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August 2006 Press Release




Increases in funding for Historically Black Institutions and international involvement recognized.



Salisbury, MD (August 18, 2006) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. joined Dr. Calvin W. Burnett, Secretary, Maryland Higher Education Commission on the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) campus today to applaud President Thelma Thompson for her leadership and commitment to educating the future leaders of the Eastern Shore.

“I commend President Thompson for her vision for UMES as an integral, benevolent member of the Eastern Shore community” said Governor Ehrlich. “This administration has increased capital, operating and enhancement funds for Historically Black Institutions at an unprecedented rate,” continued Governor Ehrlich, “and President Thompson’s leadership at UMES has encouraged us to invest more than $145 million in operating funds and $21 million in capital improvements at UMES alone. We can proudly say that a renewed vision for UMES coupled with funding increases for Maryland’s colleges and universities has help spur all-time highs in African American enrollment in these institutions.”

“The Governor has almost doubled need-based aid since he came into office,” said Dr. Burnett. “More than 6700 students on the Eastern Shore have been able to take advantage of that assistance.”

The Governor also presented Dr. Thompson with a special citation for “Outstanding leadership for innovative higher education curriculum and for building relationships with international partners in China to further our state’s position as a leader in education.” Dr. Thompson has led the way for innovative work in botanical and orchid development at UMES and is currently working with Dr. Burnett and other Maryland college presidents on partnerships with China.

"Thanks to the Ehrlich administration, UMES is on firm footing financially. We applaud Gov. Ehrlich not only for his support of operating budgets and capital projects here and at other Maryland Universities, but also for his commitment to increasing need-based financial aid opportunities for our students.” Said Dr. Thompson. “Governor Ehrlich is making access to higher education possible for Maryland citizens who otherwise would face impossible fiscal hardships.”

Dr. Thompson stated, “The State trip to China opened my eyes to the vast potential entrepreneurial and research partnerships for UMES in that country. The Governor's global vision is synchronized with the economic future of our state."


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