One of the tangible signs of the success of the Mary Washington First campaign is the amphitheatre renovation and improvement project. The $3 million effort was supported by Donald B. and Josephine McPherson Heslep ’56, who pledged $1.25 million, Robert S. and Alice Andrews Jepson ’64, who pledged $1 million, and other generous donors. These architectural plans show the stage restored to its 1953 appearance, when the grove was a center of campus life. The seating will mimic an earlier era – about 1923 – in harmony with the wooded site and national preservation standards.
New, accessible pathways of stabilized granite and aggregate will blend with the natural setting. The site will be lighted by a combination of inconspicuous path lighting fixtures and standard campus lampposts. A level aisle across the center of the seating area will allow wheelchair access.
Terraces of groundcover along the seating area will be available for picnicking and small group meetings. Concrete benches will provide seating, but not all will have backs so small groups, like classes, can gather easily.