By LINDSEY CRAWFORD
This winter, University of Mary Washington President Rick Hurley received the Prince B. Woodward Leadership Award at the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Gala. This award was given to Hurley in honor of his continued dedication to the City of Fredericksburg.
Since moving to Fredericksburg, Hurley has made many contributions to the community through special projects. Most notably, he assisted in the expansion of commerce in the area through the building of Eagle Village, where many businesses have opened. In addition, Hurley has sat on the Chamber’s board of directors and on the board for Rappahannock United Way.
Hurley also helped create the Town and Gown Committee in 2007, which helps bridge the relationship between UMW and the Fredericksburg community. This committee consists of a mixture of student leaders and university administrators, along with the heads of the local police and two members of Fredericksburg City Council. They meet four times a year to discuss and resolve problems that arise between the school and the community.
This has contributed to a strong relationship between the school and the city. According to Hurley, he and city officials often work together to solve issues in the community.
“I can call the city manager anytime and see and talk to the mayor quite often. The best part of the relationship is the open lines of communication and understanding for each other’s needs and concerns,” said Hurley.
During his nine years as president, Hurley has seen plenty of change, including the construction of the Anderson Center, the Information and Technology Convergence Center and the new University Center, which is expected to open for the next academic year.
According to Hurley, one of his main priorities as president is not only to give students a better campus but to ensure that the construction efforts do not disrupt the surrounding neighborhoods.
“I am proud of our contractors for their understanding of our concern about their impact and the steps they have taken to mitigate noise and other disruptions,” said Hurley.
Hurley emphasized that leadership qualities are one of the most important traits that a UMW student can possess.
“In my opinion, the more students, faculty, staff and myself go out and become involved in the life of the region, the better served it will be. Our presence also enhances our reputation and name recognition,” said Hurley.
UMW students have noticed Hurley’s involvement with the community and the school. Freshman Katy Tucker said she believes that Hurley’s frequent presence on the campus gives UMW a personal touch.
“I love seeing Hurley around campus and involved with the students,” said Tucker. “Some universities don’t see their president until graduation day, and I’m glad I’m not one of them.”