Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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UMW graduation

University of Mary Washington President Judy Hample announced at the beginning of Saturday’s graduation that she wouldn’t be shaking hands because of concern over swine flu.  One graduate humorously wore a glove on his right hand as he walked onto the stage, but it’s unclear whether he shook Hample’s hand. UMW has not reported any cases of swine flu on its Fredericksburg campus. In Washington, Howard University officials distributed hand sanitizer to graduates and guests at commencement, according to an Associated Press story. Some graduates said they were advised to shake hands at their own risk because of swine flu concerns.


  • dicerotops

    Those students worked very hard, and the president can’t shake their hands! The Swine Flu is hardly more dangerous than any other flu around in the States. It was insulting for her not to shake their hands. She could have worn decorative gloves if she was really that worried and no one would have noticed. Plus, its just a little thing called – washing the hands! No excuse. The president should have shook the hand of each graduate who worked so hard and paid so much to get that degree.

  • runnwlf

    Isn’t the Swine Flu an airborne flu? In which case, why was graduation held at all, at least without face masks?

  • busdriver179

    As the President of a University, shouldn’t she be smarter then that? How insulting to people that have put such hard work into their education.