Marketing Retarget Pixel

UMES First Historically Black College to Join the PGA/ PGM™ Program

  • Friday, April 18, 2008


    Press Conference PanelPRINCESS ANNE, MD - Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) of America CEO Joe Steranka announced an historical partnership between the PGA of America and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) at a recent press conference held at the campus.  UMES is the 20th university in the nation certified by the PGA to offer its Professional Golf Management Program, beginning fall 2008, and the first historically black institution with the distinction. "To have the distinction of 20 and 1 is not bad," said Steranka.

    The partnership is in keeping with UMES President Thelma B. Thompson's goal to offer the many opportunities inherent to the $76 billion golf industry to UMES students of all ethnic backgrounds, regardless of their gender, and the PGA's initiative to provide the resources, awareness and opportunities for women, people of color and the under-served to participate in the game and the business of golf.

    The PGA/PGM™ University Program is a 4½-year structured college curriculum for aspiring PGA Professionals. The educational program is accredited by The PGA of America and includes extensive classroom studies, internship experience and player development providing students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the golf industry.

    "It is with great pride that The PGA of America welcomes the University of Maryland Eastern Shore into the PGA/PGM™ Program," said PGA of America President Brian Whitcomb. "For more than 30 years, the PGA/PGM™ Program has enabled more young people to accomplish their career goals and make an impact in the golf industry."

    PGA Press ConferenceFounded in 1886, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a research and doctoral degree granting institution on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, is a historically black university and home to some 4,086 students. The 745-acre campus, which includes a 350-acre research and teaching farm, is nationally recognized for the beauty of its grounds. Its low student-to-faculty ratio, well-funded research programs, historic tradition of inclusiveness and constituent membership in the University System of Maryland combine to make UMES a strong engine of growth and development in its community, providing students with opportunities to learn from a well-balanced array of academic programs that respond to local needs as well as more global concerns.

    "The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to establish, with the help of the Professional Golfers' Association of America, a program that brings this opportunity to its deserving students," said UMES President Thelma B. Thompson, Ph.D. "This work will bring joy to the golfing community here in Maryland. As president of this university, it is rewarding to see a dream come true. I speak for the entire university when I say I'm grateful to the Professional Golfers' Association of America for considering us worthy of this honor."

    The PGA/PGM™ Program was created in 1975 at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., as the first university to gain PGA accreditation and offer the PGM curriculum.

    The program is now offered at the following accredited universities nationwide:


    • Arizona State University; Meza, Ariz. (1999)
    • Campbell University; Buies Creek, N.C. (1999)
    • Clemson University; Clemson, S.C. (2001)
    • Coastal Carolina University; Conway, S.C. (1999)
    • Eastern Kentucky University; Richmond, Ky. (2006)
    • Ferris State University; Big Rapids, Mich. (1975)
    • Florida Gulf Coast University; Ft. Myers, Fla. (2005)
    • Florida State University; Tallahassee, Fla. (1999)
    • Methodist University; Fayetteville, N.C. (1999)
    • Mississippi State University; Mississippi State, Miss. (1985)
    • New Mexico State University; Las Cruces, N.M. (1987)
    • North Carolina State University; Raleigh, N.C. (2002)
    • Penn State University; University Park, Pa. (1990)
    • Sam Houston State University; Huntsville, Texas (2005)
    • University of Central Oklahoma; Edmond, Okla. (2008)
    • University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; Colorado Springs, Colo. (2003)
    • University of Idaho; Moscow, Idaho (2002)
    • University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Princess Anne, Md. (2008)
    • University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Lincoln, Neb. (2004)
    • University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Las Vegas,Nev. (2002)




    Students attending a PGA/PGM™ program can graduate with a baccalaureate degree in several majors (e.g. Marketing, Business Administration, Hospitality Administration, Recreation and Park Management).In addition to classroom studies, each PGA/PGM™ student is required to complete approved internships of 16 months at industry related facilities, companies or organizations.

    In addition, PGA/PGM™ students are also required to complete all of the requirements of The PGA of America's Professional Golf Management Program

    (PGM) and pass a Playing Ability Test (PAT). Passing the PAT is achieved by scoring equal to or less than the PAT target score.

    Since 1916, The PGA of America's mission has been twofold; to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf.

    By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, the Association enables PGA Professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the $195 billion golf industry.

    By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable golf promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.


    Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355,

    Contact:  Ashley Plant, public relations specialist, The PGA of America, 100 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418, 561-624-7671,

    Photo Captions: (Top) President Thompson addresses audience at press conference highlighting partnership between UMES and the PGA of America. (Bottom) Dr. Thompson is pictured with (l to r)Earnie Ellison, PGA director of business and community relations; Allen Wronowski, PGA secretary; Joe Steranka, CEO, PGA; Dr. Ernest Boger, chair of the Department of Hotel and Restaurant Management, UMES; and Dr. Ronald Forsythe Jr., vice president for technology and commercialization, UMES.