CSM President Creates ‘Against All Odds’ Scholarship


Dr. Gottfried’s Personal Endowment Aims to Lighten Load for Some Students

            College of Southern Maryland President Dr. Bradley Gottfried hears remarkable stories of student determination in the course of his work. He knows first-hand what it’s like to struggle in school, and he empathizes with the challenges confronting students.

            “I was not particularly enthused or highly motivated in high school,” said Gottfried. “As a student—now with a BA, MA and PhD—the most challenging of these degrees to achieve was my high school diploma. High school classes were so regimented and there was no individuality,” Gottfried explained.

            Gottfried had a few things going for him, though. His mother pushed him toward college, in fact she gave him no other option, and they were able to afford college.

            Gottfried also believes that if he can help make college affordable to today’s struggling students, they will thrive as he did.  That is why the fourth president of CSM established an endowed scholarship fund to help students.

            The Against All Odds scholarship fund supports CSM’s “Campaign for the Next 50 Years.”  Gottfried set up a similar fund at his last college and after three years as president of CSM, he believes the students and community will also benefit from a similar endowment fund for Southern Maryland students.

            “With this endowment I want to reach as many students as I can. If I can keep students from worrying about paying back student loans or help keep them on track instead of cutting back because of costs, then maybe they can see their way through college as I did,” he said.

            After high school, Gottfried explained, he attended a community college that was just beginning. “The classes were in a high school that was in much worse shape than the one I had just left, but there, my instructors engaged me, I flowered and I blossomed,” said Gottfried. “My whole perspective changed.  They helped me believe in myself.”

            Gottfried went on to get his bachelor’s and master’s in biology and a doctorate in zoology. It’s not a far stretch to see the benefits of a scientific degree as a college president, said Gottfried. “Scientists have an appreciation for the use of data in their work. To run an organization like this, or any organization for that matter, you do need to know how to collect and use data,” he said. Critical thinking skills from applying the scientific method, said Gottfried, have guided him in how to process an issue.

The Bradley M. Gottfried “Against all Odds Scholarship” will be awarded to students currently attending or planning to attend CSM. For information on the scholarship visit the CSM website at http://www.csmd.edu/financial/scholarships.html.

            Those wishing to contribute to the fund should contact CSM Director of Development Jane Loughran at 301-934-7649.