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Higher Education in Maryland

June 2009 Press Release



For immediate release: June 30, 2009                                                     Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen

                                                                                                                           Communications: (410) 260-4511



Secretary Lyons Receives Man of the Year Award from

Bethel A.M.E. Church

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 30, 2009) -  Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr., recently was awarded Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church’s highly prestigious Richard Allen Man of the Year Award. Bethel AME, located in Baltimore, is a prominent church in the State. The church’s Pastor is Dr. Frank M. Reid III, a member of the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents. Dr. Reid was appointed to the Board of Regents by Governor O’Malley.

The Richard Allen Man of the Year Award is “given to the man who best exemplifies the principles and practices of the founding father of Black America,” according to the Bethel AME Church’s program. “[The award] is given to a man that is making extraordinary contributions to the uplifting and empowering of hurt people [and] is truly making a difference and changing the world.”

Richard Allen was a former slave who bought his freedom from his master. He was the first elected and consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

“I was quite honored to receive this award,” Secretary Lyons said. “When I was told that I would be receiving this recognition, I was both surprised and humbled. What made it especially memorable was that I was able to share in the recognition with my wife Jocelyn, other friends and the congregation of the Bethel AME Church. I also have deep respect for the legacy of Bishop Allen which makes this recognition especially poignant and memorable.”

Also receiving recognition was William E. “Brit” Kirwan, the Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, who was awarded the Carter G. Woodson Education Award. U.S. Representative C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger was also awarded the Parren J. Mitchell Political Award. The late Parren Mitchell was a life-long champion of civil rights and a former Member of Congress.

“I have great respect for Congressman Ruppersberger and have enjoyed working with him in my capacity as a member of Governor O’Malley’s cabinet” Secretary Lyons said. “And I was pleased to join Chancellor Kirwan whose friendship I have valued for more than 20 years.”

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and universities and private career schools. It serves as an advocate for more than 337,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.



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