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The Blue & Gray Press | November 22, 2017

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Hample, Obama, Brown: UMW's Year in Review

Image of Sen. Obama at UMW
It’s been a remarkable year for Mary Washington, and the Bullet has strived to inform and entertain you through every step of the way.

The end of the 2007-2008 school year marked an end of transition: UMW was starting its second century of existence with its first female university president. That summer, a controversial new wrought-iron fence was installed on William Street. We were ready to move forward.

The 2008-2009 year started with a victorious headline; as our Pulitzer Prize Winner in residence, Professor Claudia Emerson, was appointed Virginia Poet Laureate by Governor Tim Kaine. Emerson’s appointment was the first of a series of esteem-boosting accomplishments for our humble liberal arts school. In Forbes.com’s annual list of “America’s Best Colleges,” UMW was ranked 144 out of 569.  In December, our faculty approved academic minors, much to the relief and delight of students graduating after 2010.

Spring semester brought the triumphant return of Police Beat, the most widely read section of the Bullet. In February, ground broke at the site of the anticipated $115 million Eagle Village and students mourned the loss of their beloved Roses.
Perhaps the biggest boost for UMW this year came during election season, when then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his running mate Senator Joe Biden graced a rain drenched crowd of 26,000 with their presence at Ball Circle in September.
Exactly one month later, Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin took the stage at Hurkamp Park in downtown Fredericksburg, affirming Frederickburg’s status as a battleground city in a battleground state.
The year has also seen its share of tumultuous breaking news.  A sexual assault in the campus parking deck last fall shook many students up, and prompted a campus-wide reevaluation of safety standards.
A letter-to-editor written about gender-neutral housing divided the campus in January, causing the Viewpoints section to receive the most letters since 2007’s Jefferson Hall controversy.
Most recently, a surprise pick-up basketball game in Goolrick caused uproar and national attention on campus, as students posed for photos with scandal-ridden singer Chris Brown.
The front page of last spring’s final issue featured a photo from the Students Helping Honduras Walk-A-Thon, an event where countless campus organizations came together to raise money so Honduran students can get the same education we do. For this year’s final issue, we lead with the SHH Volleyball Tournament, which raised over $25,000 to build a library for those same Honduran students. For two years in row, we’ve ended the school year a unified campus, collaborating for the greater good.
Have a good summer, dear readers. Be sure to email us with any summertime scoops, and we don’t mean ice cream.

Image Credit: Anand Rao’s “Senator Obama Considering America’s Future”