PRINCESS ANNE, MD - “The burden to the academic world today is heavier than in recent years,” said President Thompson, “and it is up to us and those we educate to place a value on education” . . . and that value, for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, is exemplified in the lives and the accomplishments of the Henson Scholars and Leaders.
In an effort to express in words the deepest of appreciation for the continued support of Richard A. Henson through the Henson Foundation, University administrators, faculty and staff gathered recently for a luncheon dedicated to the memory of the Eastern Shore philanthropist. During his lifetime, he gifted UMES in a most significant way in 1987, generating millions of dollars in endowments as well as much needed funds from the state of Maryland in support of enhancing the physical plant of the University. His $2 million gift, however, was earmarked for students, providing full scholarships for the many Scholars and Leaders who have matriculated at UMES.
Henson Scholars and Leaders comprise three freshmen, three sophomores, 14 juniors and five seniors, three of whom graduated in May.
“Thank you for the generosity you, through the Henson Foundation, have shown over the years,” said Dr. Brenda Anderson, dean of the School of the Arts and Professions and director of The Honors Program.
Expressions of gratitude came from the recipients of the scholarships as well. “Mr. Henson was a man who valued education and its rich purpose and possibility,” said Evan Burton, Henson Leader and English (non-teaching) major. “Because of his gift, what I believed was possible has expanded.”
To members of the Henson Foundation in attendance, Henson Leader and criminal justice major Damien Sowell said, “I believe you represent something great to this country. Without this scholarship, I would have had a difficult time going to college.”
“My experience here has been one of a kind,” said Isha Choudhary, Henson Scholar and biology major. “It has inspired me to give 100 percent in whatever I do.”
“I feel privileged to have been chosen for this scholarship,” said Henson Leader Oluseun Williams. “Thank you!”
The event ended with remarks from Stephen Farrow, nephew to Henson and vice chairman of the Henson Foundation.
“UMES radiates a warmth,” said Farrow. “So, this is always a special event for us. Mr. Henson would be very, very proud of these young people, their accomplishments and their potential. He believed that education was not an end to itself, but a tool for achievement.”
Twelve Henson Scholars and four Henson Leaders have graduated from the University.
Suzanne Waters Street, interim director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, firstname.lastname@example.org.