Key events in the history of Mary Baldwin College illustrate the changes that have made MBC a national leader in personalized and transforming liberal arts education.
1842 – Augusta Female Seminary founded by Rufus W. Bailey, who was also named principal. Mary Julia Baldwin among the first pupils
1844 – First Charter of Augusta Female Seminary granted by Virginia State Legislature
1863 – Mary Julia Baldwin elected principal of Augusta Female Seminary, assisted by Agnes R. McClung. Miss Baldwin remained principal until her death on July 2, 1897.
1895 – The Board of Trustees requested and received approval to change the name of the school to Mary Baldwin Seminary “as an acknowledgement of their high appreciation of the valuable service and unparalleled success of the Principal for thirty-five years.”
1916 – Mary Baldwin Seminary approved by the State of Virginia as a junior college
1923 – Mary Baldwin College: approval by the State of Virginia established Mary Baldwin as a standard four-year liberal arts college
1933–34 – First foreign exchange students enrolled
1940 – First Apple Day picnic. Event officially named “Apple Day” October 1, 1946
1976 – Board of Trustees approved purchase of Staunton Military Academy property
1977 – Adult Degree Program (ADP) registered first students
1980 – Exchange program with Doshisha Women’s College, Kyoto, Japan, begun
- Rosemarie Sena Center for Career and Life Planning established
- Dr. Cynthia Haldenby Tyson elected eighth president
- Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG) inaugurated, funded by major grant from the Jesse Ball DuPont Foundation
1992 – Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program launched
1995 – Inauguration of Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL)
1998 – Rededication of the Administration Building.
2001 – Master of Letters and Master of Fine Arts in Shakespeare and Performance (MLitt/MFA) begun in partnership with American Shakespeare Center and its Blackfriars Playhouse.
2002 – New center for the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted completed.
2003 – Dr. Pamela Fox elected ninth president
2003 – Composing our Future, MBC’s ten-year strategic plan, unveiled
2007 – The Samuel R. Jr. and Ava Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement opens.