The UMW Spirit Rock Policies

UMW Students from 2004 painting the Spirit Rock for Earth Day. Photo taken from the UMW Digital Collections.

The Spirit Rock is a cultural keystone here at UMW! We love to be able to paint it to advertise events, read out powerful messages, or perhaps convene secret gatherings! Did you also know that your SGA enforces the rules and precedents of the Spirit Rock? We’ve created a page to clarify and ensure you understand the guidelines of the treasured Spirit Rock!

  • The Spirit Rock may only be painted by a student who is attending the University of Mary Washington. Any student-affiliated organization may also paint the rock, including off-campus groups. Any group not affiliated with UMW students are not allowed to paint the rock, and doing so would be considered vandalism.
  • Paint for the Spirit Rock may be borrowed from UMW SAE (located on the third floor of the Cedric Rucker University Center). Simply walk up to the front desk, and ask for paint to paint the Spirit Rock. You may also bring your own paint, but it MUST be latex paint only.
  • Messages on the Spirit Rock cannot include any material that is illegal or in violation of University policies. The Student Code of Conduct applies to the Spirit Rock.
  • Traditionally, the precedent that has been established is that the Spirit Rock may not be painted 24 hours after an organization has painted it. Once the 24 hour time period is up, any student may paint over it.
  • The Spirit Rock may only be reserved by the University during New Student Orientation, New Student Arrival, Multicultural Fair, and Reunion Weekend. Outside of this, no reservations are allowed for the Spirit Rock.

Have any questions about the Spirit Rock? Email us at!