Alumni Honor Hytche Legacy, Commissions World-Renown Artist

  • Monday, May 21, 2007

                                                         Hytche Initiative Logo

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD - University of Maryland Eastern Shore alumni are busy these days.  Among other things, a group of them are, with the blessing of President Thelma B. Thompson, preparing to honor the legacy of President Emeritus William Percy Hytche, with a first-of-its-kind project that officially begins with a reception on Wednesday, May 30, in the William P. Hytche Athletic Center from 4-7 p.m.

    The William P. Hytche Legacy Initiative promises to produce a Simmie Knox original William P. Hytche portrait and the William Percy Hytche Legacy Gallery, all while supporting the UMES seven-year, $14 million Campaign for Academic Excellence.  Honoring the life and outstanding achievements of the former UMES president is the single motivating factor for the project, which will roll out in three phases.

    Alumni Pat H. Alexander, William F. Armstrong and Charles D. Gregg, in concert with the University System of Maryland Foundation, have commissioned world-renowned artist Simmie Knox to paint the Hytche portrait.  Knox is the first African-American to paint a portrait of a president of the United States.  Knox's official portraits of then President William "Bill" Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton were unveiled in the East Room of the White House on June 14, 2004.

    Phase two involves creating the William Percy Hytche Legacy Gallery, which will be housed in the William P. Hytche Athletic Center on the UMES campus.  Select photographs, medals, newspaper articles, plaques, awards, artifacts and other memorabilia will be on display.

    Phase three brings the Hytche family together with alumni, friends and the community to celebrate the enduring legacy of Dr. Hytche at fundraising receptions, where guest will meet Knox, rekindle old friendships and begin new ones. The project concludes with the unveiling of the portrait and the official opening of the Gallery. Confirmed dates, times and places will be forthcoming.

    For more information about how to support the William P. Hytche Legacy Initiative, please call Pat Alexander at 410-971-8200, William Armstrong at 301-593-8122, Charles Gregg at 301-384-2716 or Sylvia Wells at 410-651-8448.  All donations are tax deductible. Checks should be made payable to the University System of Maryland Foundation.

    The University System of Maryland Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation separate from the University System of Maryland.  The Foundation is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  

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    Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355,sstreet@umes.edu.