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The Blue & Gray Press | November 20, 2017

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Special Clubs Help Alumni Travel Around the World

For alumni that want a second chance at studying abroad, Mary Washington has two different programs to make their travel plans easier.

Both the President’s Travel Club and the Alumni Travel Program organize educational trips through the university that are offered throughout the year.

The President’s Travel Club trips are offered typically every 12 to 14 months, according to the CEO of the UMW Foundation Jeff Rountree.

“The President’s Travel Club is not held very often as the president and the faculty who go to teach the adult students are busy people,” Rountree said.

UMW professors come with groups when they can to give additional information relevant to the trip.  These trips do have preferred booking, however, for members of the President’s Council.

The members of the President’s Council are those that “donate at least $2,500 per year to the Fund for UMW.

“That said, any alumni or friend of UMW is welcome to go,” Rountree said.

The Alumni Travel Program is the other option available for those interested in traveling through the university.  This option is sponsored by the Alumni Association and is offered six to eight times a year.

The UMW website states that these trips are arranged through Thomas P. Gohagan & Company and “are usually shared with other universities and colleges.”

The costs are not standardized, but rather it depends on “the destination and the level of room or ship cabin, if applicable, a person might want to have,” Rountree said.

Each traveler pays their way with their own money.  The minimum cost usually starts around $4,000 to $5,000 a person.  No money is given by the campus to help pay for expenses.  Airfare is never included.

Alumni and friends of UMW are the most frequent users of these programs, according to Rountree.  Students are welcome to come but the trips are normally during the school year.

The next trip with the Alumni Travel Program is to see the Passion Play in Obermmergau. Germany from June 13 to June 21, 2010.

The next trip for the President’s Travel Club is in January to Egypt and Jordan.  This trip will run from Jan. 27 to Feb. 9.

This trip “includes visits to some of the great wonders of the world, a four-night cruise along the Nile River, and private flights between all destinations in both Egypt and Jordan,” according to the UMW website.

These trips are educational, according to Rountree.

Going along on this trip to Egypt and Jordan will be Ranjit Singh, assistant professor of Political Science and International Affairs.

“Professor Singh has lived and studied in the Middle East and will be giving some very interesting lectures on Middle Eastern politics and culture,” Rountree said.

Trips are chosen when a professor has a strong tie to a region and wants to teach a group, according to Routree

Carter Hudgins, professor of History and American Studies, was the faculty participant in the first President’s Travel Club.

“The trip took a group of alumni and friends of the university to France where we traced the paths of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and other American envoys who sought, secured and strengthened the new American nation’s relationship with France during the American Revolution,” Hudgins said.

Hudgins assignment was to give a series of six lectures.

He is also a trained architectural historian and was able to provide information on buildings and places that were visited.

Hudgins said that the travel club and trips offered are a great opportunity for participants.

“It was also a memorable way for [alumni] to renew their connections to each other and to alma mater, and a way to cultivate support for the university,” Hudgins said.