The University of Mary Washington (also known as UMW) is a public liberal arts college located in historic Fredericksburg, Virgina, just within an hour’s drive to Washington D.C. and Richmond, Virgina.
Founded in 1908, the University was named to honor Mary Washington, a Fredericksburg resident and mother of one of America’s founding fathers, George Washington. Most of the architecture on the Fredericksburg campus reflects the neoclassical, or Jeffersonian, style of the civil war era. The Stafford Campus is located nearby in Stafford County.
UWM’s student body is made up of approximately 4,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students (located at the Stafford campus). It provides a strong undergraduate education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, offering more than 40 programs of study in the following areas: Arts and Sciences, Business and Education.
Outside of the classroom, UMW students are able to enjoy more than 100 students clubs and organizations orientated around academic themes, the arts, sports and recreation, student government, and other interests.
Fredericksburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia located 49 miles (79 km) south of Washington, D.C., and 58 miles (93 km) north of Richmond. Located near where the Rappahannock River crosses the Fall Line, Fredericksburg was a prominent port in Virginia during the colonial era. During the Civil War, the town, located halfway between the capitals of the opposing forces, was the site of the Battle of Fredericksburg and Second Battle of Fredericksburg, preserved in part as the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
Fredericksburg Historic District, on the National Register of Historic Places, embraces the city’s downtown area and contains more than 350 buildings dating to the 18th and 19th centuries. Within the historic district, four 18th-century historic sites are run by Preservation Virginia: the Mary Washington House, where George Washington’s mother spent her final years; the late 18th century Rising Sun Tavern and the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop (the fourth is only open on Historic Garden Week. Sites from the 19th century include the James Monroe Law Office Museum. Important public buildings include the 1852 courthouse designed by James Renwick, whose works include the Smithsonian Institution’s castle building in Washington and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, and the 1816 town hall and market house. The latter building now houses the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center. Another site of interest is St. George’s Church.
Nearby the historic district is Kenmore, the plantation home of Washington’s sister Betty and her husband Fielding Lewis.
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