Yesterday, May 30, 2013, marked an historic day for TU, HCC, higher education in Maryland and of course TU’s Division of Administration and Finance. Yesterday saw the Groundbreaking ceremony at Harford Community College (HCC) for the newest Towson University building, and the newest TU program.
Currently, there is not a single 4-year higher-education facility in either Harford or Cecil counties. The TU in Northeastern Maryland program between TU and HCC, originally dubbed the “2+2” project, entails the installation of a TU building that would offer a select few Bachelor degree programs for members of the northeastern Maryland counties who had earned their Associate degrees. This simple yet innovative idea originated in 2006 during talks between former TU President Dr. Caret and former HCC President Dr. LaCalle. The partnership and the 2+2 building are not limited to HCC grads, and Cecil County will be partaking in the TU program in Harford as well. Click the link for more information on TU in Northeast Maryland.
If the Groundbreaking ceremony was an indication of the support and dedication to the TU in Northeastern Maryland program (hint: it was), the result can be nothing but success. As USM Chancellor Dr. “Britt” Kirwan observed, the fact that so many (over 200) people came to the ceremony despite the heat is testimony to the importance of this project. The ceremony opened with TU Provost Dr. Timothy Chandler declaring the TU in N.E. Md building one of the most significant buildings in the 150-year history of Towson. President Loeschke has been working on this project since she began her presidential tenure, recalling that on her first day at TU, this project was “the first thing I found on my desk.” President Loeschke and HCC President Dr. Dennis Golladay both spoke of the close relationship between Baltimore and Harford counties, as well as the pre-existing relationship between TU and HCC; over 70 percent of HCC grads that pursue their Bachelor’s degree attend Towson.
With such a history, President Golladay declared this partnership a “no-brainer.” Students in northeast Maryland will save on commuting or living expenses to attend TU, and TU continues its innovating model for higher-education. Surprisingly, despite being a “no-brainer,” this partnership is the first of its kind in the State of Maryland. Dr. Kirwan applauded the project for what it would bring a region of burgeoning economic and social importance, allowing Harford and Cecil county residents to more easily realize their full potential in the workforce, as citizens and as people in the community. With true enthusiasm, Dr. Kirwan also thanked and congratulated the numerous members of state and local government and the USM system who convinced legislators in Annapolis to put aside their politics and approval this invaluably important and beneficial project.
Although not conspicuously represented, A&F has been instrumental in orchestrating this program. The building itself is owned by TU, and TU will be responsible for all the administrative operations. At this point, our Division has coordinated the design and the construction efforts as they have with on-campus projects. A&F has worked on the innumerable proposals and contracts, and been present through the entire organization, deliberation and administration of the TU in Northeastern Maryland project. And the job isn’t finished yet. The concluding remarks at the Groundbreaking ceremony invited everyone to return in a year for the ribbon cutting ceremony, when A&F’s work will physically stand as testament to our work. And even then, A&F will continue to work in the background, ensuring the success of this outstanding and innovative project, just as we do everyday maintaining Towson University.