Michael P. OBrien 68 (far right), St. Marys College of Maryland (SMCM) board member, friend, and donor, stands with Larry Vote (far left), acting president of St. Marys College of Maryland (SMCM), and Jim Muldoon, chair of the SMCM Board of Trustees, in front of the new Michael P. OBrien Athletics and Recreation Center. The athletics center at the college was recently re-named as a tribute to contributions OBrien made to the college in both the artistic and athletic fields. (Photo: Frank Marquart)
ST. MARYS CITY, Md. (March 23, 2010) The St. Marys College of Maryland (SMCM) Athletics and Recreation Center was recently renamed the Michael P. OBrien Athletics and Recreation Center after OBrien, a local Realtor, member of the SMCM Board of Trustees, and part of the SMCM Class of 1968. An avid basketball player, OBrien was a member of the 1968 mens basketball team and continues to support the athletics department, the River Concert Series, and the artist-in-residence program run by the colleges English, art, and art history departments.
I first met Mr. OBrien
as Mike during my second year here at the college during noontime hoops, said Colby Caldwell, SMCM associate professor of art, during the ceremony. It was during that acquaintance that I learned that Mike was actually Mr. OBrien, the same Mr. OBrien who would transform the cultural landscape at the college, and indeed, the community.
In 2003, OBrien gave a gift to the college that SMCM professors Michael Glaser and Sue Johnson used to establish the Artist House, a home for visiting artists to stay during their time at St. Marys College. The Artist House houses 12 artists and writers each year, three times the number of artists prior to OBriens gift, and allows them to spend time with students, conduct workshops, and give public lectures and readings.
While reviewing donors, I came to know him for many years as Anonymous, said former SMCM president Maggie OBrien. Eventually, I learned that Anonymous was Mike OBrien
but he declined to be recognized for years and years.
Local artist Caroline Egeli painted a portrait of OBrien that was unveiled at the ceremony and will remain in the athletics center.