March 2, 2024

President Richard V. Hurley to Retire in 2016

At a meeting of the University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors today, President Richard V. Hurley announced his plan to retire, effective June 30, 2016. Hurley, who has served as UMW’s ninth president since July 1, 2010, has made clear his desire to spend more quality time with his family. Prior to being named president, he had already announced his retirement plans. At that point, he had served Mary Washington for a decade in various positions, including executive vice president and chief financial officer, and twice as acting president. President Richard V. Hurley Hurley, who has presided over the institution during a time of nearly unprecedented capital expansion, indicated that he is announcing his plans now to ensure that the Board of Visitors has sufficient time to conduct a national search to name his successor. “I believe that 2016 is the right time, both for the University and for me, to effect this transition,” he said. “I am confident that I will have achieved the primary goals I established for my presidency, including the completion of our $50 million Mary Washington First campaign.” In his statement to the Board, Hurley noted that after a long and diverse career in higher education, he especially looks forward to spending time with his wife, Rose, who also has been a tireless ambassador for UMW, their three adult children, and seven grandchildren ­–– all of whom reside in the Richmond, Virginia, area. Holly T. Cuellar ’89, Rector and spokesperson for the Board of Visitors, said, “The Board sadly accepts President Hurley’s announcement to retire. He truly has been a transformative leader on our campus and a visionary in higher education.” “He has advanced the University of Mary Washington and the institution’s ability to serve the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond,” Cuellar continued. “History will show that his tenure as president was the perfect pairing of strategic vision, innovation, and productivity. “Obviously,” she added, “while we will miss President Hurley and Rose, the Board wishes his family all the best in retirement and offers gratitude for their service to the University and to the Commonwealth.” As President, Hurley has been responsible for implementation of the University’s 2009-2014 Strategic Plan, as well as launching the development of a new strategic plan that will be announced this year. He has directed numerous facilities and capital projects, including construction of the Anderson Center convocation and athletics arena, as well as the design and construction of Mary Washington’s third campus, the Dahlgren Campus Center for Education and Research in King George County. Other facilities improvements under his leadership include numerous building renovation and expansion projects, completion of the newly-opened 72,000 square-foot Information and Technology Convergence Center, and design and construction of the 100,000 square-foot University Center, which will open this fall. Hurley serves as a board member of the University of Mary Washington Foundation where he played a key role in the acquisition and development of the Eagle Village mixed-use venture. Eagle Village includes apartments housing 600 UMW students, a pedestrian bridge spanning Route 1, commercial retail and office space, a parking facility, and a Hyatt Place Hotel. This partnership between the University, the UMW Foundation, and the City of Fredericksburg has been highly acclaimed as a model of effective public-private partnership, successful regional economic development, and community revitalization. Beyond campus, Hurley is recognized as an active community leader and is strongly committed to regional engagement and economic development. He has served as chair of the board of directors of the Rappahannock United Way, a director of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the board of the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance. President Hurley formed the UMW Center for Economic Development and has engaged a wide variety of community and business leaders in the development of a regional economic development plan. Hurley also established the Town and Gown Committee, a group of University and city officials and citizens, who work to strengthen the University’s relationships with the community. Earlier this year, he received the Chamber’s Prince B. Woodard Leadership Award, annually presented to an individual who has provided a lifetime of service to the Fredericksburg region. On a statewide level, Hurley has served as chair of the Virginia Council of Presidents, and he was appointed by the governor to Virginia’s Higher Education Advisory Committee. According to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, “President Hurley’s unwavering leadership, thoughtful approach, and dedication to engagement at all levels will be sorely missed.” Hurley has been a hands-on and highly visible president, engaging regularly with students and visitors to campus. He helps out on move-in day, shows up in the student dining room, occasionally calls Bingo, assists with student service projects, and enjoys attending University events, such as sports contests, plays, concerts, lectures, and student programs. During his presidency, the University of Mary Washington has continued to garner widespread media recognition as one of the nation’s best public liberal arts and sciences universities and one of the top values in higher education. Hurley is proud that UMW boasts some of the highest student retention and graduation rates among institutions of its type. A native of New Jersey, Hurley earned a bachelor of science in environmental studies from Richard Stockton College, now Stockton University. He received a master of arts in public administration from Central Michigan University. He also holds certificates and diplomas from the University of Kentucky and Harvard University.

Princeton Review Ranks UMW as a Green College

The University of Mary Washington has been ranked among the nation’s top “green colleges” in a report published Thursday, April 16, 2015. The ranking appears in the 2015 edition of The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges. The University of Mary Washington was recognizedPhotographed April 20, 2010. (Photo by Norm Shafer) for its robust on-campus sustainability program, which has been spearheaded by the UMW Sustainability Office and the President’s Council on Sustainability. The Princeton Review also recognized UMW for the following achievements:
  • 100 percent of new campus construction has been LEED-certified.
  • 18 percent of the university’s food budget is spent on local and organic food.
  • The university has a waste diversion rate of 30 percent.
  • 10 percent of graduates have taken a sustainability-related academic course.
“We strongly recommend the University of Mary Washington and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally-minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges,” said The Princeton Review’s Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher. In the past year, UMW has participated in Virginia’s 2015 RecycleMania competition, hosted community shred events and collaborated with the City of Fredericksburg on a campaign against cigarette butt litter. Mary Washington received international recognition in the annual RecycleMania competition and was named a Virginia Green Travel Leader. Currently, the university is working on a Tree Campus USA designation for the Fredericksburg campus, a certification awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation. This annual publication identifies colleges with exemplary commitments to sustainability. Selected from nearly 900 institutions, each school is rated based on a 2014 survey of college administrators that asked about sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. To see the full list of institutions included in the guide, visit

UMW to Host Virginia Power Shift

The University of Mary Washington will host Virginia Power Shift, a statewide student conference on environmental, social, economic and educational justice Friday, Feb. 13 to Sunday, Feb. 15. The student-organized conference features 38 programs, including workshops, panels and training sessions to build student action on pressing issues facing college campuses and communities. More than 300 students expect to attend. “Virginia Power Shift is about empowerment and giving the students of our state the education, tools and motivation that they need to take action,” said Zakaria Kronemer, a UMW senior and member of the Virginia Power Shift planning committee. This year will be the first year that Mary Washington has hosted the conference, which reflects the growing leadership role of UMW students in Virginia activist issues. “Students have been at the forefront of every great social movement within history.” Kronemer said. “I see this conference as a spark for bold action within Virginia– a state that truly needs the progressive voice of the students.” Joni Wilson, director of landscape and grounds at UMW, said the value of the conference in addressing the larger scope of environmental and social issues. “This conference shifts the sustainability focus past just environmental issues,” said Wilson. “All environmental issues have very big social impacts.” For more information and registration, visit

UMW Theatre Continues 2014-15 Season with “The Drunken City”

The University of Mary Washington’s Department of Theatre & Dance will continue its 2014-15 season with The Drunken City, a comedy by Adam Bock. Eaglevision-Drunken-Slide-webPerformances will take place Feb. 12-14 and 19-21 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 15, 21 and 22 at 2 p.m. in Klein Theatre, located in duPont Hall on UMW’s Fredericksburg campus. In The Drunken City, bride-to-be Marnie and her two bridesmaids, Linda and Melissa, take to the city that never sleeps for one last night of bachelorette fun. When they meet Frank and Eddie during their bar crawl, the bridal party becomes the only thing between the bride-to-be and a huge mistake. While exploring “Sex and the City” themes, the play proves that happiness and heartache are two sides of the same coin. Canadian playwright Adam Bock is the resident playwright at Encore Theatre and a Shotgun Players Artistic Associate. The Drunken City was originally commissioned by the Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, New York and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play in 2008. The Drunken City is directed by Gregg Stull, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance and Department of Music. Scenic design is by Associate Professor Julie Hodge and lighting design is by student designer Christopher Stull. Costume design is by Associate Professor Kevin McCluskey and sound design is by guest designer Jon K. Reynolds. On Friday, Feb. 13, the department will host a “Ladies Night Out” event at 5:30 p.m. which includes cocktails at the Hyatt Place Fredericksburg-Mary Washington and admission to the performance. In addition, the matinee performance on Sunday, Feb. 15 will be followed by Afterwords, a post-show talk with the cast. Tickets are $12 for standard admission and $10 for students, senior citizens and military. For further information on the events or to purchase tickets, call the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit

UMW Hosts Judge Hatchett for Black History Month

Glenda Hatchett, best-known for her nationally syndicated show Judge Hatchett, will provide the keynote lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 11 as part of Black History Month at the University of Mary Washington. Judge Hatchett will speak on her experiences throughout her career, spanning from serving as the senior attorney and manager of public relations for Delta Air Lines to being the first African-American chief presiding judge of Atlanta’s Fulton County Juvenile Court and presiding over the two-time Emmy nominated national show. Hatchett-Closeup A book signing and sale for Hatchett’s national best sellers, Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say! And Dare to Take Charge, will take place following the presentation at 7 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. The event is open to the public free of charge. The James Farmer Multicultural Center is hosting a series of events throughout the month, including:
  • Cuisines of Black Cultures, Mondays in February in Seacobeck Hall
  • UMW Jazz Night: A Tribute to Duke Ellington, Friday, Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Pollard Recital Hall
  • Gospelfest, Saturday, Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium
  • The Enslaved Community of James Monroe, Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411
  • Dismantling Racism Workshop, Monday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 414
  • 25th Annual Step Show Competition, Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium
For more information and a complete listing of events, please visit or contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at (540) 645-1044.

Hurley Receives Prince B. Woodard Leadership Award

University of Mary Washington President Richard V. Hurley received the Prince B. Woodard Leadership Award at the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Gala, Friday, Jan. 30. Rick Hurley The annual award is given to an individual who has provided a lifetime of service to the Fredericksburg region. “Since assuming UMW’s presidency in 2010, he has overseen a period of robust growth that includes construction of the Anderson Center convocation and athletics arena, the opening of the Dahlgren campus and development of the Eagle Village mixed-use development,” according to a release from the Chamber of Commerce. “In addition, he is active in the community, having served on the Chamber’s board of directors, the boards of Rappahannock United Way and Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, and established the Town and Gown Committee to strengthen relations between the University and the City of Fredericksburg.” Hurley is UMW’s ninth president. Prior to being named president, he served Mary Washington for a decade in various positions, including executive vice president, chief financial officer and acting president. The Chamber also honored a variety of other business leaders during the event, including Entrepreneur of the Year and Small Business of the Year. For more information, visit

Gari Melchers’ Paintings are Taking a Road Trip

Paintings of renowned impressionist artist Gari Melchers will be on display nationally in new museum exhibitions this spring: Monet and American Impressionism opens Tuesday, Feb. 3 at the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and Gari Melchers: American Impressionist At Home and Abroad opens Thursday, March 5 at the Bellarmine Museum, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut. The paintings are on loan from Gari Melchers Home and Studio.

“Countless European-trained Americans enjoyed critical and commercial success at the end of the 19th century, but their reputations were diminished by the often sensational competition of the modernists,” said Gari Melchers Home and Studio curator Joanna Catron. “Traveling exhibitions give artists like Gari Melchers a second chance for discovery and appreciation.”

Monet and American Impressionism features 70 works of art that demonstrate how American artists responded to the paintings of Claude Monet and his French contemporaries. Paintings dated between 1880 and 1920, including five by Monet and by leading figures in American Impressionism, such as Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, and Childe Hassam, will explore how the innovations of French Impressionism were adapted and ultimately paved the way to a uniquely American style of painting. Melchers’ paintings depict two Manhattan scenes, Bryant Park (Twilight), c. 1906-1907 and Hudson River, c. 1907, to illustrate the beauty and vibrancy of the city.

Hudson River by Gari Melchers  circa 1907 Bryant Park Twilight by Gari Melchers  circa 1906-1907 Cottage in the Snow by Gari Melchers

The exhibition will travel to the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee, June 25 through Sept.20. It will have its final venue at the Telfair Museums of Savannah, Georgia, Oct. 16 through Jan. 24, 2016.

Gari Melchers: American Impressionist At Home and Abroad,organized by Catron for the Bellarmine, showcases 23 works of art drawn from the Fredericksburg collection. It surveys more than a half century of Melchers’ career, with key examples of the varied themes he favored, including landscapes. On March 5, Catron will present an illustrated lecture at the Bellarmine discussing the artist’s legacy.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio is a 28-acre estate and former residence of the artist Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne. The property, which is operated by the University of Mary Washington, is both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, Virginia, a quarter mile west of the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17, it is open daily with an admission charge. The museum also serves as the official Stafford County Visitor Center. For directions and other information, call (540) 654-1015 or visit

UMW Launches Founders Day Challenge

The University of Mary Washington has launched a Founders Day Challenge in celebration of its 107th founding anniversary on Saturday, March 14.   President Simpson and guests celebrate the university's 60th anniversary in 1968 The challenge aims to raise $107,000 for the Fund for Mary Washington, the unrestricted gifts fund for the university, by the founding anniversary. The Fund allows UMW to support students, programs and other needs not covered by state’s operating budget. Discretion for use of the funds is handled by the president and other designated decision-makers. The Fund for Mary Washington is just one of seven donation areas within UMW’s $50 million Mary Washington First Campaign, which aims to reach its campaign goal within five years through the support of alumni, students, staff, faculty, parents and community members. UMW was established as the State Normal School for Women at Fredericksburg on March 14, 1908 with the assistance of Virginia State Senator C. O’Conor Goolrick. It was the second institution in the state devoted exclusively to the training of teachers for public schools, after the Normal School for Women at Farmville, now Longwood University. For more information about the founding of UMW, the challenge, or to make a donation, please visit

UMW Receives Approval for Residential Nursing Program

Beginning fall 2015, students in a unique nursing program at the University of Mary Washington will be able to live on the Fredericksburg campus while taking courses at both the university and Germanna Community College (GCC).   NursingThe Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Academic Partnership Plan (BSN-APP), commonly referred to as the “1+2+1” BSN Plan, recently received approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges,  the accreditation body for degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern region. Through the program, students complete required liberal arts and nursing prerequisite courses at both UMW and Germanna during the first year; attend the community college during the second and third years to complete an associate’s degree in nursing; then return to UMW for course work during the fourth year to complete the BSN-completion program. “This partnership allows UMW students to major in nursing,” said Pamela McCullough, director of the UMW’s BSN-completion program. “Students can experience the rich residential life of the university while attending both UMW and Germanna.” The program is just one of the nursing education initiatives taking place through partnerships with Germanna Community College and Mary Washington Healthcare. The BSN-completion program began accepting students in June 2014 and currently has 33 registered nurses enrolled to complete their degree. The first cohort of students will graduate in spring 2016. For more information about the 1+2+1 program, please visit email

UMW Celebrates 84 Years of Seacobeck Dining

The University of Mary Washington’s Seacobeck Hall will close in summer 2015 after 84 years as a student dining facility on the Fredericksburg campus. Student dining services will relocate to the new University Center, opening in fall 2015. To honor the hall’s longevity as a campus dining hub, UMW Dining Services has launched a series of dinners to commemorate each decade. The series kicked off in September, featuring music and cuisine from the 1930’s, including the white linen tablecloths that were a staple of the dining hall’s earlier days. UMW Dining will continue the celebration by featuring the 1970’s on Wednesday, Jan. 28; the 1980’s on Wednesday, Feb. 18; the 1990s on Thursday, March 19; and a grand finale for the millennium on Wednesday, April 15. Each buffet dinner begins at 5 p.m. and is open to the public for $11.15 plus tax. “The new University Center will have state-of-the-art equipment,” said Roy Platt, general manager for UMW Dining Services. “Students will be able to experience many new dining options, with all of our food being made-to-order at our service platforms.” Seacobeck Hall will close this summer after 84 years as a student dining facility. seacobeck_4982 The faculty and staff dining hall and Copy Center in Seacobeck Hall will continue to operate through the next academic year. The university continues to review opportunities for repurposing Seacobeck Hall. Suggestions have included classrooms, studios, a small auditorium, display space for the arts and museums, and storage space. A decision will most likely be made during the 2015–2016 academic year. To make a reservation for one of Seacobeck’s upcoming celebration dinners, contact UMW Dining at (540) 654-2169.