University of Maryland Eastern Shore

University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) is a public historically black land-grant university in Princess Anne, Maryland. It is part of the University System of Maryland.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore
University of Maryland Eastern Shore seal
MottoFacta, Non Verba
Motto in English
Deeds, Not Words
TypePublic, HBCU
Endowment$26.2 million (2017)
PresidentHeidi M. Anderson, Ph.D.
ProvostNancy S. Niemi, Ph.D.
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Undergraduates2,333 (Fall 2019)
Postgraduates553 (Fall 2019)
Location, ,
United States

38.212°N 75.685°W / 38.212; -75.685
CampusRural; 1,138 acres (total)
ColorsMaroon and Gray
AthleticsNCAA Division I MEAC, ECAC
AffiliationsUniversity System of Maryland
MascotHarry the Hawk & HH3
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Student Services Center /at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Location1 Backbone Rd., Princess Anne, Maryland
Coordinates38°12′36″N 75°41′8″W
ArchitectBooth, W. Wilson; Dashiell, J. Roland & Sons, et al.
Architectural styleColonial Revival, Classical Revival, et al.
NRHP reference #05001021 [1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 16, 2005


The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has been known by a series of names reflective of its location, evolving role and mission over a period spanning three centuries.

It opened Sept. 13, 1886 under the auspices of the Delaware Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Benjamin and Portia Bird welcomed nine students that first day to a converted farmhouse on 16 acres at what initially was envisioned to be a preparatory school for Centenary Biblical Institute in Baltimore, which in 1890 changed its name to Morgan College. By the end of the first academic year, 37 students were enrolled in the Delaware Conference Academy in Princess Anne.

African-American students could not enroll in the Maryland Agriculture College in College Park, which offered advanced instruction in farming techniques and related trades commonplace in the late 19th century. When Congress enacted the Second Morrill Act of 1890 committing funds to historically black schools also providing that type of instruction, the state of Maryland formalized a partnership with Morgan to underwrite "land-grant" education for African-Americans on Maryland's lower Eastern Shore.

By the turn of the 20th century, the school was known widely as Princess Anne Academy, although in some circles it was informally referred to as Morgan's "industrial branch." The public-private partnership between the state and Morgan inspired yet another alternative in nomenclature, at least according to state government archives: the Eastern Shore Branch of Maryland Agriculture College.

In the midst of the Great Depression, Maryland courts directed the state to admit qualified African-American applicants to its publicly funded law school in Baltimore, a ruling historians believe hastened Princess Anne Academy's transition to becoming a public institution.

Fifty years after opening, the school formally passed from church control to state ownership with the first of four $25,000 installment payments just as it was evolving into a baccalaureate degree-granting college. Maryland's public flagship campus in College Park was designated its administrative agency. In 1948, the Eastern Shore Branch of the University of Maryland, then alternately known as Princess Anne College, was renamed Maryland State College, a division of the University of Maryland.

Maryland State College became the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on July 1, 1970, and is today one of 12 University System of Maryland public institutions of higher education. In addition to 745 acres on its main campus in Princess Anne, UMES also operates a 385-acre research farm in southern Somerset County as well as the Paul S. Sarbanes Coastal Ecology Center on eight acres near Assateague Island in neighboring Worcester County.

UMES offers instruction in 37 undergraduate areas of study as well as 15 master's degrees and eight doctoral-degree programs; 27 are peer-accredited.


The university comprises five schools:

  • School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences
  • School of Education, Social Sciences, and the Arts
  • School of Business and Technology
  • School of Pharmacy and Health Professions
  • School of Graduate Studies


UMES was one of the founding members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 1970. The school left the MEAC in 1979 but re-joined in 1981 and has been a member ever since. The Hawks compete in 15 sports at the Division I level: seven men's and eight women's. Prior to 1970, the university was a member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association in Division II.

The school was once a powerhouse in black college football, producing five undefeated seasons between 1947 and 1960. Like many smaller colleges, the high costs associated with operating an NCAA Division I football program and complying with the federal Title IX gender-equity law became too much of a burden, and subsequently the team was disbanded following the 1979 season.

In 1948, Maryland State College and Albright College played one of the first intercollegiate football game between an historically black institution and a majority-white institution.[2]

After a consultant produced a study in 2012 on the feasibility of reinstating football,[3] President Dr. Juliette B. Bell put together a task force to weigh whether football should be reinstated. On Feb. 28, 2013, the decision was to continue without football, but that the topic "may be revisited" in five years.[4] NFL player and coach Art Shell attended UMES.

UMES is tied with Florida State for the most alumni appearing in a single Super Bowl game. In the 1968 game (Super Bowl III) between the New York Jets and the Baltimore Colts, UMES was represented by four alumni: Earl Christy (1961–1964), Johnny Sample (1954–1957), Emerson Boozer (1962–1965), and Charlie Stukes (1963–1967).

The UMES women's bowling team won the NCAA Bowling Championship in 2012 in Ohio against Fairleigh Dickinson University and in Omaha, Nebraska against Arkansas State University in 2008. They won the series 4-2 (in a best of 7 match). The team was led by All-Tournament players Jessica Worsley (who was named the tournament MVP) and Maria Rodriguez. With the series win, UMES became the first HBCU to win a women's NCAA national championship. The UMES women also won their second 2011 NCAA Bowling Championship in Taylor, Michigan against Vanderbilt University, also winning the series 4-2 (in a best of 7 match). Kristina Frahm (named tournament MVP) and Maria Rodriguez were named to the All-Tournament team en route to their victory. That season, along with the NCAA Championship, UMES also won the USBC Team Championships over Lindenwood University as well as the MEAC Championship. In 2007, the women's bowling team came in 2nd at the NCAA National Championship in Orlando, Florida and fell to Vanderbilt in a 4–3 series. The team was led by All-Tournament players Marion Singleton and Jessica Worsley. The UMES women's bowling team also won the MEAC Championship in 2000, 2006, 2007, and 2008.

UMES men's basketball is coached by Bobby Collins. The school led the nation in scoring during the 1973–1974 season with 97.6 points per game, including future NBA picks Rubin Collins, Talvin Skinner, William Gordon and Joe Pace. The team defeated Manhattan College 84-81 in the first round of the 1974 NIT and fell to Jacksonville University 85-83 in the quarterfinals. The team has never played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.

During the 2010–11 season, UMES had a men's and women's basketball player surpass the 1,000-career point mark. Hillary Haley passed the mark on the men's side with a 24-point performance against Coppin State on February 19, including his first season at St. Bonaventure. On the women's side, Casey Morton scored 10 points against Savannah State to surpass the mark, finishing with 1,230 in four years with the Lady Hawks. The next season, Adobi Agbasi finished third in Division I in blocks per game with 3.72 per contest, becoming the all-time shot-blocker in UMES women's basketball history with 239 total blocks, achieving that mark on March 1, 2012 against Savannah State|.

In 2011, the Hawks men's outdoor track team was ranked third in the Mid-Atlantic Region by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, and subsequently was the highest ranked team in the state of Maryland. The following season, three UMES outdoor track athletes earned All-America status: Lenora Guion-Firmin earned First Team in the 400-meter dash, later earning a spot with the French 4x400-meter team in the 2012 Summer Olympics, while Andre Walsh and Vanessa Henry, in the men's 400-meter hurdles and women's shot put, earned Second Team. In 2014, The men's side won the MEAC Cross Country Championships.

The UMES women's volleyball team won its first MEAC championship in the history of the school in November 2011 with a win over Florida A&M in the title game, earning its first NCAA Tournament berth ever. The Hawks fell to eventual national champion UCLA in the first round. In 2012, the team repeated as MEAC champions with another five-set win over Florida A&M to advance to the NCAAs again, falling to 4-seed Nebraska in its first match. The team has won the MEAC Northern Division each of the past six years, combining to go 61-3 in conference regular season matches in that time, plus holds the longest current home-winning streak in Division I, being victorious in its last 30 matches at home.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
David Banner (Lavell Crump) Rapper, studied Master of Education [5]
Emerson Boozer 1965 former NFL player [6]
Roger Brown 1960 former NFL player [7]
Earl Christy 1967 former NFL player [8]
Clarence Clemons Professional saxophonist with Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band [9]
James Duncan former NFL player [10]
Brasheedah Elohim American-Israeli women's professional basketball player
Carl Hairston 1975 former NFL player and coach [11]
Merrecia James 2008 track and field middle distance runner from Jamaica, former member of UMES track team, and competed in North American Central American Caribbean (NACAC) cross country meets and world championship cross country meets [12]
Charles Mays 1964 Olympic long jumper and New Jersey State Assemblyman [13]
Earl S. Richardson 1965 Morgan State University President [14]
Johnny Sample 1958 former NFL player [15]
Art Shell 1968 Pro Football Hall of Fame player and former NFL head coach of the Oakland Raiders and former NFL executive [16]
Ira Smith 1990 former minor league baseball player. He had the highest batting average in Division I in 1989 and 1990. [17]
Charlie Stukes 1967 former NFL player [18]
Billy Thompson 1969 former NFL player [19]
Dr. Richard Warren, Jr. 2011 2019 Maryland Teacher of the Year [20]
Joe Williams American football player [21]

Notable faculty


  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. "Vernon "Skip" McCain - 125th anniversary website profile". Retrieved August 17, 2009.
  3. "UMES Feasibility Football Study 2012 by Alden & Associates" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-02.
  4. "UMES passes on restarting intercollegiate football". Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  5. "10 Most Educated Rappers". Celebrity Net Worth and Lifestyle | Entertainment and Sports Rich List. December 12, 2014.
  6. "Emerson Boozer". The University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  7. "Roger Brown". Pro-Football Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  8. "Earl Christy". Pro-Football Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  9. "Clarence Clemons". University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  10. "Jim Duncan". Pro-Football Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  11. "Carl Hairston". Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  12. "Merrecia James". The University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  13. "UMES Mourns the Loss of a Hall-of-Famer, Charles Mays, Sr" (Press release). University of Maryland Eastern Shore. April 15, 2005. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  14. "Earl S. Richardson, MSA SC 3520-11565". Archives of Maryland. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  15. "Johnny Sample". The University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  16. "Art Shell". The University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  17. "Ira Smith inducted into MEAC Hall of Fame".
  18. "Charlie Stukes". University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  19. "Bill Thompson". Pro-Football Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  20. "Dr. Richard Warren, Jr. Named 2018-19 Maryland Teacher of the Year". Maryland Department of Education. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  21. "1965 Montreal Alouettes". Retrieved October 9, 2015.
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