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Thelma B. Thompson, Ph.D., made history at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). Here are some of the historical accomplishments at UMES during her nine-year tenure:

  • From four accredited programs in 2002, there were 26 — including the Department of Business, Management, and Accounting in spring 2011.
  • A new four-year engineering degree was added, and a three-year doctorate in pharmacy.
  • The Campaign for Academic Excellence, launched in 2004, amassed nearly $15 million in donations plus $2 million in matching funds from the federal Title III program, by 2011.

Some $8 million was raised in endowed funds.

  • Nearly $200 million in funding from government agencies were secured from federal and state grants and sponsored research as funding sources for campus programs.
  • Outreach ventures included an agreement with the U.S. Orchid Laboratory & Nursery; the creation of the Maryland Hawk Corp.; the launch of the HawkSat 1 satellite; the revolutionary Poultry House of the Future research; and a 17-acre, privately built solar farm activated in March 2011.

Dr. Thompson took over as UMES president on July 1, 2002, and retired from higher education in August 2011.

“We are entrusted with the minds of young students, and to me, that makes education much more than a business. It dictates the future of our nation and our graduates tell us who we are as a society,” she told Gains Hawkins.

During her academic career, Dr. Thompson served as an English professor at Bowie State University, 1974-1976; Assistant chair of the English Department, 1979-88; Associate Dean and Professor, 1988-90, College of Liberal and Fine Arts, University of the District of Columbia; Dean, School of Arts and Letters, 1990-98, and Vice-President of Academic Affairs, 1998-2002, Norfolk State University.

Click here to read more about history-making educator Thelma B. Thompson by Gains Hawkins. 

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