St. Mary's College of Maryland
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Lee Capristo, editor
The Mulberry Tree
Phone: (240) 895-4795
18952 East Fisher Road
St. Mary's City, MD 20686

College News

J. Frank Raley (center first row) with former Maryland governors Harry Hughes, left, and Parris N. Glendening. Three former College presidents stand in the second row, from left: Renwick Jackson, Jane Margaret O’Brien, and Ted Lewis. The portrait in the background is by Carolyn Egeli. (Photo by Frank Marquart)

A Great Room for a Great Man
The Campus Center dining hall was officially named the Raley Great Room this March after J. Frank Raley, a decades-long supporter of the College, member of the Board of Trustees for 24 years, and former delegate and state senator. Raley was presented with the College's highest honor, the Order of the Ark and Dove, at a dedication attended by two former Maryland governors and three former College presidents. Raley rejuvenated Southern Maryland's policies and politics in earlier decades, including investment in education, sewage systems and roads, the bridge spanning the Patuxent River, the development of Historic St. Mary's City, and the establishment of the four-year St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Michael P. O’Brien, left, and SMCM Provost and Acting President Larry Vote with photograph of the 1968 men’s basketball team. (Photo by Jim Parcell)

ARC named for MVP
In March, the athletics center was renamed the Michael P. O'Brien Athletics and Recreation Center in appreciation of O'Brien's philanthropic nature and service to the College. O'Brien (Class of '68) was Most Valuable Player on St. Mary's championship 1968 men's basketball team and he continues to support athletics, the River Concert Series, and the Visiting Artist program. He was a director of the Foundation Board and serves on St. Mary's Board of Trustees.

Garden of Remembrance

Numbers! St. Mary’s Ranks High Again

• One of top five public liberal arts colleges,
says new U.S. News & World Report.
SMCM has been in the U.S. News & World
100 Best Colleges list for more
than a decade.

• No. 2 in Maryland and No. 16 in the
nation’s 50 “Best Value” public colleges
and universities in 2010 ranking by The
Princeton Review and USA Today.

• No. 4 public liberal arts college in
Kiplinger magazine’s 100 Best Value

• SMCM has the highest four-year graduation
rate of any public institution of higher
education in Maryland.

William Yoast with the First Missionary Baptist Church Youth Choir of Lexington Park and the St. Peter Claver Catholic Church Gospel Choir at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast.  (Photo by Jim Parcell)

CASE Award for Prayer Breakfast & Study Circles

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) awarded St. Mary's its Silver award for community relations programs, for the College's annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast and the Community Race Relations Study Circles. More than 350 people attended the MLK Breakfast where Lt. Christiliene Whalen, chaplain at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, prayed, "We ask God's help to move forward toward confronting inequality in St. Mary's County." And Larry Vote, provost and acting president, remarked, "Despite the election of a Black president, we are not living in a post-racial America." Speakers: John W. Franklin of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History, and keynote speaker, William Yoast, the former assistant football coach whose high school's integration inspired the film, "Remember the Titans." Four community members were awarded the first annual "Realizing the Dream" awards.

SMCM championship sailing team with dignitaries. (Photo by Jim Parcell)

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley proclaimed February 1, 2010, a statewide day of celebration in honor of the St. Mary's sailing team's 2009 Collegiate National Championship victory. Here, coaches and dignitaries pose with the team and the governor at the Maryland State House in Annapolis.

SMCM Wins Federal Recognition of Community Service

The Corporation for National and Community Service awarded SMCM a place on the 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. SMCM students are tackling some of the most persistent challenges facing the nation, and have donated nearly 34,000 hours of service to local community organizations.

James "Jimmy" Dyson

Recent Retirement

James "Jimmy" Dyson retired in January after 32 1/2 years as a groundskeeper. Only 23 years old when he started, he says, "Everything's changed; yet everything's the same. . . .So many buildings seem to have just grown up out of the ground!" Dyson will miss the College, but not the 4 a.m. start or the traffic between Leonardtown and St. Mary's City. Right now, he's caring for his mother who turned 99 in June.

Mary Jeanette Price and husband Melvin

Recent Retirement

Mary Jeanette Price retired in December after 26 years as a housekeeper. There aren't too many buildings she didn't work in over the decades, but Kent Hall was her "home away from home." Jeanette loved the students like her own children and still keeps in touch with them and all her friends in the faculty and staff. This photo shows Jeanette with Melvin, her husband of 46 years who retired from Historic St. Mary's City in 2005 after 32 years as a groundskeeper. "Still honeymooning!" chuckled Jeannette in her own inimitable way.

SMCM student Seth Farber and Miranda Thomas trowel a unit to reveal features associated with an 18th-century slave site.

Update -Anne Arundel Hall Complex

As part of the future Anne Arundel Hall/Maryland Heritage Interpretive Center complex construction, the Campus Center parking lot will be extended onto part of Historic St. Mary's City's Mill Field. Archaeological excavations by Historic St. Mary's City last fall confirmed earlier survey work and yielded new insights into the two prehistoric sites, the 17th-century Chapel's brick-making site, and two 18th-century slave sites in this locale. Fortunately, this fall's excavations demonstrated that the new parking lot entrance is outside the area of cultural remains, and plans call for other sites to be protected by sterile fill. In April, the joint HSMC/SMCM Capital Design Advisory Committee held public meetings to keep the community abreast of construction developments (

Chelsea Howard-Foley '11

Climate Change Conferences

Chelsea Howard-Foley '11 was sent to Copenhagen as a youth delegate to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) in December. She was selected by the Sierra Student Coalition (SSC), the youth-led chapter of the Sierra Club, to work with the policy and international coordination working groups at the conference. "With Chelsea's determination, she will be one of the leaders in environmental changes we see in this country and the world," predicted SMCM Provost and Acting President Larry Vote. Continuing her work with the SSC in April, Howard-Foley blogged as a participant in the Bonn Climate Change Talks as the UNFCCC moves forward and prepares for COP16 meetings in Cancun -

Four Professors - Four Books

Sterling Lambert, assistant professor of music, explored Franz Schubert's fascination with putting Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's poems to music in Re-Reading Poetry: Schubert's Multiple Settings of Goethe (Boydell & Brewer). Lambert has extensive experience in the field of church music, and has sung with some of the most important choirs in the United Kingdom and the United States, including those of St. John's College Cambridge, San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, and the Church of the Advent in Boston.

Sterling Lambert   Laine E. Doggett   Jerry Gabriel

Love Cures: Healing and Love Magic in Old French Romance (Penn State University Press) by Laine E. Doggett, associate professor of French, traces the healing of love back to romance stories of the Middle Ages.

Visiting Assistant Professor of English Jerry Gabriel's first book, Drowned Boy (Sarabande Books), won the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. Gabriel read his work as part of the English department-sponsored VOICES Reading Series in February.

Professor of English Jeffrey Hammond's latest book, Little BIG World, Collecting Louis Marx and the American Fifties (University of Iowa Press), offers a meditation on what a collection of toys from his youth reveals about the cultures and values of cold war America. Hammond also won his second Pushcart Prize for his essay "My Father's Hats," in the Fall issue of Shenandoah.


Explore Maryland's History in Ireland

This autumn, the first tour of Maryland-related heritage sites in Ireland is being hosted by Historic St. Mary's City and Cole Travel. Led by archaeologist Dr. Henry Miller, this special expedition from September 20th - October 1st will feature visits to places intimately related to several of the founding families of Maryland-the Calverts, Talbots, and Carrolls. Ireland provided the Calverts with their first experiences in colonization, and George Calvert was made the Baron of the Irish manor of Baltimore. Highlights include visiting the place the Calvert family resided while their manor house was under construction, seeing the archaeological excavations underway at the site of George Calvert's manor of Clohamon in County Wexford, andExplore Ireland the ancestral home of Charles Carroll, the Settler at Litterluna. Participants will also see the site of the Battle of the Boyne, ancient monasteries, the reputedly most haunted castle in Ireland, the Clifts of Moher, and attend the worldrenowned Galway Oyster Festival. Current scholarship is yielding new understanding of Ireland's 17th-century links to Maryland, and how the Emerald Isle's turbulent history influenced colonial Maryland. Contact Cole Travel for further information.

Commencement Speaker

Pulitzer-Prize journalist and this year's Commencement speaker Eugene H. Robinson began his career at the San Francisco Chronicle. He joined The Washington Post in 1980 as a city hall reporter, and then became city editor, foreign correspondent, foreign editor, and assistant managing editor for the Style section. Robinson has authored books about race in Brazil and music in Cuba. He is also a regular panel guest on NBC's "Meet the Press" and MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." Robinson's coverage of the Obama campaign won him the Pulitzer Prize. For his insightful body of work, Eugene Robinson received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from St. Mary's.