The Public Honors College

SMCM Newsroom

Successful 2009 Brendan Sail Training Program Concludes with Awards Ceremony

January 29, 2010
Press Release #10-002


Program participants and volunteers were honored at the recent awards ceremony of the 2009 Brendan Sail Training Program for Youth with Learning Differences in Annapolis, which celebrates the "Faces of Brendan."

The Brendan Sail Training Program, now in its 27th year, teaches sailing to young people with learning differences. Brendan instructors conduct eight-day sailing camps in Annapolis and Southern Maryland every summer. Founder James P. Muldoon, of Washington, D.C., and chairman of the St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM) Board of Trustees, started the program at the Annapolis Sailing School's facilities. The Brendan camp began coming to SMCM six years ago with enthusiastic support from the college and the Southern Maryland sailing community.

"I believe that sailing really could open up a whole new world to our kids," said Muldoon at the ceremony.  "I still believe it today.  And the Brendan graduates in the room today are proof of that." 

The following participants won an award: Laura Rossi, of Annapolis, Maryland, won the Nogutsnoglory Award for sportsmanship, dedication, and character.  This is the third year the eighth grader from Norbel School has participated in the program.  Riggs Brusnighan, of Severna Park, Maryland, won the Arthur Birney Award for an advanced sailor displaying commitment to the program and sport.  Sixteen-year-old Brusnighan is a junior instructor for the program and attends Mt. St. Joseph.  Wayne Carter, of Lexington Park, Maryland, won the Jerry and Kathryn Wood Award.  This is given to a new St. Mary's student who embodies the spirit of Brendan: sail, be safe, and have fun.  Carter is a ninth grader at Great Mills High School. 

The following volunteers received awards: Adam Werblow, director of the waterfront and head varsity sailing coach at SMCM, was honored with the Molly Mahoney Award for the volunteer contributing the most to the St. Mary's Brendan program this year.  Linda Macpherson received the Daniel Gottlieb Award for the parent most generously going above and beyond to assist the program.  Linda Kessler Muldoon received the Valerie M. Hill Award given to the volunteer contributing most significantly to the overall program. 

St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's, and The Princeton Review. Founded in 1840 as Maryland's "monument school" commemorating the state's first capital, SMCM is the state's only public honors college.

More than 2,000 students attend the college, which has the highest graduation rate for all Maryland public colleges and universities, and an SAT average for student admissions of 1848. The school's waterfront campus along the St. Mary's River in Southern Maryland is home to the 2009 National Intercollegiate Sailing Association Co-ed champions.