Hytche statue unveiling culminates legacy initiative

  • Monday, September 12, 2016

    Hytche statue unveiling Sept. 10, 2016PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (Sept. 12, 2016) - UMES alumni who were students during the nearly four decades William Percy Hytche walked the grounds of their beloved alma mater saluted the late educator Saturday with a statue unveiling and grand opening of a permanent exhibit featuring his personal and professional mementos. 

    The three-hour event in the Hytche Athletic Center was billed as a celebration and “labor of love” spearheaded by a determined group of Hytche admirers led by Pat H. Alexander '69, William F. Armstrong '70 and Charles D. Gregg '68.

    The trio lined up an impressive list of speakers who offered heartfelt testimonials, including William P. Hytche Jr. Looking on were his son, William III, his mother, Deloris, and sisters Pamelia and Jaqueta.

    Hytche came to Princess Anne in 1960 as a math instructor and over the ensuing 37 years rose through the faculty ranks to become the president of University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He died in 2007.

    Saturday's program and reception culminated a nine-year undertaking organizers call the William P. Hytche Legacy Initiative.

    During its first phase, nationally renowned artist Simmie Knox was commissioned to paint a portrait as a tribute.  It initially was presented in 2008 to then-president Dr. Thelma B. Thompson and rededicated during the most recent event.

    The second phase was securing campus space for the William P. Hytche Legacy Museum, where memorabilia spanning his life - from childhood to retirement - is on display along with a narrative beautifully illustrated by Patrick Henry, a UMES alumnus and a celebrated local artist. 

    The final phase involved the planning and execution of the exhibit's formal grand opening, which included the unveiling of a statue crafted by former UMES art professor Ernest Satchell, class of 1963. Satchell also is responsible for creating a similar sculpture to the late John T. Williams in front of the university's administration named in his honor.

    The life-size bronze of Hytche stands atop a granite base in front of the athletic center that bears his name. He faces west, hands crossed at the waist and eyes cast slightly to his left.

    Dr. Carl S. Person, whose doctoral thesis was an in-depth study of the growth and development of UMES with an emphasis on Hytche's leadership, was the guest speaker.  His “Revitalization of a Historically Black College: A Maryland Eastern Shore Case,” was published in 1998 following Hytche's retirement.

    Person told the gathering he came away from his research, which included interviews with Hytche, with admiration and respect for the man widely credited with setting the university on a path of stability at a time when others advocated that it be closed, or merged with nearby Salisbury (State) University.

    Dignitaries on hand included UMES President Dr. Juliette B. Bell and two administrators who had prominent roles during the Hytche era, Dr. Earl S. Richardson, president emeritus of Morgan State University and Dr. Mortimer Neufville, former interim UMES president.

    Among those invited to offer reflections on their memories of Hytche were librarian emeritus Jessie Cottman Smith, Dr. Carl Bryant and Susanne Street, the late president's former administrative assistant. All three are alumni.

    Jacqueta Hytche-Simms presented Hytche Initiative committee members with white chef's aprons, symbolic of her father's affinity for cooking while attired in a dress shirt and tie.

    The Sept. 10 event kicked off Founders' Week at UMES, which continues through Saturday, Sept. 17.

    #HawkPride 

    UMES Office of Public Relations, (410) 651-6669