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The University of Mary Washington (formerly Mary Washington College) is a co-educational, state-funded, four-year liberal arts college and a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges in Fredericksburg, Virginiamarker. The university is located between Richmondmarker and Washington, DCmarker. The university's undergraduate campus serves 4,271 students and its graduate campus has 730 degree-seeking students.


Founded in 1908 as a women's college, the school was originally called the State Normal and Industrial School for Women. It was renamed Mary Washington College in 1938 after Mary Ball Washington, mother of the first president of the United States of Americamarker, George Washington.

In 1944 the college became associated with the University of Virginiamarker as its women's college. Following the university's transition to coeducational status in 1970, the Virginia General Assembly reorganized Mary Washington College in 1972 as a separate, coeducational institution. Today UMW is the nation's only public, coeducational college named after a secular woman.

The General Assembly of Virginia enacted legislation changing the college's name to University of Mary Washington on March 19, 2004 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 this campus. The Carnegie Foundation reclassified the college to university status based on its graduate programs.

On June 30, 2006, Dr. William Anderson retired after 23 years as the institution's president. On February 17, 2006 the UMW Board of Visitors had selected William Frawley, Dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at The George Washington Universitymarker, as the next president of the University. Dr. Frawley's presidency began on July 1, 2006. He was inaugurated on September 30, 2006.

On April 11, 2007, Dr. Frawley was arrested on DUI charges for two consecutive offenses. After a unanimous vote from the Board of Visitors, he was dismissed. Richard V. Hurley served as Acting President.

The Board of Visitors published an announcement on March 10, 2008 naming Dr. Judy Gayle Hample as the new President of UMW. On November 17, 2008, she outlined her vision for the University, which includes her "Students First" initiative.


The former library, Trinkle Hall features a beautiful rotunda.

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 Fredericksburgmarker. The campus itself is a short distance from Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Parkmarker. Brompton served as a field hospital during the battle and is the home of the university's presidents.

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 Virginiamarker).

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 servers 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.

The University is currently engaged in a number of construction and renovation projects. The two newest construction projects include Eagle Village and the William M. Anderson Center. Eagle village will include apartment-style student residences, a secured transportation center, a pedestrian bridge spanning U.S. 1, and new 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 with an estimated completion date of 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 facility is expected to be completed in mid-winter 2011. 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 just opened after a two-year renovation, and now brings key student services under one roof. One exciting feature is the Underground, a casual cafe, which reopened in the Fall of 2009. Beginning in May 2009, Monroe Hall, the oldest building on campus, will begin renovation. A parking deck was completed in the fall of 2006 and has helped to ease the parking situation on campus.

Graduate Campus

The University’s College of Graduate and Professional Studies is located 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, the College of Graduate and Professional Studies now has more than 1,000 students enrolled in degree programs and other credit-bearing courses.


Academic departments
Virginia Tech memorial held on Ball Circle.

Undergraduate campus

Also, several new certificates have been added:

Graduate campus

Degree Programs

Honor System

Mary Washington prides itself on its honor system, one of its proudest traditions. The system is run entirely by students and creates a sense of trust and mutual respect on the campus. All entering students must agree to abide by and support the Honor System.


UMW reviewed 4,600 freshman applications for the fall of 2008, offered admission to 3,258 candidates, and enrolled 917 first-time freshman for the 2008 fall semester. These students hail from 32 states and 15 foreign countries. Their average SAT score was 1768 and their average ACT score was 25.7.. The strongest Admission factors include Standardized Tests scores, as well as the rigor of secondary school record.


Environmental sustainability is playing an increasingly important role on the Mary Washington campus and within the community. The first LEED-certified building, CGPS North Building, was built in 2007. To promote environmentally-friendly transportation methods, the university works with the Fredericksburg Regional Transit System (FRED) to provide specific routes and subsidies for students and staff. An Energy Performance Contact with the energy service company NORESCO from 2005-2007 has reduced waster usage by 25% after the installation of water saving devices. NORESCO also installed low energy light fixtures, occupant sensors, HVAC controls, and completed replacement of leaking condensate piping.

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 lead by a Recycling Coordinator (RAs) and an elected Hall Council Recycling Chairperson. In 2009, UMW participated in the RecycleMania competition and increased its amount of recycled material three-fold.

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.


UMW is an NCAA Division III institution. The University plays in the Capital Athletic Conference, where it has won more conference championships than any other school. In fact the Women's swim team has won all 18 straight CAC Championships, while the Men's swim team has won 14 out of 18. To date, the UMW "Eagles" have had more than 100 student-athletes achieve All-American status. Three UMW teams have won national championships (1982 AIAW champion women's tennis, 1988 NCAA Division III women's tennis, 1991 NCAA Division III women's tennis), and UMW athletes have won three NCAA individual titles (1993 - Shannon Hutcherson, 200 yard backstroke, swimming; 1996 - Myra Simpson, long jump, outdoor track & field; 2004 - Dan Uyar and Paul Bristow, doubles tennis). In recent years, the men's tennis team has advanced to eight straight NCAA Tournaments, finishing in the top eight four times, and the women's basketball team has advanced to three straight Sweet 16s, including a third place finish at the 2007 Final Four.

Men compete in the following 10 team sports: baseball, basketball, crew, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, and track and field. There are 12 NCAA women's sports: basketball, crew, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Both men and women compete on the IHSA riding team. The sports facilities are available in Goolrick Gym and outdoors on the Battleground Athletic Complex, and the school's home barn is Hazelwild Farm. These facilities are utilized for intercollegiate competition as well as for intramural and recreational activities. The University also features a number of very popular club teams, including tennis, synchronized swimming, men's and women's rugby and ultimate frisbee teams, along with many others. In 2007 the women's rugby club made their fifth consecutive appearance at the national championship tournament.


  • Forbe's 2009 list of "America's Best Colleges," lists the University of Mary Washington 13th among public colleges and universities in the United States. UMW ranks 121st among all public and private colleges/universities in the United States.

  • In its 2009 edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” U.S. News & World Report ranked UMW's undergraduate program 7th among southern master’s degree-granting institutions and third among public schools in the same category.

  • Mary Washington has one of the preeminent debate teams in the country, having consistently ranked in the Top #20 over the past ten years. The University of Mary Washington Debate Team is currently ranked 8th according to CEDA rankings. The National Debate Tournament (NDT) ranks Mary Washington at 11th place.. 2009 was the most successful year for Mary Washington debate ever. Top debaters Kevin Kallmyer and Matt Struth earned a first round bid to the National Debate Tournament, competed in the quarterfinals of the tournament, and won the American Debate Association national championship.

  • The University of Mary Washington has one of the highest percentages of students volunteering in the Peace Corps. Mary Washington ties for the #6 rank among the top Peace Corps producing small schools in the United States in the midst of other prestigious schools as of September 2007. These universities include Dartmouth, Wake Forest, Johns Hopkins, University of Chicago, and Wesleyan University.

  • online news magazine has rated the University of Mary Washington as the 13th best public college in its inaugural list of “America’s Best Colleges” in 2008. Overall, the University ranks 144th out of 569 undergraduate institutions that the magazine considers the nation’s best.

  • The University of Mary Washington was ranked by Men's Fitness Magazine as being the #24 most fit college or university in the country.

  • The University of Mary Washington gained recognition from the Washington Post in 2006 for being one of the top 500 schools in the mid-atlantic region.

  • In its 2009 edition, The Fiske Guide to Colleges listed UMW as one of the nation’s 300 best colleges and universities, stating that “Mary Washington has gained a reputation as one of the premium public liberal arts colleges in the country". It was also listed in the 2007 and 2009 editions as one of the best buys in public higher education.

  • Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges’ 2007 edition placed Mary Washington in its “highly competitive” category, designating the University as one of the 171 top colleges and universities in the nation in terms of academic selectivity.

  • In the Voluntary Support of Education 2002 edition published by the Council for Aid to Education, Mary Washington ranked first in Virginia among public institutions for its alumni participation rate in fund raising.

  • In the 2004 edition of America's Best Value Colleges published by the Princeton Review, Mary Washington was listed as one of the nation's top 77 undergraduate colleges and universities.

  • UMW is listed among Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s “100 Best Values in Public Colleges” for 2009. The University is ranked 23rd when using in-state tuition costs to calculate the listing. UMW also was named the 16th “best value” when comparing out-of-state tuition costs. The magazine ranks schools on their combined academic excellence and affordability, with more emphasis placed on academics.

  • The 2009 Fiske Guide To Colleges has listed the University of Mary Washington among the nation's top 300 colleges and universities, and among 23 public college "best buys."

  • Mary Washington is one of the 146 colleges named a Best Southeastern College by The Princeton Review.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

See also


  2. History of Mary Washington College 1908-1972, by Edward Alvey, p. 227
  3. History of Mary Washington College 1908-1972, by Edward Alvey, p. 278, 511
  4. S-464 Act of the General Assembly of Virginia
  6. The Freelance Star
  7. UMW Presidential Search
  9. UMW Honor System
  11. NCAA Division Listings
  16. Debate Results
  17. National Debate Tournament Homepage
  18. Peace
  20. Men's Finess Magazine
  21. Fiske Guide
  22. [1]
  24. The Princeton Review

External links

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