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April 19: Presidential scholarship ball

  • Friday, March 15, 2013

    Star JonesPRINCESS ANNE, MD. - (March 15, 2013) - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore will host the Diamond Jubilee Presidential Scholarship Ball April 19 in conjunction with the installation of its 15th leader, Dr. Juliette B. Bell.

    The Diamond Jubilee ball will be the academic year's centerpiece fundraiser and will kick off with a VIP reception, followed by the customary gourmet meal prepared and served by students.  Afterwards, guests will be treated to dance music provided by a combo headed by jazz saxophonist Art Sherrod Jr.

    For more than a decade, UMES has played host to a spring social event that combines entertainment with experience for students in the university's Hotel Restaurant Management program in the planning and execution of a high-profile affair.

    The evening's emcee, Star Jones, is a well-known television commentator and legal analyst. Jones stepped forward to help UMES with fundraising when her nephew enrolled in the university this past fall.

    "I met with Ms. Jones when she visited campus in August to help her nephew settle into his dormitory room. She wanted me to know she was willing to help the university in any way she could," Dr. Bell said. "When the inauguration committee started planning events, it invited Ms. Jones to participate and I'm honored she will be the hostess for the scholarship ball."

    Profits from ball's ticket sales will go toward the Eminence Fund, a new endowment that Bell's says will award scholarships to deserving students and support faculty working on innovative projects.

    The ball is among a series of events normally held throughout the spring that this year are being held the week of April 14-20 in recognition of Bell, who assumed UMES' presidency July 1, 2012.

    One of the events traditionally open to the public is the Roger Blunt Lecture, this year featuring Dr. Anthony Junior, former office director of the Department of the Navy's Historically Black Colleges and Universities / Minority Institutes program. The 2013 edition of the annual community health festival that week is named in honor of Bell's late parents, Patsy and Willie Ball.

     "The ultimate goal for the week is to showcase the university, its students and faculty," said Kimberly Dumpson, co-chair of the inauguration week festivities.

    "We have many good stories to tell, and the events we are planning will afford our friends and supporters the chance to hear them up close," Dumpson said.

    Tickets for the Diamond Jubilee Ball are $200, or $2,000 for a table of 10.

    They may be purchased by contacting the university at 410-651-8637 beginning Thursday, March 21, or via the Internet at the university's homepage.

    Bill Robinson,director, Office of Public Relations, (410) 621-2355