Message From the President

January 2011

Dear Community Members,

It is an honor for me to serve as president of an institution that provides so many enriching cultural opportunities. I am especially pleased and excited that UMW is holding a number of events this spring to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides.

In the spring of 1961, a small but courageous group of individuals set forth on commercial buses in a peaceful effort to challenge racial segregation in interstate transportation. They were organized and led by Dr. James Farmer, head of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), who later served as Distinguished Professor of History and American Studies here at Mary Washington. Ultimately, the movement enlisted more than 400 Freedom Riders, whose actions helped to change the course of U.S. history.

Throughout the spring semester, UMW will feature educational displays, lectures, and other programs to honor the sacrifices of the Freedom Riders and Dr. Farmer’s role as one of the nation’s greatest civil rights leaders. Please check this Website frequently for up-to-date information, including times and locations, for these and other activities.


Richard V. Hurley