CSM Dedicates Business Building on La Plata Campus

Tiffany Washington

The College of Southern Maryland welcomed elected officials, community members, faculty and staff to the dedication for the newly renovated Business (BU) Building on April 19. One of the three original structures on the La Plata Campus, the one-story BU Building was transformed to add a second story, seven general purpose classrooms, four computer labs, two conference rooms and office space totaling 23,472 square feet for the Financial and Administrative Services Division. The cost of the project was $9.3 million. 

            “This building has changed a lot since the day we came here with sledgehammers and had fun bashing holes in the walls—that will be one of the highlights of my term on the Board of Trustees,” said Board Chair Mary Krug. “It really was the beginning of a transformation and transformation is really the business that the college is in. Even though we call this a renovation, in every way, I think that transformation is the right word. Not just because of the physical aspects, but because of what will happen here as a result of it.” Krug spoke about the year 1968 when the original BU building was dedicated as being a year of transformation for our country when many bad things happened, “We lost Bobby Kennedy and we lost Martin Luther King and we lost our innocence,” Krug said adding that the bright spot in this community was the opening of the La Plata Campus. With the dedication of the new BU Building, CSM is continuing the legacy that began in 1968, said Krug.

“These buildings don’t go up by themselves and one of the big things we need is financing. We have many community colleges around the country, but I have to mention that I have never seen a commissioner board or a group of members of the delegation in Annapolis who have been more supportive, and I want to thank them,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried as he welcomed elected officials.

“What has been brought forth from the construction dust and dirt is this new building that will stand to serve the educational needs of CSM students for many years to come,” said Charles County Commissioner Ken Robinson. “This building adds to the already impressive array of structures on CSM campuses throughout Southern Maryland and now reflects the look and feel of a progressive, innovative and technologically advanced institution.”

“As CSM forges ahead into the new frontiers of learning I would again like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Board of Commissioners to offer you the very best wishes to all of the students, the faculty, the administrators, who have made CSM a powerhouse in education in Southern Maryland and beyond,” Robinson said.

“I happened to be one of those people who worked and attended class in the original BU Building and I can assure you it has really changed,” said State Delegate Sally Y. Jameson, chair of Southern Maryland Delegation. When Jameson worked in the campus data center, it took a large room to hold a computer that now fits in a cell phone.

“I don’t think that [the State Delegation] have ever invested a dollar that didn’t come back to each and every one of you here in triple,” Jameson said of the state funds allocated for CSM.

            “We give support because we see ourselves as part of a team with the professors, the board, the instructors, all the support staff—we’re all in this for one thing and that’s for the students,” said State Senator Thomas Mac Middleton, a 1966 graduate of CSM. “I know the delegation agrees with me.”

“It is always an easy task for us to support, not only education, but also the community college. When students and faculty come up to Annapolis [for Student Advocacy Day] it is always a reminder of what an incredible facility and education this gives—not just to those students who are leaving high school, but to adults who have made a decision at whatever time in their life, to change their life,” said State Delegate Peter Murphy, chair of the Charles County Delegation. “The bricks and mortar make this a beautiful building and it makes us really proud to have this in Charles County. We all know that what makes this work, and the lifeblood of all of this, starts from the top not only with President Gottfried and the vision, and the board of trustees and the foundation, but also with the students, the faculty, the administration and all the support staff that goes into making these buildings work and change the lives of people.”

            Jay Lilly, alum of CSM’s class of 1965 and CSM Foundation chair, reflected on his path to college and the help he received from a partial scholarship. “[The scholarship] made it easier to attend CSM and while here, the professors were, and continue to be, dedicated to the students. They provided me with a great educational base and helped me focus on what I needed to gain entry into Georgetown University where I earned my bachelor’s degree. The CSM Foundation has made stories like mine possible for hundreds of College of Southern Maryland students.”

Lilly named the most recent scholarships administered by the CSM Foundation, including: Charles County Government, nursing scholarship; Charles County Chamber of Commerce, business scholarship; McNelis Family, accounting scholarship; Connie Kite, nursing scholarship; Carmen Sanders & Matthew Gambrill, the Dennis Lake Smith Memorial Art Scholarship; Zonta of Charles County, the Gayle Cooke Scholarship; Brad and Linda Gottfried, art scholarship; The Western Charles County Community Association Scholarship, for students in workforce development continuing education courses; and The Patuxent Partnership, BECA Pathways to Engineering scholarships.

Lilly recognized Christine Rush, the chief financial officer, executive vice president and corporate secretary of Old Line Bank, which partnered with the college to establish the Old Line Bank Business Program Annual Scholarship Fund in the amount of $50,000. This fund will provide merit-based scholarships to eligible CSM students enrolled in business programs, said Lilly.

            Tiffany Washington, a 2008 CSM graduate and owner of an accounting firm in Waldorf, gave the student perspective during the dedication ceremony.  “I would not have had the foundation [to be a business owner] if I wasn’t here—I don’t think I could have gotten a better education than at CSM,” she said. Washington received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from UMUC in 2010 and is currently enrolled in UMUC’s financial management in accounting master’s program.

            For photos from the BU dedication ceremony, visit http://www.csmd.edu/News/MediaResources/BUdedication.html

            For information on CSM, visit www.csmd.edu.