Home Fiske Guide to Colleges celebrates 40 years and recognizes 11 Virginia universities
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Fiske Guide to Colleges celebrates 40 years and recognizes 11 Virginia universities

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In 1982, Edward Fiske was a reporter at the New York Times covering higher education.

He saw a need for a complete guide to four-year colleges and universities, so he created Fiske Guide to Colleges.

The 2024 edition, which celebrates 40 years of the guide, includes more than 300 institutions of higher learning in the United States, Canada and Great Britain, including 11 in Virginia.

The University of Mary Washington is among the Commonwealth’s recognized universities, and has been in the guide for year. The guide showcases colleges and universities “that students most want to know about” with details about campus and student life. Narratives focus on academic strengths, social life and overall quality of life. For all points, UMW stands out, especially for its reputation among public liberal arts and sciences colleges across the U.S.

“Indeed,” the publication states, “for an aura of history and tradition, few schools stack up to this small college in Fredericksburg.” The guide praises the core curriculum at UMW.

“I never imagined that I would find such a highly engaged and compassionate set of professors my first year of college,” the guide quotes a UMW student. The publication notes that “the close ties between students and faculty are a great source of pride at Mary Washington.”

Another student points out unique UMW activities, such as Devil-Goat Day, Eagle Gathering, Multicultural Fair, which create camaraderie.

“Tradition is at the heart of UMW and is one of the many things that instills a sense of community here.”


Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.

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