George Washington Hall at University of Mary Washington
|Motto||Pro Deo Domo Patria|
Motto in English
|For God, home, and country|
(University of Virginia)
|President||Troy Paino (since 2016)|
|Campus||Suburban, 176 acres (71.22 ha)|
|Colors||Navy Blue and Gray|
|Athletics||NCAA Division III - CAC|
The University of Mary Washington (UMW) is a public university in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Founded in 1908 as the Fredericksburg Teachers College, the institution was named Mary Washington College in 1938 after Mary Ball Washington, mother of the first president of the United States, George Washington. The General Assembly of Virginia changed the college's name to the University of Mary Washington in 2004 to reflect the addition of graduate and professional programs to the central undergraduate curriculum, as well as the establishment of more than one campus.
Each year, students pursue more than 60 majors and programs of graduate and undergraduate study through the university's three colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education. One third of UMW's undergraduate students study abroad before graduation, taking advantage of 121 study abroad programs in 56 countries. UMW Athletics' 23 teams compete in the NCAA Division III Capital Athletic Conference. Known as the UMW Eagles, 308 of these student-athletes have been named to All-American teams.
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.
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.
The General Assembly of Virginia enacted legislation changing the college's name to University of Mary Washington on March 19, 2004, to reflect the addition of master's degree programs and the establishment of more than one campus.
The university's 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.
The University of Mary Washington is a public liberal arts university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is not a research university, but instead focuses on undergraduate education.
Much of UMW's 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 is within walking distance to the historic downtown with shops, restaurants and the Rappahannock River. Other campuses are Stafford Campus, seven miles north of Fredericksburg, and Dahlgren Campus, near the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division.
UMW has five pre-professional programs: pre-dental, pre-law, pre-med, pre-pharmacy, and pre-veterinary. Bachelor's degrees include a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in addition to two degree completion programs - a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS). Master's degrees include a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Education (M.Ed.), Master of Education for Professional Development or Added Endorsement (M.Ed.), Master of Science in Elementary Education (M.S.) and a Master of Geospatial Analysis (MSGA). UMW also offers a Geographic Information Science certificate.
First-year seminar courses allow students to explore nontraditional topics in nontraditional ways. While topics vary, classes are all capped at 15 students, focus on the development of writing and speaking skills and use active, discussion-based formats. Previous first-year seminars have included "Beyond the Selfie: Exploring Digital Identities," "Cold Case: Theatre Mysteries," "The Art of Mathematics," "Race & Revolution," and "Science and Technology - Because We Can, Should We?"
Many UMW students study abroad before graduation. The university offers 121 approved programs in 56 countries, five exchange programs, and more than 15 programs led by UMW faculty during spring breaks and summer sessions.
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.
Honor Convocation is held at the start of each academic year. Eagle Gathering is a candlelit celebration on Ball Circle that marks the start of the year and officially welcomes the newest class to UMW. During Family Weekend, typically held in the fall semester, families visit the campus to get a taste of student life through events, performances and tours. Spirit Week is a series of student events that lead up to Homecoming and the return of UMW alumni to the university for athletic contests and tailgating. Senior Countdown is an event that celebrates 100 days until graduation for the undergraduate class. Spring Formal gives students an element of surprise - students learn the location of the formal (unique each year) only once they're on the buses heading over. Mr. UMW is a one-of-a-kind talent show in which contestants perform to be named "Mr. UMW" by the end of the night. WMWC is the school's unlicensed student run campus radio station.
In 2018, Peace Corps named UMW was a Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities for the tenth year in a row, ranking it fourth among small schools. A total of 261 UMW alumni have served in the Peace Corps since the agency's founding in 1961. UMW became a Peace Corps Prep Program partner in 2017.
Forbes included UMW in its 2018 "America's Top Colleges," ranking the university 276th of 660 undergraduate institutions.
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