UMES confers 421 degrees at spring commencement

  • Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD-(May 24, 2011)"Go with your dream.  It is your job to make it come true," Gloria Banks, the speaker at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's 124th spring commencement on May 20, told some 400 graduates.

    Banks talked about overcoming challenges-her struggle with dyslexia, being a victim of domestic violence in a first marriage and becoming a single mother-to go on to graduate with an MBA from Harvard, become one of Mary Kay Inc's top saleswomen and meet and marry the man of her dreams.

    "Look up.  Reach up.  Expect up.  You'll be in a position to reach down and bring someone with you," she said.

    Gloria Banks, motivational speaker, top saleswoman, Mary Kay CosmeticsOf the graduates sitting before her, 254 were from within the state-73 of which from the Lower Shore.  Top programs based on number of graduates this year were criminal justice and biology with 42 and 33 graduates, respectively.

    President Thelma B. Thompson also addressed a capacity crowd at the William P. Hytche Athletic Center.  She touched on a few of the highlights of the academic year.  The UMES School of Business and Technology recently received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business for its undergraduate business degree program-a milestone for the school that took six years to reach and created a plus for graduates.

    Thompson also announced a partnership between the university and IBM over the past two years is paying dividends for the university's business and technology students. With a modified curriculum and guest lecturers from the UMES spring commencemetn graduatecorporation, some of the students have found high-paying jobs in computer technology and related fields.

    Honorary degrees were awarded to Annapolis businessman Maurice B. Tose' and Banks.  T. Jan Wiseman, executive director of the Greater Salisbury Committee, and John T. Steele, an agriculture economist solving hunger problems southern Sudan, received UMES Presidential medals.

    An honor guard from the university's Department of Public Safety presented the colors followed by the national anthem by graduating seniors from the UMES Concert Choir.  International students attending the university presented a colorful "Parade of International Flags."  The UMES Gospel and Concert choirs and the Wind Ensemble performances enlivened the ceremony. 

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    Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, gcstephens@umes.edu.  

    Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-62