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The Blue & Gray Press | June 24, 2018

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Hurley Writes Apology Letter

Hurley Writes Apology Letter

Due to complaints from the Fredericksburg community about the UMW Homecoming concert Saturday night, President Rick Hurley wrote a letter to the Free Lance-Star apologizing to the College Heights community for the noise level and content of the music.

According to the Free Lance-Star, three Fredericksburg residents complained about the concert, which featured the rapper Wale.

In the letter, Hurley said that as a member of the community, he understood their concerns. He told the Free Lance-Star that if UMW had known about the profanity in the lyrics, the concert would have been held inside.

Hurley’s letter gave a nod towards the Anderson Center, which will have arena seating for 2,500 people. Once it is completed in 2011, it will provide UMW with an indoor option for large events like Saturday’s concert.

In the letter, Hurley said over 1,000 students showed a preference in a survey for having Wale come to UMW.

Mitchell Bass, a junior, didn’t have a problem with the event. He said it was too crowded, but that happens at every concert.

“He had a good sound system,” Bass said.

Freshman Thomas Hughes felt similarly.

“I don’t really think it’s that much to complain about, to be honest,” Hughes said.

Catherine Dixon, a sophomore, thought the noise and profanity were typical for a concert.

“It should be expected, since they live so close to the campus,” she said.

-Anne Elder contributed to this report.

From Hurley’s Letter to the Editor, which ran in the Free Lance-Star on Oct. 25:

One of our Homecoming traditions is a Saturday evening concert and fireworks show. This aspect of the weekend is managed by our students, and the concert band is hired by Giant Productions, the student group that is responsible for such bookings. In response to a student survey in which over 1000 students expressed support for the proposed band, the group was contracted to perform at Homecoming. This band currently is very popular on the campus circuit having performed most recently at George Washington University, the University of Virginia, Washington and Lee, as well as James Madison University. Unfortunately, the Saturday evening performance proved to be disruptive to some of our adjacent neighborhoods. Not only was the music extremely loud, but the language contained in the lyrics was upsetting to those who would not choose to attend a concert of this nature.
I am sorry that a high-spirited weekend on campus ended on such a negative note for some of our closest neighbors who were offended by both the volume and the content of the music. As a member of this community, I understand these concerns. As president, I am committed to a strong, positive working relationship with the citizens of our city and region, and I apologize on behalf of the University for this occurrence.
The University has been limited in the past by an inadequate indoor venue for such events. I’m pleased that the new Anderson Center, with an arena capable of seating over 2500 people for concerts, will open in 2011. For the first time in Mary Washington’s history we will have an outstanding alternate solution for certain large concerts. While some University events are appropriate for an outdoor venue, this past Saturday evening’s concert would have better served our entire community being held indoors if such space had been available. We look forward to the opening of the Anderson Center so that we will have both indoor and outdoor options for our events.

Richard V. Hurley, President

Photo by Anne Elder/Bullet


  1. Legal1

    One can speculate with this type of “entertainment” where we are headed on the phylogenetic scale of human development. Where is the hard rock that oozes with condemnation and spirit? Have we become so debased that a “fuck the bitches” boy must be sought out and paid to descend on campus to denigrate women and reverse the scenario in which the women, themselves, are now treated as contemptuous members of an outcast? And have women, themselves, partake in this nonsense, pretending like nothing is wrong? DUH! It is this exact type of debasement that creates cases like the highly publicized UVA murder involving the late Yeardley Love at the hands of her ex-boyfriend Lacrosse player.

    But this is only the partial issue. Academe must question, and do so with gusto, where is the concept of “in loco parentis” and why UMW’s new leader has failed so miserably in this regard? Is this the new key to popularity? Laissez faire leadership, which is delegating authority to the plebes who construct their own reality?

    Are we now on a President Watch to see if similar instances pop up in the future? UMW needs someone in charge who will mold and shape the minds of the future within the context of preparing for adulthood and forthcoming careers. I can understand the popularity of one who must sub when there is a void in leadership. You have no absolute power, so you don’t rock the boat. However, when such an individual transmogrifies into the official Leader the Rules of the Game change. You must bring direction where direction is absent. You must become decisive and make those decisions that will, at times, be unpopular with certain members of the community to which you are charged with leading. Any failure in this regard, will eventually correct itself through the watchful eyes of others charged with greater oversight.

  2. UMW Alum

    Have you stepped down from your soap box yet?

    When do you plan on running for President?

    The fact that you make a connection with the Yeardly
    Love incident is RIDICULOUS.