Nearly $15 million raised for UMES
Money to go toward scholarship fund
By LIZ HOLLAND, staff writer, The Daily Times
PRINCESS ANNE -- (June 30, 2011) -- A seven-year effort to raise $14 million for endowed scholarships and educational projects at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore ends today roughly $1 million ahead of its goal.
"We've done very, very well," said Veronique Diriker, director of development. "We're very grateful to the community at large."
When the Campaign for Excellence started in 2004, the university's endowment was $7.6 million. Now it is $18.6 million -- a $9 million gain in spite of drops in the stock market.
Among the gifts was the largest ever made to a historically black college in Maryland -- $3 million from the late Richard Hazel to fund teacher-education scholarships.
UMES also received $1.5 million from the Richard Henson Foundation for endowment for scholarships to assist entrepreneurial-minded students.
While the campaign benefited from large donations such as Henson's and Hazel's, the largest donor category was alumni, said Kimberly Dumpson, director of alumni affairs and planned giving.
UMES graduates made gifts ranging from small annual amounts up to $355,000 from Allen Singleton from the Class of 1959, the largest single alumni donor.
"They really helped energize the campaign," Dumpson said.
Other UMES alumni made $10,000 donations to establish endowed scholarships, including retired Wicomico County educators Loretta and Daniel Savoy of Salisbury, and former WBOC news director and anchorman Bill Jones of Charlotte, N.C.
Another scholarship was recently established in memory of the late Del. Page Elmore, who was instrumental in bringing a pharmacy program to UMES. The scholarships in his name will go to Eastern Shore residents accepted into the program.
"That was something he strongly believed in," Diriker said of Elmore.
In addition to donations, thousands of dollars for the campaign were raised during the annual UMES Gala, which has attracted Hollywood stars such as Sharon Stone and Lou Gossett Jr. and Grammy Award winners B.B. King and Dionne Warwick.
The money donated to the campaign goes to help students like rising sophomore Breonna Evans of Melfa, who has a 4.0 grade point average and plays on the women's basketball team.
Evans, who just finished her freshman year, attends UMES on a full academic scholarship -- something she doesn't take for granted.
"It makes me even more motivated," she said.
A final feather in the cap of retiring University of Maryland Eastern Shore President Thelma Thompson comes in the form of good news on the fundraising front. A seven-year effort to raise $14 million for endowed scholarships and other educational projects at the Princess Anne campus has, despite the interruption of a major economic recession in the past few years, reached an end with $1 million more than its goal. In 2004, when the Campaign for Excellence was launched, the school's endowment fund was $7.6 million; today it is $18.6 million -- a $9 million gain. Vision and persistence have paid off for Thompson as well as for the school. Congratulations.
This article and accompanying editorial are reprinted with permission of The Salisbury, MD Daily Times newspaper.