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HURLEY IS AT HOME, AGAIN
UMW President Rick Hurley moves into Brompton, the president's official residence

 Unpacked boxes sit in front of bookcases that former UMW President Judy Hample ordered built at Brompton.
ROBERT A. MARTIN/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 7/20/2010

BY JEFF BRANSCOME

University of Mary Washington President Rick Hurley moved into Brompton, the president's official residence, yesterday.

Hurley, 63, who became UMW's ninth president July 1, also lived in Brompton from August 2007 until May 2008 while serving as acting president.

He is UMW's third president since William Anderson retired in 2006. Yesterday's move "represents stability" for the university, Hurley said.

Personally, he said, "It's just a sense of awe in many respects." Brompton, off Sunken Road, has been the home of Mary Washington presidents since 1948 and was a hospital during the Civil War.

Hurley plans to host an open house on Saturday, Sept. 25, during the school's family weekend.

Guests will surely want to see the $28,000 mahogany bookcases purchased by former university President Judy Hample. An anonymous UMW employee accused Hample of wasting taxpayer money on the purchase, but a state agency cleared her of wrongdoing.

One of the two bookcases was empty yesterday afternoon, but the other held several faculty-authored books, including "The Abolitionist Movement" by Claudine Ferrell and "Problems of the Developing Nations" by Lewis P. Fickett Jr.

Hample abruptly announced her resignation in February and went on three-month paid leave until June 30. Her predecessor, William Frawley, was fired in April 2007 after less than a year on the job after being charged with driving under the influence twice in two days.

Hurley's contract expires June 30, 2013, but the university's board of visitors can extend it.

Yesterday, Hurley, wearing a UMW T-shirt, shorts and sandals, seemed proud of his new home as he unpacked boxes. He's already hung several paintings and has a 50-inch flat-screen TV in a den. And he plans to place high school graduation photos of his three children on a wall by a staircase.

During his stay in Brompton as acting president, he said, he moved beds and dressers to the mansion but not much else.

"Now, it's beginning to feel like our home," said Hurley, who moved from southern Stafford County.

Unlike previous presidents, he won't leave Brompton anytime soon. That's the plan, at least.

"My wife said we're in here until they roll me out on a wheelchair," Hurley said with a laugh.

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402
Email: jbranscome@freelancestar.com