St. Mary’s Commissioner President Jack Russell

Francis “Jack” Russell

The College of Southern Maryland will celebrate its eighth winter commencement at its La Plata Campus, Jan. 17, with Francis “Jack” Russell, president of St. Mary’s County Board of Commissioners, providing the commencement address.

“The College of Southern Maryland has helped make our region, including St. Mary’s County, a better place to live and work. I am pleased to be the first commencement speaker during the college’s 50th anniversary. CSM enables our students to access quality education and helps our businesses gain qualified employees,” Russell said.

Founder of Chesapeake Bay Field Lab, Inc. which provides opportunities to learn about the history of skipjacks and oyster houses, Russell is well-known among middle school students within St. Mary’s and neighboring counties for field trips that find students riding the bay in a skipjack as they learn the natural and cultural history of the Chesapeake Bay.

A native of Piney Point, Russell received a bachelor’s in government studies from the University of Maryland. Following graduation, he started Sea-Fruit, a seafood harvesting and packing operation on St. George’s Island. In 1999, he joined the teaching staff of the Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship in the Paul Hall Center of the Seafarer’s International Union where he continues to teach vessel operations.

CSM, founded in 1958, is the fifth largest community college in Maryland. In its 50-year history, the college has grown to be the centerpiece of Southern Maryland, becoming an integral part of the community it serves with campuses in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties and more than 21,000 annual enrollments. From a first graduation class of four in 1960, the college today has celebrated more than 15,400 graduates.

Winter commencement activities include a nurses’ recognition program beginning at 1 p.m., Jan. 17 in the Physical Education Center. The college’s commencement ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 17 in the Physical Education Center. CSM has 243 candidates for degrees and certificates representing 60 programs of study.

A reception will follow the ceremony in the Center for Business and Industry Building, Room 113. Flowers will be available for purchase. DVD’s of CSM’s eighth winter commencement are can be ordered in advance or on the day of the ceremony. Inclement weather date is Jan. 18.

For information, call 301-934-7508 or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499 or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7508 or visit






CSM Winter Graduation. Jan. 17, College of Southern Maryland, Physical Education Building, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. CSM’s 8th winter commencement activities begin with a nursing recognition at 1 p.m., followed by graduation at 6:30 p.m. Reception follows in the Business and Industry Building, Room 113. Commencement speaker will be St. Mary’s County Commissioner President Francis “Jack” Russell. Inclement weather date is Jan. 18. 301-934-7508 or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499, 443-550-6199, Ext. 7508 or




College of Southern Maryland 8th Winter Commencement

Jan. 17, Inclement Weather Date Jan. 18

Nursing recognition, 1 p.m.

Commencement, 6:30 p.m.

Physical Education Building

8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata, Md.

301-934-7508 or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499, 443-550-6199, Ext. 7508 or