Baltimore Collegetown Network, a nonprofit organization that works to attract, engage and retain college students in Baltimore, hosted its first Leaders in Higher Education Reception at Baltimore Center Stage on April 19 where University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s retiring president, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski was honored.
Hrabowski is the longest-serving college president in the Baltimore area. He’s spent 45 years at Baltimore Collegetown Network institutions, including 30 years at UMBC and 10 years at Coppin State University.
“I have been inspired every day throughout my career of more than 40 years in Maryland higher education,” Hrabowski said. “As I travel around the country in the years ahead, I will continue talking about the strength of the state’s public and private colleges and universities and also about this amazing network of institutions in the Baltimore region.”
Hrabowski discussed the importance of collaboration, partnerships and the role of educators to reach as many students as possible. The promise of a college education impacts not only the student pursuing the degree, but the families, neighborhoods and region surrounding and supporting that student, he said.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski Jr., joined the gathering to honor Hrabowski for his leadership in higher education in Baltimore and in Maryland. In their remarks, both emphasized the importance of working together to promote Baltimore as a region.
Working regionally is important because students live regionally; a strong Baltimore depends upon a strong city and strong surrounding counties, Hrabowski said.
Since 1999, the Baltimore Collegetown Network has brought 13 colleges and universities together to attract, engage and retain students and raise the profile of Baltimore as a great college town including nearly 120,000 students and $17 billion in economic activity — into a consortium that benefits each institution and the region as a whole, according to a news release.
“Geography brings us together, and our willingness to partner and collaborate as a network sets us apart from other college towns,” said Yvette Mozie-Ross, president of the governing board of the Baltimore Collegetown Network and vice provost for enrollment management and planning at UMBC.
The programs and services Baltimore Collegetown provides bring new students to the area and build connections across campuses that encourage students to remain in the Baltimore region after receiving their degrees, according to a news release.
The network offers academic partnerships, internship assistance, marketing, research studies, engagement programs, communities of practice, Collegetown Fellowship and more like the Collegetown Shuttle which transports more than 85,000 riders a year.
For more information about the Baltimore Collegetown Network, visit BaltimoreCollegetown.org.