HAGERSTOWN – The University System of Maryland at Hagerstown (USMH) held its annual Elizabethtowne Feaste and Frolic gala on Friday, December 1 in celebration of the record–breaking funds raised to benefit the student scholarship fund and honored its first Executive Director, Dr. C. David Warner, for his contributions to higher education in the region following his recent retirement from Hagerstown Community College.
The event, held at USMH’s Hospitality Center on West Washington Street, raised more than $90,000 through sponsorships and donations from local businesses, foundations, community leaders and members as well as a matching grant provided by the University System of Maryland Foundation. Since its inception, USMH has awarded more than $925,000 to students enrolled in programs offered by partner universities within USMH and, for the 2023-24 academic year, awarded $81,000 in locally raised funds to 26 students.
During the event, guests enjoyed musical entertainment from local musicians flutist Morgan Jenkins and guitarists Candice Mowbray and Danny Webber. Mary Anne Jung from History Alive, portrayed Queen Elizabeth I, making her rounds from table to table interacting with attendees while providing historical facts and interesting tidbits to guests as they dined.
Following dinner, Executive Director Dr. Jacob Ashby began the program by welcoming guests and recognizing Robert Rankin for his many years of service as USMH’s major gifts officer.
As “Queen Elizabeth” took the stage, she led guests through a lesson of the proper curtsying and bowing etiquette before announcing a proclamation and “knighting” Warner in recognition of his years of service and dedication to higher education in the Hagerstown region. Upon his knighting, Warner took to the podium to share his heartfelt appreciation for community support over the years.
At the conclusion of the program, Ashby shared with guests his mission to support and educate students in attaining their higher education goals with little to no debt through access to USMH Scholarship Funds. The evening closed with a video in which the 2023-24 scholarship recipients expressed appreciation to donors and acknowledged the impact the scholarship funds had on their educational path.
The Elizabethtowne Feaste and Frolic is just one of the many fundraising efforts spearheaded by USMH to ease the financial burden of higher education. To donate towards the USMH Scholarship Fund or other student-benefitting funds, visit https://hagerstown.usmd.edu/giving/give-usmh.
View photos from the event taken by Mark Youngblood of Youngblood Studios.