By Brittany DeVries
Judy G. Hample has a unique approach to student orientation week at the University of Mary Washington.
Hample, 60, is the first female president at the University of Mary Washington. July 1, Hample also became the eighth president since the creation of the State Normal and Industrial School for Women, now UMW, in 1908.
Amidst the chaotic background of freshman move-in day with families loading and unloading their vehicles, students’ first attempts at meeting people, and residence life staff directing, President Hample was in the residence halls visiting new students.
Chris Porter, director of Residence Life, was asked about Hample’s hands-on approach to visiting the arriving students.
“I think it’s a great experience to be able to see your president out and about, and know that she knows what’s going on because she’s seen it,” Porter said.
Porter also reflected on the positive qualities her visit brought to the campus.
“I absolutely love that she is warm, approachable, wants to get to know students, and wants to be out there; I find her really delightful,” said Porter. “I think that that’s something the students here need.”
One goal Hample has for this year is to raise $8.2 million more to meet the $75 million needed for the Centennial Campaign by July 2009, according to The Free Lance-Star.
Hample is not new to the college scene: for the past 10 years she has served as an administrator for public university systems in both Florida and Pennsylvania.
As former chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in Harrisburg, Hample oversaw 14 public universities consisting of 110,000 students. Hample has hired 11 university presidents since August 2001.
Freshmen had the opportunity to listen to President Hample’s welcoming speech on August 20th. The speech took place at Marye’s Heights, a civil war site about a block away from campus.
Hample decided to reflect on the heroic soldier, Richard Rowland Kirkland otherwise known as the Angel of Marye’s Heights, who gave water to both sides of the soldiers during the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Freshman Paul Longerbeam felt like President Hample included a reflective attitude of the students in her talk.
“The story she told about the man who risked his life to help comfort not only his troops, but his wounded enemies as well was impactful,” Longerbeam said. “It was a good example of the spirit and proper attitude of the students here at Mary Washington.”
Freshman Rebecca Zeitz liked how the civil war site was appreciated by President Hample.
“I thought it was appropriate that President Hample encompassed the history of Fredericksburg into her speech,” Zeitz said. “As incoming freshmen, college may give us the opportunity to leave our own mark in history.”