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UMW selects eighth president; first woman leader in UMW's 100-year history
The University of Mary Washington named its first woman president yesterday, about 100 years after the institution was founded as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women.
Judy G. Hample, 60, introduced herself to students and employees at Dodd Auditorium on the first day of a weeklong celebration of UMW's centennial. She'll become the school's eighth president July 1.
"I am really attracted to this because it is the only public institution named in honor of a woman," she said in an interview. "To have an opportunity to be part of that heritage and that history is exhilarating."
Hample, who signed a five-year contract, is the chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in Harrisburg, which oversees 14 public universities. She's hired 11 university presidents in the last seven years.
Vice President Rick Hurley has served as acting president since last spring, when William Frawley was fired after two DUI arrests.
UMW Rector Bill Poole choked up as he introduced Hample. "It's a little emotional," he said. "Not because I'm concerned with her qualifications. It's been a long process." He would not release her salary because he said one more person needs to sign her contract.
Hample, who said she was "enthusiastically received," called herself approachable, goal oriented and a consensus builder. She also said she has a "deep commitment" to fundraising and looks forward to meeting General Assembly members.
"I love people," she said. "I'm really looking forward to being on a university campus again. I haven't been doing that on a day-to-day basis for 10 years."
Before moving to Pennsylvania, she was a vice chancellor for Florida's board of regents. She's also been a professor and a dean. That experience made her "rise to the top of a distinguished applicant pool," Poole said.
In a question-and-answer session with faculty and students at Dodd Auditorium, Hample said she's been proactive with issues related to diversity. PASSHE's minority enrollment has increased from 3.7 percent to 11.4 percent since she became chancellor in 2001.
It's unlikely UMW will increase its minority enrollment without a more diverse faculty, she said.