George who? George Washington. We should applaud him here in Chestertown because he had the foresight to found our own Washington College – the first college chartered after American independence – in 1782. Little did he know how important it would become to our community and the future of education. It serves as a foundation of our colonial heritage and history. Its students, faculty and staff support local businesses and community projects. Let us not forget the educational opportunities that are afforded to all of us — in the classroom, via field trips and other venues. As an agricultural and river town, it enhances our understanding of our unique natural environments and enables us to appreciate and care for them.
Not only can we applaud George, but we can lend a helping hand to enable his legacy – Washington College – to continue to attain its goals as a small liberal arts educational institution. It is not only small businesses that have suffered under our current unique financial challenges, colleges suffer the same constraints. Did you know, however, that there is an organization that was established 50 years ago by the wife of a Washington College President, Helen Gibson, whose mission was to foster closer relationships between the community and the college as well as work to benefit the college? The members of the WOMEN’S LEAGUE OF WASHINGTON COLLEGE have continued to raise funds to enable enhancements to the college’s Miller Library, endow the Helen Gibson Practice Room in the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts as well as numerous other projects. Perhaps the program that continues to excite its members the most, however, was the creation of — and continued contributions to — an endowment for the annual Helen Gibson Scholarship granted to a student from the Eastern Shore. That assistance has been critical in enabling its recipients to participate in the excellent education that Washington College offers.
In these times of masks, lines on the floor to define “social distancing,” off-site learning and other disruptions to our normal lives, perhaps it is time to do something that we can all feel good about that has a long-term impact. As a member of our lovely community, join the Women’s League and help sustain the cherished Helen Gibson Scholarships. The happy recipient could be your neighbor!