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UMES joins new college compact

  • Friday, October 19, 2012

    UMES students will benefit from a new regional higher education compactPRINCESS ANNE, MD. - (Oct. 19, 2012) - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is joining 29 other public and private colleges and universities to form The Maryland-District of Columbia Campus Compact, a consortium committed to addressing local and global community issues through student service, civic engagement, academically based service-learning and campus-community partnerships.

    In one of her first acts after becoming UMES President on July 1, Dr. Juliette B. Bell committed the University to joining other two-year, four-year and graduate institutions that now form an expanded version of an older organization.

    "I believe that personal and social responsibility are essential attributes of an educated citizenry.  We have the capacity and responsibility of making civic learning and engagement integral components of the educational enterprise here at UMES," Bell said.

    The new compact will hold its inaugural meeting at Montgomery College's Takoma Park campus, Oct. 26, when presidents of member institutions will sign a Declaration of Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement.

    The ceremony signals a commitment to the National Call to Action, fulfilling a promise outlined in the Association of American Colleges and Universities' 2012 report, "A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy's Future."

    Dr. Richard Guarasci, President of Wagner College, N.Y. and a member of the National Task Force on Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement, will be the keynote speaker.

    The Md.-D.C. compact has 22 full-time AmeriCorps*VISTA members who serve at member campuses organizing students to address poverty and strengthen the capacity of non-profits in the region. The compact also conducts workshops, conferences, and professional development events for faculty, administrators, community partners and students.

    Bell pledged UMES will be an active member under her leadership by providing "distinctive learning, discovery, and engagement opportunities for students and service to our community in fulfillment of our institutional mission and legacy as a land grant university."

    Originally created in 2008 as the Maryland Campus Compact, the newly incorporated 501(c)-3 organization is the most recent regional office to affiliate with the National Campus Compact. The national compact, a coalition of nearly 1,200 college and university presidents representing some six million students, was formed in 1985 to revitalize the public purposes of higher education.

    UMES, founded in 1886, has been ranked among the top tier of the nation's historically black institutions by U.S. News and World Report for sixth consecutive years. The university offers bachelors' degrees in 34 areas, 13 master's degrees, seven doctoral degrees and an upper division certificate in family financial planning.

    Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, (410) 621-2355.