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Mary Baldwin: Stepping Boldly Into The Future

Celebrating a Culture of Leadership, Innovation, and Excellence

test_mbu successMary Baldwin University’s (MBU) historic main campus is located on 55 acres adjacent to downtown Staunton. Founded as the Augusta Female Seminary in 1842, MBU is America’s oldest institution of higher education for women affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. In 1923, the seminary became a four-year baccalaureate college and was renamed Mary Baldwin College.

Today, Mary Baldwin is a small, co-educational university with a residential women’s college experience at its core (the Mary Baldwin College for Women). But that college is now part of an institution with coeducational units -- a business school, a health sciences college and a new accelerated University College focused on helping men and women earn bachelor's degrees in three years.

“We aspire to bring to prominence the synergistic advantages of our deliberately small university that serves the entire spectrum of higher education in age, religion, and ethnicity through a series of inclusive, innovative programs that no one else ever dreamed of, let alone brought into existence and raised to excellence as Mary Baldwin has done.”
– Dr. Pamela Fox, President

MBU combines a high-quality liberal arts education with professional training. With approximately 1,000 undergraduate students, it is a highly diverse campus where international and students of color hold elected and appointed leadership positions.

Key dates:

  • The 1970s brought one of the largest programmatic changes in decades with the creation of the Adult Degree Program, which provided an opportunity for women and men to earn a college degree later in life. The university then created Virginia’s first distance learning program, known today as Baldwin Online.

  • MBU created an early admittance program for gifted young women through the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG) and an innovative leadership program known as Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership (VWIL), which is the nation’s only all-female corps of cadets.

  • In 2001, Mary Baldwin created the MLitt/MFA graduate program in Shakespeare and Performance, which was founded in partnership with Staunton’s American Shakespeare Center – home of the Blackfriars Playhouse in downtown Staunton.

  • The Heifetz International Music Institute relocated to the Mary Baldwin campus in 2012. This unique partnership attracts outstanding classically trained string players from around the world to experience the Institute’s cross-disciplinary Performance and Communication Training program during the summer months.

  •  In 2014, Mary Baldwin opened the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, leading the institution toward issuing its first doctoral degrees in physical therapy and occupational therapy, and offering in addition a master of physician assistant studies and a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Along with the programmatic expansion, Mary Baldwin built a state-of-the-art facility in the region’s medical corridor in Fishersville.

  • In 2016, the Mary Baldwin Board of Trustees voted to change the name of the institution once again, this time to Mary Baldwin University, which better describes the expansive institution that it has become. At the same time MBU announced its new name, it unveiled three new initiatives: a new master of business administration, an online master of healthcare administration, and four focused, fast-track undergraduate programs in each of MBU’s four colleges: arts and sciences, business and professional studies, education, and health sciences.

For 175 years, Mary Baldwin’s story has been a chronicle of leaning in. Today’s university is an exceptionally diverse institution with a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs for both women and men in locations throughout Virginia.

Satellite campuses and regional centers are located in Fishersville, Charlottesville, Emporia, Glenns, Kilmarnock, Richmond, Roanoke, South Boston, South Hill, Staunton, Warsaw, Weyers Cave, and Williamsburg.

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