UMES Plans Star-Studded Gala to Support Student Scholarships
PRINCESS ANNE, MD Some of Hollywood's brightest stars are poised to grace the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) in support of the university's 11th annual gala early next year. President Thelma B. Thompson announced today the names of the celebrities who have reserved their spot at what promises to be a spectacular, Hollywood-style, red-carpet event that only the best party on the Eastern Shore can offer.
"More important than their pledge to be here is their commitment to helping us raise more scholarship dollars for our deserving students than ever before," said Thompson.
Academy-award winning actor Lou Gosset, Jr. has pledged his support as has "The Big Man" Clarence Clemons, the legendary B.B. King, Heisman-award winning rusher and receiver Herschel Walker, and renowned golfer Lee Elder, with more to come.
Gosset is the recipient of every known acting accolade, including an Oscar, multiple Golden Globes, Emmys and People's Choice Awards. He is known for such critically acclaimed work as "An Officer and a Gentleman," 1982, for which he won an Oscar; "Enemy Mine," 1985; "Iron Eagle," 1985, 1986, 1992, and 1995; "To Dance with Olivia," 1997; and "Jasper, Texas," 2003, to name a few. Recently, he appeared as the new lead on the popular science fiction series "Stargate SG-1," and won for himself a new generation of fans worldwide.
Clemons, affectionately known as "The Big Man," has captivated audiences for over forty years with his distinguished abilities as a saxophonist. A member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band for more than three decades, he has been an integral part of what some say is the greatest rock and roll band in the world. In addition to making music, he has an acting career with appearances in several television shows like "Different Strokes," "My Wife and Kids" and HBO's hit series "The Wire." Today, he writes scripts and musical scores for television and film and his book "Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales" was released late last month. His trip to the Shore will be especially eventful, in that Clemons attended the University, then Maryland State College, on a football scholarship.
King, a living legend by every measure, is acclaimed for his expressive singing and guitar playing. He is possibly the most respected and recognized bluesman in the United States and abroad. This year, Time Magazine named King number three on its list of the 10 best electric guitarists of all-time. He is an inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Blues Hall of Fame. His impressive list of awards includes the National Medal of Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and 15 Grammy Awards. The "King of the Blues" has wowed audiences throughout the world for the past 60 years; some of his best known songs are "Rock Me Baby," "The Thrill is Gone," and "I Like to Live the Love."
Walker is known for his athletic prowess on the football field. A stellar performer in both collegiate and professional football, he won the Heisman Trophy as a junior at the University of Georgia and went on to set 10 NCAA records. As a professional player, he made his mark as one of football's premier rushers and receivers, having played for the New Jersey Generals, the Dallas Cowboys, the Minnesota Vikings, the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. He left the NFL ranked second in all-purpose yards and had the occasion to compete in the Olympics. More recently, his autobiography "Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder" made the New York Times bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction. In addition, he was a contestant in the second season of the Donald Trump reality television show "Celebrity Apprentice," and in September, he was signed by "Strikeforce," a U.S. based mixed martial arts and kickboxing organization, to compete in their heavyweight division.
Elder is credited with breaking through one of the most long-standing racial barriers in U.S. sports. A renowned golfer, he dominated the all-black United Golf Association during his heyday and went on to qualify for the PGA in November 1967 at the age of 34. He became the first African-American to play in the Masters Tournament at Augusta National on April 10, 1975. In 1997, Elder was a spectator at Augusta when Tiger Woods won his first major, becoming the youngest winner of the Masters and the first of African or Asian descent. Tiger was quoted as saying, "I'm the first, but I wasn't the pioneer. Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder, Teddy Rhodes-those guys paved the way for me to be here. I thank them. If it wasn't for them, I might not have had the chance to play here." For his life's work, Elder has been inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the NCAA Hall of Fame.
The UMES Gala, themed "An Evening with the Stars," is scheduled for Saturday, March 6, 2010. For more information about how to become a part, call Dr. Veronique Diriker at 410-651-7773 or Andrea Sims at 703-589-7400.
Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, firstname.lastname@example.org.