Freshman Tiffany Mutchler of Norfolk unloaded boxes from her car on Ball Circle on Thursday with the help of her parents, Brandy and Daniel Mutchler. She knew she had found a second home at UMW after she toured the Fredericksburg campus last fall.
“It’s the only school I applied to,” she said.
Mutchler was among an estimated 1380 freshmen and transfer students who moved into their residence halls on the Fredericksburg campus, Thursday, Aug. 20, in preparation for the start of the 2015-16 academic year at the University of Mary Washington. Classes started on Monday, Aug. 24.
The students comprise an expected 1001 freshmen, representing the largest first-year class in the University’s 107-year history. Approximately 24 percent of the class is ethnically diverse; 13 percent of the class is from out of state. The freshman class is made up of 35 percent male and 65 percent female.
“I am thrilled that so many outstanding students have selected the University of Mary Washington as their academic home,” said Kimberley Buster-Williams, associate provost for enrollment management. “Our enrollment success this year was certainly a team effort. For the upcoming year, I anticipate continued interest in UMW. We have already seen an increase in applications from students interested in our new early decision program and test optional program, respectively. ”
An expected 379 transfer students include traditional transfers, adult degree completion and nursing students. Among those, 26 percent identify as ethnically diverse, 92 percent are residents of Virginia. Some 39 percent of the transfer students are male and 61 percent female.
Overall, the incoming new students represent 30 states, the District of Columbia and nine foreign countries.
Just in time for the new students, the 108,000-square-foot University Center opened its doors. This spectacular four-story structure, located between the hub of the campus, Ball Circle, and College Avenue, includes a student dining area on the top level; a retail food court on the second level; and a large ballroom on the first level. Featuring a plaza and balconies that open onto Ball Circle, the student-oriented center will house club offices, meeting rooms and study areas. The Center for Career and Professional Services also will have a presence in the new building.
In addition, UMW is mixing things up for its entering freshmen. Mary Washington debuts a comprehensive freshman program that features first-year seminars on more than 60 topics, residential clustering, comprehensive advising and the university’s second-ever common book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.