UMW Celebrates Honor System Through Week of Events

The University of Mary Washington held a week-long Honor Celebration from September 2 to 6. The honor system, a deeply held tradition at UMW, is integral to campus life for students, faculty and staff.

During Honor Convocation, students pledge to uphold the UMW Honor Code. Faculty, dressed in academic regalia, attend the ceremony.

During Honor Convocation, students pledge to uphold the UMW Honor Code. Faculty, dressed in academic regalia, attend the ceremony.

The celebration kicked off on Tuesday, September 3 with a keynote presentation by Jeff Rouse, three-time Olympic champion swimmer and president of the Rappahannock Economic Development Corporation (REDCO). Rouse answered questions from the audience about fair play in sports and life at 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. The Q&A session was free and open to the public. Ed Jurith, U.S. Representative to the World Anti-Doping Agency, originally scheduled to present the lecture, was unable to attend because of illness.

Rouse, a native of Fredericksburg, is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. At the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Rouse won a gold medal as part of the men’s 4×100-meter medley relay team and a silver medal in the men’s 100-meter backstroke. In 1996, he picked up two more gold medals for the men’s 4×100-meter medley relay and the men’s 100-meter backstroke. He is a 1992 graduate of Stanford University.

Jeff Rouse

Jeff Rouse

The week continued on Wednesday, September 4 with a free barbeque and concert on Ball Circle at 4 p.m. The concert featured music by Neil Tibert, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, and Keith Mellinger, associate professor and chair of mathematics.

The Honor Celebration also included activities for students throughout the week, including conversations on honor and community in each residence hall and in-class discussions about academic integrity.

The honor system at UMW was founded upon the personal integrity of each individual member of the university community. It requires that all members of the community conduct themselves honorably at all times and in all dealings with others. This shared commitment to high ethical standards creates an atmosphere of trust and respect vital to the unique sense of community which characterizes the institution.

For more information, contact David Rettinger, executive director of the Center for Honor, Leadership and Service, at (540) 654-1364.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.


  1. Louisa G. Bridges says:

    Each member of the student body must pledge to uphold the honor system. This time honored tradition is a treasured
    pledge that binds us together as a diverse UMW community. I love that we honor each other,and the UMW faculty while we pursue our education.