Artistic rendering courtesy of Glave & Holmes Architecture.

UMW Renames, Begins Restoration of Century-Old Amphitheatre

by | Jun 7, 2016 | Schools & Education

The University of Mary Washington (UMW) recognized two long-time donors on Saturday, June 4, 2016, at a groundbreaking ceremony for the century-old amphitheatre on the Fredericksburg campus.

The outdoor facility, slated for renovation, has been renamed the Heslep Amphitheatre, in honor of 1956 alumna Josephine McPherson Heslep and her husband, Donald, of Richmond. The Hesleps, who attended the ceremony with their family, have generously supported university initiatives.

Nearly 90 donors have contributed approximately $2.6 million toward the amphitheatre’s restoration, which is being funded through private donations, according to Torre Meringolo, vice president for Advancement and University Relations.

Meringolo also announced a new challenge gift recently received from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation. If UMW secures new gifts totaling $125,000 for the amphitheatre, the foundation will match with its own contribution of $125,000. Gifts to the amphitheatre restoration may be made at umw.edu/onlinegiving.

Originally constructed in 1913 and dedicated in 1923, the amphitheatre — located in a grove of trees near Sunken Road – has been home to many UMW traditions at various points in its history.

The restoration will return the amphitheatre to its 1950s appearance, by repairing and reconstructing damaged and missing pieces. It will provide seating for approximately 600 people, while incorporating accommodations for ADA accessibility.

Glavé & Holmes Architecture of Richmond has developed the restoration design. A construction date has not been set. Once construction begins, the renovation should be completed within nine months.

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