Accolades come President Thompson's way as she winds down her tenure at UMES
PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (June 28, 2011) - Thelma B. Thompson's steady-hand stewardship of UMES over the past nine years has drawn praise from the University System of Maryland's governing board.
The USM Board of Regents described Thompson's leadership of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore as "exemplary" in a June 17 resolution.
Thompson, UMES' 13th president and the second woman to hold the post, announced in mid-March she will retire Aug. 15.
She was present to accept the resolution when it received the unanimous endorsement of the panel responsible for oversight of 11 of Maryland's public four-year institutions.
During her tenure, UMES enrollment grew by 25 percent and the university convinced key state policymakers to support the addition of 14 new degree programs -- including a doctorate in pharmacy.
Thompson traveled widely to promote UMES, attending conferences and establishing international agreements and exchange programs with several African nations.
Early on, she set a goal for academic departments to pursue peer-review accreditation and saw 24 degree programs achieve that credential -- including the School of Business and Technology just days after she announced her retirement.
That focus on academic quality has earned UMES recognition from peers as one of the nation's upper-tier historically black institutions in an annual U.S. News & World Report survey, an accomplishment that regents noted in their resolution.
Thompson also took a lead role in a seven-year fund-raising campaign that began in 2004 with a $14 million goal, a figure the university exceeded by nearly $1 million.
The USM regents' resolution is among a number of public accolades bestowed recently on Thompson:
Thompson says she plans to complete a novel she started many years ago and has not ruled out the possibility of returning to the classroom as a professor.
A native of Jamaica, she received all three of her degrees from Howard University in Washington, D.C., from which she graduated with honors.
RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF MARYLAND CONCERNING THE EXEMPLARY SERVICE OF
Dr. Thelma B. Thompson
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
WHEREAS, Dr. Thelma Thompson served as President of University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) from July 1, 2002 to August 15, 2011, during which time UMES grew both physically and intellectually, enhancing opportunities for students while also strengthening the region’s and the state’s economy; and
WHEREAS, during Dr. Thompson’s tenure, UMES gained national recognition for its wide array of programs, including engineering and aviation science, construction management technology, hotel and restaurant management, professional golf management, and its new doctoral program in pharmacy; and
WHEREAS, in keeping with UMES’s long-standing commitment to service, Dr. Thompson built upon the institution’s reputation for not simply being in the community, but rather part of the community; and
WHEREAS, under Dr. Thompson’s leadership and intense focus on academic quality and integrity, UMES has consistently earned U.S. News & World Report’s ranking as one of the country’s best historically black institutions; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Thompson has effectively carried out the duties and responsibilities conferred upon her by the Board of Regents in such a manner that her contributions will make a difference for years to come,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland gratefully acknowledges Dr. Thelma Thompson’s outstanding contributions to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the University System of Maryland and to the entire State of Maryland; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Board of Regents extends its best wishes for success in all her future endeavors, and its sincere gratitude for her dedicated service.
Chairman, Board of Regents
William E. Kirwan
Chancellor, University System of Maryland