicians, artists, and even some fictional icons – including Harry Potter, Frankenstein, and Sherlock Holmes. Each lecture attracts between 500 and 1,000 patrons, and concludes with an audience Q&A session and speaker book-signing.
Why We Need Your Support
The Great Lives Series has been free since the start – and we need your help to keep it that way. The series recovers none of its costs through admission fees and exists solely to enrich the Fredericksburg and Mary Washington communities. The series makes prominent speakers and international scholars accessible to UMW students and community residents in a way that would be impossible without donor support.
How Your Gift Will Help
Your gift will create an unprecedented intellectual opportunity for UMW students and area residents. Your support ensures the series attracts the highest quality speakers, including Pulitzer Prize winning authors and noted historians.
The 2019 series, for example, will host:
- Caroline Fraser, recipient of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for her book Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder;
- Richard Stengel, editor of Time magazine, collaborator for Nelson Mandela’s bestselling autobiography and author of Mandela Way: Lessons on Life, Love and Courage; and
- Heath Hardage Lee, whose upcoming book, League of Wives, sheds light on the action of POW wives during the Vietnam era. This highly anticipated biography will be made into a film produced by Hello Sunshine, a production company owned by Reese Witherspoon.
- Nathalia Holt will speak on Giving Day, March 19, on her book Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars.