The University of Mary Washington dedicated the Hurley Convergence Center in honor of President Richard V. Hurley on Friday, April 15. The ceremony also featured the unveiling of President Hurley’s official presidential portrait.

Applause erupts as President Hurley's portrait is unveiled.
Applause erupts as President Hurley’s portrait is unveiled.

Previously known as the Information and Technology Convergence Center, the Hurley Convergence Center features a rich array of digital technology resources, flexible classrooms and collaboration spaces, communal furniture and multiple student work centers. Last fall, the Board of Visitors voted to rename the building for the University’s ninth president, who is retiring in June, to “recognize his accomplishments with one of our highest tributes to a president,” according to Rector Holly Cuellar.

In addressing Hurley, Cuellar said, “You provided firm leadership in uncertain times. You showed us that we should think and act in ways that leave Mary Washington a little better than we found it. And most of all, we gather to express our deep gratitude and lasting affection.”

In brief emotional remarks, Hurley said he knew he had arrived at a special place when he first came to Mary Washington in 2000. Over his presidential tenure, which he described as one of stabilizing and “turning a tanker,” he grew even fonder of the place. “The institution I’m turning over to Dr. Paino is in good shape.”

Hurley oversaw the planning and construction of the $40 million Convergence Center. The 72,000-square-foot building first opened in the fall of 2014 and is home to the Speaking and Writing Centers, the Digital Auditorium and the Digital Knowledge Center.

The official presidential portrait will remain a permanent part of the University’s art collection. The work was painted by Richmond-based Loryn Brazier, an accomplished artist who is highly recognized for her portrait work. Based in Richmond, Brazier has painted official portraits of many notable people, including former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder. The portrait of Wilder is on display in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

The oil-on-linen portrait of President Hurley has a classic gold frame and measures 40 x 30.

The portrait was paid for with private funds, thanks to a special Mary Washington First Campaign gift from Marceline Weatherly Morris ’50 and Elmer Morris, Jr. ’50.

“Marcy and Juney have been highly supportive of President Hurley during his two terms as acting president and throughout his tenure as Mary Washington’s ninth president,” Cuellar said. “In 2008, they endowed the Richard V. and Rosemary A. Hurley Presidential Commendation for University employees who perform meritorious service while demonstrating strength of character and steadfast dedication to UMW’s mission.”

President Hurley’s portrait will be permanently exhibited in the gallery adjacent to Dodd Auditorium in George Washington Hall. The President’s Gallery will be dedicated at a special event on June 3 during this year’s Reunion Weekend.

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