Today we spotlight the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in our National HBCU Week series, alma mater of Amsterdam News sports editor and columnist Howie Evans.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) is a land-grant, historically black college founded in 1886 as the Delaware Conference Academy. The university has had several name changes and governing bodies. It was Maryland State College from 1948 until 1970, when it became one of the five campuses that formed the University of Maryland. In 1988, it became a member of the then eleven campus (now thirteen) University of Maryland System, now known as the University System of Maryland.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore at a glance

  • President: Dr. Juliette B. Bell
  • Students: 3,922
  • Mascot: Hawks
  • Colors: maroon and gray
  • Notable Alumni: Clarence Clemons, Starletta DuPois, Charlie Mays, Art Shell

UMES came later to be called Industrial Branch of Morgan State College and Princess Anne Academy. The State of Maryland, in operating its land-grant program at the Maryland Agricultural College at College Park (now the University of Maryland, College Park), which did not admit African American students, sought to provide a land-grant program for African Americans.

In1970, Maryland State College became the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. With the strong support of the Maryland Board of Regents, Systems Administration, and the faculty, UMES has developed an academic program above and perhaps more impressive than any other higher educational institution of its size in the east.

Today,UMES offers major programs leading to the B.A. and B.S. degrees in 26 disciplines in the arts and sciences, professional studies and agricultural sciences. In addition, UMES presents 13 teaching degree programs and eight pre-professional programs, as well as an Honors Program designed in cooperation with the University of Maryland at Baltimore to prepare students for professional school study.

From its original building known as “Olney,” constructed in 1798, the University now has over 600 acres, 28 major buildings and 41 other units. UMES. which sits on the Delmarva Peninsula, is known as one of the nation’s most beautiful college campuses.

UMES recently dedicated its new Engineering & Aviation Science Complex. The $103 million, 166,000 square foot facility, which opened for classes earlier this year, is “designed to expand cross-disciplinary research aimed at addressing the world’s critical problems and workforce demands in emerging areas such as unmanned aerial systems, renewable energy, radio spectrum sharing and access, advanced materials and nano-technologies.”