ANNAPOLIS, Md. (April 16, 2010) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown completed a college road trip today, visiting four colleges across western Maryland on Thursday and Friday. During the road trip, Brown held lunch meetings, toured campuses and hosted a series of press announcements. Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown administration’s higher education efforts and has set a goal to visit every community and public college and university, along with as many independent and private institutions as possible, during the administration’s first term. To date, the lieutenant governor has visited every public four-year college and university and has now spent substantial time at each of the State’s 16 community colleges. Brown’s road trip included visits to Hood College in Frederick, Frostburg State University, Allegany College and Carroll Community College.
“Here in Maryland, we have a broad collection of some of the best public four-year colleges, universities and community colleges in America. During my road trip, I had the opportunity to engage students, professors and administrators across western Maryland in important discussions about real issues affecting their institutes of higher education,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Protecting and advancing higher education is a top priority for the O’Malley-Brown administration, and through our continued partnerships with the State’s colleges, universities and community colleges, Maryland will remain the best educated and most highly-skilled state in the nation.”
Lt. Governor Brown began his college road trip Thursday at Hood College in Frederick where he toured the campus with President Ronald Volpe, had lunch with faculty, board members and students and delivered a ceremonial check for $2 million, representing capital funding included in the FY2011 budget which the General Assembly approved earlier this month. The funding will be used to renovate the College’s air and heating system. The retrofit project is considered a green project and will significantly lower the college’s energy consumption. Hood College’s renovation project will include replacement of the failing boiler plant and underground steam distribution system currently serving the College. The system, parts of which date back to 1927, provides service to most of the campus and experiences increasingly frequent failures that disrupt heating service to both academic and residential facilities. The infrastructure replacement will install new boilers and steam lines to serve the academic core of campus and install independent boilers in facilities on the perimeter of campus.
“The entire Hood College Community is grateful to Governor O’Malley, Lt. Governor Brown and the state legislature for approving funding for the replacement of the college’s obsolete central steam plant and underground steam distribution system,” said Hood College President Ronald Volpe. “The critically needed project will reduce operating costs, improve reliability and minimize Hood College’s carbon footprint and will reduce college’s utility consumption by nearly 33 percent, thereby reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted. The college will also be able to redirect energy cost savings to other college programs for its students, 80 percent of whom are Maryland residents.”
After visiting Hood College, Lt. Governor Brown traveled to Frostburg where he spent the evening at Frostburg State University and participated in the University’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. Brown delivered the keynote address at the celebration honoring the life, work and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Frostburg State University greatly appreciates the commitment Gov. O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Brown have demonstrated to higher education," said FSU President Jonathan Gibralter. "We are honored that Mr. Brown is joining us for our annual Martin Luther King celebration."
Brown began Friday with a visit to Allegany College of Maryland in Cumberland where he toured the college with President Bruce Exstrom and held a ceremonial check presentation. In front of Dr. Donald L. Alexander Library, the Lt. Governor delivered a check for $790,000 for renovations to the College’s automotive technologies and physical plant building. The renovation project will provide funding to replace the current building systems which are more than 40 years old. The project will also correct existing deficiencies and reconfigure existing space to maximize usable space for faculty and students. The Automotive Technologies program provides hands-on training for employees in the local region and is the only accredited community college automotive technologies program west of Catonsville in Maryland.
“The Automotive Tech program here at ACM is a unique program and is in high demand. The funding of this project is a true indication of the State of Maryland’s commitment to enhancing student learning, technology, and our facilities. We truly appreciate the support and on-going commitment,” said Allegany College President Bruce Exstrom.
After visiting Allegany College of Maryland, Brown traveled to Westminster where he concluded his college road trip at Carroll Community College. Lt. Governor Brown toured the campus with President Faye Pappalardo and had lunch with students, faculty and administration leaders where he discussed issues facing students, community colleges and middle skills jobs.
“I am overjoyed that the Lieutenant Governor has chosen to stop at Carroll Community College to see our facilities and meet our faculty and students,” said Dr. Faye Pappalardo, president of Carroll Community College.
Maryland is one of the most educated states in the nation, consistently ranking among the top for the number of residents with college and post-graduate degrees. Four Maryland institutions rank on Kiplinger’s 100 Best Values in Public Colleges and six institutions rank among the best in US News & World Report. Last month, Governor O’Malley appointed Lt. Governor Brown to lead the new statewide initiative, “Skills2Compete,” which promotes programs and activities that lead to increasing the skill level of Marylanders though the attainment of a post-secondary credential, apprenticeship program or degree.
The recently passed FY2011 budget provides funding of $1.1 billion for Maryland’s public four-year higher education institutions and $256.1 million for the State’s community colleges. Funding for Maryland’s community colleges has increased by $50 million, or 24 percent, over FY2007.