PRINCESS ANNE, MD - Endowed student scholarships are the priority of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's “Campaign for Academic Excellence,” a seven-year fundraising effort with a goal of $14 million. To date $4.5 million has been raised in the campaign, which runs through 2011.
Over 90 percent of UMES students qualify for federal financial aid and over 50 percent are first generation college students. The cost of going to college and staying in school remain barriers to graduation for many UMES students.
“UMES has a 120-year tradition of providing African-American students and the underserved in our society with an opportunity to receive a higher education,” said President Thelma B. Thompson. “The purpose of this fundraising campaign is to generate the scholarship funds so vital to meeting the fiscal needs of our student body, to allow our students to realize the dream of a college degree and the opportunities for a better life that can accompany that diploma.”
While the majority of UMES students are dependent on financial aid to meet their tuition obligations, almost 50 percent graduate in six years, the best percentage among historically black colleges in Maryland.
Alumni giving at UMES has shown a dramatic increase in recent years, going from 2.5 percent in 2003 to 15 percent last year. A $3 million gift from Salisbury-area philanthropist Richard Hazel to fund teacher education scholarships in 2004 was the largest ever by an individual to a black college in Maryland.
Private gifts to the University are made to the UMES Foundation, which is part of the University System of Maryland Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation separate from the University System of Maryland. The Foundation is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation’s purpose is to receive, hold, invest, manage, use, dispose of and administer property of all kinds, whether given absolutely or in trust, or by way of agency or otherwise. Contributions are used entirely for the purpose specified by the donor.
For more information on the UMES Campaign for Academic Excellence, please contact the Division of Institutional Advancement at 410-651-7773 or go www.umes.edu and click on “Ways to give.”
Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Gains B. Hawkins, vice president, UMES Division of Institutional Advancement, 410-651-7773, email@example.com