Record spring commencement at UMES
PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (May 7, 2012) - When members of the class of 2012 turns their tassels at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore May 18, they will have the distinction of being graduates of the largest commencement in the institution's 125-year history.
The UMES registrar’s office projects 548 degree candidates, including 49 who will receive master’s degrees and 21 who have completed and defended dissertations for their doctorates.
NASA’s top official, Charles F. Bolden Jr., will deliver the commencement address and receive the university’s Presidential Medal for his service as a U.S. Marine and as an astronaut.
Bolden, 65, is a retired two-star U.S. Marine Corps general and NASA’s 12th Administrator. His 34-year military career included 14 years in NASA’s Astronaut Office. Bolden flew on four space shuttle missions between 1986 and 1994 and commanded two — one to deploy the Hubble Space Telescope and the first joint U.S.-Russian mission. He was inducted in the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in May 2006 and is a recipient of the Defense Superior Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Presidential medals will also be awarded to Dr. Samuel Kojo Dapaah, USAID Chief Technical Advisor to the Minister of Food and Agriculture, in Ghana, and actress Beverly Todd. Ator David Ogden Stiers will receive an honorary degree at UMES’ commencement exercises.
Dapaah’s 37-year career with the Ghanaian Civil Service included 15 years in leadership as director of policy planning, monitoring and evaluation and as chief director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Before that, he served as senior advisor to five ministers of agriculture and was a researcher and lecturer at the University of Ghana.
Todd won a People’s Choice Award and received four NAACP Image Award nominations for her work — the height of which was in the 70’s in films such as “the Lost Man,” and “They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!” Most recently, she played Morgan Freeman’s wife in “The Bucket List.” She has also guest-starred in several TV-series such as “Criminal Minds,” “The Closer” and “House.” Todd produced the acclaimed special “Ella: 60 Years of Music! A Tribute” starring Gladys Knight and the late Whitney Houston.
Stiers, a three-time Emmy nominee, is a Julliard-trained actor, director and musician best known for his work as Major Charles Winchester III in “M*A*S*H.” More recently, he is known for recurring roles as the Rev. Purdy on “The Dead Zone and as Oberoth in “Stargate Atlantis.” Stiers, as a vocal actor, has voiced characters such as Cogsworth in “Beauty and the Beast” on eight Disney animated features along with other work. He is also the associate conductor for the Newport Symphony Orchestra.
Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, email@example.com.
Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, firstname.lastname@example.org.