At a meeting of the University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors today, President Richard V. Hurley announced his plan to retire, effective June 30, 2016. Hurley, who has served as UMW’s ninth president since July 1, 2010, has made clear his desire to spend more quality time with his family. Prior to being named president, he had already announced his retirement plans. At that point, he had served Mary Washington for a decade in various positions, including executive vice president and chief financial officer, and twice as acting president.
Hurley, who has presided over the institution during a time of nearly unprecedented capital expansion, indicated that he is announcing his plans now to ensure that the Board of Visitors has sufficient time to conduct a national search to name his successor. “I believe that 2016 is the right time, both for the University and for me, to effect this transition,” he said. “I am confident that I will have achieved the primary goals I established for my presidency, including the completion of our $50 million Mary Washington First campaign.”
In his statement to the Board, Hurley noted that after a long and diverse career in higher education, he especially looks forward to spending time with his wife, Rose, who also has been a tireless ambassador for UMW, their three adult children, and seven grandchildren –– all of whom reside in the Richmond, Virginia, area.
Holly T. Cuellar ’89, Rector and spokesperson for the Board of Visitors, said, “The Board sadly accepts President Hurley’s announcement to retire. He truly has been a transformative leader on our campus and a visionary in higher education.”
“He has advanced the University of Mary Washington and the institution’s ability to serve the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond,” Cuellar continued. “History will show that his tenure as president was the perfect pairing of strategic vision, innovation, and productivity.
“Obviously,” she added, “while we will miss President Hurley and Rose, the Board wishes his family all the best in retirement and offers gratitude for their service to the University and to the Commonwealth.”
As President, Hurley has been responsible for implementation of the University’s 2009-2014 Strategic Plan, as well as launching the development of a new strategic plan that will be announced this year. He has directed numerous facilities and capital projects, including construction of the Anderson Center convocation and athletics arena, as well as the design and construction of Mary Washington’s third campus, the Dahlgren Campus Center for Education and Research in King George County. Other facilities improvements under his leadership include numerous building renovation and expansion projects, completion of the newly-opened 72,000 square-foot Information and Technology Convergence Center, and design and construction of the 100,000 square-foot University Center, which will open this fall.
Hurley serves as a board member of the University of Mary Washington Foundation where he played a key role in the acquisition and development of the Eagle Village mixed-use venture. Eagle Village includes apartments housing 600 UMW students, a pedestrian bridge spanning Route 1, commercial retail and office space, a parking facility, and a Hyatt Place Hotel. This partnership between the University, the UMW Foundation, and the City of Fredericksburg has been highly acclaimed as a model of effective public-private partnership, successful regional economic development, and community revitalization.
Beyond campus, Hurley is recognized as an active community leader and is strongly committed to regional engagement and economic development. He has served as chair of the board of directors of the Rappahannock United Way, a director of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the board of the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance. President Hurley formed the UMW Center for Economic Development and has engaged a wide variety of community and business leaders in the development of a regional economic development plan. Hurley also established the Town and Gown Committee, a group of University and city officials and citizens, who work to strengthen the University’s relationships with the community.
Earlier this year, he received the Chamber’s Prince B. Woodard Leadership Award, annually presented to an individual who has provided a lifetime of service to the Fredericksburg region.
On a statewide level, Hurley has served as chair of the Virginia Council of Presidents, and he was appointed by the governor to Virginia’s Higher Education Advisory Committee. According to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, “President Hurley’s unwavering leadership, thoughtful approach, and dedication to engagement at all levels will be sorely missed.”
Hurley has been a hands-on and highly visible president, engaging regularly with students and visitors to campus. He helps out on move-in day, shows up in the student dining room, occasionally calls Bingo, assists with student service projects, and enjoys attending University events, such as sports contests, plays, concerts, lectures, and student programs.
During his presidency, the University of Mary Washington has continued to garner widespread media recognition as one of the nation’s best public liberal arts and sciences universities and one of the top values in higher education. Hurley is proud that UMW boasts some of the highest student retention and graduation rates among institutions of its type.
A native of New Jersey, Hurley earned a bachelor of science in environmental studies from Richard Stockton College, now Stockton University. He received a master of arts in public administration from Central Michigan University. He also holds certificates and diplomas from the University of Kentucky and Harvard University.