Oct. 18 Events Signal MDCHS Construction and Campaign Launch

October 9, 2012

Mary Baldwin University will celebrate on October 18 the building of its new Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences (MDCHS) and the launch of the public phase of the largest fundraising campaign in the college’s history with an afternoon groundbreaking ceremony and evening gala.

The groundbreaking event will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the site of the future graduate campus off of Goose Creek Road in Fishersville. Massive amounts of soil have already been moved and the land graded in preparation for the new building, which is being designed by Wisconsin-based architectural firm Kahler Slater. Construction on the facility will begin in the spring.

“We’re looking forward to sharing this exciting time with our friends and colleagues in the community,” said Linda Seestedt-Stanford, founding vice president for health sciences at Mary Baldwin. “This groundbreaking represents a new chapter in the history of Mary Baldwin University and an exceptionally promising future for the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences.”

By summer 2014, Mary Baldwin plans to open the doors of MDCHS with doctor of physical therapy and doctor of occupational therapy programs, and by 2015, add a master of physician assistant studies program. Mary Baldwin has initiated the appropriate processes for each program to become accredited.

Shuttle service is available for those who wish to drive to the site available beginning at 1:30 p.m. from the parking lot behind Augusta Health. Attendees are encouraged to wear sensible shoes.

“This groundbreaking signifies the next frontier for Mary Baldwin University. Through the work and generosity of numerous individuals, we have positioned Mary Baldwin to succeed well into the 21st century,” said David Atchley, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “I am very excited to be part of such a great team and organization.”

The plan for a new graduate school is becoming reality thanks to the generosity of Bertie Murphy Deming Smith, whose $15 million lead gift is fueling the development of MDCHS. Her gifts in previous years launched what would become Ever Ahead: The Campaign for Mary Baldwin University.

The gala — which begins at 5:30 p.m. inside Lyda B. Hunt Dining Hall — will celebrate the start of the public chapter of the Ever Ahead campaign and recognize the campaign’s top contributors.

Since 2005, the campaign has generated funds to help establish The Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement, help start an ambitious renovation of Pearce Science Center, complete several campus-wide capital improvement projects, advance new academic programs, and create new student scholarships. During the next two years of the public phase, Mary Baldwin hopes to raise an additional $20 million to complete the Pearce renovation, move forward with the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, and strengthen its financial standing.

“Thanks to the many generous donors who have brought our campaign to nearly $60 million raised to-date,” said Dan Layman, associate vice president for Institutional Advancement. “The college is experiencing incredible momentum during a time when the economy is challenging most colleges and universities. The final $20 million of our campaign is critical to sustaining this momentum and securing the future of Mary Baldwin University.”

In tandem with next week’s events, the college also will debut a video and unveil a new website for the Ever Ahead campaign.

Faculty and staff are invited to both of the day’s events.

All programs have initiated the appropriate accreditation process. It is expected that all students will graduate from an accredited program.

Mary Baldwin University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The program will submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional/technical phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional/technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by CAPTE, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-306-3245; accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.


Mary Baldwin University has applied for provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Mary Baldwin University/Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences anticipates matriculating its first class in May 2015, pending provisional accreditation in September 2014. Provisional accreditation is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students, but at the time of its comprehensive accreditation review, has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the accreditation Standards.


Mary Baldwin University is seeking accreditation for its Occupational Therapist Doctoral Program from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®), c/o American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA®), 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220, 301-652-2682.