Alumni of USM Institutions Well-Represented in the 2023 Maryland General Assembly
One-Third of Membership Have USM Ties as Legislative Session Begins on Jan. 11
Baltimore, Md. (Jan. 10, 2023) – As the Maryland General Assembly convenes tomorrow in Annapolis, alumni from University System of Maryland (USM) institutions are well-represented in both chambers.
In the House of Delegates, 55 of 141 members graduated from (or attended) a USM institution, and 16 of the 47 members of the Senate graduated from (or attended) a USM institution. Collectively, more than one-third of the membership of the Maryland legislature studied at a USM university. Some legislative members attended multiple USM institutions, earning both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The 2023 legislative session opens on Wednesday, Jan. 11. History will be made next week, when the Maryland General Assembly begins its work with newly elected governor Wes Moore. When Gov-elect Moore is sworn in on Jan. 18, he will become the first African American to lead the state as governor. Dawn Moore, the incoming First Lady, graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) with a degree in government and politics.
The strong representation of USM institutions’ alumni in the Maryland General Assembly reflects well on the system’s tradition of graduating and preparing students to serve as leaders in the state.
“It’s gratifying to know that the USM plays such a huge role in developing the public leaders and public servants responsible for Maryland’s strength,” said USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman. “Of course, civic learning and democratic engagement are hallmarks of the education we offer. So it’s not just these legislators who benefit. All of our 163,000 students are advantaged by the foundation we lay—as is every single community where their influence is felt.”
Representation among members of both chambers spans multiple USM institutions and includes 15 members who are graduates of the University of Baltimore School of Law or the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
At the leadership level, Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones (D-Baltimore County) graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) with a B.A. in psychology. Senate President Bill Ferguson graduated from the Carey School of Law, a professional school within the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).
USM representation in the Maryland General Assembly includes several alumni of the system’s three historically Black institutions. In the House of Delegates, Edith Patterson (D-District 28 in Charles County) and Andrea Fletcher Harrison (D-District 24 in Prince George’s County) are graduates of Bowie State University. Charles J. Otto (District 38A in Somerset and Worcester counties) attended the University of Maryland Eastern Shore before completing his undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech. Shaneka Henson (D-District 30A in Anne Arundel County) graduated with a B.S. from Coppin State University before she completed her J.D. at the University of Baltimore School of Law. In the Senate, Joanne Benson (D-District 24 in Prince George’s County) is a graduate of Bowie State.
In addition to these institutions, the General Assembly also includes substantial alumni representation from throughout the USM, including the flagship UMCP; Towson University; Salisbury University; Frostburg State University; UMBC; and University of Maryland Global Campus.
The USM Office of Government Relations, and institutional representatives from the USM State Relations Council, will work diligently during the upcoming legislative session with all General Assembly members and their staffs to offer testimony and other feedback regarding proposed legislation. This work will often include collaboration with colleagues across all sectors of education in Maryland.
(Biographical information regarding General Assembly members, with higher education institutions attended, comes from the state’s Maryland Manual Online and certain candidate websites.)
The USM comprises 12 institutions: Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; the University of Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and the University of Maryland Global Campus. The USM also includes three regional centers—the Universities at Shady Grove, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland—at which USM universities offer upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses.
USM institutions and programs are among the nation's best in quality and value according to several national rankings. To learn more about the University System of Maryland, visit www.usmd.edu. To learn about the new USM Strategic Plan, “Vision 2030: From Excellence to Preeminence,” visit https://www.usmd.edu/vision2030/.
Contact: Mike Lurie