September 17, 2021

UMW Earns Top Rankings from ‘U.S. News Best Colleges’

University of Mary Washington received top marks in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2022 rankings, released today.

University of Mary Washington received top marks in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2022 rankings, released today.

The University of Mary Washington has been recognized among the nation’s top schools by U.S. News & World Report, which released its 2022 “Best Colleges” list today.

UMW ranked seventh among public regional universities in the South and 19th among all regional universities in the South. Within the same category, the University also was rated sixth among best colleges for veterans, and earned spots on the publication’s lists of best undergraduate business and nursing programs. Mary Washington is also included in the “Top Performers on Social Mobility” roster, which looks at schools with economically disadvantaged students.

Now in its 37th year, the U.S. News rankings evaluate more than 1,400 colleges and universities on academic quality using several metrics, with the greatest emphasis placed on outcomes. Schools’ ability to retain and graduate students from different socioeconomic backgrounds and graduates’ average indebtedness are considered, along with class size, undergraduate academic reputation, and investment in instruction and student services. Read more.

UMW to Host Public Debates for House of Delegates Seats

The University of Mary Washington will host a public political debate between candidates for Virginia’s 28th District House of Delegates seat on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m.

UMW will host two public political debates, beginning next week, via YouTube.

UMW will host two public political debates, beginning next week, via YouTube.

Incumbent Del. Joshua Cole (D) will face off against opponent Tara Durant (R) live via Zoom, with public viewing accessible through YouTube. Viewers may submit questions for consideration for inclusion in the debate using an online form until 11 a.m. on the day of the event. The 28th district covers Fredericksburg and parts of Stafford County.

UMW will host a second House of Delegates debate, for the 88th District seat, on Tuesday, Oct. 26, with Democrat Kecia Evans, Republican Phillip Scott and Libertarian Timothy Lewis. The 88th district covers part of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania, Stafford and Fauquier counties.

“While COVID has forced us to debate online this fall, we can look forward to vigorous discussions about the path forward for Virginia,” said moderator Stephen Farnsworth, UMW professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

Del. Joshua Cole

Del. Joshua Cole

The events are being hosted by Mary Washington’s College Republicans, Young Democrats and Student Government Association (SGA). “Such debates make an investment in student participation and increase excitement for civic engagement,” said UMW SGA President Brianna Reaves. “Including students in this process is crucial to the grassroots activism we see on campus.”

The debates are co-sponsored by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, The Free Lance-Star and the League of Women Voters of the Fredericksburg Area. News Director Ted Schubel of WFVA Radio and Editorial Page Editor Barbara Hollingsworth of The Free Lance-Star will ask questions of the candidates during the hourlong debate.

Elected to represent Virginia’s 28th District in 2019, Cole has been appointed to serve on the State Commission on Youth, Autism Advisory Council, and the Rappahannock River Basin and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial commissions. He was elected in 2020 as one of Virginia’s five Democratic National Committee representatives. Former president of the Stafford County NAACP, Cole is a member of the Greater Fredericksburg Area Interfaith Council, associate pastor at Stafford’s Union Bell Baptist Church and chairman of the House of Clergy for the Union of Charismatic Orthodox Churches.

Tara Durant

Tara Durant

Tara Durant is an elementary school teacher, mother, Marine wife and breast cancer survivor, making her first run for public office. She has served on the boards of the Fredericksburg Area Service League and the PTO, as well as the Citizens Review Panel with United Way. Durant also has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and been a supporter of local sports teams and St. Mary’s Church in Fredericksburg.

Occurring less than a week before National Voter Registration Day, a celebration of democracy that encourages participation in the political process, the first of two 2021 UMW debates shines a spotlight on local elections.

“One of my favorite traditions at Mary Washington is our ability to host candidate debates for area elected offices,” Farnsworth said, “and the willingness every year of those candidates to join us to discuss the future of our region.”

Submit questions, which must be received by 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22, via an online form at umw.edu/sept2021debatequestions.

Watch the live debate on YouTube at umw.edu/sept2021debate.

UMW to Host Public Debates for House of Delegates Seats

The University of Mary Washington will host a public political debate between candidates for Virginia’s 28th District House of Delegates seat on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. Incumbent Del. Joshua Cole (D) will face off against opponent Tara Durant (R) live via Zoom, with public viewing accessible through YouTube. Viewers may submit questions for […]

UMW Earns Top Rankings from ‘U.S. News Best Colleges’

The University of Mary Washington has been recognized among the nation’s top schools by U.S. News & World Report, which released its 2022 “Best Colleges” list today. UMW ranked seventh among public regional universities in the South and 19th among all regional universities in the South. Within the same category, the University also was rated sixth […]

UMW Claims Strong Showing in Two Sets of National Rankings

University of Mary Washington earned top spots this week in two national college rankings, ‘Washington Monthly’ and ‘The Princeton Review.’

University of Mary Washington earned top spots this week in two national college rankings, ‘Washington Monthly’ and ‘The Princeton Review.’

The University of Mary Washington took top spots in a pair of prestigious national college rankings, each released this week.

Encouraging college students to be active citizens, Washington Monthly’s 2021 College Rankings cite schools’ ability to promote social mobility, research and service. “We rate schools based on what they do for the country,” states the website for the publication, which included UMW in not one but two categories: Best Master’s Universities and Best Bang for the Buck.

Washington Monthly, which judges schools on their commitment to contributing to the greater good, recognized UMW for providing marketable degrees at affordable prices. The Princeton Review’s college rankings, based on feedback from actual students, placed Mary Washington in the top 14 percent of the nation’s thousands of four-year colleges and universities. Read more.

UMW Claims Strong Showing in Two Sets of National Rankings

The University of Mary Washington took top spots in a pair of prestigious national college rankings, each released this week. Washington Monthly, which judges schools on their commitment to contributing to the greater good, recognized UMW for providing marketable degrees at affordable prices. The Princeton Review’s college rankings, based on feedback from actual students, placed Mary […]

Move-In Day Welcomes ‘Excellent’ Class to Mary Washington

The University of Mary Washington’s Fredericksburg campus was abuzz yesterday for Move-In Day, with members of the Class of 2025 arriving from near and far. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

The University of Mary Washington’s Fredericksburg campus was abuzz yesterday for Move-In Day, with members of the Class of 2025 arriving from near and far. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Under fickle skies – one minute sun, the next minute a downpour – members of the University of Mary Washington’s Class of 2025 streamed onto campus yesterday.

Move-In Day 2021 brought first-year students to Fredericksburg from near and far, all with high hopes for a full freshman experience. After more than a year of online learning, due to COVID-19, the undergrads breathed life back into campus. Masks, now required indoors with the Delta variant’s surge, couldn’t hide the nervous excitement of moving into new rooms, meeting suitemates … and putting together those tricky beds.

Robbie Willcox of Annandale, Virginia, used a bright orange mallet to wrestle her bed into shape, while her father scrolled through his phone for assembly directions. Willcox, whose brother, Michael, is a sophomore assigned to Eagle Landing, was sold on the school after attending UMW Theatre performances. “They were pretty impressive,” she said. “Coupled with a great community and really nice campus, Mary Washington seemed like the obvious choice.”

Like Willcox, many members of UMW’s incoming class hail from Virginia. But 14 percent come from other locales, making the trek from Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York and New Jersey, and also from farther afield – Washington and Wisconsin, Missouri and Montana, Colorado and California. Students also flew in from foreign countries as far away as South Africa, India and Ethiopia, but also from Ireland, Honduras and United Kingdom, even the South Pacific country of Fiji and Nepal in South Asia. Nearly 30 percent of the incoming class self-identifies as racially and ethnically diverse. Read more.

Move-In Day Welcomes ‘Excellent’ Class to Mary Washington

Under fickle skies – one minute sun, the next minute a downpour – members of the University of Mary Washington’s Class of 2025 streamed onto campus yesterday. Move-In Day 2021 brought first-year students to Fredericksburg from near and far, all with high hopes for a full freshman experience. After more than a year of online […]

Renovated and Ready: Virginia Hall Welcomes New Students

A 14-month renovation of Virginia Hall has left Mary Washington’s second oldest residence hall – constructed in three phases beginning in 1914 – ready to welcome first-year students. Photo by Tom Rothenberg.

A 14-month renovation of Virginia Hall has left Mary Washington’s second oldest residence hall – constructed in three phases beginning in 1914 – ready to welcome first-year students. Photo by Tom Rothenberg.

For Terrie Gladney Hoelscher ’78, Virginia Hall meant Friday night singalongs at the parlor piano, cramming into the second-floor phone booth and gliding down stairs on a mattress.

“She has good bones, and so much character,” Hoelscher said of the building she and generations of undergrads have called home for more than a century. “My lifelong and closest friendships were made and developed there.”

No doubt, a new era of University of Mary Washington students will find their own brand of mattress-gliding within these walls. A $19 million renovation completed this summer (think paint, polish and preservation) left the building awash in newfangled-ness: soothing central AC, all-keyless entry, a luxurious lounge. But the makeover took care to keep classic touches – big sunny windows, extra-wide stairwells, elegant transoms – intact.

“Everything is old but now it’s new,” said Addie Sage, a sophomore psychology major who’ll live in the 168-bed building as one of several resident assistants providing support to first-year students assigned there. Read more.

Renovated and Ready: Virginia Hall Welcomes New Students

For Terrie Gladney Hoelscher ’78, Virginia Hall meant Friday night singalongs at the parlor piano, cramming into the second-floor phone booth and gliding down stairs on a mattress. “She has good bones, and so much character,” Hoelscher said of the building she and generations of undergrads have called home for more than a century. “My […]