Scotland’s Morgan Academy Visits NOVA

Scotland Students at George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Scotland Students at Center for Design, Media and the Arts

Fifty-four students and faculty members from the Morgan Academy in Dundee, Scotland, visited NOVA’s Alexandria Campus. It was their first stop on a US trip that included Alexandria, DC, and New York City. The Morgan Academy resides in Alexandria’s Sister City Dundee, Scotland. The purpose of the trip was to study American culture and history, politics, and international relations. These two cities share a long-lasting partnership of social, cultural, and civic connections.

The students received a tour of the Alexandria Campus which included the new fine arts building. Dr. Jimmie McClellan lectured on the connection of the two cities and Scottish influence to a crowd of NOVA and Morgan Academy students. The Scottish students lead NOVA students in a traditional dance followed by a pizza lunch meet-and-greet. Introduction to Communication Studies students interviewed Scottish students as part of an assignment to explore their perspective of American culture.

The Morgan Academy departed in the afternoon to George Washington’s Mount Vernon. The students received a tour of the mansion and plantation from the perspective of an enslaved woman, Caroline Branham who was portrayed Brenda Parker. Next, they explored the legacy of George Washington and the daily life of his enslaved workers. To play their respects to our first commander and chief, a few student volunteers participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at George Washington’s tomb. The Mount Vernon trip concluded with a visit to the gristmill and distillery. Tom Plott explained the significance of these operations to Washington as he portrayed distillery worker, James Anderson from Scotland.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon is working on creating similar experiences and internships for NOVA students.

For additional information, please contact Araceli Bachner at

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