In a colorful ceremony at First Presbyterian Church in Staunton, Pamela Fox was inaugurated today (Friday) as the ninth president of Mary Baldwin University, a 162-year-old institution with a main campus in Staunton and five regional centers.
Fox, a pianist and music scholar who has three degrees, including a doctorate, from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, is former dean of the School of Fine Arts at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. At Miami, she also oversaw strategic planning and was a successful fundraiser. Before becoming dean, she was a popular and award-winning professor of music.
Among those looking on as Fox took the oath of office from Claire Lewis Arnold, chairwoman of the Board of Trustees, was Fox’s husband, Dan Layman, former senior development officer at Miami, and her parents.
In her acceptance speech before some 700 invited guests, including about 90 delegates from colleges and universities around the country, Fox said she wants Mary Baldwin to be “nationally recognized as a leader in providing personalized, transforming liberal education” that features “signature programs” and a deep sense of community. She said the college wants to build on its reputation for distinctive programs that include one for gifted young women who skip high school, the only all-female cadet corps in the country, and master’s level studies in Shakespeare in partnership with Shenandoah Shakespeare and its Blackfriars Playhouse, the only authentic re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater.
Mary Baldwin University, with a main campus in Staunton, Virginia, and five regional centers, excels in providing leadership training, character development, and career preparation with a strong academic foundation. A master’s level university, Mary Baldwin offers three undergraduate 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, nonresidential bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Mary Baldwin offers the B.A. and/or the B.S. in more than 30, the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), the Master of Letters (M.Litt.) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance, and post-graduate teacher 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 a relatively few colleges and universities to shelter a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society.