UMW’s size, dedicated faculty, and historical commitment to fine teaching create an institutional culture where both undergraduate and graduate students benefit from strong connections with their faculty and multiple opportunities for active learning.
Located in Fredericksburg, between our nation’s capital and the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the University of Mary Washington is a nexus for engagement among diverse communities and is dedicated to supporting professional advancement and economic development and to improving the regional quality of life.
We fulfill our mission by fostering students’ intellectual and creative independence, facilitating their immersion in local, regional,national, and international communities, and by inculcating the values of honor and integrity. UMW graduates are models of adaptive learning, personal achievement, responsible leadership, service to others, and engaged citizenship in a global and diverse society.
On the modern side of Fredericksburg, we have Central Park and Celebrate Virginia. Central Park is the largest shopping center on the east coast with over 200 retailers on over 2.4 million square feet. It Features some of the largest retailers like Best Buy, Kohls, Walmart, DSW, Target, Petsmart, Lowes, Hobby Lobby, Nine West, Ann Taylor, Office Max and restaurants like Bonefish Grill, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Olive Garden, TGIF, Outback, Ruby Tuesday’s, The Melting Pot. Celebrate Virginia a commercial project behind Central Park is on 2,400 acres in various stages of development. Includes the Fredericksburg Expo Center, Wegmans Grocery, and three national hotels.
The “Crossroads of the Civil War”
Spotsylvania County is centrally located between our country’s capital, D.C. and the state capital of Richmond. It is easily accessible from I95 and the Virginia Railway offering Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) for commutes to D.C. from Fredericksburg. Although separate and distinct from Fredericksburg City, it is often referred to as the Fredericksburg region. Listed as one of the fastest growing areas with an estimated population of 122,397 by the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau.
The County is rich with history over its 412 sq miles, includes four of the most famous battles of the Civil War. Including the Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Wilderness, Battle of Spotsylvania and Battle of Chancellorsville, where General Stonewall Jackson was shot and mortally wounded. General Jackson died a few days later from pneumonia at nearby Guinea Station, just outside Spotsylvania County. The historic Rappahannock River borders Spotsylvania’s county by the north and was a vast port in the Colonial era and played a critical role in the Civil War. There are multiple events held throughout the year to enjoy these historic sites.
Spotsylvania also offers more modern amenities with the Spotsylvania Town Center, an indoor and outdoor mall offering first class shopping & entertainment to include: Coach, Macy’s, White House/Black Market, Sephora, Express, Costco, Belk, JCPenny and fine dining like Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille, Bravo, Splitsville and Paragon Village 12. In addition, just across the street in Fredericksburg City is Central Park, the largest retail shopping center on the east coast.
Another great amenity in Spotsylvania is Lake Anna. Lake Anna is located on southern tip of Spotsylvania County. It is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Virginia, covering 13,000 acres within Spotsylvania, Louisa County and Orange County. Lake Anna is one of the most popular lakes in the state and is only 72 miles from D.C. making it a great vacation destination, retirement destination, second home location and primary residence. Swimming, sailing, boating, world-class fishing and multiple annual triathlons keep the lake busy. Lake Anna State Park on Spotsylvania side offers picnic areas, boat ramps, playgrounds, hiking trails, cabin rental and a beach swimming area.
Spotsylvania’s strategic location benefits both business and residents alike. Within one hour commute to D.C., Richmond Va, Dulles International airport, Regan International Airport or Richmond International airport. Plus the added benefit of the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) that runs to Union Station in D.C.
Residents received one of the lowest overall tax burdens of any metropolitan area in the nation, due in part to a state income tax that is among the lowest in the nation, of six percent and which hasn’t increased since 1971 per Spotsylvania Co. Department of Economic Development.
Spotsylvania offers rising employment with a 70% increase in regionally between 1990 and 2002, substantially higher than the statewide growth of 21%. Spotsylvania has been ranked by Demographics Daily as the #1 small business sector in the U.S.. The study analyzed conditions in each of the 1,003 counties and independent cities that have at least 1,000 small businesses. We were ranked first in the nations, with a vitality index of 602, six times the national benchmarket of 100. Our small business sector had a astronomical rise of 182% from 1993 to 1998 versus the national average of 8.2%. Which, is leading to our growing labor pool of over a quarter million strong, with a 6% annual population increase among the highest in the nation. Long-term population growth that has been increasing for more than three decades and has grown 57.5% in the past ten years alone. -Spotsylvania County Department of Economic Development
Spotsylvania has excellent public schools and nationally recognized educational institutions. It consists of 17 Elementary, 7 Middle, and 5 High Schools and has a total enrollment of 24,000 students.