December 9, 2011
Press Release #11-218
The President of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Joseph R. Urgo, and his wife, Lesley Dretar Urgo, commit $100,000 to the College’s upcoming comprehensive campaign. This new commitment will bring their total financial support of the College to $120,000, including a prior gift of $20,000.
“Maintaining the liberal arts in the public trust requires financial investments as well as personal dedication,” President Urgo said. “Lesley and I recognize that as we ask others to make investments through the campaign, we must lead in this initiative as well.”
While the comprehensive campaign is in the initial planning phase, the goals of the campaign will focus significantly on expanding available resources for need-based financial aid and strengthening academic programs through investments in faculty and departmental assets. A full $75,000 of the Urgo’s commitment is designated to their need-based scholarship fund, which was established in the last two years.
“Our priorities remain focused on support for the dedicated young people who seek the rigors of a liberal arts experience, yet who do not have the means to fully fund their education,” Mrs. Urgo stated. “Additionally, we are keenly aware of our unique location on the St. Mary’s River, which provides an opportunity for creating in our students an awareness of their environment with the hopes of influencing their role in preservation throughout their lives.”
The remaining $25,000 of the Urgo’s campaign commitment is dedicated to the St. Mary’s College Arboretum. Since its founding in August 2010, the arboretum has been named as a Level One Arboretum (approved by the Morton Register of Arboreta). The campus has been designated as a Tree Campus USA site by the Arbor Day Foundation of America, and the College’s majestic willow oak at the Garden of Remembrance has been ranked in the state of Maryland’s “top 20” for that particular tree species.
St. Mary’s College, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. More than 2,000 students attend the college, nestled on the St. Mary’s River in Southern Maryland.