After nearly 10 years at Mary Washington, Executive Vice President Rick Hurley announced on Oct. 29 that he will retire from the university this coming May.
“I feel like I work really hard and I wanted to save some of my younger years for exploring my opportunities and having fun,” Hurley said.
Though the decision may have seemed sudden, Hurley had planned to retire last year but decided against it when the economy started to decline.
“It was difficult to be thinking all your life that you will retire at 62 and then you can’t,” Hurley said.
Now that the economy has begun to recover, he said retirement is a possibility again.
This year marks Hurley’s 25th year as a chief financial official in Virginia. This milestone and the completion of both the university’s Strategic and Master Plans will round out his career in higher education.
“I will feel that I’ve accomplished something,” Hurley said of the Master Plan.
President Judy Hample will be in charge of finding his replacement and will begin this process in the coming weeks.
“I’ve tried in vain to convince Mr. Hurley to stay at UMW,” Hample said. “He will be sorely missed as he handles a wide range of responsibilities.”
Other members of the Mary Washington community echoed Hample’s sentiments.
“With his retirement, we are losing a great deal of institutional knowledge about Mary Washington, its faculty and students,” Historic Preservation Department Chair Douglas Sanford said.
Jeff Rountree, CEO of the UMW Foundation, said, “[Hurley] has always had a good, open mind and a willingness to take on difficult challenges while never losing sight of the institution’s priorities.”
Hurley does not have specific plans for his retirement, but he would like to get involved with work outside of higher education so he can have more time to be with his family and pursue other interests.
“I like doing project management work. I like getting things done…I don’t think I can do nothing,” he said.
“Of course, administrators, like faculty, need to move on when they feel the time is right, and I hope that Rick enjoys his retirement,” English, Linguistics and Communication Department Chair Teresa Kennedy said.
During his decade at Mary Washington Hurley served as the university’s financial officer. He was also prominently involved with public safety, human resources, business operations and a number of school-wide projects, according to a statement from Hample.
Prior to UMW, Hurley worked at Longwood University as vice president for administration and finance from 1985 through 2000.
Hurley believes that his most important contribution to UMW was to increase the university’s reserves from $900,000 in 2000 to several million dollars today.
For him, some of the other highlights of his career have been his involvement in building projects, such as the indoor tennis complex, the fitness center, Lee Hall renovation and the campus parking deck.
“I really enjoy the process of thinking about a new building all the way through to opening it up,” he said.
In addition to his accomplishments over the course of his career, Hurley has enjoyed the opportunity to interact with his co-workers at Mary Washington. He will miss not only the challenges of his job, but also the social aspect.
Sanford said that he had enjoyed working with Hurley and would miss having him as a colleague.
“I found him to be someone with whom you could have a serious but relaxed conversation about business or academic matters; and then easily have a conversation about mutual interests, family or current events,” Sanford said.
He added, “We [the faculty] trusted Rick and felt that he respected us. I also know from conversations that he greatly cares about our students, takes pride in their accomplishments and enjoys seeing them in action here on campus and interacting with them.”
Kennedy shared this sentiment.
“I think that one can say that Rick is a beloved administrator, and will be deeply missed,” Kennedy said.