Ceremony Celebrates Opening of Dahlgren
With state and local officials present, the University of Mary Washington dedicated its third campus on Jan. 17, 2012, the Dahlgren Campus Center for Education and Research, which offers graduate-level courses in science, technology, engineering and math.
Mark Safferstone, the executive director of the UMW Dahlgren Campus, opened the dedication by talking about the community’s needs, requirements, specifications and most importantly the dreams that inspired the creation of the Dahlgren campus.
Rick Pearce, vice president of administration and finance, is particularly pleased with the campus’ technological design.
“How we have engineered technology in this building in a friendly and intuitive way; it just fits,” said Pearce.
Capt. Gary Shoman, Naval Commander of the Joint Warfare Analysis Center at Dahlgren, stated that the courses offered at Dahlgren will help in protecting our nation from future threats and that he is looking forward to academic expertise of UMW to “meet the military objectives today and in the near future.”
Dahlgren is now apart of “Engineers PRODUCED” in Virginia, an academic outreach program that allows students to stay in their home community by earning an Associate of Science in Engineering degree from their local community college and then a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Science from the University of Virginia.
“This really is an important building for the region. When you look for graduate schools, you’re traveling. Dahlgren alleviates that for the region,” said Jeff Sili, who serves on the Caroline County Board of Supervisors. “For Caroline and King County, it’s great for adults and people with families.”
Rep. Rob Wittman, from Virginia’s 1st Congressional District, addressed the audience and took pride in the educational opportunity Dahlgren offers.
“[Dahlgren] is a vision of the state and community coming together. Just think of the things that will happen here. It’s not only the facility; it’s the people that will be here. Collaboration will provide innovation and creation,” Wittman said.
Dale Sisson, the junior vice-chairman for King George County Board of Supervisors, described Dahlgren as a dream for high-quality education come true.
“It wasn’t that long ago that having a graduate facility wasn’t that shy of far-fetched,” Sisson said.
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and Chair of the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program, Rosalyn Hobson Hargrave, discussed the demanding, changing needs in our community at the meeting.
“This partnership was founded on a shared commitment to workforce and surrounding King George Community,” Hargrave said. “[Dahlgren] enables us to grow from where we are to a bright future.”
After cutting the ribbon, President Rick Hurley spoke about the Dahlgren campus and its future.
“[We] very carefully and deliberately named this the center for education and research. We envision that our second building here will bring research and focus, [and] have the ability to offer workforce development at all levels,” Hurley said.
The two-story, 42,000-square foot building, located off of U.S. 301, began its graduate-level engineering classes on Jan. 3, 2012 and includes 19 classrooms that seat up to 32 students, individual work stations, two quiet study and four group study rooms, two computer classrooms, a multi-purpose room with theater seating and an executive conference room.
George Mason University, Germanna Community College, Naval Postgraduate School, Naval War College, Old Dominion University, Rappahannock Community College, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech all utilize the UMW Dahlgren Campus Center.