University of Mary Washington Then & Now

A Photography Exhibition

Posts in the academic building category

From its beginnings, Mary Washington has grown, constructing and incorporating numerous buildings across its campus. These expansions are important celebrations, recognizing the continued evolution of UMW. New buildings both remind us of our past and encourage us to look to the future. As can be seen below, the dedication of the Fine Arts Center in 1953 was a truly significant occasion, drawing large crowds.1 The same was true for the groundbreaking for the new Information and Technology Convergence Center in 2012, which was led by President Hurley and the UMW Board of Visitors.2

Show 2 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 57.
  2. University of Mary Washington Media and Public Relations, “UMW Celebrates Construction of Convergence Center,” University of Mary Washington, http://www.umw.edu/news/2012/09/20/umw-celebrates-construction-of-technology-convergence-center/ (Accessed April 18, 2014).

In 1941, the E. Lee Trinkle Library opened and “remained the College library for a half of century, until the expanding collection necessitated larger quarters in 1989.” 1  According to Dr. Crawley’s University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008, “Pride in the beautiful new building was such that students and faculty immediately adopted the practice of scrupulously not stepping on the College seal on the rotunda floor.” 2  While that tradition has faded, today’s students still treasure the building.  Today Trinkle Hall is home to the Mathematics, Religion, Philosophy, Computer Science, and Classics departments, as well as the College of Education.

Trinkle Now

Trinkle Hall, 2014
Jessica Reingold, "Trinkle Hall," February 19, 2014, Personal Collection of Jessica Reingold, University of Mary Washington.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley, Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 53.
  2. Ibid., 53.

Simpson Library opened at the start of the Spring 1989 semester, named in honor of former university president Grellet C. Simpson. This building was constructed in the late 1980s as a replacement for Trinkle Library, which was heavily over capacity by that point. Originally designed to house about 100,000 books, its collection had swelled to about 300,000 by the 1980s. Situated along Campus Walk, Simpson has a number of features, including a climate-controlled archive room, offices,classrooms and meeting areas, as well as various scanning, printing, and computer stations. Yet the main asset is “nine miles of shelving capable of holding over a half-million items.”1 Several important groups are housed in the library, including the Special Collections archives and the ThinkLab, which features at 3D printer.

Construction of the Information and Technology Convergence Center started in June 2012. The ITCC is slated to open in the Fall of 2014, and will be joined onto the library, crossing over Campus Walk. According to the Office of the Provost, “The main floor of the building will have a walk up ‘e-station bar’ where users can quickly check e-mails or other communications.  Group collaboration spaces, designed to incorporate digital collaboration software and equipment, are also a part of the proposed building.  A multi-media editing studio will enable users ready access to computers with video editing and other similar software necessary for doing sophisticated digital productions.  The building will also include a small video production studio.”2 Furthermore, the Speaking and Writing Centers are planned to relocate to the Convergence Center.3

Simpson Now Resized

Simpson Library, 2014
Alexandria Parrish, "Simpson Library," March 21 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parrish. University of Mary Washington.


Convergence Center Now Resized

Convergence Center Construction, 2014
Alexandria Parish, "Convergence Center Construction," March 21 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parish. University of Mary Washington.

Convergence Center rendering

Rendering of completed Convergence Center
Courtesy of Hanbury, Evans, Wright, and Vlattas.

Show 3 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 372-75.
  2. University of Mary Washington Office of the Provost, “Convergence Center,” University of Mary Washington, http://provost.umw.edu/convergence-center/ (Accessed April 16, 2014).
  3. University of Mary Washington Media and Public Relations, “UMW Celebrates Construction of Convergence Center,” University of Mary Washington, http://www.umw.edu/news/2012/09/20/umw-celebrates-construction-of-technology-convergence-center/ (Accessed April 18, 2014).

Jepson Science Center was opened in April 1998, and became the home of the departments of biology, chemistry, physics, geology, and environmental science. These science departments were previously housed in Combs Hall on the opposite end of campus, but by the 1990s had become too large to be housed there. Jepson was originally to be built facing Simpson Library along Campus Walk, but was moved to its position near Alvey and Arrington Halls due to difficulties with the planned site. The construction of the new science center, a major boost to Mary Washington, was helped in large part by Robert and Alice Jepson. The Jepsons had previously funded a major faculty fellowship program and provided more aid in the creation of the science center, which now bears their name. Jepson Science Center is 72,000 square feet is size and features a computer lab, green house, and aquatic lab in addition to numerous classrooms and offices.1

Jepson Now Resized

Jepson, 2014
Alexandria Parrish, “Jepson,” February 19 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), 518-19.

The Fine Arts Center was built in the 1950s, during a wave of new construction across campus.1 The trio of buildings consists of DuPont, Melchers, and Pollard, which now house the departments of art, art history, music, and theatre & dance. DuPont is named in honor of Jessie Ball duPont, a prominent philanthropist.2 Melchers is named in honor of Julius Garibaldi “Gari” Melchers, an internationally-acclaimed painter who moved to Fredericksburg in his later years. After his death, his wife, Corinne, became a prominent benefactor of the arts.3 Pollard is named in honor of John Garland Pollard, Governor of Virginia during the Great Depression. While the dire economic conditions of the era limited the aid he could give to the school, he did help with the authorizing of resources for construction projects on campus, notably those for Seacobeck Hall.4   At the center of DuPont Hall is Klein Theatre, named for instructor of dramatic arts Albert R. Klein. He was a member of the theatre faculty from 1952 until his death in 1970; the following year the theatre was renamed in his honor.5 The Fine Arts Center was renovated in the mid-1990s, updating the facilities which had originally been built in the 1950s, including the addition of a computer lab in Melchers.6

Dupont Now Resized

Dupont, 2014
Alexandria Parrish, “Dupont,” February 19 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parrish. University of Mary Washington.

Fine Arts Center Now Resized

Melchers, 2014
Alexandria Parrish, “Melchers,” February 19 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parish. University of Mary Washington.

Show 6 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 57.
  2. Jessie Ball duPont Fund: About Us, “Our History,” Jessie Ball duPont Fund, http://www.dupontfund.org/about/history/(Accessed April 18, 2014).
  3. Crawley, 226-27.
  4. Ibid., 31.
  5. University of Mary Washington Theatre & Dance, “Klein Theatre,” University of Mary Washington, http://cas.umw.edu/theatre/online-tour/klein-theatre/(Accessed April 17, 2014).
  6. Crawley, 572-74.

Combs Hall opened in 1959 as the science building and housed the departments of Mathematics, Biology, and Chemistry. The building was named after the former president Morgan Combs who served from 1929 to 1955. By the 1990s, Combs Hall was forty years old and was extremely outdated and too small to accommodate the needs of the science department and student research. Every inch of the building was used for undergraduate research, “a process that included turning a bathroom into a lab and a storage closet into a research cubicle” according to Biology professor Rosemary Barra. 1 Thankfully, two benefactors, Robert and Alice Jepson stepped in and donated the money needed for the construction of a new science building located on the Northern end of campus. Combs was used for storage until 2002 when it was renovated and became the home for the Historic Preservation, Modern Foreign Languages, English, Linguistics, and Speech departments. The building also houses the Speaking Center, a program devoted to helping students overcome difficulties with public speaking.

Combs  Photo credit: Jessica Reingold

Combs, 2014
Jessica Reingold, "Combs", February 19, 2014, Personal Collection of Jessica Reingold, 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), 518.
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