Ball Circle

Ball Circle has been the stage for many Mary Washington traditions throughout the years, with the biggest culminating each spring with Commencement. In preparation for the 2023 ceremony, the campus’ largest outdoor venue has a new role this fall 2022: serving as a nursery for baby grass to grow so it can be ready for the big day. Though a seemingly slow process that takes the good part of a year, it’s been needed for many decades, as Ball Circle hasn’t been completely renovated in at least 30 years according to UMW Landscape and Grounds team.

The opportunity to reseed and rehabilitate Ball Circle results from an ongoing underground utility project that started in 2021 [LINK]. As the University replaces and modernize the aging infrastructure of steam and water pipes that crisscross Campus Walk and run the full length of campus, the Facilities, Landscape and Grounds team has dug into ways to enhance and sustain the green spaces on the surface and under it. There’s sustainable savings from the new steam and water lines, in addition to the budding green grass.

And while Ball Circle is closed temporarily in fall 2022 and spring 2023 as a thoroughfare between Lee Hall and the Cedric Rucker University Center, side sections remain open for impromptu gatherings and study sessions, complete with Adirondack chairs. It’s also offline for major events until Commencement in an effort to minimize foot traffic (and yes, hoof traffic of Devil-Goat Day), until the new grass can take root. Outdoor events can book Jefferson Square and the Link/Beach.