UMES Mourns a Scholar and a Friend

  • Wednesday, August 26, 2009

    Hedgepeth, Chester Dr.PRINCESS ANNE, MD - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore family is mourning the death of Dr. Chester Hedgepeth, a highly regarded and long-time associate professor in the Department of English and Modern Languages as well as director of the African Language Project.  

    Dr. Hedgepeth was one of our outstanding, classical literary scholars and will be greatly missed, said Dr. Thelma B. Thompson, UMES president.  He was able to merge the worlds of science and humanities through applying technology to the analysis of African Languages. 

    A member of the University for what would have been 26 years today, August 26, Hedgepeth was an author, a grants man and a family man.  Early in his career at UMES, he served as dean of the School of the Arts and Professions.  In the Department of English and Modern Languages, he served as chair and interim chair as well as associate professor.  Most recently, his work was trained on leading a team of linguists, consultants and machine translation engineers who have published textbooks in the languages of African countries with which the University has forged linkages.  The textbooks, also known as readers, are used by foreign service students who plan to work in African countries and cities as government representatives or officers.  In addition, Hedgepeth published a literary journal at UMES. 

    Hedgepeth enjoyed a successful career in higher education for which he received numerous awards and accolades.  A proponent of the unique offerings of America s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, his tireless work involved UMES best and brightest students.  His wife, who preceded him in death, was an accomplished UMES professor of mathematics.  He honored her memory with the annual Dr. Thelma W. Hedgepeth Memorial Prize in Mathematics and Computer Science, a prize reserved for outstanding academic achievement by graduating seniors in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. 

    One of his most cherished awards was bestowed upon him early 2006.  A distinguished alumnus of Harvard University, Hedgepeth was awarded the institution s Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award.  He earned a bachelor s degree in English from Blackburn College, a master s degree in literature from Wesleyan University and a doctoral degree in literature and administration at Harvard University. 

    Hedgepeth resided in Wicomico County.  Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, September 1, at the Maple Springs Baptist Church in Capitol Heights, Md., at 4131 Belt Road.  The viewing will begin at 11:30 a.m. and the funeral at noon.  Following the services, the body will be interred at Spring Hill Memorial Gardens off of Route 50 in Hebron, Md.

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    Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-2355, sstreet@umes.edu.