SMA Alumni Honor Mary Baldwin President

October 18, 2001

Mary Baldwin University’s president, Cynthia H. Tyson, was named Honorary Life Member of the SMA (Staunton Military Academy) Alumni Association last Friday, October 12 at a parade given by the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL) Corps of Cadets in honor of the SMA Alumni Association and the opening of the SMA/VWIL Museum on Mary Baldwin’s campus.

Tom Phillips, President of the SMA Alumni Association, said the Association recognized Dr. Tyson because of “her vision, leadership, and support of the SMA/VWIL Museum project.”

“From our perspective, this was an honor quite fitting for the occasion, and I don’t believe we’ve ever done it before. ‘The Hill’ as we SMA alums fondly refer to our campus, has great historical and sentimental meaning, and there is no doubt in my mind that without Dr. Tyson’s support we could never have returned SMA to The Hill,” said Phillips.

Dr. Tyson was presented with a plaque inscribed with the words “with sincere appreciation for your outstanding contributions on behalf of the SMA-VWIL Museum we hereby thank you and appoint you an Honorary Life Member of the SMA Alumni Association.”

SMA closed in 1976, and Mary Baldwin purchased the property, which was adjacent to its own campus. In 1995, Mary Baldwin inaugurated VWIL, and now VWIL cadets march on the same parade fields that the SMA cadets used. Because of the legacy of discipline, service, and patriotism that VWIL shares with SMA, the VWIL Color Guard carries the SMA flag as well as its own.

Mary Baldwin University, with a main campus in Staunton, VA and five regional centers, excels in providing leadership training, character development and career preparation with a strong academic foundation. A multi-faceted liberal arts college, Mary Baldwin offers three residential programs for women – the Traditional Program for Women, the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, and the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership – as well as coeducational, non-residential bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Mary Baldwin offers the B.A. and/or the B.S. in 32 majors, the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with K-8 emphasis, the Master of Letters (M.Litt.) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance, and post-graduate teaching licensure (PGTL). The oldest women’s college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Mary Baldwin was founded in 1842 and was the first women’s college to be granted a circle of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa. It is one of only 262 colleges and universities to shelter a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society.