PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a Top-10 public Historically Black College & University (HBCU) launches the public phase of its “Soaring Above & Beyond: The Campaign for UMES,” as it seeks to raise $60 million, the largest fundraiser in the institution’s nearly 140-year history.

“State support provides a solid foundation for UMES, but private philanthropy delivers resources that help differentiate us,” said Dr. Heidi M. Anderson, the institution’s 16th President.  “Private donations allow students without sufficient resources to attend UMES, obtain a degree, and pursue a worthwhile career.  They help our faculty pursue teaching and research opportunities otherwise unattainable.  And they provide crucial support to improving our infrastructure by renovating historic buildings and constructing new facilities that allow us to compete in a global economy.”

Through the silent phase of the campaign, beginning in 2019, UMES raised more than $41 million.  The University will need to raise an additional $19M to achieve its goal by the conclusion of the campaign in June of 2026, coinciding with the University’s 140th anniversary.

“This Capital Campaign provides an opportunity for UMES alumni to give back to an institution that help make us who we are,” said Willie Baker, co-chair of the Campaign and an alumnus.  “UMES provided me with the education I needed to become a successful professional who has traveled the world, to meet with dignitaries like Nelson Mandela, and make a difference in the lives of working men and women.  I wouldn’t have been able to do that without my UMES degree.  That’s why I give back to this place, a place very special to me.”

The kickoff to the public phase of the campaign occurred during a September 14th Donor Recognition Gala in the Student Services Center Ballroom, featuring student and faculty performances as well as the unveiling of a campaign kick-off film highlighting the impact private contributions have on students, alumni, faculty, and the University as a whole.

The Soaring Above & Beyond Campaign focuses on four key objectives:

  • Providing scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students to help build their future.
  • Nurturing new entrepreneurs to build businesses and create new products to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world.
  • Supporting faculty development through new start-up packages, endowed chairs and professorships, and professional development.
  • Enhancing learning opportunities for students, faculty, and staff alike through career services, professional development, study abroad, and more.

“We’re deeply grateful for the investments we’ve already received,” said David Balcom, vice president for University Relations.  “Now we need support from our alumni, our friends, and our corporate and foundation partners to finish this campaign on a high note.  Raising $60M will ensure that UMES has the resources we need to impact our students, our faculty and our region.”

Known for its STEM focus, UMES offers eight health professions programs, more than any HBCU nationally, and offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 areas including such fields of study as engineering, golf management, hospitality studies, kinesiology, marine science education, agriculture, mathematics, information technology, and humanities.

“Private contributions can be the difference between being a good university and a great university,” said Campaign co-chair Tina Wilson, also a UMES graduate.  “Private gifts foster the social mobility the world needs.  They open doors that were previously closed and they ensure that UMES has the resources it needs to invest in its students and remain and vital resource in the Delmarva region.”

In its previous capital campaign, which concluded in 2011, UMES surpassed its announced goal of $14 million by more than $1 million despite having to navigate a historic downturn in the nation’s economy midway through the campaign. The success of the initiative garnered national recognition from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, which awarded UMES with its Circle of Excellence Educational Fundraising Award in 2012.

“This country and this state have invested in UMES since our founding in 1886,” Anderson said. “Our roots are deep here and now we’re asking for our alumni and friends to help us strengthen those roots so that we can continue to have a positive impact on our students and the world around us.  Please help us soar above and beyond.”

For more information or to make a charitable gift, call 410-651-6199 or visit UMES’s Funding Priorities Page.

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