WC Receives $1 Million Gift to Support Study of Classical World

Andrea Trisciuzzi, vice president for college advancement, accepts two checks totaling over $1 million from William Creager, executor of the estate of a couple who made the gift anonymously to Washington College.

A couple who visited Chestertown regularly for over 30 years has bequeathed more than $1 million to Washington College as an endowment for the study of the Classical world. The couple, who chose to remain anonymous for their gift, were not College alumni, although they were members of The 1782 Society, the College’s leadership giving society, and often attended events on campus.

“They enjoyed Chestertown and the influence the College had on the quality of life here,” says a local resident, also choosing anonymity, who was friends with the pair for some 50 years. “They particularly enjoyed the Washington College Concert Series every year.”

The donors intend for the bequest to encourage development of new academic opportunities and to sustain the work of faculty members already involved in areas of study related to the Classical world. The funds could support the hiring of instructors; library materials; new and existing courses in the literature, history, art, philosophy, or religion (including the study of mythology) of the Classical world; faculty research; and honoraria and expenses for visiting lecturers.

“The study of the Classical world has always been a key component of a liberal arts education,” says Patrice DiQuinzio, Provost and Dean of the College, “and we are thrilled to have this fund to support the work of Washington College faculty who teach courses related to that era.”

“This is truly a remarkable and generous gift,” says College President Kurt M. Landgraf. “It’s clear that Washington College connects with people in sometimes unexpected ways that remind us why we do what we do. The relationship between the College and the town of Chestertown is strong, with powerful potential. This couple saw a local opportunity to affect generations to come, in a meaningful way, and we are deeply grateful.”

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Wye River Upper School Welcomes New Board Members

Wye River Upper School (WRUS) is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to their Board of Trustees – Dr. Clayton A. Railey, III and Mrs. Darby Hewes. Both members joined the WRUS Board on July 1, 2017. Their diverse experiences in a variety of educational settings brings new knowledge and perspective to the team.  

Railey currently serves as Vice President for Workforce and Academic Programs at the Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD. His professional background encompasses many areas including teaching, conflict resolution, museum studies, school administration, theology, and counseling. He has spent years in academia earning several degrees, teaching undergrads, and learning many languages. Most notably he obtained a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University.

Hewes brings strengths in graphic and fine arts, business management, and teaching. Over the years, she has studied fine arts, architecture, graphics, and education. She earned a B.A. from University of Florida, and a B.F.A. from Washington College. She has also taught photography at Washington College and currently specializes in developing marketing materials for various non-profits. Hewes serves on several boards throughout Kent County. Her past work experience in construction management and engineering also adds an important skill set as Wye River continues to maintain and care for their newly renovated building in Centreville.

“Our Board is fortunate to be welcoming these two talented individuals with extensive and relevant backgrounds. Their combined experience encompasses education, the arts, school administration, and marketing – just to name a few. I could not be more delighted to have their help as we continue to enhance and grow the Wye River program,” said Board Chair, Alexa Seip.

Wye River Upper School serves bright high school students with learning differences such as ADHD and dyslexia. Darby Hewes has been getting to the school over the past few years and she explains, “WRUS is a unique environment where students with learning challenges find their frustration turn into excitement and motivation. Strength based learning with an emphasis on areas of organization, time management and self-monitoring prepare students to succeed in college and future careers.  WRUS is one of these unique places where teens can explore their passions, create goals and build a solid educational foundation for their future.”

The School is located in Centreville, MD, and WRUS students come from several surrounding counties. Transportation is provided to both Eastern and Western Shores. For more information, call (410) 758-2922 or visit http://wyeriverupperschool.org.

Mid-Shore Education: A Chat with Washington College’s New President Kurt Landgraf

New Washington College President Kurt Landgraf had been in office not quite two weeks when the Spy staff dropped into his Bunting Hall office for an interview on July 13. In a wide-ranging conversation, Landgraf was frank and ready to ask questions of his own, a good sign that he will be open to give-and-take with other stakeholders in the college community.

As the interview begins, he is answering a question about what attracted him to Washington College. Later, he responds to a question about a recent poll result showing that some 60 percent of Republicans believe that a college education is not good for society. Landgraf disagreed strongly and went on to to express his belief that the liberal arts curriculum helps provide a good foundation for citizenship in a democracy. Click on the picture above to see the video, which runs just over seven minutes.

The new president began with a brief autobiography, not included in the video. He was born in Newark and raised in Rahway, both in New Jersey. He attended Wagner College on an athletic scholarship and played baseball with the Reading Phillies for a while before joining the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam war. After the service, he had a number of jobs, including a short stint at ETS, the Educational Testing Service, before ending up at DuPont, where he spent a major part of his career, overseeing divisions both in the US and abroad.

He worked in the pharmaceutical division and noted that the opioid antagonist drug Narcan was developed during his time there. He spent ten years as head of the European division of DuPont, and was under consideration to become CEO of the entire company. When that position went to someone else, Landgraf was recruited by Educational Testing Services, which at the time was on the verge of liquidation. He turned the company around, stayed there 13 years, and became very interested in education. During that time, he became chairman of the New Jersey Higher Education Commission, which oversees all colleges in the state. Then in 2015, he was contacted about the Washington College presidency.

After the initial phases of the search process, Landgraf was one of the finalists for the WC job — which eventually went to Sheila Bair. When he was on campus for interviews, he said, he asked one young student what was the most important thing he had learned at the school. “Moral courage,” said the student. Landgraf was so impressed that a young person could cite that quality that he decided on the spot that, if he was offered the job, he would take it. That opportunity came this June, when Bair tendered her resignation.

Asked the difference between his former position as a CEO at DuPont and his new one, Landgraf said that a CEO has nearly absolute power in decision-making, whereas a college president is in a position of co-governance with the board. On the other hand, he said, all institutions “are made up of the same kind of mammal;” with human nature the constant.

Washington College has substantial assets that offer high value to prospective students, he said. He cited the waterfront campus, which is currently under development, the Rose O’Neill Literary House, with its strong program of readings and publications; and the Douglass Cater Society, which supports undergraduate students in self-directed research projects all over the world. He plans to continue and, where possible, expand these programs and their impact. Landgraf said the college needs to market these assets to reach its full potential.  These are wonderful programs, offering outstanding opportunities for students and most people

Landgraf is also aware of the college’s relationship with the town of Chestertown. He has already met with Mayor Chris Cerino, he said, and he is planning to attend the town council meeting July 17 to introduce himself. He said he isn’t concerned with past relations between the two entities; “We need to go forward,” he said. He said he plans to work with the Save the Hospital group, to get involved with United Way of Kent County.  It is very important, he said, for the town and the college to support one another.

In explaining the value of a college education in today’s society, Landgraf said that the U.S. depends on three pillars: capitalism, the rule of law and democracy. An educated populace is needed for each of these to carry its weight. A liberal arts education, while it may not appear to prepare students for specific roles in the workforce, is the best preparation for citizenship in general, he said.

It will be interesting to see how Landgraf’s presidency develops. As one college staff member observed, there have been four presidents in five years, with significant turnover in senior staff. The college can obviously benefit from a period of stability, and given Landgraf’s comments on the need to work with the board and his interest in making the college and the town closer than they have been, friends of the college may be encouraged to hope that this is the beginning of a time of stability and regeneration.

Impressive Outcomes for TCPS Class of 2017

Both Easton High and Saint Michaels Middle High schools have reported outstanding results for the class of 2017.  Of the combined total of 320 students receiving diplomas and certificates, 276 or 87.1% plan to enter college.  While 145 graduates plan to attend a four-year college, 131 will attend a two-year college or technical school. Eight graduates will enter the military, and 36 will enter directly into the workforce.

Dr. Kelly Griffith enjoying the moment with some of the members of Easton High’s class of 2017.

“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the class of 2017, and I am confident that they will do great things during the next chapter of their life,” said Dr. Kelly Griffith, TCPS Superintendent. “Their success is a testament to their hard work as well as the talented, dedicated TCPS educators and personnel.”

Of the 320 TCPS Class of 2017 graduates,
• 176 (55%) completed at least one Advanced Placement Course before graduating (an increase of 4% from 2016);
• 162 earned credit for at least one dual enrollment course at the community college level (an increase of 19% from 2016);
• 139 seniors fulfilled requirements for at least one Career and Technology Education program (a decrease of 6% from 2016); and
• The composite SAT score was 1080 for math and critical reading (an increase of 52 points from 2016), while the ACT composite average remained at 23.

Members of the Saint Michaels Middle High School class of 2017.

A total of 198 graduates were offered at least one scholarship. A record high amount of $11,996,067 was earned by TCPS students.  The list of colleges and universities to which TCPS students were accepted is equally impressive, and includes three acceptances to Ivy League Schools.  The complete list is as follows:

Albright College
Allegheny College
American College of the Building Arts
American University
Anne Arundel Community College
Appalachian State University
Apprentice School of Northrop Grumman-Newport News
Augustana College
Baldwin Wallace University
Belmont University
Beloit College
Berklee College of Music
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Boston College
Boston Conservatory at Berklee
Boston University
Bowie State University
Bridgewater College
Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University-Hawaii
Brigham Young University-Idaho
Brooklyn College of the CUNY
Brown University
Cabrini University
California Institute of Technology
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
California University of Pennsylvania
Capitol Technology University
Carnegie Mellon University
Centenary University
Chesapeake College
Christopher Newport University
Clark Atlanta University
Clarke University
Clemson University
Coastal Carolina University
College of Charleston
College of William and Mary
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado State University
Columbia College
Columbia College in Chicago
Columbia University
Community College of Baltimore County
Coppin State University
Cornell University
Davis & Elkins College
Delaware College of Art and Design
Delaware State University
Delaware Technical & Community College – Owens Campus
Delaware Valley University
Dickinson College
Drexel University
East Carolina University
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Elizabeth City State University
Elizabethtown College
Emory & Henry College
Empire Beauty School
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles
Flagler College
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida International University
Florida Southern College
Florida State University
Fordham University
Frostburg State University
Gallaudet University
George Mason University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia State University
Gonzaga University
Goucher College
Great Falls College – Montana State University
Hamilton College
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampton University
Haverford College
High Point University
Hofstra University
Hood College
Howard University
Hudson Valley Community College
Humboldt State University
Hunter College of the CUNY
Jacksonville University
James Madison University
Johnson & Wales University (Providence)
Kent State University
La Salle University
Lafayette College
Lancaster Bible College
Lehigh University
Liberty University
Longwood University
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola University Maryland
Lynchburg College
Manhattan College
Marist College
Marshall University
Maryland Institute College of Art
Marymount Manhattan College
Marymount University
Marywood University
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
McDaniel College
McGill University
Meredith College
Messiah College
Miami University, Oxford
Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Mississippi State University
Monmouth University
Monroe Community College
Montana State University, Bozeman
Moravian College
Morgan State University
Mount St. Mary’s University
New Jersey City University
New York University
Norfolk State University
North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina State University
North Dakota State University
Northeastern University
Notre Dame of Maryland University
Nova South Eastern University
Ohio Wesleyan University
Ohio State University
Old Dominion University
Pace University, New York City
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Pennsylvania State University
Pratt Institute
Purdue University
Queens University of Charlotte
Radford University
Randolph-Macon College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Roanoke College
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rosemont College
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Saint Francis University
Saint Joseph’s University
Saint Louis University
Salisbury University
Savannah College of Art and Design
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
School of Visual Arts
Sewanee: The University of the South
Shenandoah University
Shepherd University
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
Siena College
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Stanford University
Stevenson University
Stockton University
Stony Brook University
SUNY Oswego
Susquehanna University
Syracuse University
Temple University
Texas A&M University
The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science & Art (School of Arts)
The George Washington University
The New School – All Divisions
The New School – All Divisions (Parsons School of Design)
The University of the Arts
Towson University
Trinity College
Trinity University
Union College (New York)
University of Alabama
University of Arizona
University of California
University of Cincinnati
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
University of Connecticut
University of Dayton
University of Delaware
University of Delaware (Honors Program)
University of Florida
University of Hartford
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Kentucky
University of Mary Washington
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
University of Massachusetts, Boston
University of Miami (College of Arts & Sciences)
University of Michigan
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
University of North Dakota
University of Northern Colorado
University of Pittsburgh
University of Roehampton
University of Scranton
University of South Carolina
University of South Florida, Tampa
University of Tampa
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
University of Texas, Austin
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
University of Virginia (College of Arts & Sciences)
University of Washington
University of Washington
Villanova University
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University (School of the Arts)
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest University
Washington and Jefferson College
Washington and Lee University
Washington College
Washington State University
Wells College
Wesley College
Wesleyan University
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
West Virginia University
West Virginia Wesleyan College
Western Carolina University
Wilson College
Wingate University
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
WorWic Community College
York College of Pennsylvania

Character Counts Honors Volunteers at Appreciation Dinner

Character Counts Mid Shore (CCMS) recently hosted its annual volunteer appreciation dinner at The Milestone in Easton to honor the hundreds of Character Coaches who teach character lessons based on the Six Pillars of Character throughout the school year. This celebration provided an opportunity for staff and Board of Trustee members to show their appreciation to the volunteers, school staff and guests who support the mission of CCMS.

Each volunteer Character Coach also received handwritten letters of appreciation from their students and teachers.  Showing appreciation is one of the character lessons that students are taught under the Pillar of Caring.  “Having an attitude of gratitude is a lesson that students will need to practice throughout their lives,” states CCMS Executive Director Susan Luby.  “These expressions of gratitude are priceless gifts that the Coaches keep from year to year.  Character Counts is successful because of the dedicated Character Coaches who are the mentor, the friendly face, the consistent figure in the students’ lives throughout the school year,” Luby added.

CCMS President Lollie Walters was honored with citations from Delegate Chris Adams and Senator Addie Eckardt. CCMS Board members, Dave Sherrill and Josh Deutsch shown in the background.

Every school has a contact person that works directly with Luby and they were also recognized for being an essential part of the team.  “We cannot thank these key people enough for their guidance and commitment to our programs”, said out-going CCMS Board President Lollie Walters.  Walters was honored for leading Character Counts since 2013 by Senator Addie Eckardt and Delegate Chris Adams as well as Luby who reflected on Walter’s experience, skills, knowledge and education that moved the organization forward.

CCMS is a partner with Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester counties public school systems.  Dr. Kelly Griffith of TCPS; Dr. Patricia Saelens of CCPS and Dr. Henry Wagner of DCPS, attended the celebration where Wagner was honored for his outstanding support of CCMS and was given citations by Senator Eckardt and Delegate Adams.   Wagner is retiring as of June 30, 2017.  “The support of the Superintendents is vital to this organization,” stated Luby.  “We are thankful for the administrative leaders’ confidence in our programs and we value the partnerships that we have formed together.”

Character Counts Mid Shore is a local 501C3 organization that is not funded by the school systems and does not receive financial support from any government entities. For more information about CCMS, please visit their website at www.charactercountsmidshore.com or call the office at 410-819-0386.

A Fond Farewell: The Gunston School’s Class of 2017

Friday, May 19th marked a special day at The Gunston School. An annual tradition, Senior Transition Day and Disembarkation commemorates seniors’ final day on campus. During the day, the seniors enjoyed a walked down memory lane with a slide show highlighting their high school years, were welcomed into TGS Alumni Association, and with family and friends watching, placed a personalized brick on the Heron Walkway adding to the foundation of Gunston. The day ended with a receiving line of students and faculty wishing them farewell as they disembarked the Gunston campus on the Chester River Packet for a cruise down the Corsica and Chester Rivers. We wish the Class of 2017 the best of luck!

Washington College Graduates 292

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, encouraged graduating Washington College students to keep an open mind to the constant question of “what comes next,” while knowing that their education has given them the strongest footing from which to answer it throughout their lives.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, addresses the Class of 2017 at Washington College, May 20

“Saying ‘I don’t know’ is one of the hardest things to do in life,” Lagarde told graduates, families, faculty, and alumni during the college’s 234th Commencement on the Campus Green, May 20. “We have all been trained from a young age to have an answer at the ready. But the reality is that the answer is not what matters most—it is knowing how to find the answer that is key. Your education—this wonderful, complex, classical, liberal arts training—has given you the foundation you need to begin to solve the puzzle of ‘What comes next?’ ’’

Although the future these graduates face is one where technology, automation, and artificial intelligence may take over the tasks now managed by humans, Lagarde said that the problem-solving skills, empathy, and perspective inherent in the liberal arts will become even more critical as time goes on.

“Many of the founders of this country, who were lawyers, businessmen, and farmers by training, could also recite orations from Pericles by heart. Those polymath skills not only gave their revolution historical context, it informed the society they hoped to build,” she said. “Your school embodies their vision and has instilled in you a love of knowledge. Success for your generation requires a commitment to life-long learning and an understanding that today is a milestone in your education, but it is not the end. The truth is that college has taught you how to learn, not what to learn.”

“By choosing Washington College, each of you has stood up and said that public service is important in your life. The values of this institution come directly from Washington himself; his example serves as the inspiration for your honor code. You have made a promise to help others and now you must follow through,” she said. “Think about what matters most to you—is it climate change? Homelessness? Improving education? Whatever it is, fight for it.”

Read the complete text of LaGarde’s speech here.

Before the address, President Sheila Bair awarded Lagarde an honorary doctor of laws.

Along with conferring degrees upon 292 graduates, the ceremonies on the campus green included multiple awards and citations:

  • James Allen Hall, associate professor of English and the director of the Rose O’ Neill Literary House, earned the Alumni Association’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.
  • Alex Aiello Roberts, a math and computer science major, philosophy minor, from Bel Air, Md., won the George Washington Medal and Award, given to the senior who shows the greatest promise of understanding and realizing in life and work the ideals of a liberal education.
  • Anna Elizabeth Inserra, a chemistry major from Dix Hills, N.Y., won the Clark-Porter Medal, given to the student whose character and personal integrity, in the opinion of the faculty, have most clearly enhanced the quality of campus life.
  • Alexandra D. Kurtz, of Lancaster, Pa., a political science major with minors in economics and Spanish, won the Louis L. Goldstein ’35 Award, for a graduating senior who, in the opinion of the faculty, has demonstrated unusual interest, enthusiasm, and potential in the field of public affairs.
  • Erika Louise Koontz, of Woodbine, Md., an environmental studies major with minors in Spanish and biology and a concentration in Chesapeake regional studies, earned the Eugene B. Casey Medal, given to a senior woman voted by the faculty to be outstanding in the qualities of scholarship, character, leadership, and campus citizenship.
  • Patrick S. Ginther, of Harleysville, Pa., a double major in chemistry and biology with concentrations in biochemistry and organic and medicinal chemistry, won the Henry W.C. Catlin 1894 Medal, given to a senior man voted by the faculty to be outstanding in the qualities of scholarship, character, leadership, and campus citizenship.
  • Two students won this year’s Jane Huston Goodfellow Memorial Prize, which goes to the graduating senior majoring in science who has an abiding appreciation of the arts and humanities and has shown scholastic excellence. They are Laura Elizabeth King, of Rising Sun, Md., a double major in biology and Hispanic studies, and Ryan Manning, of Chestertown, an English and chemistry double major and creative writing minor.
  • The Gold Pentagon Awards go to one senior and one alumnus, faculty, or friend of the College, selected by the Omicron Delta Kappa Society, in recognition of meritorious service to Washington College. This year they are Madeleine Morrissette, of Arlington, Mass., a biology major with a minor French studies, and Edward P. Nordberg ’82, former chair of the Board of Visitors and Governors.
  • Catalina Righter, an English major and creative writing minor from Manchester, Md., won the Sophie Kerr Prize, given to the senior who shows the most promise for future literary endeavor.

Easton Middle and High School Students Win Stock Market Game Championships

The Stock Market Game is an educational simulation that teaches students about stock markets, economic systems, investment and the global economy.  Participants develop skills in math, language arts, research and critical thinking, while building and maintaining a stock portfolio.  The Stock Market Game was made available to our teachers county-wide to use in social studies classes or as an after-school club.

Easton Middle School students Aidan Bell, Robert Delatos James Ferreira, Jesus Velazquez, Regional Winners in the Stock Market Game.

At Easton Middle School, under the guidance of coach/advisor Mr. Ed Keeler, student teams achieved distinction while learning economics and investment strategy.  Aidan Bell, Robert Delatos, James Ferreira and Jesus Velasquez were Regional Champions.  Molly Johnson, Isabella Fiorenza and Charles Mueller are State Champions!  All of these winners are students in Mr. Ed Keeler’s 8th grade U.S. History classes.  Over the years, Mr. Keeler’s students have won 4 Regional and 6 State Championships.

Easton High School students in Mr. Jeff Payne’s Personal Finance class won the Eastern Shore Region in the high school category.  Christopher Guy, Taylor Hutchinson, Brooke Lewis, and Nereyda Perez were presented their awards by the Maryland Council on Economic Education.  This is the fourth time Mr. Payne’s students have won a Stock Market Game Championship.

EHS Students Discuss the Civil Rights Movement With People Who Lived It

Ms. Vicky Wilson, Student Services Case Manager, Mrs. Pam Clay, TCPS Career and Technology Supervisor, and OS1 James Gardner.

Easton High School students discussed Civil Rights and racism in a recent U.S. History class.  Ms. Vicky Wilson, Student Services Case Manager, Mrs. Pam Clay, TCPS Career and Technology Supervisor, and OS1 James Gardner discussed their views on racism and the Civil Rights Movement with students in Mr. McLaughlin’s US History class. Vicky Wilson and Pam Clay lived through the Civil Rights movement on the Eastern Shore.  They described their lives during the 1960’s and their experiences growing up in their respective school systems. OS1 Gardner shared from the perspective of a member of the U.S. military and current teacher in the Navy Junior ROTC program.

Mr. McLaughlin organized the discussion for his students to help illustrate that the study and understanding of history is not limited to classroom lectures and reading old books.  During the discussion, students and educators described their own experiences with racism and how the county and country have changed over time.  Students were open with their experiences and the discussion flourished, creating a shared narrative on race and culture in Talbot County.

The Good Stuff: MSCF Hands Out $500K in Mid-Shore Scholarships

There are some very special days in the life of the Mid-Shore throughout the year, but very few of them can match the joy and the hope that comes with the annual distribution of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation scholarship fund to deserving young people in all five counties.

Last Saturday morning at the Talbot Country Club, Foundation president Buck Duncan, along with the MSCF Scholarship Fund co-John Lewis and programs director Robin Hill, handed out over a half million dollars of scholarship funding for eighty-one high school and college students from thirty-five different funds at the MSCF. Those awards ranged from $500-$20,000.

The Spy was there to capture the award ceremony and shared these excerpts to share this great moment for the Eastern Shore.

This video is approximately seventeen minutes in length.  For more information about the Mid-Shore Community Foundation and its scholarship program please go here