Campus Profile: Mary Baldwin University

Ninth in a series of articles from our visits to college and universities that are invited to participate in the 2018 College Film Awards.

One beautiful aspect of our College Film Awards is this: the best films are not necessarily created in the biggest schools, or the best funded schools, or even schools with nationally prestigious film programs. The best films come from the best student filmmakers – those who have a story to tell and develop the most creative format to express it.

Enter Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, VA. An historically women’s college nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, whose strength lies with its size (only 2,125 students) and its tradition of high achievement (probably due to its 10 to one student to teacher ratio). It’s easy to underestimate MBU. Don’t.

In our 2017 College Film Awards, a Mary Baldwin filmmaker submitted a short entitled, “Delicacy,” and won the top award for artistic merit. Talula Mays, in MBU fashion, whooshed past student films from powerhouse programs and achieved a top prize for her Poe-like suspense story. She vows to enter another film this year.

We met with film studies professor Allan Moyé in his quaint movie office on campus. He told us that MBU has offered a film minor through the school’s communications department for about five years. Students recently are able to design a studio art major, and the school plans to recruit students for film studies next year.

“Our students are getting into more visual studies,” Professor Moyé said. “It is the new language. It is the new literature.”

Perhaps with his student’s win at Poe last November, he can encourage more funding and attract alumni support for production studios on campus in addition to the former WHSV studio. Imagine what these achieving Mary Baldwin students can accomplish with better equipment and facilities.

So we welcome Mary Baldwin University to the 2018 College Film Awards. Thank you for honoring us with “Delicacy” last year. What delicacies may follow this year? Go Fighting Squirrels!

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