Dear UMW Community,
As we move into the second half of the fall semester and a season of changing leaves, cooler weather, and shorter days, I want to share some highlights and warm thoughts. I trust you enjoyed a relaxing fall break and are settling into a healthy and positive routine this semester, while planning ahead for big projects and bright weekends, such as our upcoming Homecoming celebration.
The Homecoming itinerary for this week and particularly this weekend on Oct. 21-22, is filled with activities and events, including the Campus Programming Board’s Mary Rock, the Historic Preservation’s Ghostwalk Tours, and many athletic competitions in swimming, volleyball, rugby, field hockey, soccer, and more. Homecoming is an ideal time to participate and get involved, support your roommates and friends who are competing this weekend, connect with alumni returning to their college home, and show your Mary Wash school spirit.
We have many upcoming opportunities to engage with our community and exercise civic responsibility, with UMW Votes offering activities leading up to election day, when the campus observes a Day on Democracy. I encourage you to go to the polls, volunteer and find ways to make a positive impact in our community in the coming weeks. Ours is an environment rich in the exchange of ideas, perspectives, and intellectual pursuits. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the vibrancy and vitality of a campus community, and diverse perspectives are honored and valued. It can also be a time to increase your knowledge and understanding of people different than you and to examine your own behavior and how it may affect others. Consider the ways that you show up for your community and the ways that you can hear from, learn from and inspire others.
UMW’s Student Government Association will be spanning campus from Jepson to Combs over the course of two weeks in November in a tabling series to share what they do and welcome students to voice their concerns, issues and opinions. Please stop by to say hello, ask questions and learn more.
To our current UMW students, remember that our UMW community is committed to helping you succeed by encouraging you to dream, imagine, explore, and belong. And, along the way, you might ask yourself these questions: Did I have fun? Did I learn something? Did I grow from this experience? These questions could help guide your pre-registration advising as you consider your courses for next semester and beyond.
I also want to thank our faculty and staff for your continued dedication and diligence this semester. You often work behind the scenes, building the scaffolding for our students’ success and offering learning opportunities in and out of the classroom. Recent examples include Into the Streets, the Study Abroad Fair, Sustainability Tree Fest, City as Text Honors Program presentations, the Social Justice Leadership Summit, National Coming Out Day, Disability Awareness Month activities, and many more. Your work matters, and the things that we create together will make a difference.
Earlier this month, we shared plans for the new theatre building. In the initial concept phase, this addition to our campus will be a standout at William Street and Sunken Road in a few years, connecting our campus and the local community. We are eager to share it with future students who will someday take to this new stage.
Our next Admissions Open Houses for prospective students and their families are coming up on Oct. 29 and Nov. 12. Please invite your high school friends and families to visit. They’ll have an opportunity to talk with representatives from academic departments and student service areas, learn tips and campus life insights from current students, enjoy brunch, attend various academic interest and business sessions, tour campus and interview with a team member in the UMW Admissions Office. Participating high school seniors can even receive their onsite decisions that day. And, remind your friends that the deadline for Early Decision is Nov. 1 and the deadline for Early Action is Nov. 15.
I hope to see you at Homecoming this weekend and wish you continued success this semester.