The Simpson Circle was established by a resolution of the Board of Visitors on April 26, 2012. The organization includes all past members of the University’s Board of Visitors.
Goals of the Simpson Circle are to foster connections among former Board members, to capitalize upon their collective institutional knowledge of Mary Washington, and to encourage their continued engagement in the University’s activities, academic programs, and fundraising initiatives.
In 2012, all former members of the Board of Visitors were invited into the Simpson Circle. Going forward, as members complete their terms on the Board of Visitors, all will be inducted into the Simpson Circle in honor and recognition of their service to UMW.
The Simpson Circle is named for Grellet C. Simpson, the institution’s fourth president. He served as Chancellor of Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia from 1956 through 1972. Legislation signed in 1972 established Mary Washington College’s independence from the University of Virginia. That legislation also created a twelve-member governing board known as the Rector and Visitors of Mary Washington College and it changed Simpson’s title to President. President Simpson retired in 1974. Several other programs and facilities have been named in his honor. These include: the Grellet C. Simpson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Simpson International Scholarship, the Simpson Program in Medieval Studies, the Grellet and Dorothy Simpson Chair in Medieval Literature, the Simpson Summer Institute, and the Simpson Library.