Alumnus creates freshman scholarship fund

  • Friday, February 22, 2013

    Clifton HarcumPRINCESS ANNE, MD. - (Feb. 15, 2013) - Clifton Harcum, an alumnus and employee, sees creating a scholarship in his name as a way to pay it forward to high school students bound for UMES that were like him at that age.

    "I wanted to provide an opportunity to those who weren't necessarily "A" or "B" students to receive funds for college, because I personally didn't have a high GPA," said Harcum.  "I want them to know that regardless, I believe in them and know they have the potential to do great things."

    Harcum will award $1,000 annually; $250 each to a student from Somerset County's Washington and Crisfield high schools and $500 to a student from his alma mater, St. Frances Academy in Baltimore.  The student must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, have completed at least 20 community services hours and be involved in extras curricular activities.  In addition, he said, they must be a future Hawk.  The student must be accepted for enrollment as a freshman at UMES.

    "UMES has made a major impact in my life," Harcum said.  "I want to provide a similar, positive experience for other students.  I believe in the education system here."

    Community service, a requirement of the scholarship, is also important to Harcum.  He was recently recognized by WBOC TV-16 as the region's Jefferson Award recipient for unselfishly giving his time and talents to the community. 

    Among many efforts of the heart, Harcum co-founded an organization to promote community outreach and development, has spear-headed an annual effort to feed families in need that provided 900 meals this Thanksgiving, and has established a Rotaract chapter at UMES as an active member of the Wicomico Rotary.

    The scholarship will be awarded for the first time this spring.  Harcum will present the award to recipients.

    "It's a personal experience for me," Harcum said. "I want to meet the students receiving the scholarship to give them some words of hope and support to better themselves."

    Harcum holds a bachelor's degree in sociology and has taken graduate courses in guidance and counseling from UMES.  As an area director of Residence Life for nearly a decade, he has used his background to shepherd many a student through their university experience.

    Applicants meeting the criteria should pick up an application form in their high school guidance office and submit the necessary essay by an April 29 deadline.

    Harcum welcomes donations of additional gifts to the scholarship fund.  "My ultimate goal is to award $3,000 to each recipient," he said.  Contact the Institutional Advancement Office at 410-651-8045 to learn how.

     

    Gail Stephens, assistant director of public relations, UMES, (410) 651-7980