June 13, 2024

UMW Dedicates Hurley Convergence Center

The University of Mary Washington dedicated the Hurley Convergence Center in honor of President Richard V. Hurley on Friday, April 15. The ceremony also featured the unveiling of President Hurley’s official presidential portrait. Previously known as the Information and Technology Convergence Center, the Hurley Convergence Center features a rich array of digital technology resources, flexible […]

Virginia General Assembly Recognizes UMW President Rick Hurley

The Virginia General Assembly honored President Richard V. Hurley for his service to the University of Mary Washington by presenting him with a Joint Resolution on the floor of the House of Delegates, Monday, Jan. 25. Hurley plans to retire on June 30, after serving as UMW’s ninth president. The commendation is an expression of […]

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.

President Responds to Club Sport Conduct Code Violation

I would like to provide additional information related to the email I sent yesterday.

At an off-campus party at the close of the fall 2014 semester, several members of the UMW men’s rugby club engaged in a chant that contained sexually explicit, derogatory, and violent language. Some students have now been exposed to those offensive and lurid lyrics due to posting by others on social media.

No student on this campus should feel unsafe, ostracized, or threatened. Understanding that the offensive chant is antithetical to UMW values, and will not be tolerated, the University pursued action against the men’s rugby club.  At the beginning of the current semester, sanctions were imposed on the rugby club for willful violations of UMW’s code of conduct for club sports.

After an appeal by the accused, the disciplinary process concluded on March 18 with this ruling: All rugby club activities have been suspended indefinitely. Further, each member of the men’s rugby club is required to participate in education and training sessions regarding sexual assault and violence.  UMW’s Statement of Community Values informed the process and response to this situation.

As I stated yesterday, the University will not stand for such behavior. It not only violates our community values, it is not how members of this collegial campus live, and it is not reflective of the Mary Washington we all know and love.

University policies prohibit discrimination, harassment, threats, and derogatory statements of any form. We pride ourselves on being a diverse, accepting, caring community, and we must live up to that ideal.

I urge anyone on campus who feels unsafe, ostracized or threatened to immediately contact campus police or Dr. Leah Cox, Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion. She may be reached at lcox@umw.edu or 540-654-2119.

Richard V. Hurley


Message to the UMW Campus Community

Our Statement of Community Values is a powerful document. It embodies the principles and ideals toward which we all strive. More than 107 years in development, these values have become a part of the fabric of the Mary Washington experience, and they are at the core of what contributes to that special, intangible feeling people get when they become a part of this university.

I write today to encourage the university community to continue efforts to uphold these values and to end sexual assault, violence against women, and other forms of discrimination and harassment that prevail in our society. There is no room at the University of Mary Washington for such behavior. Gone are the days of accepting the status quo and continuing inappropriate actions cloaked in the auspice of tradition or business as usual.

Achievement of excellence doesn’t come without struggle; and even at Mary Washington, we have moments of pause to reevaluate and assess our own actions and to support a higher level of accountability. Sadly, I am aware of recent situations in which our own students (groups and individuals) have engaged in behaviors that I find repugnant and highly offensive to members of our community. While I am disheartened by the poor choices of some, I am renewed with the fervor to take action to ensure accountability that will help to bring about change in our culture. I have worked directly with our administrative team to enforce our policies and, more importantly, to uphold our community values. While the outcomes may be painful for some, the message to all is clear: At UMW, we have a right and responsibility to take appropriate action to address unacceptable behaviors.

I believe it’s in these moments of struggle, even within our own family, that we are able to gain a greater clarity of our values and what we believe is important. As many of you are aware I have directed a task force to deal with many of these issues directly. I am pleased with the group’s progress and look forward to its recommendations. We will continue to systematically approach these issues and create processes that instill confidence and direction within our community.

Ultimately, though, much of this comes down to individual choices. I will continue to lead the way and encourage each member of the Mary Washington community to make a difference by standing up against injustice and to holding true to the values we believe are vital to a healthy community.

Richard V. Hurley

UMW Exceeds Founder’s Day Challenge

The University of Mary Washington raised nearly $130,000, exceeding a six-week Founder’s Day Challenge in celebration of the 107th anniversary on Saturday, March 14.   From Left: UMW Vice President Torre Meringolo and President Richard Hurley The challenge aimed to raise $107,000 for the Fund for Mary Washington, the unrestricted gifts fund for the university, by the founding anniversary. The final sum of $127,653 includes gifts to the Fund for Mary Washington from February 1 through March 14 and counts towards the $50-million Mary Washington First Campaign. “The tremendous response to this challenge is a great testament to the loyalty and pride of the Mary Washington community,” said UMW President Richard V. Hurley. The Fund for Mary Washington is the single largest source of UMW’s unrestricted private support, allowing UMW to support students, programs and other needs not covered by the state’s operating budget. Discretion for use of the funds is handled by the president and other designated decision-makers. The Fund is just one of seven donation areas within UMW’s $50 million Mary Washington First Campaign. With the support of alumni, students, staff, faculty, parents and community members, UMW aims to reach its campaign goal in 2016. UMW was established as the State Normal School for Women at Fredericksburg on March 14, 1908, with the assistance of C. O’Conor Goolrick. For more information about the founding of UMW or the challenge, please visit http://giving.umw.edu/challenge.

President Hurley Is Taking the Two Dollar Challenge, Will You?

That’s right – our own president is taking the Two Dollar Challenge April 6-10 to raise awareness of global poverty. The question is – will you?

Hurley $2 ChallengeNow a national educational movement, the Two Dollar Challenge was founded at UMW in 2006 and is run by eight UMW students and Professor of Economics Shawn Humphrey – all on $50 and volunteer support.

The 5-day awareness program challenges college and high school students across the United States to live on just two dollars a day. Participants buy food, hygiene products and other necessities out of two dollars a day while following other rules designed to simulate obstacles faced by people living in poverty.

At UMW, students will spend the week living and sleeping in make-shift shelters built from cardboard boxes and tarps as part of an experiential learning experience.

So I have to sleep in a tent on Ball Circle?

Not at all. Start small with the beginner level – 3 days and 2 nights with $6 total to spend and you can sleep in your own bed and take hot showers in your own home.

Want to sign up or learn more?

  • Visit the challenge’s website at twodollarchallenge.org.
  • Come to an information session Thursday, March 19 at 5 p.m. in the ITCC’s Digital Auditorium.
  • Use #2DollarsADay to join the conversation on social media.

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 fredericksburgchamber.org.

UMW Launches $50 Million Fundraising Campaign

The University of Mary Washington has publicly launched its $50 million Mary Washington First fundraising campaign. The announcement was made at a news conference on Friday, April 25, in the Jepson Alumni Executive Center. The Mary Washington First campaign aims to secure private funds for various initiatives, including for student scholarships. The goal of the comprehensive campaign is to raise funds to advance President Richard V. Hurley’s vision: for University of Mary Washington to become one of the nation’s premier public liberal arts and sciences universities. “The pace of change in higher education accelerates daily, and the fiscal challenges faced by colleges and universities are daunting,” Hurley said. “In order to remain at the forefront of our competitors, affordable for our students and families, and able to attract the best and brightest minds, it is imperative for UMW to have the resources necessary for success.” Among the fundraising initiatives, the university strives to secure private funds for endowment of scholarships, restoration of the campus amphitheater, support for the university’s three colleges, enhancement of the Fund for Mary Washington, and development of key program initiatives. These initiatives are: the arts, athletics, leadership, study abroad, the Chappell Great Lives lecture series, libraries and instructional technology. A rendering by Train & Partners Architects shows what the amphitheater might look like after renovation. The amphitheater, located in a grove of trees near Sunken Road on the Fredericksburg campus, has been home to many significant UMW traditions since it was constructed in 1913. The planned $3 million restoration would return the site to its 1952-1953 appearance by repairing and reconstructing damaged and missing pieces. It would provide seating for approximately 600 people on weather-resilient benches and chairs while incorporating accommodations for ADA accessibility. Over the past three years, in the non-public phase of the campaign, the university has raised a total of $29.2 million. Represented in that amount are seven gifts and pledges of $1 million or more. Out of a total of about 13,000 donors, more than 120 have made campaign commitments of $25,000 or more. Significant gifts include:
  • More than $7.5 million in estate gifts for student scholarships, including one full-tuition Washington scholarship and one Alvey Scholarship, which covers tuition costs for an  out-of-state student
  • More than $3 million in estate gifts to support students studying abroad
  • Nearly $1.4 million in gifts to support restoration of the amphitheater
  • A $1 million estate gift to create special professorships in the three colleges
  • More than $600,000 in pledges and gifts to support the unrestricted Fund for Mary Washington
  • More than $500,000 to support the Great Lives Lecture Series.
The campaign will secure funds for the development of key program initiatives, including for study abroad opportunities. Anne Marie Thompson Steen ’83 and Daniel K. Steen ’84 of Arlington, Va., serve as national campaign chairs. Both said they are eager to move the campaign forward. “We are fortunate to be able to partner with other Mary Washington alumni, parents, and friends,” said Dan Steen, a former rector of the UMW Board of Visitors. The Steens join members of a Campaign Cabinet, membership of which represents a cross-section of UMW constituents from varying career paths, affiliations and locations across the country. “Together,” Steen added, “we all are committed to the $50-million campaign goal.” For more information about the campaign or to donate, visit http://marywashingtonfirst.umw.edu. The University of Mary Washington is a premier, selective public liberal arts and sciences university in Virginia, highly respected for its commitment to academic excellence, strong undergraduate liberal arts and sciences program, and dedication to life-long learning. The university, with a total enrollment of more than 5,000, features colleges of business, education and arts and sciences, and three campuses, including a residential campus in Fredericksburg, Va., a second one in nearby Stafford and a third in Dahlgren, Va., which serves as a center of development of educational and research partnerships between the Navy, higher education institutions and the region’s employers. In recent years, the university has seen its academic reputation garner national recognition in numerous selective guidebooks, including Forbes, the Fiske Guide to Colleges and the Princeton Review’s 2012 edition of 150 “Best Value Colleges” and the 2014 edition of “The Best 378 Colleges.”

# # #

UMW Spearheads Regional Economic Plan for Growth

The Fredericksburg area will be a buzzing hub of commerce where opportunities abound for people and businesses to thrive. This vision for the region was unveiled at the Transformation 20/20 Regional Economic Development Summit held Oct. 29 at the University of Mary Washington’s Stafford Campus. UMW President Richard V. Hurley The summit convened business leaders, economic development directors and local government administrators throughout the region to engage in the process of crafting a realistic and sustainable blueprint for economic growth. The ongoing process, which is spearheaded by UMW, has involved more than 200 community and business leaders over the past year. “The Fredericksburg region is well-positioned for future growth,” said keynote speaker Christine Chmura, president of Chmura Economics and Analytics, which recently completed an industry cluster analysis for the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance. The region, Planning District 16, includes Fredericksburg and the counties of Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George and Caroline. Chmura noted that the region’s growth rate of 2.4 percent puts it far above the national average of slightly less than one percent and makes it one of the fastest growing areas of the country. Her study identified six “priority” clusters that are anticipated to experience the most growth and on which regional leaders should focus attention: business services; finance, insurance and real estate; health and life sciences; information and communications, manufacturing, and public administration. Summit speakers pointed out that the region’s infrastructure, transportation, land usage, job training and other components have not kept pace with such rapid growth. Those are areas that will require concerted efforts and regional collaboration. Other goals identified at the summit include:
  • Encourage business development, especially entrepreneurial growth
  • Become a tourist destination
  • Promote training and education for current and future jobs
  • Build economic resilience
  • Create a regional lance use plan
Also revealed at the summit were the results of a study conducted by Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Next Generation of Business Leaders. In their survey of about 200 local young professionals between the ages of 21 and 40, more than half indicated they plan to stay in the area for a decade or longer. They like the slower-paced lifestyle of Fredericksburg and believe it’s a great place to raise a family. UMW President Richard V. Hurley chairs the regional economic development leadership group, along with Fred Rankin, President and CEO of Mary Washington Healthcare. Hurley said he stepped up to the plate because he sees public service as a role of a university. While many attempts have been made over the years to have all the localities face regional economic issues collaboratively, he sees the current initiative as having staying power. “The University is neutral,” he said. “If anybody could undertake this effort without suspicion, it would be us.” Rankin added, “We’ve achieved some amount of success. Now we need to take collaboration to the next step . . . We will not be successful unless we find a way to come together in regional collaboration.”