Universities at Shady Grove Groundbreaking Ceremony
November 22, 2005

Business, political, and community leaders joined with students on Tuesday morning, November 22, for the ceremonial shoveling of dirt, marking the groundbreaking for Education Building III at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) in Montgomery County.

The new building will double the physical education space on the campus and triple the enrollment capacity, from 2,000 full- and part-time students to more than 6,000. The building will be completed in fall 2007. The fast-growing regional education center, which is part of the University System of Maryland, features more than 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered by seven of the state’s leading public universities.

Governor Robert Ehrlich led a distinguished group of speakers who saluted the occasion. The new structure was included in the Governor’s 2006 capital budget and approved by the General Assembly. Governor Ehrlich praised Shady Grove for “efficient delivery of services” and its role in advancing education in the region and state. County Executive Douglas Duncan, who played a key role in the establishment of USG in 2000, noted USG’s importance in education for a “technology economy” and praised community leaders for their vision in creating a new educational enterprise.

Senator Patrick Hogan (39th district) said that USG’s unique model for bringing different educational institutions together under one roof “will be replicated around the state and the nation.” Foday Sackor, a junior in the degree program of the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, offered at USG, provided a special perspective. An emigrant from Liberia seven years ago, he described escaping a war-torn nation with his family and spending two years in refugee camps in Ghana before arriving in Maryland. He called the new building a symbol of “promise, growth, and hope.” He commented, “I’ve learned in class that an asset creates value. The students at Shady Grove are the leaders of tomorrow. We are the state of Maryland’s greatest asset.”

Mr. Sackor and six other students, representing the six other universities offering courses at USG, then joined the Governor Ehrlich, County Executive Duncan, Senator Hogan, USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan, USG Board of Advisors Chair Steven O’Connor, USM Regent Patricia Florestano, Maryland Treasurer Nancy Kopp, first USG Board of Advisors Chair Gene Counihan, and USG Executive Director Stewart Edelstein at the construction site, shovels in hand. A reception followed.

Contact: Liz O'Neill

E-mail: loneill@usmd.edu