Virginia Business magazine has announced the Virginia 500: The 2023-24 Power List, naming University of Mary Washington President Troy Paino among the commonwealth’s most powerful and influential leaders in business, government, politics and education this year.
“When I give my elevator speech about the Virginia 500, it usually starts this way: It’s like the Fortune 500, but instead of companies, it’s about people,” Virginia Business Editor Richard Foster said in his opening letter. “There is an aspirational joy to reading about the career journeys of the leaders in these pages.”
Paino’s career journey has included the presidential role at two of the nation’s top public liberal arts and sciences universities. He joined the University of Mary Washington in 2016 after serving as president of Truman State University in Missouri. This year proved to be a “big year for Paino and the public liberal arts university he oversees,” once again earning recognition by Virginia Business.
As the publication noted, in March, UMW announced the largest financial gift in its 115-year history — a $30 million bequest from a 1959 alumna to support undergraduate research and scholarships. The month before, Paino received the NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) 2023 President’s Award for his compassionate approach to strategic planning and decision making, his personal attention to student ideas and feedback, and his commitment to understanding diverse perspectives.
The University also was awarded a National Science Foundation grant for STEM scholarships in education, congratulated its second Goldwater Scholar in two years, and announced plans for a lab school and a new theater building.
That’s all bringing the University of Mary Washington to center stage, from connecting with the hometown community in Fredericksburg to serving as a higher education model for the state and gaining national honors.
Paino is one of just 23 leaders in higher education on the 2023-24 list. He’s joined the ranks of the Power 500 every year since the inaugural list in 2020.