Written by Caitlin DeMarco, Stafford Library Assistant
While the campus in Fredericksburg, with its clock tower and old buildings are familiar to many, down Route 17 in Stafford there exists another, smaller campus. Originally called the James Monroe Center, the Stafford Campus began holding graduate level classes with the opening of the South Building in 1999. In 2007 the North Building opened, providing the campus with, among many other things, the large University Hall that has been used for everything from job search forums to blood drives. The North Building was renamed the Gates Hudson Building in 2015.
Graduate classes were joined by professional studies classes when the name changed from the James Monroe Center to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. Graduate classes are often held at night, and students commute to the campus, often after work and from areas further afield, even from Washington D.C. and the surrounding northern Virginia counties.
For the past few years, I have been helping process the Stafford Campus Records, mostly containing documents from the early years of the campus. The collection consists of several boxes of early photographs, as well as VHS tapes of the groundbreaking and other events on the campus. Stafford Library also has records detailing how the different programs on campus were accredited, as well as the correspondence of people influential to the creation of the Stafford Campus, such as Meta Braymer, the former Vice President for Graduate and Professional Studies. The Stafford Campus Records can be viewed by request at the Stafford Campus Library.
As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Stafford Campus, it is remarkable to trace its beginnings through pictures and records. A lot of work and heart went into creating this campus, and I have enjoyed sharing and preserving its history for the future.