Last week the University of Mary Washington celebrated the inauguration of our fourth president in five years. Richard V. Hurley was sworn in as the University of Mary Washington’s ninth president. With this, President Hurley ushers in a new era for our University and a commitment that his presidency will mean much more than just a number.
If you have ever heard President Hurley speak, you are most likely familiar with his unconventional, or as he describes it, “un-recommended” path to becoming a university president. After serving in Vietnam at age 25, Hurley was working as a gas station attendant on the New Jersey Turnpike. It was on one freezing cold day in November when he had an epiphany, “There had to be more to life than this.” Some 35 years later, he could not have been more right.
After putting himself through college while helping raise a family, Hurley began his journey climbing the administrative ladder and acquiring the necessary skills to be a successful leader. In 2000, Hurley relocated from Longwood University and joined the Mary Washington family where he has since served as chief financial officer, executive vice president and acting president.
President Hurley provides students with a living definition of the word hope. In an age when many of us are questioning our place in the world and wondering if the “American Dream” of hope and fulfillment is still achievable today, we need look no further than our own university president.
Over the next several years, many difficult decisions will be made impacting the University of Mary Washington’s reputation for years to come. Let us all join together in wishing President Hurley good luck, because after all, the future of our institution now rests in his hands, and we are all pulling for his success.
Sean Simons is a junior.