The Public Honors College

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College Students Plunge into the Frigid St. Mary’s River For Fifth Annual Polar Bear Plunge

Haiti Fundraiser
February 19, 2010
Press Release #10-043


St. Mary's College of Maryland students, faculty, and staff climbed into their bathing suits and plunged into the icy St. Mary's River yesterday to raise awareness about climate change and to raise money for Haiti in the fifth annual Polar Bear Plunge.  Winds were gusting at 30 mph and the water temperature was in the low 30s. A crowd of more than 100 participated in the event.

The  Polar Bear Plunge was started by the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) in an effort to raise awareness of global warming.  Participants lined up along the waterfront and rushed into the water, trying to rescue a "polar bear" on a kayak before returning to the shoreline to warm up.  Plungers took donations for Trees for the Future, a non-profit environmental organization working out of Silver Spring, Maryland, promoting agro-forestry. Its web site is:  Proceeds donated to Trees for the Future will be sent to Haiti for relief efforts. 

St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's, and The Princeton Review. Founded in 1840 as Maryland's "monument school" commemorating the state's first capital, SMCM is the state's only public honors college.

More than 2,000 students attend the college, which has the highest graduation rate for all Maryland public colleges and universities, and an SAT average for student admissions of 1848. The school's waterfront campus along the St. Mary's River in Southern Maryland is home to the 2009 National Intercollegiate Sailing Association Co-ed champions.

Category: Student Body