LA PLATA, Md. (Sept. 22, 2016)—With a vision to positively impact students and their futures, philanthropist, astute businesswoman and developer Marianne Harms of Huntingtown has made a $1 million gift to provide scholarships for students at the College of Southern Maryland.
"I believe in the College of Southern Maryland and see it as one of our greatest assets in our community, not only in how it serves students with higher learning and training but also how it enriches the people of our community in so many ways. There is something at this college for everyone," Harms said.
The gift, which includes $500,000 in cash and a planned gift of $500,000 through a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust, is the largest in the CSM Foundation's $10-million "Make An Impact Campaign." "I see futures here," Harms said, continuing, "All of these funds will be directed to an endowed scholarship, the John and Marianne Harms Endowed Scholarship Fund, honoring my late husband, John, who was an ardent supporter of higher education and a very successful businessman. He would agree that this campaign is a transformative campaign, one that will change the future of our students, and so I am establishing this scholarship fund to help students afford college and prepare for a better life."
Born in Hagerstown, John Harms was an engineer and founded the John E. Harms Jr. and Associates Engineering consulting firm in 1955. He served as president and CEO for many years. John Harms believed that the value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive; therefore both he and his wife are well known for their generosity. Through the Harms' philanthropy, the Healing Garden at Calvert Memorial Hospital, Harms Gallery at the Calvert Marine Museum and the Marianne Harms Multidisciplinary Suite at the Sheldon E. Goldberg Center for Breast Care at Calvert Health System have been established.
"The compassion that John and Marianne Harms have demonstrated through their generous offerings within our community has touched many lives and together they have been catalysts to bring about transformative change for Southern Maryland," said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. "Marianne is an enthusiastic advocate for education and what it can do for a person's quality of life. Now through this endowed scholarship, Marianne Harms, with her husband John, are creating a legacy that will impact the lives of students pursuing their higher education goals far into the future, and the college is honored to be part of their vision."
CSM's Impact Campaign is a transformative three-year outreach and fundraising effort that will culminate in 2018 with the college's 60th anniversary. "Make Your Impact: Invest Today to Transform Tomorrow" addresses access, affordability and achievement by ensuring that degree programs and career training are available to everyone through scholarships, that high caliber programs, facilities and technology are accessible, and that strategic partnerships and innovation are created and sustained in the community.
"It is my pleasure to make this gift and remain involved with the College of Southern Maryland and its success. I hope that this gift will inspire others to support the college and together we can change the future of our students and our community," Marianne Harms said.
The John and Marianne Harms Endowed Scholarship will be awarded annually, with preference given to students from Southern Maryland who demonstrate financial need. The first round of scholarships will be awarded beginning in the fall 2017 semester. As part of the Harms' Impact Campaign gift, the Flagship Building on the Prince Frederick Campus will be named in John and Marianne Harms' honor.
"Think of the impact this gift will make on our CSM community," said CSM Foundation Chair Rane Franklin. "Marianne has taken a bold step to lead the way for other contributors to follow. Now we are looking for other champions to step up to join her and help CSM to go beyond all expectations."
For information on the Impact campaign initiatives, naming opportunities and more, visit IMPACT.csmd.edu or call the CSM Foundation at 301-934-7649.