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Technology updates and changes every year. Computers, in particular, have advanced at an exponential rate since the 1980s. Physically, they are smaller, lighter, and monitors are much thinner and sleeker. Computers have also become much more powerful, faster, efficient, easy to use, and portable. Having a personal laptop at the University is almost a necessity (although there are several computer labs in various buildings for students to use) since much coursework requires access to the Internet. From typing term papers to building digital history websites, the computer has become an integral part of a college education today.
Communication is a central part of student life at UMW. However, keeping in contact with friends near and far has gotten considerably easier over the years. As opposed to the wall-mounted phones of the past, mobile phones allow for constant communication from virtually anywhere to practically everywhere. The introduction of smartphones only bolstered the connectivity between students and their friends, their professors, and the wider world. Staying in touch is as important as it ever was, and any stroll through campus will yield at least a handful of people talking, texting, or tweeting away.
Despite the changes in technology, in sports, and in styles, there is still continuity at UMW. Trinkle Hall has changed in its organization and its uses, but is still a crucial part of campus. The rotunda, marked at the center by the seal of the school, continues to be an important landmark. The seal has been altered slightly over the years, but it nevertheless remains at the heart of Trinkle.
E. Lee Trinkle library was originally located in Virginia Hall but was not big enough to accommodate the growing student population. The library opened in the Fall of 1941 with an addition built in 1960. It remained the college library until 1989 when a larger facility was needed. The Trinkle library could originally hold 150,000 volumes with the addition in the ’60s allowing for the storage of 250,000 volumes and an air conditioned rare books room. The library was a central part of campus before the construction of Simpson Library in 1989, as a place for students to relax and study and attend informal lectures. One such lecture was attended by the esteemed writer William Faulkner. 1 Today, a smaller library exists in Trinkle Hall and is still utilized by students.
Along with the changes made in technology and communication, UMW also saw changes in automobiles and access to campus. Pictured below, students are posing in a 1918 automobile by a UMW building. Today, Campus Walk prohibits students from the same access given their 1918 predecessors. The present picture was taken outside the UMW apartments, a residence for upperclassmen.
- William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 52-53. ↩