On August 31, Mary Baldwin College will officially become Mary Baldwin University and kick off its 175th anniversary year in a ceremony at 10:55 a.m. on Page Terrace in front of Grafton Library — the traditional site of Mary Baldwin’s Commencement Exercises.
The celebration will include a formal procession with faculty, administrators, special guests, and leadership boards; musical selections featuring performers from the Heifetz International Music Institute, Madison Brass, and African Drummer Paschal Young; remarks from U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte; and proclamations hailing MBU’s legacy from local government, state lawmakers, and the governor’s office.
“We celebrate a moment of public metamorphosis,” said President Pamela Fox. “This is not a mere change in name or indication of plans we hope to accomplish, but rather a reflection of the dynamic university we have already created.”
The event will be held on Mary Baldwin’s annual Charter Day. Students representing all five student entry points to the university (the Mary Baldwin College for Women, Baldwin Online and Adult Programs, the College of Education, Shakespeare and Performance, and the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences) will each receive a charter as a symbol of the importance of student self-governance at Mary Baldwin.
There will also be special announcements about upcoming events and initiatives, along with remarks from President Pamela Fox and Board of Trustees Chair Jane Harding Miller ’76.
Cadets in the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership at Mary Baldwin will raise the MBU flag for the first time and several local churches will participate in a peal of bells at the conclusion of the ceremony.
The event on Page Terrace is free and open to the public. There will be ample parking at the Federated Auto Parts parking lot off at Statler Crossing (across Statler Boulevard from Statler Square, where Kroger and Staples are located) with shuttles every 15 minutes to the Mary Baldwin campus. The City of Staunton has also reserved parking spaces on New, Frederick, and Academy streets to accommodate guests and shuttle buses. Those spaces will be marked with signs labeled “MBU event.”
For those not able to attend in person, the event will be live streamed at marybaldwin.edu/live beginning at 10:45 a.m.
Following the public event, there will be a private lunch for invited guests on Cannon Hill and a ground breaking and then a reception at Mary Baldwin’s Alumnae House, which will undergo a major renovation during the anniversary year. At this reception, commemorative MBU wines from Barren Ridge Vineyards in Fishersville will be uncorked for the first time.