Mary Baldwin College: Wikis


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Mary Baldwin College
Motto Non pro tempore sed aeternitate ("Not for time but for eternity")
Established 1842
Type Private, 4-year, women's college
Endowment $30.8 million[1]
President Pamela Fox
Faculty 79 full-time, 59 part-time, 54% female
Students 2542
Undergraduates 826
Postgraduates 197
Location Staunton, Virginia, USA
Campus Rural, 54-acre
Colors White and gold
Each class has its own colors respectively.
Nickname MBC or Baldwin
Mascot Squirrel
Affiliations Southern Association, Division III athletics

Mary Baldwin College is a private, independent, and comprehensive four-year liberal arts women's college in Staunton, Virginia. Enrollment is currently 2542 students.

Mary Baldwin was ranked by US News & World Report as a top-tier, master's level university in the South. [2]

Mary Baldwin hosts the only full-fledged Health Care Administration program in the nation, and pre-professional programs in law, medicine, ministry, and ROTC. It is unique for its Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership program for female cadets, affiliated with nearby Virginia Military Institute. VWIL was intended to satisfy non-discrimination laws which required that VMI, which was then men-only, begin accepting women. It also hosts the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, a program designed for girls 12–16 years of age to earn a bachelor's degree at Mary Baldwin.

The college also offers a Master of Letters (one of three universities in the United States to do so) in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance, in conjunction with the nearby American Shakespeare Center.

In addition, Mary Baldwin College offers co-ed graduate and adult degree programs for men and women, with an adult degree program enrollment of 1196 students. The adult degree program is offered on-campus and in five satellite campuses: Charlottesville, Richmond, Roanoke, South Boston, and Weyers Cave.



Mary Baldwin College was founded in 1842 as Augusta Female Seminary. It is one of the oldest institutions of higher education for women in the United States.

It was founded by Rufus William Bailey, a minister and teacher from Maine and a graduate of Dartmouth College and Andover Theological Seminary. After plans for the school were approved by the ministers and members of the Presbyterian churches of Staunton and Augusta County, a self-perpetuating board of control was set up, and the seminary opened with Bailey as first principal. The first charter was granted to the seminary by the Virginia General Assembly in 1845.

The school's first building, now the Administration Building, was built adjacent to the First Presbyterian Church of Staunton. In 1872 the church building and land were given to the school. Until it was demolished in 1962, the building was known as Waddell Chapel in memory of Joseph Addison Waddell, secretary of the Board of Trustees for more than fifty years. Thomas Woodrow Wilson, twenty-eighth President of the United States, was baptized in the chapel building in 1857, his father, the Reverend Joseph Ruggles Wilson, being minister of the First Presbyterian Church at the time and serving also as chaplain to the Augusta Female Seminary.

It is possible that the seminary might not have survived the Civil War period except for Mary Julia Baldwin, who became principal in 1863. The courage and ingenuity of Baldwin and her assistant, Agnes McClung, enabled the school to remain open when nearly every other school in the Shenandoah Valley was forced to close because the valley was a continual battlefield for the Union and Confederate armies.

After the Reconstruction period, the seminary expanded and prospered under Baldwin's leadership. The academic level of the curriculum was raised until it was the equivalent of colleges and universities for the higher classes. In 1895 the name of the institution was changed, at the request of the Board of Trustees and by act of "the valuable services and unparalleled success of the Principal." Baldwin was principal until she died in 1897. At her death the seminary received the bulk of her property, which, with the gifts already given by her, amounted to a substantial endowment for that time.

Subsequent administrators were Ella C. Weimar and Marianna P. Higgins. The seminary became Mary Baldwin Junior College in 1916 and a four-year college in 1923, when the name was changed to Mary Baldwin College. It is related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees.


MBC's 2005-06 undergraduate student body (Residential College for Women) was made up of 65% White American, 33% American ethnic minorities, and 2% international.


Mary Baldwin offers five degree-granting programs and has a total enrollment of approximately 2137 and a full-time equivalent of over 1220. Its students come from varied geographical areas and backgrounds. Its relatively small size enables the College to foster a lively sense of community within which is expressed a concern for each person. It enables the strengthening of individual responsibility and self-confidence. Pride in academic achievement and a long-standing tradition of student government, supported by a working honor and judicial system (enforced by the students with full support from MBC administration), help to realize these aims.

On a post-graduate level, Mary Baldwin College offers a Master of Arts in Teaching. It also offers a unique Master of Letters (M.Litt.) program in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance. The program combines scholarly research with practical training in acting, directing, teaching, or dramaturgy. The Master of Letters degree leads to a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in acting, directing, or dramaturgy. The M.Litt./M.F.A. program is offered in partnership with the American Shakespeare Center. These programs are co-educational.

The college also provides a cooperative master's degree programs in engineering (University of Virginia) and nursing (Vanderbilt University), as well as post-graduate teacher licensure.

Student societies

Mary Baldwin is home to a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society as well as more than 10 national and international honor societies, among them Omicron Delta Kappa the national leadership honor society. The Laurel Circle established in 1976 was the first ODK chapter at a women's college.

The oldest tradition on the Mary Baldwin campus is the secret society known as The Chevaliers, meaning the female knights. They have been linked to Washington and Lee University's Cadaver Society.

Student legends

One of the original buildings, South Bailey, is alleged to have served as a hospital during the Civil War. The building remained in use until about 2003 when it was torn down. The dormitory has since been rebuilt, however student legend held the old building to be haunted.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

See also


External links

Coordinates: 38°9′16.8″N 79°4′3.1″W / 38.154667°N 79.067528°W / 38.154667; -79.067528 Mary also offers a program called PEG were you can skip high school and go straight to college.



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