May 29, 2024

New Name For Counseling Center Honors Alumna and Her Late Husband


Betty Dobbins Talley ’68

The University of Mary Washington announces the naming of the Talley Center for Counseling Services to honor a significant campaign gift from Betty Dobbins Talley ’68. The UMW Board of Visitors approved the new name August 5, 2014, to supersede the title of the former Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) center.

A counselor for more than 40 years, Betty Talley thought it especially important to remove the reference to “psychological” in the new name of the center. “Counseling centers on college campuses should have an aura of easy access and warmth without any stigma,” she says. “I believe counseling should be available to help students get over those bumps that occasionally come up in life, or during major transitions, so they can grow and reach their full potential. Professionals and educators shouldn’t make them feel sick. Sometimes students just need to talk to someone.”

Located in Lee Hall, the Talley Center for Counseling Services is staffed by licensed mental health professionals. A part of the Division of Student Affairs, the Center is committed to furthering student development, and it offers crisis intervention, consultation, community referrals, and training and educational outreach programs to the entire UMW community.

The new Talley endowment will count toward the Mary Washington First Campaign goal, and it will enhance existing student counseling services by enabling the center to increase outreach and prevention efforts for early recognition of at-risk behaviors.

“We have a long family history in counseling and education,” says Betty Talley. “My late husband, Page, was also a lifelong counselor and educator. When we began planning our estates, we decided to support the two institutions that had given each of us our initial starts — Mary Washington and his alma mater, Western Kentucky University.”

The $50-million Mary Washington First Campaign began July 1, 2011, and went public April 26, 2014. As of June 30, 2014, donors have committed $30 million in gifts and pledges. Campaign contributions are actively being solicited for the three colleges, scholarships, the Fund for Mary Washington, program initiatives, and restoration of the amphitheater. The Mary Washington First Campaign is scheduled to conclude June 30, 2016. Visit the campaign website for more information.