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Grellet Simpson Library

Norm Shaffer, June 14, 2011.

4th President of Mary Washington College, Dr. Grellet Simpson became president of Mary Washington College in 1955. Simpson earned his degree at Randolph-Macon College in 1926 and then taught there as an English Professor. In 1952 he became Dean of Students there until he was appointed at MWC. Under his presidency the university continued to grow in numbers, from 1,600 to roughly 2,200. These numbers included the first African Americans and the first men to attend the college. (1)

Built in 1987 as a replacement to the library in Trinkle Hall, the Simpson Library has essentially remained the same since it was first built over 30 years ago (including the fantastic people who work there.) Covering three floors that are Home to over 300,000 materials, including an incredible collection of resources in the Special Collections and University Archives, Simpson is an amazing place to study. (2)

In black and white, a man in a suit with glass is photographed.
President Grellet Simpson sits for a photograph. Image courtesy of



(1) Michael Spencer and The Campus Environment Presidential Ad Hoc Committee, Campus Environment Presidential Ad Hoc Committee: Final Report (Fredericksburg, VA: The Campus Environment Presidential Ad Hoc Committee, November 6, 2019), Page 52.

(2) William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (North Carolina: BW&A Books, Inc., 2008), Page 372.