UMES holds spring commencement
PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (May 12, 2014) –
John R. Lewis, a civil rights icon and senior Democrat in the U.S. House of
Representatives, will speak to nearly 500 graduates and 4,000 family members
and friends Friday at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s 127th
Lewis, considered one of the “Big Six”
leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, spoke to some 250,000 protesters in
August 1963 at the March on Washington where King delivered his “I Have a
Dream” speech. He was arrested some 40
times and endured physical attacks during non-violent marches—most notably
“Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Ala.—a formative moment of the Civil Rights Movement. He is co-author of the best-selling
graphic-novel, “March,” that recounts his Civil Rights experiences.
For his dedication to human rights and
civil liberties, Lewis will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters from UMES. He holds over 50 honorary degrees and is the
recipient of numerous awards from national and international organizations,
including the Medal of Freedom from President Obama.
The university will also award Doctor of
Public Service honorary degrees to local notables Freddy Mitchell, the chief
executive officer of SHORE UP! Inc. and Peggy Naleppa, president and chief
executive officer of Peninsula Regional Medical Center and Peninsula Health
Mitchell is credited with expanding SHORE
UP!, a Community Action Program, from four programs to 25 and a budget of less
than $1 million to that of $25 million.
The organization employs over 300 people, who provide community services
within seven counties on the Shore to over 15,000 individuals and families each
Naleppa, a healthcare executive for over 30
years, leads the region’s largest and most advanced tertiary trauma care
facility. PRMC is an affiliate of the
Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network, a group of academic and
community-based clinical researchers collaborating on new advances in
diagnostic, treatment and disease prevention.
The medical center in the past six years has received over 125 national
The Daily Record in Baltimore named her one
of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2013. She
was also named for two consecutive years as One of the 130 Women Hospital and
Health System Leaders to Know by Becker’s Hospital Review among other
Among this year’s graduating class at UMES
are 55 candidates receiving the university’s unique three-year PharmD
degree—the second graduating class from the program. The other top programs by numbers are
criminal justice, hospitality and tourism management (formerly Hotel and
Restaurant Management) and biology.
Some 316, or 67 percent of the 2014
graduates, are Marylanders; 79 of which are from the lower Eastern Shore.
Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580.