WC-ALL Announces Fall Semester Courses


The Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning, a continuing education program for adult learners, has announced its schedule of courses for the fall semester, which runs from September 3rd to December 6th, 2019.

Each semester, approximately 400 people join WC-ALL and register for as many classes as they wish for one inclusive membership fee.  Courses are taught by community members with interesting life experiences and expertise in a wide variety of fields. There are no educational requirements for membership and no papers or exams.

Ed Minch, WC-ALL’s curriculum chairperson, has put together a team of new and returning instructors and stimulating topics for both six-week sessions.  With a few exceptions, classes begin at 4:15pm and are held on the Washington College campus.

Courses in Session One, which begins on September 3rd, range from the “History of the Digital Computer” (taught by Chris Gordon) to “Dragonflies of the Delmarva Peninsula” (taught by John Gillespie) to popular short-story writer, “Alice Munro” (taught by Jean Austen).  Movie buffs will be happy to know that, in both sessions, “Sunday at the Movies” continues with Nancy Hartman, Maria Wood returns with more insight into “Hamilton,” and Raymond Vergne presents “Don Quijote de La Mancha.”

Highlights in Session two also include the perennial favorite, “Supreme Court,” in which John Christie leads discussion of several key cases heard during the 2018 term; Lucia Rather looks at “Political Cartoons;” and Beverley Hall Smith discusses “Art NOW”.  There is also “Observations on the Vietnam War” (taught by Bill Valentino), “Digital SLR Basics” (with Bob Miller) and an introduction to “Smartphone Photography” (with Dick Lance).

In addition to sponsoring fall and spring classes, WC-ALL hosts a series of Learn at Lunch lectures, open to the community, as well as special event trips.

To learn more about all these activities, visit WC-ALL’s table at the Chestertown Farmers’ Market on August 3rd and 10th, or at Legacy Day on August 17th.  Also look out for us at First Friday on August 2nd, and plan on attending Fall Showcase.  This will be held on Thursday, August 15th at 4:00pm at the Hotchkiss Recital Hall on the Washington College Campus. Come and learn about all the courses for the Fall and meet the instructors. Registration may also be done then.

The full course catalog and registration information are available at www.washcoll.edu/offices/wc-all/what-were-studying.php/  or call 410.778.7221.

Registration for both fall sessions, by web or mail-in, runs from July 30th to August 20th. Please note that classes are filled as reservations are received.

WC-ALL is always seeking community members who have a special interest to share and would like to explore teaching a class in future sessions. Proposals for Spring 2020 can be submitted between September 1st and October 15th.

Gunston Faculty Leads Environmental Conference


As last week’s record-setting heat wave was building over the mid-Atlantic region, a dedicated group of twelve independent school leaders from Maryland, Virginia, and DC, traveled to Smith Island in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay for a deep dive into leading change in schools and addressing the growing imperative to place environmental teaching and learning at the center of our students’ education.

The fourth iteration of the Environmental Leadership for Independent School Leaders annual conference, led by John Lewis, Headmaster of The Gunston School and Emily Beck, Director of Environmental Programs and the Chesapeake Watershed Semester at The Gunston School, combined CBF’s deep expertise in the transformative power of environment-based education and Gunston’s institutional expertise from its comprehensive environmental strategic planning and curriculum initiatives. Over the three days of each retreat, administrators alternated between field sessions lead by CBF field staff and strategic planning sessions led by John Lewis and Emily Beck. Leaders from Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. schools participated in this year’s cohort: Baltimore Lab School, Calverton School, Glenelg Country School, Harford Day School, Kent School, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, St. James Episcopal School, St. Stephen’s, St. Agnes School, Village School, Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, and Dunbar High School.

Cooled by the bay breezes, the dedicated group learned about the fragile ecosystems that comprise the Chesapeake, explored the island’s culture and heritage, and developed a sense of place amongst the island lost in time. The conference also included sessions related to Environmental Sociology and Systems Thinking and Change Management theories derived from Harvard Business School and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. These sessions offered participants key tools to facilitate change within their schools.

Participants gained first-hand knowledge and experience with environment-based education, place-based education, and environmental education through setting crab pots, monitoring water quality, scraping for soft shell crabs, and investigating climate change on Maryland’s most vulnerable island.  Megan Fink, CBF Maryland & Virginia Student Leadership Coordinator, and Alexis Dickerson, CBF Urban Outreach Educator – DC, provided educators helpful context and connections for students. John Lewis offered excellent sessions on change management with an emphasis on mission-driven change with attention to the triple bottom line.  The course concluded with a facilitated design-sprint, led by Emily Beck, that assisted participants in crafting an environmental vision for their school and an action plan to guide the implementation of the vision.

A Conversation with President Kurt Landgraf: Lower Enrollments, Budget Deficits Mark Challenges at WC


Declining enrollment, small endowments, and competition from more affordable public universities will continue to threaten the existence of small liberal arts colleges well into the next decade.

Moody’s, the Chronicle of Higher Education and other education experts predict these factors will force many small private colleges to close or merge with larger institutions — and Washington College President Kurt Landgraf agrees.

WC President Kurt Landgraf

He said he made his concerns known at an education conference several years ago, long before he was approached to take the helm at WC.

“I projected…that 50 percent of liberal arts colleges would no longer be here ten years from now,” he said in an interview with the Spy on Monday. “There are macro things that are affecting not just this college but all liberal arts colleges.”

The pool of high school graduates nationwide shrank by 81,000 in 2017 and the trend continues downward. The East Coast has been hit hardest by the decline.

The shrinking freshman pool is blamed on a decrease in birth rates at the dawn of the Great Recession, called the birth dearth. This means the brood of 18-year-olds headed to college in the mid-2020s will shrink by another 15 percent.

Small colleges, including WC, have tried to overcome dwindling enrollment with drastic tuition discounts. Experts say this is leading to a fiscal crisis at many small liberal arts colleges.

“We can’t cover the expense of every new student with tuition room and board [revenue],” Landgraf said. “That’s why all colleges take money out of their endowment.”

The tuition discount for WC runs 55-60 percent off the list price of $251,00 for a bachelor’s degree, and the college normally uses 5 percent of its endowment annually for operating expenses. But in the last few years the board has allowed the administration to take 6.5 percent because of less than predicted enrollment, which resulted in higher operating costs.

In Maryland, withdraws from endowments that exceed 7 percent of their fair market value must get approval from the attorney general.

WC planned for growth as enrollment nationally began to slide

While experts were sounding the alarm of declining enrollment, Washington College was planning for growth. The construction of new dorms and a new stadium and the purchase of Stepne Manor and the armory were in anticipation of the student population climbing to 1,700. But the student population dipped and sits at around 1,350 headed into the fall 2019 semester.

“Over the last four or fives years the board expected the student body to grow,” Landgraf said. “They had every reason to believe that.”

He said during the expansion years the freshman class had swelled to 450 and the board’s predictors were based on “fundamentally sound facts.”

But the new freshman class is about 380 and the decline meant that staff reductions had to be made to help close a $6.6 million deficit, which in recent weeks has fueled concerns that the college is in peril.

Landgraf said the financial health of the college was sound but staff size had to be made commensurate with the student population and tuition revenue.

“There was a reduction in force because we had too many people…the college was built on the expectation of having 1,700 students,” he said.

The total staff reductions consisted of voluntary retirement packages for three faculty and 11 staff. Another nine positions were eliminated.

“We have to face the fact that we don’t have 1,700 students,” Landgraf said. “We’re in a recovery mode and the board is fully supportive of that; we’re doing all the things that need to be done to get us to the point where we’re back on a growth path.”

The staff cuts and additional revenues helped trim $3.6 million from the $6.6 million structural deficit, and the board allowed the administration to carry $3 million in debt into fiscal 2020.

To help further close the deficit, tuition will go up 4 percent and room and board will increase by 2 percent.

The college is also trying to sell off surplus real estate.

“The college is in a program to divest itself of nonessential real estate in Chestertown,” he said. “We’re selling everything we possibly can because we don’t need it…it’s a significant source of cash.”

When asked if senior staff had shareded the pain of the budget woes, Landgraf responded that many in the upper ranks collectively agreed to take salary cuts — and in return he agreed to match it.

“Everybody said we’re in trouble, we have to face up to this and we have to participate,” he said. “I’m going to match whatever they give.”

The money will go to the Washington Fund and is estimated to reach $150,000.

Landgraf said WC was on a better financial footing than most small colleges because of its large endowment.

“Our endowment is four and five times that of smaller liberal arts colleges,” he said.

The total endowment as a March 31 is $228 million, and the Forge a Legacy campaign is nearing its goal of $150 million a year ahead of schedule. The campaign has so far earmarked $64 million from the campaign for the endowment. The numbers are expected to grow before the final tally.

Hodson Trust bears no influence on recent cuts, Landgraf says

The Hodson Trust, established nearly 100 years ago, provides scholarships and grants to Washington College, Hood College, St. John’s College of Annapolis and Johns Hopkins University.

The trust is WC’s largest benefactor, contributing over $80 million since inception. The trust is set to pay out its endowment to the four schools sometime in the next two years, when the trust is scheduled to bring its balance to zero. Speculation has circulated that the staff cuts were aimed at giving Hodson greater confidence in the college’s future.

Not so, Landgraf said. He said a large payout would certainly help with enrollment but the staff cuts were not an attempt to please Hodson. He said the potential for a large payout was not behind the decision to cut staff.

“Even if we were not one of the recipients of the Hodson Trust, there’s nothing we’re doing today that we wouldn’t do.”

But he did make clear that Hodson and other donors want assurance that their beneficiaries are financially on solid ground.

He said the Hodson requires quarterly reports to demonstrate sustainability.

“If they felt this college was not going to be here 200 years from now, that would impact how much money they would give us,” he said. “The Hodson Trust pays attention to sustainability. We’re better than sustainable, but in the next couple years they’ve got to know that we’re doing everything we can to make sure we’re still here 200 years from now.”

Former Washington College President Sheila Bair Hits $1 Million Mark with Donation to School


WC President Kurt Landgraf and former WC president Sheila Bair

Former Washington College President Sheila Bair donated $20,0000 to the school’s Washington Scholars program, bringing to $1 million her personal donations for the program.

Sheila Bair, who during her tenure as Washington College’s president created a scholarship program for high-achieving, high-need students, today donated $20,000 to the College, bringing to $1 million her personal donations for the Washington Scholars program to date.

“The Washington Scholars program has been a game-changer in creating a more diverse student body, drawing brilliant, ambitious young people from under-represented socio-economic groups to our community,” said President Kurt Landgraf upon accepting Bair’s contribution. “We’re grateful not only for President Bair’s extraordinary generosity and support of the College and its students, but also for her foresight in developing this innovative and necessary scholarship opportunity for these students.”

Initiated in 2016 and called, at that time, George’s Brigade, the Washington Scholars program provides full tuition, room, and board to an elite cohort of students who have shown that they are passionate and dedicated to their academic pursuits, but whose economic situation may preclude a higher education. Bair’s goal was to help these students gain all the benefits that a Washington College education could provide while ensuring that they graduated without the financial burden of student loan debt.

“For donors considering how to support Washington College, endowed scholarships provide the most enduring benefit,” Bair said. “The returns on this million dollars will fully support two Washington Scholars every year in perpetuity.”

As of late June 2019, the program had $1.7 million committed for current scholarship and related programming support, along with $6.1 million in endowment funds. Including those in the incoming class of 2023, 46 students are Washington Scholars program students, and the first cohort, which matriculated in 2016, is set to graduate in May 2020.

Kent School Honors Outgoing Board Chair, Chris McClary ‘91


June 30, 2019 marked a turning point in Kent School’s Board of Trustee leadership. Chris McClary ‘91, the first alumnus to hold the position and the longest serving Board President in Kent School history, stepped down after nine years in that role. Chris also served as an active member of the Board of Trustees for nine years leading up to his loyal service as President. Megan Bramble Owings’ 93, the first alumna, will take over as Board President beginning July 1.

In remarks recognizing Chris for his service to Kent School, Nancy Mugele, Head of School said, ”Chris has been an incredible leader of the Board and a true partner for me. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Board operates strategically, to allow me to act operationally. I appreciate this more than words can say.”

Under McClary’s leadership, the School has grown in enrollment, financial sustainability has increased, and a state of the art library was constructed, to name just a few highlights. However, the most meaningful work to Chris personally, was the establishment of the Kudner Leyon Memorial Endowment and the Kudner Leyon Visiting Writers Program in 2000. Named for Ariana Kudner and Amanda Leyon, who graduated from Kent School in 1991 with Chris, the endowment was designed to memorialize their lives and their love of the literary arts.

Chris McClary ’91 (center) with Megan Owings ’93, incoming Board President (right) and Kate Gray ’90 Board Vice-President.

Mugele continued, “We are honored to host such a purposeful program at Kent School, one that Chris has been passionate about for nearly two decades. Today, I am pleased to announce that a group of former and current Trustees who served alongside Chris, as well as Chris and Ellen’s family, have given gifts to the Kudner Leyon Memorial Endowment in Chris’ honor. Ariana Kudner’s sister and brother generously matched these gifts dollar for dollar with a grant from the Arthur H. Kudner, Jr. Fund at the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. I am simply overwhelmed that this effort to honor Chris has grew the Kudner Leyon Memorial Endowment by 16%. This is truly a fitting tribute to Chris.”

One former Trustee added the following comment on Chris’s service, “It has occurred to me often that with his caring and thoughtful approach, along with his positive can-do attitude, Chris demonstrates parts of what a Kent School education can provide to its students – the need for community responsibility and a sense of duty. In my view, Chris has been a fantastic board chair, and I count myself lucky to have served under his leadership.”

In further recognition of McClary’s contributions to Kent School, incoming Board President, Owings ‘93, announced that the full Board of Trustees voted unanimously, effective immediately, to name Chris a Trustee Emeritus, a title reserved for a few extraordinarily loyal Kent School trustees.

Kent School is an independent, not-for-profit school and is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. The Board is charged with keeping the school “in trust” and securing the School’s future. It does this by setting basic policies of hiring, supporting and evaluating the Head of School, undertaking strategic planning, and leading the financial management and support of the School

Kent School is located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown and serves boys and girls from Preschool through Grade 8. For more information visit www.kentschool.org or call 410-778-4100 ext. 110.

Easton Middle School Musicians Benefit from Artist-in-Residence Program Returning


This past school year, band students from Easton Middle School (EMS) enjoyed having the University of Maryland’s Mid-Atlantic Brass visit them as part of the Talbot County Art’s Council’s ongoing Artist-in-Residence Program. The brass quintet made four visits to EMS, providing master classes with EMS band students. This year students in four sixth-grade band classes experienced World History with World Music in an effort to show the importance of the arts in societies around the world.  Each visit involved a 45-minute presentation by the quintet, as well as class time to help develop a meaningful relationship between quintet members and the students they mentored. In addition, seventh and eighth-grade band classes received master classes from the visiting artists.

According to Nancy Larson, representing the Talbot County Arts Council, “This latest project was initiated by members of the board of directors of the Talbot County Arts Council who were dismayed by the near total absence of young people attending Mid-Shore Area performances of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, and Chesapeake Music.  A study group concluded that younger people might begin attending if they could be introduced to classical music in various appealing forms at the secondary school level.”

L-R: Mid-Atlantic Brass members Lauren Patin (French horn), Matt Larson (trombone), Jisang Lee (tuba), John Walden (trumpet), and Dylan Rye (trumpet).

Don Buxton adds, “This opportunity enabled Chesapeake Music, who is a partner in the program, to enhance what our organization is already doing in the schools. Chesapeake Music’s YouthReach Program has introduced students to music through school assemblies and one-on-one residencies provided through the organization’s First Strings Program in Talbot County schools for many years. This year, through a generous donor we have been able to offer free tickets to come to concerts which was very well received.”

The objective of the program is to provide the student body a rare opportunity to learn from the skill and experience of graduate-level musicians, to both inspire a lifelong love of classical music among the general student body and allow music students to benefit from the skill and enthusiasm of young professional-level musicians, who are qualified as music teachers and who are participating as volunteers.

Donna Ewing, Band Instructor at EMS, comments, “The University of MD graduate students greatly enhanced our program, giving students a chance to hear and learn from accomplished musicians.  Having four sessions allowed The Mid-Atlantic Brass to get to know the students and the students eagerly looked forward to their return.  It was a joy to watch the interaction between our students and the Mid-Atlantic Brass and to hear the musical growth made over the four sessions!”

The Mid-Atlantic Brass asked students about which popular arrangements they would like to hear performed. Among the songs selected included “Star Wars March of the Resistance,” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Lauren Patin, the French horn player with Mid-Atlantic Brass comments, “We have definitely seen improvement being here all year. It’s been cool to be out of the University of Maryland bubble and be with students who don’t have access to something like this.”

Dylan Rye, trumpet player with Mid-Atlantic Brass, states, “The most rewarding thing was the one-on-one interactions with the kids.”

Trombonist Matthew Larson, adds, “It was fun when they didn’t know the trombone could do some of the things it did musically.”

Trombonist Matt Larson gives lessons to 7th-grade trombone players, L-R, Samuel Rogers, Johnny Galvez-Perez, Jaelynn Ashburn, Caleb Wooters, and Julian Hutchison.

Mid-Atlantic Brass, comprised of students from the University of Maryland (UMD) School of Music, has been performing around the DC metro area for the past two years. Last spring, they were recognized and invited to be a part of the UMD School of Music Honors Chamber Showcase. The University of Maryland portion of the initiative is being managed by Dr. Robert DiLutis, Professor of Clarinet and Director of the Community Engagement Office at the School of Music.

Talbot County Public Schools has been involved through the encouragement of former fine arts supervisor Dr. Marcia Sprankle and her successor, James Redman. The EMS component is managed by band director Donna Ewing with the assistance of chorus director CJ Freeman.  Chesapeake Music has been represented by executive director Donald Buxton and Hanna Woicke, chair of the YouthReach Committee. Participating Talbot County Arts Council board members are Nancy Larson and Bill Peak. Housing during the quintet’s overnight stays in Talbot County has been organized by Chesapeake Music president Courtney Kane, with generous hospitality provided by Hanna and Peter Woicke and Liz Koprowski.

If the pilot program proves successful, it is hoped funding will be found to continue the initiative in future years at Easton Middle School and possibly expand the project to include other local schools. The program is made possible by a grant from the Artistic Insights Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, with funds from an Arts-in-Education grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, using revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council. Carpe Diem Arts also supported the program.

Seven Finalists Named for $50,000 George Washington Prize


Seven books published in 2018 by the country’s most prominent historians have been named finalists for the 2019 George Washington Prize. The annual award recognizes the past year’s best written works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of early American history.

“A gifted historian sheds light on the present as well as the past,” says Adam Goodheart, director of Washington College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, one of the prize’s three cosponsors. “Each of these seven authors helps illuminate a nation still struggling to understand and define itself after nearly two and a half centuries. We at Washington College—whose own history goes back to the nation’s founding—are pleased to honor them.”

Created in 2005 by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and Washington College, the $50,000 George Washington Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most notable literary awards. Written to engage a wide public audience, the books provide a “go-to” reading list for anyone interested in learning more about George Washington, his contemporaries, and the founding of the United States of America.

The 2019 George Washington Prize finalists are:

Colin CallowayThe Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation (Oxford University Press)

Stephen FriedRush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father (Crown)

Catherine KerrisonJefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America (Ballantine Books)

Joyce Lee MalcomThe Tragedy of Benedict Arnold: An American Life (Pegasus Books)

Nathaniel PhilbrickInto the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown (Viking)

Russell ShortoRevolution Song: A Story of American Freedom (W.W. Norton & Company)

Peter StarkYoung Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father (Harper Collins Publishers)

The winner of the 2019 prize will be announced, and all finalists recognized, at a black-tie gala on October 24, 2019, at The Union League Club in New York City. More information about the George Washington Prize is available atwww.mountvernon.org/gwprize.

The Books in Brief

The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation

Colin Calloway tells the fascinating story of Washington’s lifelong engagement with Native America. The book paints a new and, at times, disturbing portrait of the nation’s first president as an untested militia officer on the banks of the Ohio, as a diplomat who gradually learned to work with Indians on their own terms and, during his final years, as a disappointed Indian land speculator. Unusual for a Washington biography, Shingas, Tanaghrisson, Cornplanter, Red Jacket, and Little Turtle, among many other native leaders, play leading roles in Calloway’s account. America’s first inhabitants, the book shows, were as central to the founding of the American republic as the nation’s first president.

Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father

Benjamin Rush comes alive in Stephen’s Fried’s biography of this versatile, multi-talented founder. Fried captures Rush’s ambition to better the world by founding hospitals and asylums, calling for the abolition of slavery, and championing public education. As the Continental army’s surgeon general, Rush pushed to reform battlefield medicine during the Revolutionary War, and he played a key role in the creation of the United States’ political system. In Fried’s skillful hands, we learn about Rush’s life as a devoted husband and father, as well as his lasting legacy for so many areas of the early American Republic.

Jefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America

Catherine Kerrison tells the story of Thomas Jefferson’s three daughters, freeborn and enslaved. The first half focuses on the lives of Jefferson’s daughters by his wife, Martha Wayles Jefferson, while the second part chronicles the difficult and precarious life of his third daughter, Harriet, born to his slave, Sally Hemmings. Well documented and powerfully told, Kerrison’s book is as much an account of America’s mixed and often-troubled heritage as it is about three strong women fighting to define their own destinies in a new nation.

The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold: An American Life

Joyce Lee Malcolm writes a bracing account of America’s most famous traitor. Along with Arnold’s well-known frustrations as a Continental army officer, Malcolm recounts the story of his difficult childhood and his father’s descent into alcoholism and bankruptcy, which fed Arnold’s ambition as an adult. The book also takes a fresh look at Arnold’s lifelong hatred of France, dismissed by many scholars as a pretext for switching sides in 1780, but that Malcolm depicts as a genuine expression of attitudes that Arnold first acquired as a teenager in the Connecticut militia during the French and Indian War. Malcolm displays particular sensitivity in her treatment of the women in Arnold’s life: his heroic mother Hannah Waterman, his sister Hannah, and his second wife Peggy Shippen, whose life was destroyed by her husband’s treason.

Into the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown

Nathaniel Philbrick’s page-turning narrative describes the last and greatest American victory of the Revolutionary War. Philbrick gives the various global players at Yorktown their due, including the young nation’s French allies, who had their own complicated politics and motives, and the defeated British, but the book’s central character is George Washington. The American general’s insights, leadership, and attentiveness to his allies were instrumental in forcing the British to surrender. So too, the book suggests, was a dose of good fortune. Philbrick sheds new light on the often-misunderstood battle that finally secured American independence.

Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom

Russel Shorto studies the American struggle to define the meaning of individual freedom in his book that takes us to America’s founding and weaves together the stories of six individuals whose very lives test a philosophical idea through the force of action and sometimes violent change. From the story of an African who liberated himself and his family from American slavery, to the exploits of George Washington during and after the American revolt, Revolution Song is a wide-ranging, gripping history of a people trying to define what it means to be free.

Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father

Peter Stark recounts the drama of George Washington’s formative years during the 1750s fighting the French and their Indian allies in the Ohio Valley. Mortified by his initial encounter with a mixed-race French-Seneca officer in western Pennsylvania, Washington worked to master the ways of his European and native foes, and eventually, Starks shows, of the British soldiers, allied Indians, Tidewater gentry, frontier squatters, and imperial politicians whose help he needed if he was to realize his own ambitions. By the time he married Martha Dandridge Custis in 1759 and moved to Mount Vernon, Washington had perfected the chameleon-like ability to adapt to his surroundings that would define the rest of his storied career. The wilderness, Stark shows, is where Washington became the leader we remember today.

The Sponsors of the George Washington Prize

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Founded in 1994 by visionaries and lifelong proponents of American history education Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the leading American history nonprofit organization dedicated to K-12 education. With a focus on primary sources, the Gilder Lehrman Institute illuminates the stories, people and moments that inspire students of all ages and backgrounds to learn and understand more about history. Through a diverse portfolio of education programs, including the acclaimed Hamilton Education Program, the Gilder Lehrman Institute provides opportunities for nearly two million students, 30,000 teachers and 16,000 schools worldwide. Learn more at 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. Through thought-provoking tours, entertaining events, and stimulating educational programs on the estate and in classrooms across the nation, 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.” Mount Vernon is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, America’s oldest national preservation organization, founded in 1853. In 2013, Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association opened the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, which safeguards original books and manuscripts and serves as a center for research, scholarship, and leadership development.  Learn more at mountvernon.org

Washington College
Washington College was founded in 1782 as 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 Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience explores the American experience in all its diversity and complexity, seeks creative approaches to illuminating the past, and inspires thoughtful conversation informed by history. Learn more at www.washcoll.edu.

18th Annual Chrome City Ride scheduled for Sunday, July 28th


The Benedictine campus in Ridgely, Md., welcomes motorcycles, street rods, classic and custom cars to campus Sunday, July 28th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the organization’s 18th Annual Chrome City Ride to benefit kids with disabilities.

The $35 per-person fee includes an official ride t-shirt, a BBQ lunch and a day of fun for a great cause. Participants may register online before the event or at registration and rally starting point locations including: Outback Steakhouse in Annapolis, Md., CPR Porsche Restoration (next to Paul T. Ewing, Inc.) in Easton, Md., Old Glory Harley Davidson in Laurel, Md., Hitchcock Autoworks in Owings, Md., or on campus in Ridgely, Md.

Bikes roared onto the Benedictine campus in Ridgely, Md., during last year’s Chrome City Ride. (Photo by Devon Bistarkey)

As one of the state’s largest rides, the annual car and motorcycle event draws more than 1,000 riders and raises much-needed funds each year to expand educational resources for children and with developmental disabilities as well as autism and support opportunities for adults with disabilities to work and live in the community.

This year, a donated signed Paul Reed Smith guitar will be sold through an online auction with all proceeds going to support Benedictine. Returning event favorites include “Rockin’ Elvis” and Big Daddy P with DJ Chris, motorcycle demonstrators, door prizes and auction items. For more information join the Facebook event page @ChromeCityRideforBenedictine or visit https://www.benschool.org/support-benedictine/special-events/chrome-city-ride/

Wilderness First Responder Training Offered at Washington College This Summer


Wilderness First Responder, the definitive wilderness course in medical training, leadership, and critical thinking for professionals and leaders working in outdoor education and low-resource and remote areas, will be offered this summer at Washington College.

The course, administered by Wilderness Medical Associates International and hosted by Washington College, will be held Sunday July 21 through Saturday July 27. Upon successful completion, students will receive a Wilderness First Responder certification and certification of BLS/HPL CPR, valid for three years.

Wilderness First Responder (WFR, pronounced “woofer”) is the ideal medical training for leaders in remote areas including outdoor educators, guides, military, professional search and rescue teams, researchers, and those involved in disaster relief. The curriculum is comprehensive and practical. It includes the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments for days and weeks if necessary. Written by a team of medical rescue researchers and professionals, the curriculum is comprehensive, complete, and annually updated, making it the most current and cutting-edge course of any first response medical training (urban or remote) in the world.

The comprehensive training includes:

– The General Principles of Wilderness and Rescue Medicine with an emphasis on the prevention and identification of medical emergencies, appropriate technology, and risk management.
– Patient assessment and emergency care including CPR, Basic Life Support, and the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis and asthma.
– Environmental Medicine including altitude illness, hypothermia and heat illness, frostbite and cold injury, lightning, submersion, and environmental toxins.
– Backcountry Medicine including the assessment and treatment of common medical problems.
– Musculoskeletal Problems including unstable and stable injuries overuse syndromes, and dislocations.
– Wound management including open fractures, lacerations, burns, and blisters.
– Practical skills including splinting, bandaging, litter packaging and medical kit preparation.
– WMA International Wilderness Protocols including wound cleaning and exploration, spine injury assessment, dislocation reduction, BLS/HPL CPR in the remote setting, and anaphylaxis and asthma.

Cost is $725 tuition for the week. Housing is available on-site at Washington College for an additional $120 for the week.

To register click here:  http://bit.ly/WACWFR2019

Or contact Benjamin Ford at bford2@washcoll.edu for more information.

We're glad you're enjoying The Chestertown Spy.

Sign up for the the free email blast to see what's new in the Spy. It's delivered right to your inbox at 3PM sharp.

Sign up here.