“Hawk Pride, Catch It.” Over 135 humble years ago, nine students, one leader, and one building started something special. Today, “The” University of Maryland Eastern Shore stands tall with its 4400 students, over 90 buildings and facilities; has become the leading economic engine in Somerset County, Maryland; and has become an academic and research gem on the Delmarva Peninsula.
In a previous commencement, former astronaut and NASA Director, Charles Bolden greeted the UMES students and faithful bringing space visions from the “stars” anchored by angelic dreams. He followed other famed greeters who have orated messages that embodied the Hawk Cries that only those campus leaders, faculty, staff, parents, and students, who have walked amongst the spacious campus, understand. Hawks have and will soar to greater heights.
Richard H. Jones (1976), holds the distinction of being elected alumni leader two different times (1995-97 and 2001-03).
With support of its members, the UMES National Alumni Association, Inc. continues to invest in the university by providing ongoing contributions to the UMES National Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship and the UMES National Alumni Association Athletic Endowment Fund.The UMES National Alumni Association is a loyal and steadfast supporter of the university’s mission and the maintenance of its traditions and legacy.(Courtesy of - Kimberly Conway Dumpson & Bill Robinson from "Celebrating the Journey: The 125th Anniversary of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore - 1886-2011")
Our university has generated a world class team of students and graduates second to none. They represent a diverse legacy spanning careers such as award winning professional acting, judges, preachers, teachers, principals, superintendents, university presidents, physical therapists, professional athletes, airline pilots, medical doctors, hotel managers, oceanographers, meteorologists, and many other professions we dare not attempt to name. Our students are leaders academically and athletically including 3 time NCAA Bowling Champions. We indeed have a lot to be proud of.
Our National Alumni Association and the various local alumni chapters stretching from north to south, east and west in the U.S. to Africa continue to play a key role in raising funds, university support, and initiating activities such as setting up endowments, partnering with GEICO, hosting a Tom Joyner HBCU Campaign, launching PEP Band support, participation in the UMES Presidential Search, and embracing Hawks for Football. The local alumni chapters target activities such as mystery theaters, dances, crab feast, comedy, theatre, and bowling nights, and scholarships drives in support of student recruitment and university enhancements.
In times of adverse politics and economics, the NAA is one group that can be counted on and have made “angelic” contributions similar to the universities Methodist “Biblical” roots. Just look at the above listing of activities. The university has made “heroes” out of “zeroes”. The care, attention, and skill sets, that made alumni as family persons, quality citizens, beneficial employees, nation leaders, and achievers, were received and nurtured by the university and associated students. Even the ones who did not graduate and those associated with the university aided in this quest for excellence. Note, the Alumni along with its NAA partner, is the second highest giver in the USM. This is significant accomplishment with our small numbers and percentage. Just ask the Pep Band who would not be in existence if it were not for the collaboration of the NAA partnering with the institution. Often, key NAA initiatives find ways to make a difference against all odds while facing staggering personal tragedy and adversity itself. The NAA knows there is still much to be done to sustain an institution that is not only making a difference, but is making history.
In baseball terms and during this time of adversity and economic instability, our 12 to 13 thousand graduates have to continue to take their baseball bats and hit homeruns or make a special pitch to strike out adversity. As one of our key alumnus states, “It is time to share and commit personal time, talents, and treasures.”
Our University needs you and so does your National Alumni Association. Please support your Hawk Community and Nation by making daily, weekly, monthly, or annual pledges. Any dollar and cents amount whether it be small or large, collectively, adds up exponentially when all sacrifice. Share your blessings and stand up and be counted on accordingly. It has been said we use the terms “Hawk Pride, Catch it”. As said by one alumnus, it is time to say “Hawk Pride, Earn It”!
Thanks in advance for your Hawk Help!