February 4, 2023

Commission for Women Supports Scholarship

In May, the St. Mary’s County commissioners gave $4,450 on behalf of the Commission for Women to the College of Southern Maryland to support the Jane Hale Sypher Scholarship Fund.

First created in 2010 by the St. Mary’s County Commission for Women, the Jane Hale Sypher Scholarship Fund supports a non-traditional student who is a single parent or displaced homemaker enrolled at the college. Funding for the scholarship comes from the Commission for Women’s annual Women’s History Banquet in March.

Attendees at the May 21 presentation included Lori Jennings-Harris, director of St. Mary’s Department of Aging & Human Services; Chelsea Brown, CSM’s director of development; Jane Hale Sypher, retired dean of College of Southern Maryland; Norma Pipkin, chairwoman of the Commission for Women; Karen Smith Hupp, CSM’s assistant vice president of government relations and public information officer; and members of the Commission for Women.

Ms. Sypher, a lifelong resident of St. Mary’s County, began her career in secondary education as a teacher at Great Mills High School, where she also served in positions as career education coordinator and assistant principal. She was acting principal at Leonardtown High School before she was named assistant dean and then dean of CSM’s Leonardtown Campus beginning in 1992.

Ms. Sypher retired in 2004 after 30 years of work in both the public school system and for CSM. She earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and her master’s degree from Bowie State University. She was the first female president of Lexington Park Rotary, board member for St. Mary’s Hospital, secretary of St. Mary’s County Democratic Club, and was a onetime St. Mary’s oyster king.

Recipients of the scholarship must be a St. Mary’s County resident for at least five years and be no younger than 25.

When the scholarship was established in 2010, CSM Vice President Michelle Goodwin, who worked closely with Ms. Sypher at CSM, said, “The naming of this scholarship acknowledges Jane as a woman who has made an enormous impact on the lives of many students. With this scholarship, her contributions to education will continue.”

Since it was established, there have been 24 recipients of the Sypher Scholarship.

“This year’s proceeds from the Women’s History Month banquet will support the annual scholarship,” said Chelsea Brown. “In addition, due to the generous support by the Commission for Women through its annual Women’s History Month events, we were able to endow the Jane Hale Sypher Scholarship this year. This means that through this endowment, this scholarship will be available to financially support the returning adult students who qualify in St. Mary’s County.”

For information on scholarships available at the College of Southern Maryland, visit its Scholarship Finder.

For more about the College of Southern Maryland, visit its Leader member page.

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