The Virginia Association for College and University Residence Halls (VACURH) has selected Mary Baldwin University as the site of its 2015 conference, which will bring together student leaders from schools all across Virginia.

Over the course of the last semester, the Mary Baldwin Residence Hall Association (RHA) executive board drafted a bid detailing a plan for Mary Baldwin to host next year’s conference. Their pitch first won approval from the Office of Student Life, according to Amber Keen, director of student development and support.

“The students put in a lot of hard work, and it was obvious when they presented how much they wanted to do this,” Keen said.

After a delegation of 10 Mary Baldwin residence hall reps — comprised of the executive board and several hall presidents — presented their bid at the 2014 conference at The College of William & Mary last weekend, representatives from other schools in Virginia selected Mary Baldwin as the site.

Next year’s conference is scheduled for February 20–22 with a Monsters University theme. According to planners, in sessions and activities modeled after the movie, students will develop their leadership skills and gain program ideas to take back to their campuses.

Damba Koroma and Anneliese Slaton, both juniors at Mary Baldwin, took on most of the work for the bid and presentation and will serve as conference co-chairs for next year.

“Being able to host the conference is a huge honor and allows us to showcase our beautiful campus,” Keen said. “It will allow us to show that our school — while small in [student] number — can put on a great weekend for students from other larger schools across the state.”

Keen pulled together her own bid at the conference and was elected 2015 conference advisor. Her two-year term includes advising the student VACURH board.

“Being selected as the state board advisor will improve my advising skills,” Keen said. “It will be my first chance to advise outside of my home campus, and it will fine-tune skills that I can certainly bring back to my advising roles here at Mary Baldwin. It will also provide immense networking opportunities with other colleges and universities across Virginia, which will help me bring the new and exciting things I learn about right back to our campus.”