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Chesapeake Ends 40th Birthday Year with Convocation
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
(lower) Former Chesapeake President Dr. George Silver addresses the audience. (top) Sen. Rich Colburn presents a senate bill honoring Chesapeake College and governor's proclamation to Chesapeake President Stuart M. Bounds and Board Chair Margaret Myers.
WYE MILLS - Chesapeake College wrapped up a year-long celebration of its 40th birthday with a college convocation on Monday in the Rufus and Loraine Hall Todd Performing Arts Center. The ceremony was attended by state political leaders, local officials, past Chesapeake presidents and former students.
Former Gov. Harry Hughes, instrumental in the passage of the legislation that authorized regional community colleges and the funding mechanism for those institutions, spoke about the history of Chesapeake´s founding in December 1965.
"Rarely in public life does something exceed your highest expectations," said the former governor, who was a state senator from Caroline County at the time. "Chesapeake College has done just that."
The vision of many local and state officials, Chesapeake College was the first regional community college in Maryland, encompassing Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne´s and Talbot counties. Dorchester County joined the coalition in 1979.
The success of Chesapeake´s unusual partnership was evident on Monday evening. Representatives from the governments of all five service counties attended the ceremony, along with state Sen. Richard Colburn, Del. Adelaide Eckhardt, Del. Richard Sossi and Sen. E.J. Pipken.
Chesapeake´s first president, Dr. George Silver, praised the local and state officials who had formed that early vision for Chesapeake College.
"It wasn´t easy to get Chesapeake going. It happened thanks to the commitment of the founders, and that commitment has been carried through four decades," Dr. Silver said.
Dr. Silver later urged the audience to support Chesapeake´s scholarship programs, adding that he has been a donor for more than 30 years.
Members of Chesapeake´s first graduating class also attended the event. Chesapeake Alumnus Dan Cannon, president of Centreville National Bank, spoke on behalf of the first graduating class. "There is still a sense of caring, a sense of family, and a sense of responsibility that makes this school different and so very, very special," Cannon said. "This school has never failed to deliver what I need, when I need it."
Professor Emeritus Dr. Roberta Gribbon, representing Chesapeake´s first faculty, spoke on behalf of those early instructors. In 1965, not everyone was eager to establish a community college in the area, she said. Despite the obstacles, Dr. Gribbon said, Chesapeake has been a driving force in our community.
"Right from the start, Chesapeake College was improving lives. Our early student body included a woman who had shucked oysters all her life, but had dreamed of going to college. Chesapeake gave her the chance," Dr. Gribbon said.
The 40th anniversary celebration began in February with a traditional birthday party in the Performing Arts Center. Other events took place throughout the year, including a concert and singing contest in May, plus the dedication of a commemorative mosaic and birthday time capsule in September.
CUTLINES: Former Chesapeake President Dr. George Silver addresses the audience at convocation.
Sen. Rich Colburn presents a senate bill honoring Chesapeake College and governor's proclamation to Chesapeake President Stuart M. Bounds and Board Chair Margaret Myers during the convocation.
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