Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Eastern Shore Society of Baltimore City to Fund New WC Scholarship Focused on Environment

CHESTERTOWN—Thanks to a gift of $85,000 from the Eastern Shore Society of Baltimore City, Washington College will create a new scholarship for students with strong Eastern Shore ties and a strong interest in the environment. The new Eastern Shore Society Scholarship Fund will provide an annual scholarship to an entering freshman from the Eastern Shore, or of Eastern Shore heritage, who plans to focus his or her studies largely on the environment.

College president Mitchell Reiss says the school is proud and grateful to have this new tie to the tradition of stewardship the Society has established over the decades. “We appreciate this investment in educating the sons and daughters of the Eastern Shore about the fragility of the Bay and its ecosystems. The society’s constitution states its purpose as ‘to preserve and foster an appreciation of the history, traditions, and pleasant memories of the Eastern Shore of Maryland,’ ” he adds. “As a college community that benefits so much from our setting in beautiful Chestertown by the Chester River, we share that mission. And we know it can be accomplished only with an educated citizenry and a healthy Chesapeake Bay.”

The scholarships will be administered by the College’s Center for Environment & Society (CES). The CES supports a variety of programs focused on the environment and has created a special Chesapeake Semester that provides students with hands-on experience in several key study areas in the Chesapeake Bay region. Chesapeake Semester students learn the history of the region, with stops at significant sites such as the James River plantations and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s. They study the biology and ecology of the Bay, getting onto the water to run tests and study the health of the ecosystem. And they explore the sociology of the people who inhabit the region, meeting with a variety of constituencies with important stakes in the future of the Bay and its watershed, including farmers, watermen, environmentalists, and legislators.

“We're fortunate to have the world's third largest estuary in our backyard,” says John Seidel, director of the CES. “This support will help students from the region fully explore the Chesapeake Bay and develop the skills to help save it."

The Eastern Shore Society of Baltimore City traces its origin to 1911 when a group of Caroline County natives began meeting in the City to maintain their ties to their home communities. Two years later, that Caroline County Society expanded to include members from all the counties of the Shore. The first meeting of the Eastern Shore Society on December 13, 1913 drew 113 charter members to the Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore. Over the decades, membership has expanded further, to also include descendants and spouses of Eastern Shore natives.

“We are pleased to be able to provide tangible help to students from the Eastern Shore who wish to study issues that directly affect the Eastern Shore,” says Society president John Woodall. “And we’re happy to partner with Washington College to help the region flourish.”

The first Eastern Shore Society scholarship will be offered to a member of the Class of 2015. For more information, contact Kevin Coveney, Vice President for Admissions and Enrollment Management at 410-778-7700 or

PHOTO CAPTION: From left, John Seidel, director of the Center for Environment & Society, Carroll J. Collins, secretary/treasurer of the Eastern Shore Society of Baltimore City, John R. Woodall, president of the Society, and Mitchell Reiss, president of Washington College, pose in front of the school's portrait of its founding patron George Washington.

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