June 25, 2022

University Center Naming Celebration Honors Rucker

Upon the retirement of Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker next week, the University Center will officially bear the name "Cedric Rucker University Center."

Upon the retirement of Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker next week, the University Center will officially bear the name “Cedric Rucker University Center.”

Mary Washington’s University Center is four stories and 100,000 square feet, but a new name is about to make it even bigger.

“Today we are celebrating two giants,” Vice President for Student Affairs Juliette Landphair said Sunday at UMW. “One of the giants is behind me, the University Center. The second giant, of course, is Cedric Bernard Rucker.”

The structure’s new moniker becomes official when Rucker retires later this month as associate vice president and dean of student life. That means the central campus building dedicated to student success will bear the name of the man who’s devoted his life to that goal.

It’s a story decades-long in the making. Arriving on Double Drive as an undergrad in 1977, just as institutions of higher education began accepting more students of color, Rucker was the first African-American male graduate to live in a residence hall. He quickly became an integral part of campus culture, immersing himself in clubs, activities and organizations.

“All these doors opened, and Mary Washington just felt like mine,” said Rucker. Read more.

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