CSM Recognizes Friends of College with Lasting Tributes

Joan DeMello

Honorary Brick Ceremony Adds to Walkway of Generosity, Memories

Two brick entrances on the College of Southern Maryland La Plata Campus are a way for people to recognize and remember individuals. Friends and families of 15 honorees gathered on the west entrance of the James C. Mitchell Center for Health Technology Building Sept. 19, to offer gratitude and remembrance and to see the commemorative bricks that were placed just outside the building entrance.

“The bricks installed today acknowledge and honor the individuals within the community who have made a difference in the lives of so many,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. “The CSM Foundation’s Brick Program provides both a way to remember and pay tribute to loved ones and members of the community that are our true champions.”

Those honored with a memorial brick, include:

Michael Ashurst was a member of the CSM class of 1982 and was remembered by his mother Mildred Ashurst and family. Michael Ashurst earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Capital College and worked as a supervisory electrical engineer at PEPCO’s West Bethesda Control Center.

Edna Speake Bicknell was remembered by her daughter Ruth Ann Ferrell, a CSM Foundation Board member. From Marbury, Bicknell was salutatorian of Lackey High School’s class of 1935. She worked as the bookkeeper and office manager of the Eli’s Department Store in Indian Head for 25 years.

Ferrell also remembered her aunt, Ruth Speake Marks, of Marbury, an accomplished working professional and a life-long supporter of education and academia. In addition to her work at the Naval Propellant Plant at Indian Head, Marks worked as a librarian at CSM from 1967-80.

Duane DeMello was remembered by friends Jay Lilly, CSM Foundation Board Chair, and Lilly’s wife Mary. DeMello earned a master’s degree from Stanford University and taught high school history and biology in California. He served two tours in Vietnam as a U.S. Army Military Intelligence Advisor, worked as a businessman in Asia and Southeast Asia, worked for the CIA and wrote spy thriller novels.

Matthew Douglas was remembered by the CSM Biology Department as a show of affection for Associate Professor Sharon Smith-Douglas, Matthew’s mother. Matthew Douglas was a 2013 graduate of North Point High School, and was an artist, musician, songwriter and avid skateboard enthusiast.

William B. Ellinger was remembered by CSM Vice President of Student and Instructional Services Dr. Bill Comey. Ellinger grew up in the coal mining town of Shickshinny, Penn., and earned a Doctorate of Education from The George Washington University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law. He began his career as a teacher and principal in Prince George’s County before changing careers to practice law in Charles County.

Shirley Hemming was remembered by Lilly. Hemming graduated from Gwynn Park High School and worked for the Department of Agriculture for 26 years. She earned her real estate license and worked in Southern Maryland with Jay Lilly Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Christina P. Nyce and Peter Q. Nyce Jr. were remembered by their daughter CSM Lead Photographer Valerie Nyce. Christina Nyce was the daughter of a waterman and Perdue farmer on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She worked for Marriott Corporation in Bethesda for more than 20 years. She left a legacy of education to her three children, and her grandchildren. Peter Q. Nyce Jr. was a lifelong resident of Washington, D.C. and Mt. Victoria, Md. He was an outdoorsman who enjoyed boating and flying airplanes. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Washington College of Law at American University and practiced law for the federal government for 47 years. A veteran of the U.S. Army, he served in the Army Reserves.

Catheryn May Slater was remembered by her son Austin J. Slater Jr., a CSM alumnus, former CSM trustee and CSM Foundation director. As a devoted mother and grandmother, she is remembered as a homemaker who enjoyed baking, reading and knitting, and for the song ‘Pennies from Heaven.’

Michael J. Sprague was remembered by his niece, CSM Trustee Lois DiNatale. Sprague served in the U.S. Army after high school, attended CSM, earned a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State Teacher’s College in 1965 and worked as a State Farm Insurance Agent. He was elected to the Charles County Board of Commissioners in 1970 and later was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates from 1974-94.

Those recognized with honorary bricks, included: Chelsea Renee Brown and Jennifer McCarthy Marth who were honored by their mother CSM Employee Benefits Coordinator Pam Starkey; the Comey Family who were honored by Bill Comey; and the Linkins Family who were honored by CSM Career and Academic Advisor Jehnell Linkins.

The CSM Honorary Brick Program is a lasting celebration of those who have a special connection to CSM and the Southern Maryland community. As a tribute to a family member, a friend or to represent a special occasion, the brick is inscribed and placed among other honorary bricks. Bricks are available for $200 with the funds providing financial support to the college and its mission. For information on the program, visit www.csmd.edu/Foundation.

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