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Recruits unfazed by UMW turmoil
UMW hosts an event for prospective students, just two days after president arrested in Fredericksburg

 The right-front tire is gone off this Toyota driven by William J. Frawley before his arrest.
KATY BURNELL/THE BULLET
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Date published: 4/14/2007

BY JEFF BRANSCOME and ANDREA CHRISTIE

After touring the University of Mary Washington yesterday, 17-year-old Mikaela Jordan said she heard nothing negative about the school as a whole.

Some might perceive the consecutive drunken-driving charges against UMW President William Frawley as a poor reflection on the university, but the prospective student from Rhode Island said she still wants to enroll there.

"That's not the whole school, it's just one person," Jordan said.

Just two days after Frawley's arrest in Fredericksburg, the campus hosted an event for Jordan and 500 other admitted students called "Destination UMW."

Like Jordan, other visitors said the Frawley incident would have no impact on their college selections.

The board of visitors placed Frawley on indefinite paid leave Thursday and will likely take up the matter again when it holds a regular meeting next week.

Yesterday, tour guides walked around with small groups of prospective students and their families. In the background, current students played Frisbee and sunbathed on a large grassy area across from Lee Hall.

Student tour guide Stephanie Kulakowski hoped nobody would ask her about the Frawley incidents "because I have no idea how I would answer their questions."

Guides were told to refer in-depth inquiries to administrators, said sophomore K.J. Adler, also a student guide.

Martin Wilder, UMW's admissions director, sat through question-and-answer periods with administrators and current students.

"Not a single question" was asked about Frawley's troubles, he said. "I kinda thought there would be."

Adler said one parent asked him about the university's value system and alcohol policy.

"I told her Dr. Frawley was human, as are the rest of us," he said in a telephone interview with The Free Lance-Star.

Senior guide Amanda Bates said the university never told them how to respond to questions about Frawley.

"All we can say is that this isn't a normal occurrence at Mary Washington," she said.

Yesterday, prospective students also sat in on classes and checked out the dorms. UMW will host another day for high schoolers next Friday.

On Thursday, university officials met with high-school juniors and their families for tours and Q&As, Wilder said.


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TUESDAY: UMW President William Frawley, 53, is charged with driving under the influence in Fairfax County after he overturned a 2006 Toyota Avalon, police said. Frawley was put in the intensive care unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital but left the next morning against advice, officials said.

WEDNESDAY: Frawley was arrested at about 2 p.m. in Fredericksburg, where he is charged with DUI and refusing a breathalyzer test. He was taken to Mary Washington Hospital.

THURSDAY: UMW board of visitors vote to put Frawley on paid leave indefinitely.