It’s been a rough year for Virginia public institutions. While the shootings at Virginia Tech last April remain in their own league of tragedy, two of Virginia’s most esteemed public institutes are now without president—but not without pride.
The College of William & Mary President Gene Nichol’s rash resignation and last year’s termination of UMW President William Frawley have shocked and challenged both communites.
While the UMW community is encouraging unity for William & Mary during this time of division and transition, for UMW, when a different William left our Mary last year, it was for the best.
Both schools are now looking to the future with a tinge of uncertainty.
Yet the spirit of the Old Dominion, the very same that flowed through the blood of our native founding fathers during the American Revolution, has kept our communities bonded.
As emblemized in the cohesive Jeffersonian architecture, Virginia’s colleges and universities are united in tradition, integrity and affordable tuition. While we acknowledge the role of a president—or acting president—the foundations of both UMW and William & Mary are strong enough to manage without the man at the helm. It is classic Virginian democracy at its best.
The public “Marys” will remain strong. Note how we continue to be ranked higher than our rich in-laws, privates Mary Baldwin College and Marymount University.
As UMW celebrates its centennial this year, we are not only looking back on 100 years of academia and sentiment, but we are also looking forward to another 100 years more. Women’s or co-ed, College or University, President or no, Mary Washington will always be Virginia’s belle of the Ball.