UMES Celebrates Founders’ Week
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has seen some changes over the 124-year span of its history. The institution has grown from the one building, one faculty member and nine students of the original academy to today’s university, part of the University System of Maryland, comprising 300 full-time faculty members and a student body over 4,000 strong and growing.
According to UMES President Thelma B. Thompson, UMES is proud of its tripartite mission: being a Historically Black University, being Maryland’s 1890’s Land-Grant Institution and being a comprehensive teaching/research institution.
“Founders’ Week (September 12-18) gives UMES the opportunity to invite the community, for which we are a part, to share in its rich heritage,” said Dr. James White Jr., associate vice president for Student Life and Enrollment Management and chairman of the Founders’ Week committee.
The celebration begins with a worship service on Sun., Sept. 12, at 11 a.m. at Metropolitan U.M. Church on William P. Hytche Blvd. in Princess Anne. The two institutions were founded just days apart in 1886--UMES on September 13 and Metropolitan on September 19.
Later that evening at 7 p.m., a screening of the acclaimed 1967 movie, “To Sir, With Love,” staring Sidney Poitier, will be shown in the Student Services Center Theatre. Based on the best-selling novel by E.R. Braithwaite, the movie explores the author’s experiences as a black high school teacher in the East End of London struggling to connect with his white students.
Braithwaite will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the Founders’ Day Convocation and Summer Commencement at UMES on Tues., Sept. 14, at 10 a.m. in the Ella Fitzgerald Center for the Performing Arts. The speaker for the event is Lorenzo Hughes, assistant superintendent (the first African-American) for instruction for Dorchester County Public Schools and a UMES alumnus.
Hughes is one of only 42 educators in the nation to participate in the College Board Leadership Institute for Principals. In 2008, he was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley to serve on the Governor’s Task Force on the Principalship, where he researched issues pertaining to attracting, retaining and developing principals in the state.
The Frederick Douglass Library opens a new exhibit, “UMES Women Alumni of Distinction,” at a reception on Monday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. The exhibit, on display through December 15, features the achievements of alumnae as depicted through photographic images, 3-D displays and historical documents.
Also on Monday, members of the campus and area communities can enjoy Light Night, a tour of the historic UMES Academic Oval by horse and carriage or by walking tour. The tour begins on the portico of the Richard A. Henson Center at 7 p.m. with students acting as tour guides.
Billed as “a musical evening under the stars,” the Founders’ Week Outdoor Concert (indoors in the event of inclement weather) features entertainment by UMES’ Jazz Band, alumni group and the Gospel Choir. The event takes place on Wed., Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Ella Fitzgerald Center for the Performing Arts lawn.
As part of a 15-year tradition, Fine Arts faculty display their latest artwork in a fall exhibition in the Mosely Gallery. According to Gallery Director Anke Van Wagenberg, the artwork is diverse with paintings, photographs, ceramics, experimental media and cutting edge conceptual work. The exhibit runs through Oct. 15. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All events are free and open to the public. For more information, call 410-651-6669.
Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, email@example.com.