University of Mary Washington Then & Now

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Willard, the first dorm built on campus, was named after temperance leader Frances Willard.1  This dorm was home to many campus residence firsts including first coed dorm in the fall of 1973. 2   Willard was also the first dorm to have air-conditioning when it was installed during renovations in 1980.3   Students commented on the thickness of the walls and their ability to hinder sound, and thus Willard was long considered a wilder, party dorm.4 Adding to the legacy of Willard, President Combs and his family lived in the dorm for a short while in 1928 while looking for a residence in the area. 5

 

Willard Dorm Room, 2014

Willard Dorm Room 2014
Alexandria Parrish, "Willard Dorm Room," March 26, 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parrish, University of Mary Washington.

Show 5 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 7.
  2. Ibid., 93.
  3. Ibid., 797.
  4. Ibid., 375
  5. Ibid., 29.

Virginia Hall, one of the original dorms on campus, has been home to exclusively female students throughout its existence. Over the years, this dorm has gained many demeaning nicknames relating to the nature of its inhabitants.1 Although it does not have air-conditioning, Virginia is a coveted residence for incoming freshman due to its high ceilings, large rooms, and its convenient central location.

student in dorm 2014

Student in Dorm 2014
Alexandria Parrish, "Student in Dorm 2014," February 26, 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parrish, University of Mary Washington.

Show 1 footnote

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 410.

The college’s first homecoming was a student-led event held in November of 1972. This event was designed as a parody of the “big weekends” that many of the female students attended at other universities. The theme of Mary Washington College’s first homecoming was “Bring the Boys Home,” an effort to make the girls’ dates come to their home school instead of the other way around. 1

In more recent times, Homecoming has become an event centering around school spirit. A whole weekend is dedicated to sports games, concerts, and activities. Commonly, students and alumni will gather in the parking lots at the Battlegrounds to tailgate before the games are held.

2013 Tailgate

Homecoming Tailgate 2013
"Homecoming Tailgate," October 25, 2013, University of Mary Washington Alumni Association, University of Mary Washington.

Show 1 footnote

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 161.
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