University of Maryland Eastern Shore The 125th Anniversary
125th Anniversary
"Celebrating the Journey: The 125th Anniversary of UMES" 1886-2011




What's in a name?

The 1930-31 student handbook and course catalog for the institution known today by its acronym "UMES" describes the campus of that era as an “ideal location with (a) healthful climate (that) presents one of the most beautiful sites on the Eastern Shore.”

By the start of the Great Depression, the school founded in 1886 by the Methodist Episcopal Church to educate blacks was known interchangeably as Princess Anne Academy and the Eastern Branch of the University of Maryland. (The Colored American newspaper referred to the institution as Princess Anne Academy as early as 1895.)

During its first 50 years, alumni and members of the community routinely referred to it simply as “The Academy.”

The school has been known by a series of names reflecting an evolving mission over its first 125 years. They include:


  • Delaware Conference Academy for Negroes (a branch of Centenary Biblical Institute in Baltimore)
  • Industrial Branch of Morgan College (which, in 1890, relinquished its original name, Centenary Biblical Institute)
  • Princess Anne Academy (by the early 20th century, it was receiving assistance from the state of Maryland to support land-grant instruction for African-Americans.)
  • The Eastern Branch University of Maryland Princess Anne Academy of Morgan College
  • Princess Anne College (formally became a four-year branch of the University of Maryland in 1936)
  • Maryland State College (1948-1970)
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore (1970 – present)¹

UMES from Dr. William P. Hytche Boulevard

¹ - State government reorganized public higher education in 1988 and included UMES as part of the University of Maryland System, today known as the University System of Maryland.

"Celebrating the Journey: The 125th Anniversary of the
University of Maryland Eastern Shore" 1886-2011