Thompson, Diriker named to Top 100 Women of Maryland

  • Friday, March 11, 2011

    Thelma B Thompson_UMES.JPG

    PRINCESS ANNE - (March 10, 2010) - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore's long-time president and one of the school's senior fundraisers are on a Baltimore newspaper's list of the Top 100 Women of Maryland for 2011.

    For the past 16 years, The Daily Record has sponsored the program to recognize "outstanding achievement by women as demonstrated through professional accomplishment, community leadership and mentoring."

    This marks the second time UMES President Thelma B. Thompson has been honored. Dr. Veronique Diriker, UMES' Director of Development, also made the list.

    Under Thompson's leadership, UMES has experienced a 25 percent growth in enrollment and a diversification of its curriculum, including the addition of a bachelor's degree in professional golf management, a master's degree in quantitative fisheries and resource economics, and the opening of a new school of pharmacy.

    Veronique Diriker, named to Top 100 Women in MarylandOnly a handful of degree programs were accredited by academic peers when Thompson came to UMES from Norfolk State University in 2002; now 25 have achieved that important credential.

    Diriker, who joined UMES in 2005, plans and coordinates the university's annual Gala, which has become the signature fundraiser for supporting scholarships.

    Diriker also is involved in a variety of volunteer activities on the Lower Shore, including the Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council. She started the "ARTS and ABILITIES Initiative of Wicomico" with a personal donation to assist disabled artists in promoting and marketing their art to corporate and institutional sponsors, and other patrons of the art.

    UMES has a connection to another 2011 honoree on the Top 100 list; Dr. Peggy Naleppa, president and CEO of Peninsula Regional Medical Center, is a member of the university's Board of Visitors.

    Above:  Veronique Diriker, director of development, UMES.

    Top right:  Dr. Thelma B. Thompson, president, UMES.

    # # #

    Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, wrobinson3@umes.edu.