The University of Mary Washington celebrated the inauguration of Richard V. Hurley as its ninth president on Friday, September 30, at George Washington Hall, Dodd Auditorium.
The program included remarks from Virginia Secretary of Education Laura W. Fornash, President of the American Community Schools of Athens Stefanos Gialamas and President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Belle S. Wheelan.
During the installation ceremony, Hurley expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the university community’s support and encouragement, made all the more poignant by his unique path to the presidency.
His career in higher education, Hurley remarked, has not been a typical one, evident by his stint in a New Jersey power plant, his service in the Vietnam War and his decision as a 25-year-old gas station attendant to find a way to go to college.
“In light of that circuitous and sometimes misguided, or at least unguided, journey, to say that today is a memorable occasion for me would be an understatement,” said Hurley. “When I speak of the transformative power of education, I’m not just saying the words. I’m living them.”
Hurley spoke to the celebratory nature of the inaugural festivities for the university as a whole, noting they are a time to commemorate the rich history of the institution, reflect on the present university community’s accomplishments and prepare for a future of greatness.
“Our challenge for the future is not so much to create something new, as it is to preserve, enhance and build upon the best of what has already made Mary Washington so special,” said Hurley. He emphasized that UMW has a mission, not only to provide quality education, but also to foster well-rounded students, motivated faculty, dedicated staff and an invested community.
Richard V. Hurley took office as the university’s ninth president on July 1, 2010. He has spent more than three decades in higher education, the past 11 years at Mary Washington. Here, his roles have included executive vice president and chief financial officer as well as acting president on two separate occasions.
During his time at Mary Washington, Hurley has made a significant impact on the university and on the community. In addition to serving as the institution’s chief financial officer, he has directed facilities and capital projects, public safety, human resources and business operations. He also has served as treasurer of the University of Mary Washington Foundation, where he was instrumental in developing the University’s first public-private partnership, Eagle Village.
Under Hurley’s leadership, UMW has undergone a substantial expansion of facilities that supports significant improvements to student life. A signature accomplishment is the recent completion of the William M. Anderson Convocation Center.
Hurley came to Mary Washington in 2000 from Longwood University, where he served as vice president for administration and finance for 15 years. Prior to his service at Longwood, he spent four years at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and earlier served at several colleges and universities.
Active in the Fredericksburg community, Hurley established the Town and Gown Committee; through his efforts, the university’s relationships with the community have been strengthened. He serves as a director of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the boards of the Rappahannock United Way, the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance and Virginia Partners Bank.
He holds degrees, diplomas and certificates from Harvard University, University of Kentucky, Central Michigan University and Richard Stockton College in New Jersey.