Founded in 1886, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is home to more than 4,400 undergraduates and more than 300 graduate students, as well as more than 150 full-time faculty.
Located in the town of Princess Anne, the institution is a land-grant, historically black college that started life as the Delaware Conference Academy. Since then, the 745-acre campus has had several name changes and governing bodies. It was known as Maryland State College from 1948 until 1970, when it became one of the five campuses that formed the University of Maryland. It currently has more than 86 buildings with several others on line.
Academically, UMES specializes in the arts and sciences, agriculture, and business. True to its land-grant heritage, it offers a number of programs geared to the needs of the region, including construction management, aviation science, and hotel and restaurant management. Pre-professional training is available in eight fields, and its 10 graduate offerings include doctoral programs in Toxicology, Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Sciences, Food Science and Technology, and Organizational Leadership.
* A $93 million classroom building will be ready for instruction in (the spring) 2016. At 163,500 square feet, it will be the university’s largest and home to Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and aviation science faculty. It will feature a geothermal energy system.
* UMES offers 38 undergraduate majors, 15 master’s degrees and nine doctoral programs. Twenty-eight academic units currently are accredited, including business and engineering.
* Physical therapy program graduates who receive doctorates each September routinely achieve a 100 percent pass rate on the licensure exam on the first try. Just 12 percent of the country’s universities share that distinction.
* UMES’ 14-to-1 student-instructor ratio fosters a vibrant, interpersonal learning environment.
* A recent (2013) national study of “return-on-investment” in education found that when compared to tuition, the average starting salary for UMES graduates ranked among the nation’s top 10 HBCUs.
* In the fall of 2014, two-thirds of UMES’ student body was African-American, which places the university in the top 10 most-diverse institutions among peer HBCUs.
* Annual surveys conducted since 2007 by U.S. News & World Report have ranked UMES in the upper tier among its historically black peer institutions. The university was rated 30th in the most recent survey.
* UMES is the nation’s lone historically black institution that offers a bachelor’s degree in PGA golf management through its hospitality and tourism department. It has attracted national attention in the form of generous gifts to support scholarships, including donations from Lexus, golfer Tiger Woods, the PGATour and Baltimore’s Caves Valley Golf Club.
* UMES is the nation’s first higher education institution to sponsor a collegiate chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association.
* The Association of Public Land-grant Universities named UMES a co-winner of its “1890 University of the Year” award in 2014 for overall excellence.
* UMES played host to the 7th biennial national conference (co-sponsored with NOAA in October 2014) that attracted more than 500 participants who discussed and celebrated efforts to recruit and educate more minorities for jobs in science, technology, engineering and math.
* A recognized leader in course redesign, UMES has been supported by National Science Foundation funding to do cutting-edge n curriculum modifications while forging new strategies to encourage women of color to study and teach science, technology, engineering and math.
* UMES is part of a consortium of mid-Atlantic institutions working on ways to utilize unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for domestic purposes. The research focus on the UMES campus is using these remote-controlled aircraft to help farmers be more efficient and productive – also known as precision agriculture.
* UMES has been recognized as the nation’s best public historically black institution for its “green” efforts in utilizing alternative energy.
* The university’s 17-acre solar-energy collection system on the east side of campus reduces UMES’ reliance on commercially produced electricity and provides engineering students hands-on learning opportunities as well as peers in other disciplines.
* UMES is not standing pat with its solar farm. It recently accepted a solar powered car as a donation, and other “green” initiative also are being explored.
* Of UMES’ 769 full-time employees (in June 2015), 391 have worked at the university fewer than 10 years.
* UMES is the nation’s lone historically black institution (and among just a handful of colleges and universities) that sponsors a spelling competition that sends the winner to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. each May.
* Many of the university nearly 13,000 living alumni live within a day’s drive of campus.
* For the past six years, UMES has had the highest graduation rate of student-athletes in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. 2015 graduates Mariana Alvarado and Ishaq Pitt, respectively, were named MEAC’s Female and Male athletes of the year for 2014-15.
* As a charter member of MEAC, UMES has 26 conference titles, and also has amassed seven national championships – the most of any historically black institution.
* And just for fun: UMES’ Harry T. Hawk was voted the nation’s best college basketball mascot (Fall 2014) in an inaugural online poll that included many of NCAA’s Division 1 basketball powers.