The Public Honors College

SMCM Newsroom

St. Mary’s College Answers Challenge Grant that will Raise $500k in Scholarship Funds for Baltimore City Students

December 4, 2012
Press Release #12-156


On Saturday, Dec. 8, starting at 4 p.m. at the Baltimore School for the Arts in Baltimore, Md., join St. Mary’s College of Maryland for its Baltimore City Scholarship Benefit Concert— an event to help the college reach its goal of raising $500,000 for need-based scholarships for students from Baltimore City.

In August 2011, the France-Merrick Foundation approved a challenge grant in the amount of $100,000 that is contingent on the college raising $400,000 to support students from Baltimore City. The France-Merrick challenge is a call to action —a call to transform the lives of academically talented students who are unable to pay the full cost of college tuition. The Baltimore City Scholarship Initiative was developed to help answer this need.

“The goal of this event is to increase the likelihood that Baltimore City students who possess the will and the capacity to meet the academic rigor of a St. Mary’s liberal arts education, but who may lack the financial resources to afford a college education, will be able to attend St. Mary’s,” said Joseph R. Urgo, president of St. Mary’s College. “At St. Mary’s we do not make class distinctions for education: we seek to be an engine of class mobility, helping to end the cycle of educational deprivation that afflicts too many American families.”

Concertgoers from the region will hear special selections of Handel’s “Messiah,” performed by St. Mary’s College student and alumni chamber singers and directed by Professor of Music Larry Vote. St. Mary’s College President, Joseph R. Urgo, and the Baltimore School for the Arts Director, Chris Ford, will deliver remarks prior to the concert.

“One of the college’s priorities is its outreach to form partnerships and secure philanthropic commitments that will provide scholarships for Baltimore City students with few financial resources,” said Maureen Silva, St. Mary’s College vice president for advancement. “With the France-Merrick Foundation’s challenge grant, our efforts have gained further momentum. The Baltimore City Scholarship Initiative encourages an investment in Baltimore's youth interested in St. Mary's College as well as offers a way to give back to the city.”

A gift designated to the Baltimore City Scholarship Initiative will provide access to the St. Mary’s experience and a benefit to the greater community as St. Mary’s College graduates return to Baltimore City to live and work.