Chesapeake College Announce President Barbara Viniar’s Departure; Former President Stuart Bounds to Become Interim

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The Chesapeake College Board of Trustees has announced that Dr. Barbara Viniar’s term as President of the College will conclude on July 1, 2017. The Trustees appreciate Dr. Viniar’s efforts on behalf of the College over the past nine years and wish her well in her future endeavors.

Dr. Stuart Bounds has been appointed Interim President of the College effective July 1, 2017. Dr. Bounds retired from the College in 2008 after 11 years as president. Since retiring as President, Dr. Bounds has remained active in the community college field, both as a consultant and as an adjunct professor of political science at Chesapeake. The Board is delighted that Dr. Bounds has agreed to return to the College in this interim role and believes that his executive experience at Chesapeake and deep understanding of the Mid-Shore community will be a great asset to the College and to the Board during the transition period.

The search for a new president of the College will commence this summer. The Board will engage and consult with the College community, the College’s five supporting counties and other key stakeholders in the development of a plan for the search, and in the evaluation and selection of the sixth president of Chesapeake College.

Chesapeake College has provided 50 years of outstanding service to the Mid-Shore community and the Board is committed to finding an exceptional community college leader to guide the College into the future. With that leadership and the extraordinary talent and resources within the College and throughout the community, the College’s role as the primary provider of higher education and workforce training in the region will continue to expand and, thereby help to ensure a bright future for the Mid-Shore.

Author Nathaniel Philbrick Wins 2017 George Washington Prize

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Author Nathaniel Philbrick has won the coveted George Washington Prize, including an award of $50,000, for his book, Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution (Viking). One of the nation’s largest and most prestigious literary awards and now in its 12th year, the George Washington Prize honors its namesake by recognizing the year’s best new books on the nation’s founding era, especially those that engage a broad public audience. Conferred by George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and Washington College, the award will be presented to Philbrick on May 25 at a black-tie gala at Mount Vernon.

“To have Valiant Ambition recognized in this way means a tremendous amount to me, especially given the extraordinary quality of the books produced by the other six finalists,” said Philbrick. “My heartfelt thanks to the jurors involved in the selection process and to the George Washington Prize’s sponsoring institutions.”

Valiant Ambition is a surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold. Philbrick creates a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and of the war that gave birth to a nation. He focuses on loyalty and personal integrity as he explores the relationship between Washington and Arnold—an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington’s unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters.

“Philbrick brings both careful craftsmanship and propulsive energy to his storytelling—a hallmark of all his widely read and acclaimed books,” says Adam Goodheart, the Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College. “Moreover, Valiant Ambition is also an impressive feat of research: it offers dramatic episodes that have been largely forgotten, such as a naval battle fought by Arnold on Lake Champlain in 1776, which Philbrick turns into a heart-racing adventure story.”

Established in 2005, the George Washington Prize has honored a dozen leading writers on the Revolutionary era including, Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the hit musical Hamilton. For this year’s prize, a distinguished jury comprised of notable historians David Preston, Kathleen DuVal, and Nick Bunker, selected the finalists from a field of nearly 60 books.

Mount Vernon’s event on May 25 will also honor the six finalists for the 2017 prize:
T.H. Breen, George Washington’s Journey: The President Forges a New Nation (Simon and Schuster)
Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright Publishing)
Jane Kamensky, A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley (W.W. Norton)
Michael J. Klarman, The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution (Oxford University Press)
Mark Edward Lender and Garry Wheeler Stone, Fatal Sunday: George Washington, the Monmouth Campaign, and the Politics of Battle (University of Oklahoma Press)
Alan Taylor, American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 (W.W. Norton)

ABOUT THE SPONSORS OF THE GEORGE WASHINGTON PRIZE

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Founded in 1994 by philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the nation’s leading nonprofit American history education organization. The Institute’s mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources for teachers, students, and the general public. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is supported through the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians.

For more information: www.gilderlehrman.org.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Since 1860, more than 85 million visitors have made George Washington’s Mount Vernon the most popular historic home in America. A privately-owned national treasure, Mount Vernon is maintained and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. Since purchasing the estate from the Washington family and assuming stewardship in 1858, the Association has embraced a heroic mission to preserve, protect, and maintain the estate for the American people, relying exclusively on private donations, admission fees, and restaurant and retail proceeds. Through robust education and outreach programs, the Association expands awareness about the exceptional life and character of George Washington, sustaining his legacy through research, interpretation, and public education. In experiences on the estate and through its digital outreach platforms, Mount Vernon strives to preserve George Washington’s place in history as “First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen.” For more information: www.mountvernon.org.

Washington College was founded in 1782, the first institution of higher learning established in the new republic. George Washington was not only a principal donor to the college, but also a member of its original governing board. He received an honorary degree from the college in June 1789, two months after assuming the presidency. The college’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, which administers the George Washington Prize, is an innovative center for the study of history, culture, and politics, and fosters excellence in the art of written history through fellowships, prizes, and student programs. For more information: www.washcoll.edu.

IMF Director Christine Lagarde to Address WC Grads in May

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College President Sheila Bair today announced that Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will give the Commencement Address at Washington College’s 234th Commencement on May 20. An international leader and a trailblazer who has repeatedly transcended barriers in male-dominated fields, Lagarde will receive an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws.

“I am thrilled that our seniors will have the opportunity to hear Christine Lagarde speak at their graduation,” says President Bair. “She has long been a role model for young women who aspire to achieve beyond the artificially imposed, but very real, boundaries of gender in many professions. But her accomplishments as a leader in the law, in international monetary policy, and in promoting economic stability as a way to encourage cooperation between nations, clearly eclipse gender and serve as an inspiration to all.”
Appointed to lead the IMF in 2011 and re-elected to a second term in 2016, Lagarde has guided the institution through some of the world’s most challenging economic times in recent history. From 2007-2011, Lagarde served as Finance Minister of France, becoming the first woman to serve as finance minister for any large advanced economy.
In 2016, she was named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People.” In the accompanying profile, U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen wrote, “Christine was central to the effort to stabilize Greece’s economy and prevent a wider crisis in Europe. She has spurred economic reform in emerging nations like China that have appropriately gained more of a voice at the IMF. She has also given the IMF a more human face by addressing issues like gender and income inequality and public-health threats like the Ebola virus.”
An accomplished lawyer, Lagarde was the first female chairman of the Chicago-based international law firm Baker and McKenzie. In 2009, the Financial Times named her “Best Finance Minister” in the Eurozone, and Forbes magazine named her the ninth most powerful woman in the world.

Created in 1945 at a United Nations conference, the IMF’s main purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system while working to promote global stability through monetary cooperation, encourage economic growth, and reduce global poverty.

Washington College’s 234th Commencement begins at 10:30 a.m. on May 20 and will be held on the Campus Green, weather permitting.

Chesapeake to Honor Two Women at 2017 Pride of the Peake

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Jenny Rhodes and Dr. Ruth Ann Jones, both Chesapeake College advocates with decades of community service, will be honored as the 2017 Pride of the Peake: Honoring Scholarship through Service recipients on Thursday, May 11.

Ms. Rhodes is the Senior Agent and Extension Educator for Agriculture/Natural Resources in Queen Anne’s County. She is also a tenured educator with the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.  She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  A Queen Anne’s County native, Ms. Rhodes assisted in developing and promoting Chesapeake’s new agriculture program.

Dr. Ruth Ann Jones and Jenny Rhodes

Dr. Jones is Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer with University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. She graduated from the Macqueen Gibbs Willis School of Nursing and is a member of the advisory board for the Chesapeake College MGW School of Nursing. Dr. Jones earned a bachelor’s degree from Wesley College, a master’s degree from Catholic University of America, and a doctorate from Wilmington University.

In a new feature for the annual Pride of the Peake event, a scholarship will be created in each honoree’s name. The Jenny Rhodes Endowed Scholarship and The Ruth Ann Jones Endowed Scholarship will be available to local students.

“There is no better way to honor these individuals than by raising funds for scholarships in their names,” said Chesapeake College President Barbara A. Viniar. “Scholarship recipients will eventually give back to our community and carry on our honorees’ tradition of service.”

For tickets, sponsorship information or to donate to a scholarship, please contact Director of Advancement Elizabeth Devlin at edevlin@chesapeake.edu

A Museum on Main Street Event at KCPL

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Tom McHugh, Director Emeritus of The Mainstay in Rock Hall, and Ron Fithian, Rock Hall Town Manager, will show segments of their award-winning project: “Those Were the Days: The Golden Age of Rock Hall Watermen” and share highlights from their interviews and research for the documentary.

“Those Were the Days” features the amazing life of watermen, the Bay’s wondrous ability to sustain economic life, and the folktales and stories that accompanied this valued work, this way of life.  The full documentary contains eighteen interviews conducted with watermen and women who worked the water between 1945 and 1972 when Hurricane Agnes impacted their lives.  “Those Were the Days: The Golden Age of Rock Hall Watermen”was awarded a grant from Eastern Shore Heritage Inc.

Light refreshments will be served.  All are welcome at this free program.  For more information about this and other programs at KCPL, visit kentcountylibrary.org or call 410.778.3636.

The Way We Worked, an exhibition created by the National Archives, is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and Maryland Humanities. For more information about Museum on Main Street events taking place in Kent County, visit Sumner Hall at garpost25.org/the-way-we-worked.

Wednesday, May 10 | 6pm
Chestertown Branch

Guided Tours as Part of “The Way We Worked”

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“The Way We Worked” takes to the streets starting April 29, with guided walking and driving tours of Chestertown and Kent County offering a unique perspective on local history, culture, and the ways in which work intertwines the two.

The series of tours, planned in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s “The Way We Worked” traveling exhibition, begin on Saturday, April 29 with a walking tour of downtown Chestertown. Led by Patrick Nugent, deputy director of Washington College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the tour will focus on the intersection of work history and African American history. Starting at Sumner Hall, the tour will wind its way through several historic African American neighborhoods, such as Scott’s Point and Santiago, tracking the expansion of African American work and culture from the riverfront to uptown factories and mills. Along the way, current and former residents will share their stories of work with stops at Church Alley, Janes Church, Cannon Street, the former Walley Funeral Home, Henry Highland Garnet Elementary School, and the site of the Uptown Club. For tour reservations email aceruzzi2@washcoll.edu

On Saturday, May 6, the Museums of Kent will host an open-house and driving tour.  Participants will have a chance to visit the wonderfully unique historic sites scattered throughout the county including the Bordley History Center; Massey Air Museum; Kent Farm Museum (agriculture, rural heritage); Knock’s Folly Visitor Center (farming, native American Tockwogh tribe); Betterton Heritage Museum (fishing and old recreation resorts); African American Schoolhouse; Cliffs School Museum; Rock Hall Museum; Tolchester Beach Revisited Museum, Rock Hall Waterman’s Museum; and Rock Hall Marine Restoration and Heritage Center. Maps and other information can be found at the Kent County Visitor Center at 400 High Street, Chestertown.

Tour Dates, Times, and Locations:

A Walk Through Working Chestertown:  Saturday, April 29: 10 AM – 1 PM, starts at Sumner Hall. Saturday, May 6: 10 AM – 1 PM, Starts at Sumner Hall. Reservations are recommended for both of these tours. For tour reservations email aceruzzi2@washcoll.edu

Museums of Kent Driving Tour

Saturday, May 6: 10 AM-4PM. Pick up maps and information at Kent County Visitor Center at 400 High Street, Chestertown.

“The Way We Worked” has been made possible in Maryland by Maryland Humanities and is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service brings high-quality traveling exhibits to small communities through their own Main Street museums, historical societies, and other cultural venues. Residents enthusiastically engage with exhibition content, and diverse community members come together to share and celebrate their heritage. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

WC-ALL is Planning for Fall!

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Washington College’s Academy of Lifelong Learning (WC-ALL) has offered a wonderful selection of courses to the community for well over 20 years.  There are well over 300 community members currently enrolled in WC-ALL’s Spring Semester. Many are retired people who enjoy stimulating discussions, sharing ideas and learning something new. Summer will arrive before we know it and then be gone in a flash; meanwhile WC-ALL is already planning for next fall.

Because organizing multiple classes on numerous subjects is a big task, the curriculum committee is now preparing the course lineup for the Fall Semester.  Members of the general community are invited to submit proposals for classes they would be interested in teaching.  The Fall Semester has two sessions; Session One runs from September 5 to October 13; Session Two from October 22 to December 8.  Classes generally meet once a week on campus in the late afternoon, four to six times during a session, although off-campus venues are occasionally used to accommodate larger classes or for the rare morning or evening course.  Courses may take a variety of forms—lectures, discussions, demonstrations, even off-campus excursions.

Instructors are volunteers as well as members of WC-ALL.  Some are retired college professors who enjoy teaching just for fun; other instructors have been involved in interesting or unusual careers and take pleasure sharing their accumulated knowledge and insights with others.  Lifelong hobbies and avocations also provide a great basis for developing a WC-ALL course that will appeal to like-minded enthusiasts.  The field is wide open and the curriculum committee looks forward to hearing new course ideas from members of the community.

Proposals for courses for WC-ALL’s Fall Semester should be received no later than Thursday, June 1st. They may be submitted online, by email or regular mail to WC-ALL, 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown, MD 21620.  For a proposal form or more information, please contact curriculum chair Ed Minch at ruby1638@atlanticbb.net or 410-778-0990 or WC-ALL administrator Sue Calloway at wc_all@washcoll.edu or 410-778-7221 during business hours (M,T, Th 9 to 12).  See you in class!

Celebrate Star Wars Day at KCPL

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Young padawans: join us this day you must! Celebrate Star Wars Day we will.

Children of all ages and their families are invited to an afternoon of Star Wars crafts featuring the ever-popular pool noodle light sabers! May the Fourth be with you as you get creative and enjoy the company of other Star Wars fans. Costumes optional, but welcome.

Kent County Public Library | Chestertown Branch
Wednesday, May 4 |4pm

WC’s Dam the Debt Project Provides $325K to Students to Reduce Education Loans

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Washington College President Sheila Bair today announced that the Dam the Debt program will provide $325,581 to reduce the federal subsidized loan debt of 122 seniors who are graduating this May. The grants amount to a back-end scholarship that will award the seniors an average of $2,640, lowering their average federal student loan debt by nearly 10.3 percent.

“When we launched this program last year, it was something of an upstart in higher education, as no college had done this before,” President Bair says. “Now, thanks to our corporate and individual donors who understand the consequences of high student debt, we can continue sending our students into their careers and lives with one less loan to worry about. Hopefully this will enable them to save more, invest sooner, and have more freedom of choice as they move forward into the world.”

Washington College President Sheila Bair

he seniors who qualify for the program have taken out federally subsidized loans for the spring 2017 semester. Through Dam the Debt, those students will receive a grant from the College toward their financial aid package intended to replace the amount of those loans. As a result, the students will see, on average, a 10.27 percent reduction in their total federal loan burden before they even leave campus on graduation day. 

Since its inception in May 2016, the program to date has awarded a total of $659,000 to 252 eligible graduating seniors, with an average grant amount of $2,615.

Dam the Debt is one of several initiatives that President Bair has implemented since her inauguration in September 2015 to make college more affordable and accessible, and to tackle the problem of student loan debt. Funded entirely by donations, the program so far has raised $1.2 million. Among those who have donated to the program are BB&T, bloooom, inc., TD Bank, Santander Bank, Avant, John and Peggy Bacon, and Philip and Joan Riggin.

“We know that when students are burdened by debt, they delay buying homes, cars, and investing for their futures. This becomes a drag not only on them as individuals but on the economy as a whole,” President Bair says. “Anything we can do as an institution to break that cycle, we are working to do.”

In addition to Dam the Debt, the College has launched FixedFor4, which will fix tuition for four years for incoming freshmen, beginning with this fall’s incoming Class of 2021. Last year, the College also announced the Saver’s Scholarship, which will match the amount that families contribute from a 529 college savings plan or an Educational Savings Account, up to $2,500 per year, to pay for their student’s tuition. And through George’s Brigade, another donor-funded program, high-need, high-potential students can receive a full tuition scholarship, in addition to having all of their room and board covered, for four years.

In addition to these new programs, Washington College annually provides more than $23 million in grants and scholarships, with 90 percent of students receiving merit-based scholarships or need-based financial aid.

Learn more at http://www.washcoll.edu/value/ .