University of Mary Washington Then & Now

A Photography Exhibition

Posts in the technology category

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.

Girl Using a Touchscreen Laptop, March 24, 2014ayLifeCompNow

Girl Using a Touchscreen Laptop, March 24, 2014
Catherine LeBouton
Jessica Reingold, "Girl Using a Touchscreen Laptop," March 24, 2014, Personal Collection of Jessica Reingold, University of Mary Washington.

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.

Phone Now Resized

Student on a cell phone, 2014
Girard Bucello
Conner Allen, "Student on a cell phone," March 21 2014, The Personal Collection of Conner Allen, University of Mary Washington.

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.

Inside Trinkle Now Resized

The Trinkle Insignia, 2014
Conner Allen, "The Trinkle Insignia," March 21, 2014 The Personal Collection of Conner Allen, University of Mary Washington.

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.

trinkle now

Trinkle Reading Room
Meaghan Sullivan, "Trinkle Reading Room," April 15, 2014, Personal Collection of Meaghan Sullivan, University of Mary Washington

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.
Students Posing in an Automobile, 1918

Students Posing in an Automobile, 1918
Pictured (not in order): Mr. Harrison, Lucy Gray Richardson, S. Smith, Nannie W, Parker, Mary W. Johnson, Miss Carter.
"Students Posing in Automobile 1918," 1918, The Centennial Collection, UMW Digital Archives, University of Mary Washington


Students in Car 2014
From right to left: Rob Jarvis, Alyssa Lieurance, Sam Johnson, Morgan Graff, Randi Bryan, and Alex Hartwig.
Meaghan Sullivan, "Students in Car 2014," April 16, 2014, Personal Collection of Meaghan Sullivan, 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), 52-53.

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, (Accessed April 16, 2014).
  3. University of Mary Washington Media and Public Relations, “UMW Celebrates Construction of Convergence Center,” University of Mary Washington, (Accessed April 18, 2014).