University of Mary Washington

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Coordinates: 38°18′07″N 77°28′30″W / 38.30194°N 77.47500°W / 38.30194; -77.47500

University of Mary Washington
University of Mary Washington Seal
Former names

State Normal and Industrial School for Woman at Fredericksburg (1908–1938) Mary Washington College (1938–1944; 1972–2004)

Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia (1944–1972)
Motto Pro Deo Domo Patria
Motto in English
For God, home, and country
Type Public
Established 1908
Endowment $41.4 million[1]
President Troy Paino (since 2016)
Academic staff
Students 4,831[2]
Undergraduates 4,383[2]
Postgraduates 448[2]
Location Fredericksburg, VA, USA
38°18′07″N 77°28′30″W / 38.30194°N 77.47500°W / 38.30194; -77.47500
United States
Campus Suburban, 176 acres (71.22 ha)
Colors Navy Blue and Gray
Athletics NCAA Division III
Nickname Eagles


University of Mary Washington Logo.png
University of Mary Washington is located in Northern Virginia
University of Mary Washington
Location in Northern Virginia
University of Mary Washington is located in Virginia
University of Mary Washington
Location in Northern Virginia
University of Mary Washington is located in the US
University of Mary Washington
Location in Northern Virginia

The University of Mary Washington is a public university in Virginia that focuses on undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences. The core of its main campus of roughly 4,000 mostly residential students in Fredericksburg, Virginia is the College of Arts and Sciences, which offers degrees in various liberal arts disciplines. The university began a BSN completion program in fall of 2014 to allow AS-prepared nurses to earn a bachelor's degree in their field. A College of Education and a College of Business offer advanced degrees. Around 450 students are enrolled in the university's graduate programs.


On March 14, 1908, Virginia Governor Claude A. Swanson signed into law legislation for the establishment of the new State Normal and Industrial School for Women. It was called Fredericksburg Teachers College. The institution was renamed Mary Washington College in 1938 after Mary Ball Washington, mother of the first president of the United States of America, George Washington, and longtime resident of Fredericksburg.[3][4]

In 1944 the college became associated with the University of Virginia as its women's college. Until that time, the University of Virginia had not admitted women as undergraduates, except in its education and nursing programs, although its postgraduate programs were coeducational. Following UVA's transition to coeducational status in 1970, the Virginia General Assembly reorganized Mary Washington College in 1972 as a separate, coeducational institution.[5]

The General Assembly of Virginia enacted legislation changing the college's name to University of Mary Washington on March 19, 2004.[6] The institution sought university status to reflect the addition of master's degree programs and increasing enrollment at its College of Graduate and Professional Studies, formerly the James Monroe Center for Graduate and Professional Studies, located in nearby Stafford County. Students can earn an MBA, M.Ed., MSMIS, MBA-MSMIS dual degree, BPS or other graduate certificates or professional certifications at the campus. The Carnegie Foundation reclassified the college to university status based on its graduate programs.


Most of the Fredericksburg campus is located on Marye's Heights, a steep hill which, like Sunken Road (the campus' northeastern boundary), played an important role in the 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg. The campus itself is a short distance from Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Brompton, the president's official residence, served as a field hospital during the battle.

Most of the architecture on the Mary Washington campus is neoclassical, Georgian, or Jeffersonian (because of its similarity to Thomas Jefferson's design of the University of Virginia). Several buildings are named for notable women from American history. Frances Willard Hall is named for the famous temperance leader and crusader for women's rights. Ann Carter Lee Hall honors the mother of Robert E. Lee. Thomas Jefferson's daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph, is acknowledged by Randolph Hall. While the university no longer refers to the buildings by their full names, one can find them on those buildings that have dedication plaques.

The university also maintains athletic facilities both on and within walking distance of the Fredericksburg campus. Goolrick Hall serves as UMW's primary venue for varsity volleyball, men's and women's swimming, and men's and women's basketball. The Battleground athletic facility is a few blocks away from the main campus and houses several multipurpose fields, an outdoor track, a baseball stadium, a softball field, and an indoor and outdoor tennis complex.

Expansion and renovation

The university is currently engaged in several construction and renovation projects. Current construction projects include the new Campus Center, which is replacing the now demolished Chandler Hall. Recent construction projects include an Information Technology Convergence Center, Eagle Village and the William M. Anderson Center. Eagle Village includes apartment-style student residences, a secured transportation center, a pedestrian bridge spanning U.S. 1, and retail, restaurant and "Class-A" office space on seven acres at the northern end of the shopping center. At a cost of $115 million, construction of Phase I began in March 2009 and was completed in summer 2010. The start of construction for the William M. Anderson Center was celebrated at a groundbreaking ceremony on September 17, 2009.The two-story center is designed to provide seating for more than 3,000 people for convocation events and approximately 2,000 spectators for athletic events. The 52,000-square-foot (4,800 m2) facility was completed in 2011.

The university was named after George Washington's mother, Mary Washington.
Monroe Hall was constructed in 1911, serving as the first academic and administration building for the university. Its plan is inspired by Palladio's Villa Rotunda and houses several of the university's humanities programs.

The Carmen Culpeper Chappell ’59 Centennial Campanile was completed in May 2007, and was heard for the first time ringing in the 2007 commencement procession. Ringing twice a day, the campanile can be heard over a mile away. Lee Hall opened after a two-year renovation, and now houses all key student services. During this renovation, a casual cafe - The Underground - was added to Lee Hall Basement, in the Fall of 2009. Beginning in May 2009 and largely completed in June 2011, Monroe Hall, the oldest building on campus, was also completely renovated. A 4-story parking deck was completed in the fall of 2006.

In fall 2014, the University of Mary Washington welcomed a new building to campus, recently renamed the Hurley Convergence Center. The HCC is a one-of-a-kind building at UMW— an “academic commons” where a variety of technology, information, and teaching resources come together in an environment that is modern, energetic, and vibrant.[7] A University Center was opened in Fall 2015 to provide a campus center that fosters a collaborative and respectful environment where members of the UMW community can engage in their extracurricular and academic pursuits. From a fourth-floor dining center, to a wide range of bookable spaces, and a large ballroom complete with sound and stage offerings, the University Center is a 100,000 square foot facility that can support numerous events and meetings.[8]


In recent years, the university has placed increasing emphasis on environmental sustainability. Its first LEED-certified building, CGPS North Building, was built in 2007. The university houses stops along the route of the Fredericksburg Regional Transit System (FRED). The school signed an Energy Performance Contact with the energy service company NORESCO from 2005–2007, enabling the campus to install water saving devices which reduced campus water consumption by 50%. NORESCO also installed low energy light fixtures, occupant sensors, HVAC controls, and completed replacement of leaking condensate piping.[9]

The UMW Recycling Program currently collects corrugated cardboard, printer ink cartridges, mixed paper, newsprint and co-mingled plastic, glass, and aluminum. Each residence hall recycling program is led by a recycling coordinator (RAs) and an elected Hall Council Recycling Chairperson.[10] In 2009, UMW participated in the RecycleMania competition and increased its amount of recycled material threefold.

UMW Ecology Group is the only student-run organization dedicated to sustainability on campus. The Ecology Club works as a part of the Campus Climate Challenge and is affiliated with the Virginia Climate Action Network.[11]

Stafford campus

The university maintains a campus in nearby Stafford County. At this campus, working adults are able to take classes at night or on weekends to complete a bachelor's degree or earn a master's degree. Opened in 1999 as the James Monroe Center, the Stafford campus later became known as the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. However, CGPS has now been divided into a College of Education (at Stafford campus) and a College of Business (which relocated to the main campus in December 2015). The Stafford campus is now also the home of the University's new BSN Completion Program.


Once the library, Trinkle Hall features a rotunda. Today, it houses the Classics Philosophy and Religion, Mathematics, and Computer Science departments
Jepson Hall houses the Science department

The University of Mary Washington is a public liberal arts university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[12] It is not a research university, but instead focuses on undergraduate education. Fourteen alumni have earned Fulbright scholarships.[13]


For the fall semester of 2009, the Admissions Committee at the University of Mary Washington reviewed 4,761 freshman applications and offered admission to 3,541 candidates. 963 of those candidates enrolled as first-time freshman. Though mostly Virginians, the students came from 32 states and 13 countries outside the United States. Among the middle 50% of admitted applicants, high school GPA ranged from 3.41–3.95, SAT scores ranged from 1630–1950 and ACT scores ranged from 24–28. In reviewing applications, the Admissions Committee places emphasis on academic achievement in the liberal arts and sciences, standardized tests scores, and enrollment in honors courses and programs like the International Baccalaureate. The university also "strives to enroll a student body that is culturally and ethnically diverse."[14]

Undergraduate demographics[15]

Illustration of data obtained from: Illustration of data obtained from:

Honor system

The University of Mary Washington upholds an honor system. The system is maintained by the Honor Council, an organization of elected officials from the student body. All entering students must sign a document stating that they understand, abide by and agree to support the honor system during the convocation. Traditionally faculty will require students to sign a written pledge of abidance to the honor code for every major work submitted. In addition faculty will leave the classroom after handing out exams and quizzes to students.[16]



Board of Visitors

By statute of the Code of Virginia, the University of Mary Washington is governed by a Board of Visitors, one member of which is elected every two years to serve as Rector. The UMW Board of Visitors is composed of twelve members appointed by the Governor of Virginia and confirmed by the General Assembly. At least six members of the Board must be alumni of the university, and no more than three may be nonresidents of Virginia. Each member serves a term of four years and may be eligible for reappointment to one successive term.[17]


The Board of Visitors announced that Richard V. Hurley would serve as the ninth president of the institution, effective July 1, 2010. Hurley served as executive vice president and twice as acting president following the resignations of both William J. Frawley and Judy G. Hample. In April 2015, President Hurley announced his intention to resign at the end of the 2015–2016 academic year.[18] On February 15, 2016 the UMW Board of Visitors announced Dr. Troy Paino, current president of Truman State University, would succeed president Hurley with a term beginning on July 1, 2016.[19]

Past presidents

  • Troy Paino (2016–Present)
  • Richard V. Hurley (2010–2016)
  • Judy G. Hample (2008–2010)
  • William J. Frawley (2006–2007)
  • William M. Anderson, Jr. (1983–2006)
  • Prince B. Woodard (1974–1982)
  • Grellet C. Simpson (1956–1974)
  • Morgan L. Combs (1929–1955)
  • Algernon B. Chandler, Jr. (1919–1928)
  • Edward H. Russell (1908–1919)

Student life


UMW has 118 student clubs and organizations registered with the Office of Student Activities and Community Service. These organizations include the Student Government Association, Honor Council, special interest groups and service organizations.[20]

Cultural groups on campus include: Asian Student Association, Black Student Association, Brothers of a New Direction, Islamic Student Association, Jewish Student Association, Latino Student Association, People for the Rights of Individuals of Sexual Minorities (PRISM), Students Educating and Empowering for Diversity (SEED), Women of Color, and Eagle Bhangra.[20]

No Panhellenic groups are officially recognized by the university, which has never had official fraternities and sororities. Unofficially, three national fraternities and one non-national sorority exist off campus, and one philanthropic co-ed fraternity exists on campus but does not identify itself with any national fraternity or sorority. An attempt for official recognition by these groups was scuttled by the administration in the wake of the Phi Kappa Psi UVA scandal. The university has since been attempting to re-open the discussion on Greek Life.

Students Helping Honduras established its first collegiate chapter at UMW.

Founded in 1922, The Blue & Grey Press (formerly The Bullet) is an award-winning student newspaper at the University. The Blue & Gray Press is published on Thursday afternoon in both the fall and spring semester, in print and online. The Blue & Gray Press strives to highlight the community of the University of Mary Washington, as well as deliver fair and accurate coverage on the issues important to UMW students.

Additionally, the Department of English offers a semester-long class allowing students to receive hands-on experience of the process of running a nationally-recognized literary journal called The Rappahannock Review. Students are able to choose from many different roles, including assistant genre editor, managing editor, or copy editor. The course revolves around many tasks, such as reviewing literary pieces received from the genre editor, voting for or against a piece being published in the upcoming issue, or even preparing interview questions for the authors of accepted pieces. Students are able to serve in one of the three genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Community Outreach and Resources (COAR[21]) is a student run diverse group of students serving community needs through an active exchange of service and learning while continually striving to find solutions to problems that challenge the community. Throughout the school year, COAR organizes several events on and off campus to create an opportunity for students to help better the community. Some of these events include Into the Streets, Pumpkin Palooza (an on-campus trick-or-treat for area children), a Gift Box Drive for Head Start, a Variety Show and silent auction to raise money for Alternative Breaks with Habitat for Humanity, Spring Forward Festival (an Easter egg hunt and crafts for area children), and Pay it Forward Week. Each event is fun and unique for students and the general public.


Devil-Goat Day is an annual field day competition among students whose graduating classes fall on even years ("goats") and odd years ("devils"). The tradition began in 1926 when Eileen Kramer Dodd, an education professor, encouraged the junior class she sponsored to come up with a symbol to represent themselves. They decided on the Green Goats and in response, the senior class established themselves as the Red Devils.[22] While this event used to consist of a week-long prank rivalry between the Devils and the Goats, it is now a one-day event held on the last Thursday of classes where students line-up for free T-shirts, food, and games.

The Multicultural Fair is an annual celebration of cultural diversity. Each year hundreds of food vendors, artisans and student organizations register to attract people from the Fredericksburg area. The fair is the largest annual event hosted by the university.


The University of Mary Washington is an NCAA Division III institution. The University plays in the Capital Athletic Conference.[23] Men and women compete in basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field and the IHSA riding team. Men also compete in baseball, and women in softball, field hockey and volleyball.[24] The sports facilities are available in the William M. Anderson Center, a new 3,000-seat arena that has hosted two NCAA basketball tournaments, Goolrick Gym and outdoors on the Battleground Athletic Complex, and the school's home barn is Hazelwild Farm. On Wednesday December 16, 2015, the Anderson Center arena was dedicated for Ron Rosner, a long-time supporter of the University and the greater Fredericksburg community.[25] These facilities are utilized for intercollegiate competition as well as for intramural and recreational activities.

Intramural sports

UMW offers a wide variety of intramural sports through the Campus Recreation department. Some of the most popular intramural sports are Football, Basketball, Soccer, and Dodge ball. The Soar Cup is awarded each year to the team which participates in the most intramural events.


Candlelight vigil held on Ball Circle in mourning of those killed in the Virginia Tech massacre

In its 2016 rankings (based on 2015 data), U.S. News & World Report determined that UMW tied for 6th place in "Top Public Schools, Regional Universities, South", tied for 11th in "Best Colleges for Veterans", and tied for 16th for "Regional Universities Southern".[26] Forbes ranked UMW 13th among public colleges and universities in the United States in its 2009 edition of "America's Best Colleges," and 121st overall.[27] The Princeton Review deemed the university one of the "Best Southeastern Colleges" in the United States.[28] Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranked the university as the 2nd best value public college in 2009.[29] In their 2010 rankings of the best Master's Universities in the Southern United States, U.S. News & World Report placed University of Mary Washington second out of all public schools and second overall.[30][31]

The school's debate team in 2017 was ranked 43rd by the Cross Examination Debate Association.[32] In 2009, the team ranked 3rd overall in the National Debate Tournament.[33]

The university's women's rugby team became national champions for Division II in May 2014.[34]

A high percentage of University of Mary Washington alumni have worked in the Peace Corps. In 2008 it produced the sixth greatest amount of volunteers to the organization among small schools in the United States.[35]

Notable people


Current, former, and emeritus faculty

See also


  1. ^ As of December 13, 2014. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2013 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2012 to FY 2013". 2014 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 18, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Fall Enrollment by Tuition Status and Level". State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ Alvey, Edward (1974). History of Mary Washington College 1908–1972. University of Virginia Press. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-8139-0528-0. 
  4. ^ "H. Res. 77" (PDF). The Library of Congress. January 21, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ Alvey, Edward (1974). History of Mary Washington College 1908–1972. University of Virginia Press. pp. 278, 511. ISBN 978-0-8139-0528-0. 
  6. ^ S-464 Act of the General Assembly of Virginia
  7. ^ "Hurley Convergence Center | University of Mary Washington". Hurley Convergence Center. Retrieved 2016-02-03. 
  8. ^ "The University Center » University Center". University Center. Retrieved 2016-02-03. 
  9. ^ "Water Conservation Measures". University of Mary Washington. Retrieved October 27, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Environmental Stewardship". University of Mary Washington. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2009. 
  11. ^ "UMW Recyclemania". University of Maryland. Retrieved June 8, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Institution Details". Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  13. ^ "UMW students receive Fulbright, international scholarships". University of Mary Washington. 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Entering Class Profile: Fall 2009". University of Mary Washington. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  15. ^ "University of Mary Washington – Enrollment". Schev Research. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ "The Honor System at the University of Mary Washington". University of Mary Washington. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Board of Visitors". University of Mary Washington. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  18. ^ Kapsidelis, Karin. "University of Mary Washington's President to Retire". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  19. ^ "UMW Chooses Truman State's Paino as President". Free Lance-Star. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  20. ^ a b "Listing of Student Clubs and Organizations". University of Mary Washington. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  21. ^ "COAR | UMW Students | University of Mary Washington". Student Affairs | COAR. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  22. ^ Crawley Jr., William B. (2008). University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History 1908–2008. Frederickburg, VA: University of Mary Washington. p. 27. 
  23. ^ "Richard C. Cook All-Sports Award". Capital Athletic Conference. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  24. ^ "University of Mary Washington Athletics". University of Mary Washington. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  25. ^ "UMW Establishes Endowment, Names Arena to Honor Area Businessman – News". News. Retrieved 2016-02-03. 
  26. ^ "University of Mary Washington". U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2016. U.S. News & World Report L.P. 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  27. ^ "America's Best Public Colleges". Forbes. August 5, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  28. ^ "University of Mary Washington". The Princeton Review. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  29. ^ "100 Best Values in Public Colleges 2009–10". Kiplinger's Personal Finance. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  30. ^ "Best Colleges: Top Public Schools: Master's Universities (South)". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Best Colleges: Master's Universities (South) Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  32. ^ Cross Examination Debate Association. "CEDA Point Rankings". California State University, Fullerton. Retrieved January 24, 2009. 
  33. ^ Hanson, Jim (2009). National Debate Tournament: Fall 2009 Report (Report). Whitman College. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  34. ^ "Women's Rugby Team Wins National Championship". University of Mary Washington. Retrieved 2016-04-01. 
  35. ^ "Peace Corps Top Colleges and Universities 2009" (PDF). Peace Corps. 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 

Further reading

  • Alvey, Edward (1974). History of Mary Washington College 1908–1972. University of Virginia Press. ISBN 978-0-8139-0528-0
  • Crawley, William Bryan (2008). University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908–2008. University of Mary Washington. ISBN 978-0-615-21015-5

External links

  • Official website
  • Official athletics website
  • Campus map
  • Facebook page
  • UMW Blogs
  • The Blue & Gray Press
  • Historic Buildings of the University of Mary Washington
  • The Rappahannock Review
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