The rededication of Randolph and Mason Halls celebrated the technological innovations included in the renovation of the dorms, the importance of residence halls, the history of the buildings and the history of the University of Mary Washington as a whole.
The rededication was held on Sept. 21, 2012, to an audience that consisted of UMW faculty, staff and the Board of Visitors.
The host of the event, Vice President of Student Affairs Douglas Searcy, introduced the ceremony, noting the impact residence halls have on the lives of students. Dorms are “more than where students sleep, in many ways it’s their home,” Searcy said
David Rettinger, associate professor of psychology, praised the new “Link” that connects the two buildings and “serves as a multi-media interactive learning area,” according to a pamphlet from the ceremony.
“The Link” is an area where students and clubs can meet and provides a study space that boasts the same technology present within classrooms.
Rettinger also spoke of the more domestic improvements made to the residence halls.
“Students, we’re happy when you’re happy,” said Rettinger. “The kitchen’s much nicer than mine.”
Kyle Allwine, 2012 alumnus and graduate assistant of student activities, discussed his own history with Mason Hall, which he first visited nine years ago when his brother moved in. Allwine lived in Mason and spoke of his time there.
“There is nothing better than living in Randolph-Mason,” said Allwine.
Patricia Kemp, a 1969 alumna and president of the Alumni Association, lived in Mason as a sophomore in 1966 when UMW was Mary Washington College.
According to Kemp, living at MWC was far different back then. She discussed how students were given curfews and how trust among the student body was such that dorm rooms never needed to be locked.
Additionally, dorms were governed by head residents, some of whom were lenient, while others were not, according to Kemp.
She referred to one head resident as a “tyrant” who once wrote a student who didn’t even live in Mason, “a referral for whistling, which wasn’t lady-like.”
More UMW history was also provided by Kemp, who noted that, when she attended MWC, bikes were completely unnecessary because the campus was so small. She discussed how Trinkle used to be a library, and dorms only had one telephone, which everyone had to share.
The allure of living in the “tunnel” between Randolph-Mason, which did not have a very social atmosphere, was lost on Kemp as a student until she realized that “people loved it because it was easy for girls and their boyfriends to climb in through the windows after closing.”
Judge Pamela White, a 1974 alumna and the rector of the BOV, began by declaring she had “Mason envy.”
“As a survivor of Marshall dorm and that hill, I was envious of those living at Randolph-Mason,” said White.
Randolph-Mason was built in the 1950’s, and became “the cherished centerpiece of the campus,” said White.
Speaking of the vast improvements made to Randolph-Mason, White said that UMW was dedicated to “improving the air-conditioned quality of life.”
The ceremony ended with the cutting of the ribbon by President Rick Hurley and the BOV.