Fredericksburg,VA: After visiting Mary Washington College, I am mystified that this collegereviews section is not overflowing with splendid reviews of this elegant andacademically challenging place!
My interest in Mary Washington Collegewas first piqued one Saturday morning as I was flipping through a magazine. Inbetween the articles about clothes and cute boys, my eye found an articledescribing ten beautiful, rigorous, inexpensive and overlooked colleges. I foundmyself captivated by Mary Washington and soon after went to visit.
As Momand I approached, my first impression included a large sign at the front gateproclaiming “Welcome to Mary Washington College,” classic red-brick andwhite-columned buildings designed during the Jeffersonian era, and the welcomingsmiles of students.
Mary Washington’s convenient location in the heart of”America’s Most Historic City” puts it within close proximity to anumber of shopping centers and restaurants. Fredericksburg itself is 50 milessouth of Washington, D.C. and 50 miles north of Richmond, Virginia.
Aftertaking the tour, it was clear why Mary Washington College has been called “amodel of academic excellence, personal attention and outstanding value”(Competitive Colleges) and is ranked sixth among the Top 15 Regional Universitiesin the South and ranked second in Student Selectivity by U.S. News Best Colleges.Princeton Review’s The Best 345 Colleges calls it “a strong academic schoolon the rise that has the perfect size.”
My tour, given by a verysweet junior, was extremely personal and informative. Mandy took us from thepopular fountain on Campus Walk through the academic buildings, into the library,through the dining halls and hangouts like the Eagle’s Nest, and finally to herdorm room which had a private bathroom for her and her roommate.
With only4,000 students, Mary Washington has a diverse array of majors from Theatre andDance to Chemistry, as well as myriad student organizations including the CampusChristian Community and the Jazz Ensemble. The many varsity sports includebaseball, basketball, cross-country, tennis and swimming.
An importantaspect of Mary Washington is its strong adherence to the Honor Code, allowingstudents to enjoy the luxury of outdoor tests on a sunny day, and take-homeexams. Another wonderful feature is their 17:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Very fewclasses have more than 35 people, and individual encouragement and attention isgiven to every student!
If you are a motivated student seeking aclose-knit, friendly and competitive liberal-arts college replete with majors,sports and fun, then Mary Washington could be the college of your dreams!
Reviewed in 2003