St. Mary's College News Briefs

11th Annual Southern Maryland Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast, Jan. 19

The 11th Annual Southern Maryland Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast will be held Jan. 19 at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in the J. Frank Raley Great Room, Campus Center (18952 E. Fisher Road, St. Mary's City, Md., 20686). This year’s program will feature a keynote address by Michael Steele, MSNBC political analyst, former chairman of the Republic National Committee and former Maryland lieutenant governor, and performances by the First Missionary Baptist Church Youth Choir, Spring Ridge Middle School Rhythm Club and more. A full breakfast ($10 at the door) will be served starting at 6 a.m.; the program (free) begins at 8 a.m. Early arrival is recommended as space is limited; advanced registration is not required. For more information, contact Linda Jones at events [at] or call (240) 895-4310.

The Annual Southern Maryland Martin Luther King, Jr., Prayer Breakfast draws community-wide attendance, including local government officials, religious leaders, and business persons. The event is sponsored by St. Mary's College of Maryland, St. Mary's County Human Relations Commission, St. Mary's County Public Schools, and the College of Southern Maryland.

St. Mary’s College Receives High Honor for Community Service Work

St. Mary’s College of Maryland has been named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships.

In the press release announcing this year’s honorees, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service Wendy Spencer said, “Service and higher education go hand in hand. These schools are inspiring young leaders to roll up their sleeves and work alongside community members to solve problems.”

Since 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll has recognized institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of best practices in campus-community partnerships. It is overseen by the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.

Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded into the curriculum, and the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships.

The Life of Judge John Hanson Briscoe Told in Free Online Book

St. Mary’s College of Maryland Given Oral Histories to Preserve, Make Publicly Available

Rep. Steny Hoyer (left), former Governor Marvin Mandel (center), and Judge John Hanson Briscoe (right). Picture provided by "The Collection of John Hanson Briscoe.”
Rep. Steny Hoyer (left), former Governor Marvin Mandel (center), and Judge John Hanson Briscoe (right). Picture provided by "The Collection of John Hanson Briscoe.”

Upon the January 2014 passing of St. Mary’s County’s own Judge John Hanson Briscoe (who was also a former speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates), Rep. Steny Hoyer said, “He had a very decisive vision for Southern Maryland and the state that went far beyond local parochial politics. We’ll miss his humor. We’ll miss his wisdom. We’ll miss his sense of history.”

In keeping with Judge Briscoe’s sense of history, the judge’s son-in-law, Samuel Baldwin, of Baldwin and Briscoe, P.C., is continuing to honor the judge’s legacy by writing a book about his late father-in-law. The book will also cover other aspects of St. Mary’s County history and life.

In the interest of providing the public easy access, Baldwin is publishing the book in a groundbreaking way. He is removing the ‘middle man’ from the publication process and is making the book available for free online. Chapter 1, “Johnny Briscoe, a Great Life,” is available online today at The website also includes multimedia features, such as video and audio. Chapter 2 will be about lawyers practicing in the county during the 1940s, 50s and 60s, and will be published online in January 2015. Chapter 3 will highlight Sotterley Plantation.

In the process of writing the book, Baldwin has conducted oral histories of dozens of St. Mary’s County citizens. He has also arranged for these interviews to be transcribed. With the completion of each chapter of the book project, the oral histories used in each chapter are then transferred to the archives of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, which will house the paperwork and digital files in a climate-controlled storage area equipped with fire suppression. The text of the oral history transcripts will then be made available to the public on the SlackWater Oral Histories Collection website. The 18 transcripts from interviews captured in Chapter 1 are available now at

St. Mary’s College Named a 2015 Best Value College by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

St. Mary’s College of Maryland has again ranked among the top 50 on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of 100 best values in public colleges for in-state and out-of-state value. The ranking cites four-year schools that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has ranked the top values in public colleges since 1998, and St. Mary’s College has appeared on the list consistently since then. Kiplinger’s assesses quality based on a number of measurable standards, including admissions and retention rates, student-faculty ratio, four-year graduation rate, cost and financial aid. Cost criteria include sticker prices, financial aid and average debt at graduation.

In December, St. Mary’s College’s Board of Trustees voted to approve no tuition increase for the 2015-16 academic year. This locks into place the 2014-15 tuition rate of $11,195 for in-state students which had already been cut by 8.6% from the previous year. It also locks into place the 2014 tuition rate of $26,045 for out-of -state students. This is the third straight year with no increase for Maryland residents and the second year in a row of no increase for out-of-state students. The frozen rate also keeps the tuition cost for in-state students below the fall 2010 level.

St. Mary’s College’s newly inaugurated president, Tuajuanda C. Jordan, says the college is committed to keeping education both excellent and affordable. “Among the highest priorities for St. Mary’s College is not only to provide our students with the best public liberal arts education available, but to ensure access. It is gratifying to have Kiplinger’s consistently recognize St. Mary’s on our efforts.”

In the press release announcing the best value colleges, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, Janet Bodnar, says the publication’s rankings are a valuable resource for families as they try balancing top-quality education with affordable cost. “We salute this year’s top schools. … The schools on the 2015 list offer students the best of both worlds,” she said.

St. Mary’s College is one of only two public honors colleges in the nation. Located 70 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. and 95 miles south of Baltimore, the college has the fourth highest graduation rate in the nation for public liberal arts colleges.

The rankings will appear in the February 2015 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands January 6, 2015. The rankings are available online now at

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