The Sun is pleased to announce the 2017 inductees into its Maryland Business and Civic Hall of Fame. After nominations from the public, consultation with a distinguished committee of community leaders and deliberations within our editorial board, we have selected 10 men and women who have made extraordinary contributions to the state in business, government, philanthropy and the arts. They will be profiled in a special section of The Sun and honored at an event in June.
In her 17 years as director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Doreen Bolger led the effort to provide free admission and oversaw renovations to the venerable institution's galleries. But her true legacy may lie in her years as Baltimore's great champion for unknown artists of all kinds, helping to nurture new careers and new means of expression.
David Cordish transformed his family-owned, Baltimore real estate business into an international development powerhouse. A former official in the Department of Housing and Urban Development and former chairman of the Baltimore Housing Authority, he is known for his company's development of urban entertainment districts and the revitalization of historic properties — not to mention Maryland's most successful casino.
One of the great behind-the-scenes players in Baltimore's business and civic life, Michael Cryor has long been a go-to person for getting things done, whether it's closing a major corporate deal or securing summer jobs for Baltimore City youth. The communications consultant and former Maryland Democratic Party chairman is deeply involved in advancing a range of key institutions from the University of Maryland School of Medicine to his alma mater, Morgan State University.
The longest serving woman in the history of the U.S. Congress never lost sight of where she was from or whom she served. Barbara Mikulski, even at the height of her power and influence in the Senate, remained the social worker from Highlandtown, looking out for the little guys and gals (as she might say) who needed her most.
William E. "Brit" Kirwan
As president of the University of Maryland, Brit Kirwan elevated Maryland's flagship university to one of the best and most selective public colleges in the nation. As chancellor of the University System of Maryland, he molded a diverse set of institutions into one of the state's key economic drivers. Now, in retirement, he is leading the effort to reform Maryland's K-12 education funding to equitably serve all students across the state.
Henry A. Rosenberg Jr.
The grandson of a pioneer in the fuel industry, Henry A. Rosenberg Jr. continued his family's tradition of innovation as the long-time head of Crown Petroleum, once one of the largest operators of service stations in the region. A major philanthropist focused on youth, education, arts and culture, Mr. Rosenberg has held leadership roles in the Boy Scouts of America, Johns Hopkins Health System and the Kennedy Krieger Institute.
George L. Russell Jr.
The first African-American to sit on a Maryland circuit court and the first to serve on an appeals court, George Russell has spent decades standing up for what he believes is right, no matter how controversial. In addition to being a mainstay of Baltimore's legal community, he was the driving force behind the development of the Reginald Lewis African-American History Museum.
A long-time aide and confidante to former Mayor William Donald Schaefer, Lainy LeBow-Sachs has for years served as a top executive at the Kennedy Krieger Institute — and on the board of just about every non-profit in town, helping steer (and raise money for) everything from the United Way to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to the Baltimore Jewish Council.
Betsy and George Sherman
Philanthropists Betsy and George Sherman have focused their generosity on investments in education. They are major funders of Judy Centers, which provide comprehensive education, health and social services to low-income families, and they partnered with UMBC to create the Sherman STEM Teachers Scholars Program to help produce highly qualified science, technology and math teachers for urban schools. They support the Center for Urban Families, Family Tree, Teach for America, the United Way and much more.