Common Ground Spots Now on Cable TV

November 15, 2013

Marymount Common Ground spots are now airing on Comedy Central, ESPN2, Fox Sports One, Fox News, MSNBC, and Headline News. These billboard spots are similar to the ones that are running on WJLA-7, but are local sponsorships of CNN news, Morning Joe on MSNBC, and Game Day on ESPN. They will be running through mid-January 2014, so keep an eye out for them!

Common Ground Billboard Spot on ABC 7

October 4, 2013

Watch for this Marymount Common Ground billboard spot on ABC 7, airing now through early December! It's appearing during Good Morning Washington, Good Morning America, ABC 7 News @ 5 and 6, and Jeopardy.

We're Baaaack!

August 21, 2013

Common Ground - We're Back!

The end of August is near, and we're gearing up to welcome Marymount's students back to campus! Final touches are being put on summer facility-renovation projects, and faculty and staff are busy preparing for the new academic year.

To start things off in style, the campus has been decorated with banners showing the Common Ground logo and three of the core values that unite the diverse Marymount community: intellectual curiosity, service to others, and global perspective.

Throughout the coming year - at big events and in small interactions, in classrooms and dorm rooms, in work and play and prayer - the members of the MU community will experience the Common Ground spirit, as we share and celebrate the values that unite us.

Here's to a great year, Marymount!

Our Last Hurrah...for Now

May 13, 2013

Common Ground - Post Express Spring

As we approach the end of the spring semester, Marymount's 2012-13 Common Ground image- marketing campaign is winding down. It's been quite a ride! From huge ads on the sides of Metro buses to lighted displays in DC's airports, from radio spots on WTOP to ads in regional print publications, from magnetic bumper stickers on faculty and staff vehicles to tee-shirts worn with pride by our students, the Common Ground message has gotten out and been noticed!

The campaign's "last hurrah" this academic year is a four-page wrapper around today's Washington Post Express, a free paper that is distributed in the Metro system and in news boxes around the greater DC area. The Express is read by nearly 280,000 people each day, so this is a high-visibility placement for Marymount's message.

The Office of University Communications extends appreciation to all the members of the Marymount community who helped spread the Common Ground message this year. While this has been a multi- media campaign, there can be no doubt that YOU are the most important medium of all. Our faculty, staff, students, and alumni are terrific brand ambassadors who play a key role in telling the Marymount story. Thank you for your efforts and your commitment to our university.

The Common Ground campaign will be back in the fall, and we will have some new surprises in store. So keep your eyes open, and keep spreading the good news about Marymount University!

Intellectual curiosity. Service to others. Global perspective. This is Marymount, and this is our common ground.

A Dazzling Display of Intellectual Curiosity and Academic Excellence

April 11, 2013


Marymount University's 10th annual Student Research Conference, held yesterday, was a tremendous success. More than 130 students shared their scholarly work in a wide array of disciplines, with presentation topics ranging from rain gardens and solar systems to spirituality, computer hacking, sleep patterns, physical therapy treatments, and literary heroines.

Since the conference was such a great testament to the Marymount Common Ground spirit, we decided to raffle off some Common Ground tee-shirts and Barnes & Noble gift certificates to the participants and attendees. Congratulations go to the three lucky winners: students Ana Funes-Hernandez, Chris Foley, and Anna Lies!

You can see photos from the conference here, and read abstracts of the students' presentations here.

Intellectual curiosity, service to others, global perspective. This is Marymount, and this is our common ground!

Common Ground Radio Spots to Premier Next Week!

March 15, 2013

We're excited about our first Marymount University Common Ground radio spots, which are set to begin airing in the Washington, DC, region on WTOP (103.5 FM) next week. The 60-second spots feature students Ashlynn, Emma, and Jose, talking about some of the exciting and life-changing things they have been able to do at Marymount. Our thanks go out to these terrific students for taking the time to share their stories.

Listen to the spots.

More radio spots are planned for the future; we have so many wonderful students with great things to say, we wish that we could feature them all!

Sharing our pride in Marymount University - this is our common ground!

Marymount Receives National Recognition for Service

March 4, 2013

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

The Corporation for National and Community Service has named Marymount University to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This is the fifth consecutive year that MU and its students have received this national recognition for making a difference by serving others!

Last year, more than 1,500 Marymount students gave a total of 21,000+ hours of service in the DC region and beyond. They tutored children, judged school science fairs, spent time with senior citizens, distributed food to the homeless, provided health care services at community clinics, performed clean- up and repair projects, and raised funds for a number of worthy causes. MU students also conducted two major on-campus service events: Halloweenfest for disadvantaged children in the fall, and the Special Olympics Regional Basketball Tournament in the spring.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg! Read more about the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the many local, national, and international service activities that members of the Marymount University community are involved with.

A commitment to service. This is Marymount, and this is our common ground!

Food for Thought and Fuel for Action

February 7, 2013


Had a fantastic presentation on campus last night by Bradley Myles, who is the executive director and CEO of Polaris Project, an organization that fights human trafficking. The auditorium was packed: We brought in extra chairs and still had students sitting on the floor down in front and standing in the back. The big turn-out was a testament to the Marymount community's desire to learn more about a very important moral and ethical issue.

Mr. Myles defined human trafficking and gave an overview of the many forms it takes. He talked about its impact around the world, and he surprised many in the audience by discussing its prevalence in the U.S. and even right here in our own back yard - in northern Virginia and DC. He also spoke about what individuals can do to become involved and make a positive difference. It was an enlightening and inspiring presentation.

And it got us thinking about intellectual curiosity, one of the shared values that unite the Marymount community. One important way that we develop and exercise our intellectual curiosity here at Marymount is by listening to, and interacting with, experts in a wide range of fields. Mr. Myles and his work on human trafficking is only the latest example. Last semester, the MU community had opportunities to hear from journalist and political analyst Steven Roberts, hospitality-industry leader Warren Thompson, military base commander Colonel Fern Sumpter, public relations expert Chuck Conconi, and physicist Sir Michael Barry. Upcoming speakers include poet Jehanne Dubrow and Buddhist monk, antiviolence activist, and author Claude AnShin Thomas.

Speakers like these give us food for thought and fuel for action. They plant seeds of understanding and inspiration in the fertile ground of our intellectual curiosity. We are grateful for their willingness to share their expertise with the Marymount University community.

Intellectual curiosity. This is Marymount, and this is our common ground.

President Obama Starts His Second Term,
Common Ground Begins Its Second Semester

January 22, 2013

We saw the following headline in the Washington Post yesterday...

Common Ground

...and we thought, "Great! The President's on board. Can't wait to hear what he has to say about Marymount's campaign!"

OK, so maybe we were a little naive...or maybe Mr. Obama just forgot to specifically mention Marymount University in all the excitement of Inauguration Day.

But WE didn't forget! Just to make sure that the hundreds of thousands of people taking Metro into DC for the festivities had Marymount on their minds, we ran a full-page ad in the Post Express, a free newspaper that's distributed in the Metro system and at various locations throughout the greater DC area. Here's that ad:

Common Ground - Post Express

And here's wishing President Obama a great second term, and Marymount's Common Ground campaign a great second semester!

National Day of Service

January 20, 2013

National Day of Service

Yesterday morning, 17 Marymount volunteers joined thousands of others at the DC Armory for the National Day of Service. Our students and staff helped assemble care packages for military personnel, wounded warriors, first responders, and victims of Hurricane Sandy. They also wrote letters of appreciation to deployed service men and women.

It was a great event, and the MU volunteers had the chance to meet some luminaries who were also helping out. One student met Vice President Joe Biden, and another group chatted with Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

We are proud of our volunteers, and we thank them for being great Marymount University brand ambassadors by wearing their Common Ground t-shirts to the event.

Intellectual curiosity. Service to others. Global perspective. This is Marymount, and this is our common ground!

National Day of Service

Happy New Year!

January 16, 2013

As we begin a new year, everyone at Marymount continues to be excited about the Common Ground campaign. We have a lot of plans for the coming months: You'll be seeing the campaign on Metro buses and in Metro stations, at Reagan and Dulles airports, and in major print publications, AND you'll be hearing it on the radio! More on all of that later. For now, we kick off our spring-semester efforts with a full-page ad in Arlington magazine's "Best of Arlington 2013" issue.

Common Ground: Arlington Magazine Ad

Visions of Sugar Plums

December 13, 2012

Well, we're not really sure what sugar plums are, but we seem to be having sweet visions nonetheless. Just last night at Marymount's December Board of Trustees meeting, we thought we saw Common Ground Christmas Cookies!

Kudos to Marymount alumna and trustee Susan Lacz, CEO of Ridgewells Catering, for thinking up this particular bit of holiday cheer. Thank you for showing your Common Ground spirit, Ms. Lacz! (And by the way, the cookies were delicious.)

Common Ground Holiday Cookies

Come Fly with Us

December 3, 2012

DCA - Common Ground

Headed home for the holidays? Planning a trip over the river and high above the woods to Grandma's house? Getting ready to jet off to a luxurious Christmas vacation at a posh European spa?

Whatever your travel plans, be sure to check out the Common Ground ads at the DC region's two major airports! We have lighted displays at both Reagan National and Dulles International airports, to bring Marymount University to the attention of the hundreds of thousands of holiday travelers who will pass through their terminals during this busy and joyful season.

Be sure to look for our ads as you wing your way to a happy holiday!

IAD - Common Ground

DCA - Common Ground

Common Ground Goes Shopping

November 27, 2012

Spotted at the Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland, on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Thanks to Dr. Alice Young for snapping and sharing the picture, and kudos to this great brand ambassador for showing her Marymount Common Ground spirit while doing a little holiday shopping!

Common Ground - Marymount Goes Shopping

Marymount Celebrates International Education Week

November 15, 2012

Did you know that it's International Education Week - not just at Marymount, but everywhere? The State Department's website explains, "International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of our efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States."

Marymount University is definitely on board!

We've had a number of programs on campus this week that offer members of the MU community opportunities to expand their worldview. The Eid Al Adha Celebration, cosponsored by Marymount's Muslim Student Association, South Asian Society, Saudi Student Association, and International Club, and a program on "Catholicism around the World," cosponsored by Campus Ministry and the Center for Global Education, gave students, faculty, and staff opportunities to explore diverse religious perspectives. Attorney Alison Brown came to campus to talk about today's most pressing immigration issues, and MU's Center for Career Services and Center for Global Education offered two complementary programs: one on career opportunities outside the U.S. for American citizens, and one on career opportunities inside the U.S. for individuals from other countries.

Then, last night, more than 100 members of the Marymount community gathered in the Lee Center's Recreational Gym to take part in the university's 17th annual International Thanksgiving Dinner, cosponsored by International Student Services, the International Club, Campus Ministry, the South Asian Society, and the African Caribbean Student Association. In addition to great food and conversation, the dinner guests enjoyed learning about Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, from a presentation graciously given by the grandfather of a current MU student. The evening was an amazing celebration of Marymount's diversity and commitment to a global perspective! Check out the video:

If you missed these events, there's still time to get in on the fun. At 5:30 this evening, the MU Global Thinkers Residence Hall Floor will sponsor a Global Trivia Game in the Gerard Dining Hall. And tomorrow (Friday) the International Club will host an International Coffee Hour at 3:30 in the Gerard Hall Lobby. All are welcome!

Intellectual curiosity. Service to others. A global perspective. This is Marymount, and this is our common ground!

Common Ground: It's a Nicaraguan Thing!

October 25, 2012

Marlon Moreno: Storytelling

Last year, Nicaraguan artist and educator Marlon Moreno spent a week at Marymount University as a visiting artist in residence, speaking to classes and working collaboratively with MU students on a creative project - an intricate sand painting of the Blessed Virgin on a campus sidewalk. Our students and faculty enjoyed that experience so much that the university invited Mr. Moreno back this year for a second residency. He was on campus last week, and many of the activities in which he participated had a Common Ground theme.

Mr. Moreno talked with MU classes about his artwork and about Nicaragua's culture and traditions. He also shared songs and stories from his homeland.

Marlon Mareno in Drawing Class

This year's collaborative project was a Common Ground mural. Marymount students worked with Mr. Moreno throughout the week to design and paint the mural, which will be hung on campus.

Back home in Nicaragua, Marlon Moreno works at a school called Taller Artistico Xuchialt, which named him its outstanding teacher in 2009. During his recent visit to MU, he spoke about that school, saying, "We share the same values that Marymount instills. Those values are related to helping our community; we also teach cultural values, so students feel they are part of a society that's broad, with a global outlook, where they can learn about other places, other cultures, and learn the best of everything. These values, shared by Xuchialt and Marymount, form our common ground."


An Elegant Affair

October 18, 2012

President's Circle Dinner

Marymount's 2012 President's Circle Dinner, held last week at the Arlington Westin Gateway Hotel, took the Common Ground theme to a whole new level of elegance. The dinner, attended by 130 of Marymount's most generous supporters, provided an opportunity for President Shank to talk about his vision for the University's future.

The vision statement - created after a yearlong process that involved input from all members of the MU community - provides the foundation and impetus for the Common Ground campaign:

Marymount University will be known as a comprehensive Catholic university and the institution of choice for students, faculty, and staff. Marymount will distinguish itself through a culture of engagement that fosters intellectual curiosity, service to others, and a global perspective.

At the dinner, President Shank introduced three students who exemplify the values of intellectual curiosity, service to others, and global perspective. They are Cyndi Trang, Marissa McGrath, and Luis Fernandez.

Cyndi Trang

An Honors Program student, Cyndi is a senior majoring in Biology. She serves as president of MU's Science Club and has made it one of the most active organizations on campus. Under her leadership, the club's members have visited the National Air and Space Museum to hear a talk by a leading theoretical astrophysicist; enjoyed a private tour of the National Museum of Natural History; viewed open-heart surgery at Inova Fairfax Hospital; and visited National Geographic's headquarters to hear a talk on Blue Holes and Dark Energy.

Last summer, with funding from a Marymount DISCOVER research grant, Cyndi worked on modeling toxoplasmosis epidemiology using computational mathematics. She is now exploring conferences where she can present her research results. Cyndi is also in the process of applying to medical schools for next year. She is interested in nephrology and lupus research. In line with that aspiration, she is doing her Honors Thesis on a cell adhesion molecule in lupus mice models. Clearly, Cyndi Trang exemplifies Marymount's commitment to intellectual inquiry!

Marissa McGrath

A senior majoring in Fashion Merchandising, Marissa is a recipient of Marymount's Spirit of Service Scholarship. She has served as the head coordinator for both of MU's major annual on-campus service events - HalloweenFest for disadvantaged children, and the Special Olympics Regional Basketball Tournament. A member of Marymount's Campus Ministry Student Leadership team, Marissa is also active with the University's Grate Patrol - a program through which students provide food boxes and hot coffee to homeless people in DC. In addition, she has participated in Marymount's Alternative Spring Break program, traveling to Lima, Peru, in her sophomore year and to Banica, Dominican Republic, as a junior. In both places, she and her MU colleagues worked with children and helped with needed construction and repair projects.

Last summer, Marissa volunteered with Missionaries of the Poor in Jamaica, where she had the opportunity to work with abandoned people of all ages. Now, as she prepares to graduate, Marissa is researching job prospects. She has identified several companies that designate a portion of their profits for charity, and says that she would like to work for a place like that. Marissa also intends to continue volunteering with the Missionaries of the Poor, as well as doing service work in her own community. Her life is a true reflection of the Marymount spirit of service.

Luis Fernandez

Luis is a senior Communications major, with a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. Last summer, he traveled to Belize with students from several MU courses - in biology, sociology, and video production - to take part in a collaborative project focused on the endangered Hawksbill sea turtle. Luis was hesitant to sign up when he first heard about the program, but now says, "It was a once-in-a-lifetime, eye-opening experience." The beautiful land, the poverty prevalent in the village where the students were based, and the positive outlook of the people there really touched Luis's heart. He says, "It put everything in perspective. We take so much for granted in the United States, then you go to a very different place and see how the people live a simple life and love what they do. Remembering that keeps you humble and also passionate about your work and your life."

Now, Luis is looking into returning to Belize as an intern next summer, after he graduates. He wants to help the Hawksbill Hope Foundation, established by Marymount Professor of Biology Dr. Todd Rimkus, develop its public relations and social media efforts. After that, Luis will turn his attention to the job market; he plans to work as a social media coordinator or PR manager. Eventually, Luis hopes to start his own business. Both American and international students went on the Belize trip, and everyone involved benefited from being immersed in a new culture and working together to address issues that have an impact on the environment and people's lives. As a member of that team, Luis fully experienced Marymount's commitment to a global perspective.

President's Circle Dinner

President Shank concluded his remarks at the dinner by noting that "Cyndi, Marissa, and Luis are representative of the students we serve at Marymount. They make the most of the opportunities we provide and seek out additional ways to advance their learning, their dedication to service, and their understanding of our complex, interconnected world." And he told the benefactors present, "Your generous support helps to make their education possible."

What a great celebration of the Marymount University spirit! Intellectual inquiry, commitment to service, a global perspective: This is Marymount, and this is our Common Ground.

TV News Story Highlights Marymount's Diversity

October 12, 2012

In light of the Supreme Court's consideration of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin - a case focused on affirmative action in higher education - WUSA-9 reporter Peggy Fox came to Marymount earlier this week to talk about the issue with MU students and our VP for Student Development and Enrollment Management, Dr. Chris Domes. Her report was part of the lead story on WUSA-9's evening news broadcast on Wednesday, and the video has now been picked up by USA TODAY and posted on its website.

In the video, Dr. Domes explains that Marymount has never had an affirmative action policy and uses a "race-blind" admission process. He adds, however, that MU does actively recruit and seek to enroll minority students, as well as international students and students who are the first in their families to attend college. These efforts have resulted in a highly diverse campus community. In fact, U.S. News and World Report lists Marymount as the third-most-diverse comprehensive university in the South.

The students in the video talk about their Marymount experiences and reflect on how the diversity of the campus community has opened their eyes to the wider world.

Commitment to community, diversity, and a global perspective. This is Marymount. And this is our Common Ground!

Metro Campaign Takes Off

October 4, 2012

Common Ground Metro Bus - Intellectual Curiosity

Marymount's Common Ground campaign is taking the Metro around town! Since October 1, we have had 65 posters of various sizes and shapes on the sides and backs of Metro buses. We also have lighted dioramas on Metro platforms in the Ballston, Rosslyn, Farragut West, Metro Center, and Pentagon City stations. This Metro campaign will continue to run through November, so watch for our ads.

We'd love to have your photos of them as well - snap a shot (but not while driving!), or get somebody to take a picture of YOU standing next to a bus or diorama that has our ad, then email it to and we will post it on this site.

Speaking of photos, earlier this week we announced a contest for Marymount students. If you look under "Galleries" on this website, you will see a new collection of pictures called "Our Recent Photos." This will be updated on a regular basis and will include shots taken by our staff photographers AND by members of the Marymount community. We welcome faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends to submit their Marymount photos to so that we can share them with the MU community and the wider world.

We are particularly interested in pictures that relate to the Common Ground themes of intellectual inquiry, global perspective, and service to others. Once each month, we will choose a student photo that we think best exemplifies the Marymount Common Ground spirit, and award that photographer a $50 Barnes & Noble gift certificate. So students, start snapping pics around campus! Faculty and staff, please encourage your students to participate - and also send us your MU photos. We would love to be able to share them!

Common Ground Bus Tail

Common Ground Metro Bus Side

Exciting Developments

September 28, 2012

October is on our doorstep. That means that Common Ground ads will begin appearing on Metro buses and Metro station platforms next week! We'll also be doing a number of print ads, including a four-page wrap on the October 9 edition of the Washington Post Express, a free paper that's distributed in the Metro system and at various locations around DC and has a daily readership of more than 250,000.

One more fun development: Next week we will begin a student photo contest.

On this website, under "Galleries", we'll publish a weekly album titled Our Recent Photos. All members of the Marymount community will be invited to submit pictures of MU events and activities - especially ones that in some way reflect the themes of intellectual curiosity, global perspective, and service to others. At the end of each month, we'll select one student photo that best exemplifies the Marymount "common ground" spirit and award that individual a $50 Barnes & Noble gift certificate.

We look forward to seeing Marymount through our students' lenses - and to sharing their images with you.

More Terrific MU Ambassadors

September 27, 2012

Congratulations to this week's outstanding brand ambassadors, Dr. Joseph Cooper of the School of Education and Human Services, and Sister Jacqueline Murphy, RSHM. Thank you for displaying the Marymount Common Ground symbol on your vehicles!

Thanks also to Anna Jordan of the Office of Graduate Admission who recently tweeted from DC:

Good job keeping your eye out for our Common Ground wherever it may be found, Anna. And a big Marymount shout-out to whoever's car that is, too!

This Week's Outstanding Brand Ambassadors

September 21, 2012

David Pomeroy's Bike - Common Ground

Kelly DeSenti, Office of Student Development, and Elena Shields, Malek School of Health Professions, will receive Barnes & Noble gift certificates this week in appreciation for displaying Common Ground magnetic decals on their cars.

We're also awarding a special creativity prize this week, to David Pomeroy of the School of Business Administration. His vehicle isn't a car, but it gets him where he's going and shows off his Marymount pride all the same! (If you have a creative way of displaying your Common Ground decal, send us a photo and you may win a prize too - or at least our admiration and eternal gratitude.)

Congratulations to this week's winners!

Building Understanding and Respect: This is Our Common Ground

September 20, 2012

This week's Arlington Catholic Herald features a cover story by reporter Gretchen Crowe on Muslim students attending Catholic colleges in the DC area - and how students of both faiths benefit from the resulting interaction. In the article, Marymount faculty member Dr. Kathleen Garces-Foley, associate professor of religious studies, talks about creating a classroom environment that fosters "civil dialogue about really important issues where we are respectful of each other, but also are free to ask the hard questions." She further notes that this is "a skill we practice all semester."

The article also quotes Dr. Brian Flanagan, assistant professor of theology, who observes that these conversations reveal where the Muslim and Christian faiths agree, where they differ, and "where we could do more to work for justice, peace, and respect for the dignity of each person."

Sangida Nafisa '14, president of MU's Muslim Student Association, reveals the impact that this kind of learning environment has on students. In the article, she says that attending Marymount has given her a better understanding and appreciation for Catholicism, adding, "I have seen so many similarities with Islam. You learn more, and you learn to appreciate your religion as you're respecting the other religion."

Building a foundation of understanding and respect that can put our world on the path to peace. This is Marymount. And this is our common ground.

Read the article here.

Get on the Bus

September 17, 2012

MU Shuttle bus

The Common Ground campaign has!

All Marymount University shuttle buses, plus our athletics vans, are now sporting the Common Ground logo and ads. Given the number of trips these vehicles make in and around Arlington, we figure this is a great way to get the message out to our local community.

Next month, our ads will hop on Metro's buses and spread the good word even farther!

MU Shuttle

Back of MU Shuttle Bus

And the winners are...

September 13, 2012

Drumroll, please! Congratulations go to Dr. Chad Rector, Department of History and Politics, and Michael Schuchert, Office of Institutional Effectiveness, who are this week's outstanding brand ambassadors. Thanks to you both for proudly displaying your Marymount Common Ground vehicle magnets. Your $25 Barnes & Noble gift certificates are on the way.

Faculty and staff, is your MU pride showing? If so, you could be one of next week's winners!

In the Common Ground Spirit

September 13, 2012

Sister Clevie Youngblood, RSHM, offered the opening prayer at yesterday's quarterly meeting of the Marymount University Board of Trustees. She began this way: "As we open a new academic year, we receive the grace to begin again; to continue the efforts to build this University; to seek common ground, which is the vision of this community."

She continued, "We pray that we may be open to your Spirit, O God, to receive the gifts of wisdom and understanding as we do the work of this board. May we also be open to the voices of the Marymount University community and the voices of all those with whom we seek to collaborate and who seek our collaboration. And, in this week of remembrance of September 11, 2001, and in this year of national elections, may we be conscious of our role as educators to bring our spirit of faith and our desire for the common good to our local, national, and world communities."

An eloquent statement of the ideals of the Marymount University community - ideals that form the basis for our common ground.

Thank you, Sister Clevie.

Celebrating MU Brand Ambassadors

September 7, 2012

Today it was announced that Mariana Hodges of Library and Learning Services and Alison MacTavish of the Office of Financial Affairs are the first two MU employees to receive Barnes & Noble gift certificates for displaying Common Ground bumper stickers on their vehicles. Congratulations to these two great Marymount brand ambassadors! Prizes will be awarded to two faculty/staff members who display their bumper stickers (and MU pride) each week for the rest of the fall semester. Watch this space for the names of future winners.

MU Faculty Member Celebrates Common Ground in NY Times

September 6, 2012

Earlier this week, the New York Times ran an article by reporter Richard Perez-Pena about the increasing number of Muslim students from abroad who are choosing to attend Catholic colleges in the U.S. Institutions cited in the article include Creighton, Villanova, Xavier, the University of Dayton - and (we're proud to say) Marymount.

Today, MU garnered a second mention in the Times, thanks to the good efforts of Dr. Brian Flanagan, assistant professor of Theology. In a follow-up letter to the editor, Dr. Flanagan celebrated the presence of Muslim students at Marymount, noting that they "allow our Catholic university to grow as a site of concrete interreligious dialogue." He added, "Our classrooms are places of common ground marked by mutual respect, honesty in our differences, and real love for God and neighbor." Great job working "common ground" in there, Dr. Flanagan!

We're Seeing These Things Everywhere!

August 30, 2012

Common Ground

Volunteer Service Day, A Reflection of Our Common Ground

August 25, 2012

An amazing day, as 150+ members of the Marymount community fanned out to 16 sites across northern Virginia to share their time and talents. Devoting the first Saturday of the new academic year to community service is an MU tradition; in the past, this event was primarily an opportunity to introduce freshmen to the University's commitment to serving others. This year, it was expanded to include faculty, staff, students, alumni, and more upperclassmen than ever before.

A few raindrops didn't dampen the volunteers' spirits, as they gathered on campus in front of the Lee Center to pick up their Common Ground T-shirts and hear a few words from President Shank. Then they boarded their buses and began a series of eye-opening and rewarding adventures in the community.

One group went to The Jefferson - a Sunrise Assisted Living Facility in Arlington - where they visited with senior citizens and provided manicures. President Shank's wife, Lynne, and their daughters Grace and Olivia were among the volunteers there. Others went to the Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center, where they cleaned and sorted donated glasses; still others painted a bathroom for the Arlington Street People's Assistance Network.

In McLean, MU volunteers pulled weeds and cleaned up brush on the property of the Youth Apostles Institute. In Falls Church, they sorted donations at the Clock Tower Thrift Store, run by Northern Virginia Family Services. In Alexandria, they organized the food pantry at Christ House, a homeless shelter, and did outdoor clean-up at the St. Martin de Porres Senior Center.

A commitment to service. This is Marymount, and this is our common ground!

MU Welcomes the Class of 2016

August 24, 2012

Move-in day for freshmen - an exciting time, but physically and emotionally taxing for new students and their parents. At Marymount, the day ends with a Convocation that officially welcomes the members of the incoming class to the campus community.

Because "Common Ground" is a theme that everyone at Marymount will be seeing and hearing throughout the year, President Shank and Vice President Dutton shared our story at the Convocation. Student Government Association President Kritishma (Kay) Shrestha '13 got into the act, too. She told the Class of 2016, "Remember that aside from all of our differences, in race, ethnicity, religion, personality, and many more personal qualities, Marymount University provides us a common ground."

A Sidewalk Art Surprise

August 23, 2012

Common Ground

Not to be outdone, the women's basketball team expressed their support for MU's Common Ground initiative artistically, in a park near campus. Thanks to Dr. Mark Trowbridge, professor of Fine Arts, for capturing and sharing the image!

Campaign Announced!

August 22, 2012

Today we launched the Common Ground campaign at Marymount's Fall University Assembly - the annual gathering of faculty and staff that starts the new academic year. Discussing his goals for the coming year, President Shank included "increasing awareness and accurate perceptions of Marymount in the greater DC area."

Increased awareness is always good, but why the emphasis on "accurate perceptions"? A December 2011 survey of 800 adults in northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland revealed that Marymount's strengths may well be the "best kept secret" in the national capital region. The majority of those surveyed were unaware that Marymount is a comprehensive university: 65% of the respondents did not know that MU offers master's degrees, while 89% were unaware that the University has doctoral programs. Thirty-five percent (35%) of the survey respondents weren't sure whether Marymount is coeducational. (It has been since 1986!) And a shocking 96% had no clue about the rich diversity of Marymount's student population. (US News and World Report ranks MU as one of the most diverse comprehensive universities in the South.) Given these survey responses, the undeniable conclusion is that we have a lot of work to do, in terms of sharing the good news about Marymount.

At the Assembly, VP for Communications and Marketing Shelley Dutton shared our story - a slideshow that captures the essence and spirit of Marymount. She talked about plans for the Common Ground campaign, which will unfold during the coming year, and explained that the theme "common ground" refers to values that unite the diverse MU community - values like intellectual curiosity, service to others, and a global perspective. Ms. Dutton ended her remarks by asking the faculty and staff to join the effort, serving as "brand ambassadors" for Marymount.

One way they can do that is by displaying Common Ground magnetic bumper stickers - distributed at the Assembly - on their personal vehicles. Men's Basketball Coach Chris Rogers asked if he could have magnets for all of the University's athletics vans, and we were happy to oblige! Thanks for showing your MU spirit, Coach!