The University of Mary Washington (UMW) is a public liberal arts and sciences university located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Founded in 1908 as the Fredericksburg Teachers College, the institution was named Mary Washington College in 1938 after Mary Ball Washington, mother of the first president of the United States, George Washington. The General Assembly of Virginia changed the college's name to the University of Mary Washington in 2004 to reflect the addition of graduate and professional programs to the central undergraduate curriculum, as well as the establishment of more than one campus.
Each year, students pursue more than 60 majors and programs of graduate and undergraduate study through the university's three colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education. One third of UMW's undergraduate students study abroad before graduation, taking advantage of 121 study abroad programs in 56 countries. UMW Athletics' 23 teams compete in the NCAA Division III Capital Athletic Conference. Known as the UMW Eagles, 308 of these student-athletes have been named to All-American teams.
UMW has been consistently ranked a top college in the U.S.and in the southern region of the U.S. by The Princeton Review, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report. In 2018, UMW was named a top producer of Peace Corps volunteers for the tenth year in a row, placing fourth among small schools.