Currently viewing the tag: "Mount St. Mary’s University"


by James Rada, Jr.

Note: This is the first in a series about the “achievements” of Harney University.

Emmitsburg is known for being the home of Mount St. Mary’s University, but for a while, another nearby university regularly made the newspaper with stories of great innovations in science and technology that its learned professors developed.

That university? The esteemed Harney University.

Never heard of it? That’s not surprising since despite all of the achievements credited to its faculty in the Emmitsburg Chronicle, the university didn’t exist…at least not as an educational institution.

A group of residents met regularly at the Hotel Slagle and came up with unusual stories that the newspaper published.

The faculty, as it were, consisted of Jacob Turner, Jerry Overholser, Daniel Shorb, and Bill Snyder, who met regularly at the Slagle Hotel in Emmitsburg. The staff would have also had to include Sterling Galt, editor of the Emmitsburg Chronicle. Whether the group came up with the goings-on at the university or it was something Galt did alone is not known.

What is known is that the stories provided readers of the Chronicle a lot of smiles and laughs in the early 1900s.

Here are some of the fantastical achievements of Harney University and its faculty.

October 7, 1910: The Harney University football team won a game against a team from Pigs Misery. The game was played on Musk Rat Field, which was a gift to the university from Dan Shorb. Shorb was listed as a former professor of “Propaeduetics and a John Glass lecturer on the Theory of Aviation.” The newspaper reported that 11,000 people attended the game and seven different bands played between quarters. One player named Murky Suds made a daring play. “This professional in a daring dash of 90 years with eighteen men on his neck, dislocated the goal post and tore away the gunwale and three hatchways on the port side of his physiognomy,” according to the Emmitsburg Chronicle.

March 15, 1912: Roald Amundsen was the first person to reach the South Pole. The Emmitsburg Chronicle disputed his claim, saying that Dr. John Glass and Dr. Bill Snyder of Harney University had found the pole two years earlier at 3 a.m., “brought it back to Harney, and preserved it in alcohol.” The paper went on to further note, “Dr. Glass is not even willing to concede that Amundsen got to the farthest point south unless he is able to produce the lawn mower which Dr. Snider left on the front lawn under the cherry tree near the house which they lived while in those southern parts.”

November 15, 1912: Dr. Dan Shorb received the election returns using an intricate machine so that “long before the telegraph instruments of the county had ticked the news, Prof. Bushman, who had his airship anchored on the prairie dog house nearby, was on his way to Emmitsburg with bushel baskets filled with the correct information,” according to the Chronicle. He also claimed not to need his wireless device to get the returns from Thurmont, Harney, and Jimtown. His eyesight was so good, “He simply looked over the shoulders of the clerks, from his private office at Pigs Misery, and wrote down the results. Some slight difficulty was experienced in reading the tally sheet at Poplar Ridge, owing, the doctor said, to a bad wick in one of the lamps at that place,” the Chronicle reported.

November 29, 1912: President Woodrow Wilson was planning on appointing Dr. John Glass and Professor Dan Shorb of Harney University to help revise the tariff code on codfish balls. “Clarence Buckingham, brother of the Duke of Buckingham, will also revise the tariff on dill pickles. In an unrelated note, Col. Stonebottle, one of the most prominent citizens of Emmitsburg, painted his overalls on Saturday,” the Chronicle reported.

December 13, 1912: The Harney University faculty held a pinochle tournament, competing for a trophy. It had been a dill pickle in 1911. “The trophy this year will be a loving cup filled with spinach, presented for this event by the Young Lady Society for the Prevention of the Use of the Denatured Alcohol and Strawberry Shortcake,” according to the Chronicle.

The Slagle Hotel where the esteemed faculty of Harney University met to discuss matters of world-changing importance.

Frederick County Government will develop a new north county regional park, located between Emmitsburg and Thurmont, on land purchased from Mount St. Mary’s University, County Executive Jan Gardner and Mount St. Mary’s President Dr. Timothy Trainor announced on February 25. The 152-acre property adjoins the campus, on the east side of U.S. 15, straddling Motters Station Road.

“We are excited to be moving forward with a regional park in the northern part of Frederick County,” Executive Gardner said. “County parks attracted over 3 million visitors last year, a 44 percent increase over the year before. The purchase of this land will help us to meet a growing demand for space to recreate and provide much needed park amenities in Northern Frederick County.”

“We are pleased to have offered the 152.7 acres for this regional park adjacent to the Mount St. Mary’s sports complex and are deeply appreciative of the county’s partnership in our shared commitment to expanding access to sports and recreational opportunities and fostering the growth of youth sports in Northern Frederick County,” Dr. Trainor said.

The parcel is currently zoned agricultural and features both forest and open land. A concept plan funded by the university shows the potential for multiple sports fields, walking trails, a dog park, and other features for active and passive recreation. There will be many opportunities for public input into the park’s design.

The Frederick County Division of Parks & Recreation will form a Master Plan Advisory Committee to develop plans for the future park. Members will include representatives from local recreation councils and sports leagues, civic associations, neighboring property owners, and others. The total purchase price for the land is $857,000, of which Program Open Space is providing $807,000; $50,000 will come from County recordation funding.

County Executive Gardner thanked Park and Recreation Division Director Jeremy Kortright and Deputy Director Bob Hicks for their hard work to make this acquisition a reality.

Map of new north county regional park, a 152-acre property that adjoins the Mount St. Mary’s Campus, on the east side of U.S. 15.

On June 23, 2020, Dunkin’ hosted an official groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the coming of its first next generation restaurant in Emmitsburg located at 103 Silo Hill Parkway. Tentatively slated to open in Fall 2020, the next generation restaurant will offer Emmitsburg a first-hand look at Dunkin’s store of the future experience, with a modern atmosphere and new and innovative technologies and design elements.

As part of the ceremony, representatives from Dunkin’ franchisee network GN Southwestern, LLC were joined by Emmitsburg Mayor Donald Briggs, Frederick County Council Vice President Michael Blue and President of Mount St. Mary’s University Timothy Trainor for the official ceremony to break ground at the new site.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to become part of the Emmitsburg community and bring the local citizens an enhanced Dunkin’ experience through our next generation store design,” said Neil Patel, Dunkin’ Franchisee. “We are thrilled to be part of Dunkin’s next generation store initiative and feel the new, modern features will offer our guests superior levels of convenience and choice to help keep Emmitsburg running on Dunkin’ for years to come.”

The new restaurant will feature a modern look that provides a fresh, friendly, vibrant and engaging environment for guests. Complete with a new, warmer interior color palette, the restaurant will also offer comfortable guest seating, atmospheric lighting and a convenient, contactless drive-thru. Other exciting elements of the store will include:

Premium Pours: Dunkin’s signature cold beverages are now served through an innovative tap system serving eight consistently cold beverages such as coffees, iced teas, cold brew coffee and nitro infused cold brew coffee. Crew members will also use top-quality flavor-maximizing espresso machines to make hand-crafted drinks to order.

Dunkin’ on Demand: With fully-integrated digital kiosks, guests will be able to choose to order with or without the help of a crew member. Dunkin’ has also introduced an area dedicated to mobile pickups, so that members of the DD Perks® Rewards program who order ahead via Dunkin’s Mobile App can get in and out of the restaurant faster than ever before. Guests will be able to track the status of their orders placed for pickup inside the restaurant via a new digital order status board.

Increased Energy Efficiency: The new Dunkin’ will be a DD Green Achievement™ restaurant, which is designed to save 25% more energy compared to a standard Dunkin’ restaurant.

Upon opening, the 1,500 square foot restaurant will employ approximately 15 crew members and will offer free Wi-Fi. To learn more about Dunkin’, visit or follow us on Facebook @DunkinUS, or Twitter @dunkindonuts .

Emmitsburg Town and Frederick County dignitaries gather with Dunkin’ representatives for the official ground-breaking of the Emmitsburg location coming this fall.

Deb Abraham Spalding

The Spring Fling event held on May 19, 2018, marked Vigilant Hose Company’s tenth year of hosting it. While this could have become a focus for a special celebration, the Spring Fling took on so many changes this year that the event’s diamond anniversary was almost forgotten in the mix. Most notably, the location changed from muddy fields and stony parking lots at Mount St. Mary’s University to the paved grounds at Vigilant’s own event complex on Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Also, the size of the grand prize was upgraded to a whopping $10,000.

Over the years, several Spring Flings have featured rain or other weather events which served to make things memorable. This year was no exception. With significant rain days before, and slight rain during, the event, the unfavorable weather created a solid excuse for ‘low’ attendance. It is important to note that there is “no mud” at the new location. The entire event was held on paved ground with the majority of that ground covered with large event tents. Regardless of the weather and conditions, 860 ticket holders checked in at the gate and made this fundraiser a continued success.

Spring Fling is a unique event that has been described as, “going to our local beach where all of our neighbors and friends are partying.” This year’s party included an option to play 25¢ bingo games inside the event building and a new Big 6 Wheel game outside. Both new activities were busy with customers all day.

One of the Spring Fling’s coordinators, Gabe Baker, said, “It’s a good thing it’s where it is now. The community supported us [Vigilant Hose Company] well.”

To view prize winners, please visit Plan now to attend next year’s Spring Fling. Bring sunshine!

A large crowd, undeterred by the rain, enjoyed Spring Fling in Emmitsburg.

Helen Topper sold holders inside the event building during bingo.

Herbie Click worked the slicers to cut meat for sandwiches.

Kathie Stambaugh was thrilled to win at the Spring Fling.

Sue Reaver, Kay Hollinger, and Kim Wivell sold tickets during Spring Fling.

Sandy Umbel and her daughter, Kayla, volunteered during the event.

Kim (left) and Marc Piermatteo (right) worked with Cliffy Shriner at the beverage tent.

Patty Kuykendall, JoAnn Boyd, Tom Ward, and Jenn Stahley kept track of the winners.

This photo shows the set up of Spring Fling at the new location on Creamery Road the day before the event.

The much-anticipated annual Vigilant Hose Company Spring Fling was held on Saturday, June 10, 2017, on the grounds of Mount St. Mary’s University. The event featured live music, food, tip jars, games, and prizes. “Our annual Spring Fling was a great success. The weather cooperated, and we hope everyone had a great time again this year. We greatly appreciate the continuous support we receive from our community,” stated member Tim Clarke.

Each year, $30,000 worth of cash and prizes are given away. At 6:00 p.m., all of the prizes that were not assigned to winners were redrawn until a winner was determined. This year’s grand prize winner of $4,000 was Pam Gigous.

Vernon French grilled hot dogs all day during the Spring Fling.

Bobby Ott (center) is shown with TJ Burns and Dave Bunce, enjoying the meal during the event.

Steve Valenine and Tommy Vaughn had the long job of drawing the winning numbers during the Spring Fling; behind them to the right, Patty Kykendall is shown at the computer where winners were identified.

These men (from left), Randy Myers, Herb Click, Vance Click, and Chris Ryder, are a few of those whose job it was to slice and marinate the various meats for the event. Denny Stahley’s yummy barbeque recipe is used for the seasoning.

Vigilant’s Chris Stahley greeted Frederick County’s Chief Alcoholic Beverages Inspector, Harold DeLauter, to the event. This was one of Harold’s last assignments. He retired in late June from a long career in law enforcement and government service. He is also a Vietnam Veteran.

Gloria (Joy) Bauerline and Shannon Boyle fully enjoyed the Spring Fling!

Steve Yingling is a pretty big guy. He took a break from grilling to perch in this huge lawn chair. He mounted the contraption using a step stool. In it, he appeared small.


Mayor John Kinnaird

With summer just around the corner, you should be thinking about visiting the Thurmont Main Street Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, beginning June 3. There is always a great selection of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, eggs, baked goods, hand-crafted items, and other treats! Live entertainment will be returning this year, with local talent providing background music for the market. The market is located in the Municipal Parking lot on South Center Street and is open each Saturday morning, 9:00 a.m.-noon. If you want to grow your own vegetables and fruit, why not sign up for a spot at the Community Garden! The Thurmont Green Team sponsors the Community Garden, and spaces are still available. Just stop at the Town office and pick up an application. The sites are already tilled and are awaiting your green thumb.

School will be out soon, and our kids will out and about walking, bicycling, skate boarding, and playing. As you drive on our streets, be aware of children and watch out for them. Kids do not always look both ways before crossing the street, and they can run out in front of vehicles while playing. Be sure to drive with extra caution and help insure our children’s safety.

I have had some residents contact me about scam phone calls from people claiming to be with the Town of Thurmont. If you get one of these calls after regular business hours (8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.) or on a Saturday or Sunday, please be aware that it is most likely a scam. If you are not sure, just ask the person for their name and tell them you will call them back at the Town office at 301-271-7313. We are also seeing an increase in the number of door-to-door sales people with the nice weather. Anyone going door-to-door, selling or soliciting, are required to register with the Thurmont Police Department and should have an identification badge showing they are registered. If you are approached by someone and they cannot provide proof of registration, ask them to move on.

Residents may have noticed recent street work, with the paving of Lombard Street, East Street, and Shipley Avenue. These projects are part of our ongoing efforts to improve our streets. There are many more projects in the works that will be moving forward this year and in the future. As part of our improvement plans, we are currently bidding paving for the Eyler Road Park and the Trolley Trail, both of these projects will improve access to these well-used areas. Frederick County has committed to help us in a joint sidewalk project for Moser Road. This will add improved pedestrian access to both the Frederick County Regional Library and the Trolley Trail.

The Board of Commissioners has just finished work on the 2017-2018 Budget, and I am happy to report that we have based the coming budget on the Constant Yield Tax Rate. As in the past several years, the Constant Yield Tax Rate will ensure that our residents will not see an increase in the property tax rate. I want to thank the residents that provided input in the budget process, our financial staff, department heads, and the Board of Commissioners, for working together in the budget writing process.

As always I can be reached at 301-606-9458 or by email at [email protected].


 Mayor Don Briggs

It has been written that “Hope springs eternal.” For our family, this spring is full of realization of hope. We have a grandson graduating from Mount St. Mary’s University; a granddaughter from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut; a granddaughter moving on to Catoctin High School from Mother Seton; and a grandson in Colorado graduating from Bishop Mullen High School in Denver, on his way to Colorado State University to study and play football. The two college graduating “grand-students” are graduates of Catoctin High School. It’s more than a nudge, this passing of the baton, and we love it.

On June 1, I will be attending the Catoctin High School Commencement exercise at Mount St. Mary’s. Congratulations to the graduating students, their families, and the faculty.

Recently, I attended the “Every day is Earth Day” chorus and band performances directed by Cheryl Carney and Allison Smetana, respectively. One of the songs was a direct hit to the heart: “Don’t Forget the Little Children.” Let’s not. Everything the town does is focused on our children and grandchildren: revitalization, water preservation, recycling, solar, LED lights, and grants for redoing downtown properties. “Use what we need, but save something for future generations” is more than a request, it is a plea from our children.

Before the close of schools for the summer, fourth graders from Mother Seton School and Emmitsburg Elementary School will be visiting the town office. Very exciting!

In May, the town, in conjunction with the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA), hosted a breakfast for town businesses and other community partners as a simple thank you for what they do in service to the community. A rollout of a family drug-awareness program was also part of the breakfast. The program is tied in with the “Pool Party in the Park” in the Community Park, on Friday, June 16, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.—lots of fun, with a DJ, dancing, free hot dogs, tea, and more (for at least the first 150 people).

Make Saturday, June 24, a day to visit Emmitsburg, with the Community Heritage Day Festival 2017, starting with the traditional breakfast at Vigilant Hose fire hall at 6:30 a.m. and followed later that morning with the Lions Club BBQ chicken dinners (served in the hub of the festivities in Community Park). IMPORTANT: This year, the parade along West Main Street and down South Seton Avenue will start at 5:00 p.m. and the Memorial Program at 6:00 p.m. New this year is the evening horse-drawn carriage tour of Emmitsburg, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Michael Pryor Productions and Stewart Chapman, who will provide a musical review of music through the decades, beginning with the 40s; entertainment begins at 7:00 p.m. and runs until 9:30 p.m. There will be crafters and vendors, plenty of children’s activities, bicycling activities (off-road and on-road), exercise path fun, and fireworks. The Lions Club, EBPA, American Legion, Knights of Columbus, Christ’s Community Church, and other civic organizations, all work together to provide a day full of fun and activities. The day will end with Independence Day fireworks. Please go to for details on this great day of fun.

June 14 is Flag Day, always a wonderful tribute by our Veterans. This year, the northern County Flag Day observance will be held in Thurmont Memorial Park. The location of the observance is held on an annually rotating basis with Emmitsburg.

In September, Mount St. Mary’s University will hold a Constitution Day celebration, at which I have been invited to read the Preamble of the Constitution at the observance. With the 4th of July coming up, I submit the Preamble for those who may have forgotten, including me: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Amen. From that, we must pull together in common defense against the insidious attack of drugs.

Hoping you enjoy a wonderful June in Northern Frederick County.

1971: The Mount Goes Co-Ed

by James Rada, Jr.

Although Mount St. Mary’s University was named for a woman, she wouldn’t have been able to attend the college until 1971. It was only in its 164th year that the college decided to admit female students.

Some females from nearby St. Joseph’s College had been attending a limited number of classes at the Mount beginning in 1970. The two colleges had entered into a cooperative agreement that allowed students from either school to take a class at the other school if it wasn’t offered at their home college. The schools even provided transportation between the two campuses to aid the students. During the 1970-71 school year, 119 men from the Mount attended one or more classes at St. Joseph’s, and 100 women from St. Joseph’s attended one or more classes at the Mount.

While the agreement seemed to address the educational reasons for the Mount going co-educational, it didn’t address the cultural or financial issues.

St. Joseph’s College announced that it would close in 1973. This caused concern at Mount St. Mary’s, which had also seen its enrollment dropping. The school had 1,100 students during the 1970-71 school year.

“We are, of course, saddened by the Saint Joseph announcement but we do not feel that the wave of bleak prophecy which has pervaded our own campus is justified. Our situations are in no way similar even though we face the same serious problems of most of the nation’s private colleges,” Mount President John J. Dillon Jr. said during a speech.

In June of 1971, it was announced that the Mount would begin admitting women as non-resident students beginning with the 1971-72 school year. They would be admitted as resident students the following year.

To ensure that students from St. Joseph’s College wouldn’t be delayed in their graduation because of the transition, the Mount also waived some of the curriculum requirements at the Mount for students who needed it, according to the Emmitsburg Chronicle.

While admitting female students helped the women of St. Joseph’s College, it also helped the Mount, which had been seeing fewer applications.

“I feel that the tragedy at Saint Joseph can make us a stronger college if we all work in that direction,” Dillon said. “Mount St. Mary’s is, after all, your college.”

The Mount student body celebrated the decision. David Fielder wrote in the Mountain Echo, “This year, however, we have witnessed the emergence of the Mount into the twentieth century with the administration’s radical new policy concerning co-education. We actually have female names listed in the registrar’s office, and, come next year, Mounties may even find men and women living near each other within the campus grounds. Thus one might conclude that we’ve been granted the other half of what it takes to have a student body.”

While the males were certainly happy to see women on campus, the Mountain Echo pointed out that it was a good academic decision for the school. According to the newspaper, in 1969, 40 colleges and universities had gone co-ed. It was a move being made to attract high-caliber students, of which, 81 percent said in a Princeton University survey that they wanted co-educational schools.

However, not everyone was happy. Women who were losing their college with the closure of St. Joseph’s College lead the way with this group. One woman wrote a letter against the move in The Valley Echo called “Better Dead than Co-Ed.”

The overlapping between the admittance of female students and the closing of Mount St. Mary’s allowed for a gradual transition. Today, women make up the majority of the student body (55 percent) at the Mount.

smaldoneEmmitsburg local Rosalyn Smaldone (pictured right) will spend the next nine months in Baltimore as the Sharon & Jay Smith Marketing and Communications Intern for Center Stage, the State Theater of Maryland. As the marketing and communications intern, she will learn skills that will make her a valuable asset to any theater in the country. Smaldone recently graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University, with a major in communications and a minor in English. At the Mount, she directed a musical revue of her own conception and co-directed a production of Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World. Last spring, she interned with the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick. This past summer, Smaldone had the honor of directing the final show for the Thurmont Thespians, a teen production of Footloose.

“Our marketing and communications intern is an integral part of the department and contributes to all departmental activities,” said Beth Hauptle, the director of marketing and communications at Center Stage. “By the end of the season, Rosalyn will have experience in press relations, social media marketing, and market research, among many other aspects of arts marketing.”

The Katherine Vaughns Internship Program gives recent graduates an opportunity to spend a season working in a professional theater setting. For more than twenty-five years, Center Stage has helped cultivate the next generation of theater makers through its highly competitive program, which helps bridge the gap between university and professional theater by providing early-career artists and administrators with hands-on experience and guidance. Center Stage welcomes a new class of roughly twenty different administrative, artistic, and production interns each season.

Nicholas DiGregory

To the typical wandering traveler, cruising up or down U.S. Route 15, the little town of Emmitsburg does not appear to be a major attraction. While the town’s tourism landmarks—such as the stately National Shrine of Elizabeth Ann Seton and the picturesque Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes—do draw a crowd, Emmitsburg itself can easily be overlooked on maps and guides dominated by more popular destinations in cities like Gettysburg or Frederick. To an unknowing tourist, the little town of Emmitsburg appears to be just that—a little town.

However, looks can be deceiving. Beneath the quaint, small-town look and feel of Emmitsburg is a tightly knit community of friends and neighbors, many of whom have lived in the area for their entire lives. It is the strength of this community that gives the town of Emmitsburg a uniquely vibrant character.

While the quality of the community has always been the primary motivating factor for Emmitsburg’s prosperity, the strength and unity of that community has been challenged over the past few months by an unexpected controversy, which arose from Emmitsburg’s own Mount St. Mary’s University.

In the early autumn of 2015, disagreements between the university’s administration and its faculty reached a breaking point, with the then-president Simon Newman pioneering for changes that many at the university believed to be unethical. When the arguments boiled over into the community, many local faculty members, staff members, students, and alumni picked a side in the increasingly vociferous debate. The debacle at Mount St. Mary’s gained national attention from such sources as The Washington Post and several scholarly societies from across the country.

The resignation of university president Simon Newman, whose policies were at the center of the dispute, indicates that the school desires to move past the controversy; however, the decision has come too late for many members of the Emmitsburg community. Lack of straightforward communication from the university, coupled with sensationalized reports in local and national media, have left the community of Emmitsburg with few facts and many wounds.

We, at The Catoctin Banner, hope that the information that follows helps to resolve many of the questions that may remain regarding the whirlwind of allegations and accusations that have poured out of Mount St. Mary’s University over the past few months. It must be noted that The Catoctin Banner does not support any involved party other than the community as a whole; our efforts to present what transpired at Mount St. Mary’s University are not intended to harm, but to encourage healing among the embittered parties for the good of the community.

What follows is a documented account of the events that transpired at Mount St. Mary’s University over the past few months.

In the fall of 2014, the Mount St. Mary’s University met with three candidates for the university presidency, which was set to be vacated by Thomas Powell after eleven years of service. Upon reviewing the candidates, the university’s Board of Trustees selected Simon Newman as the 25th president. Trustee member and Mount alumnus Francis W. Daily said that Newman was selected primarily for his financial experience, although communication skills and Catholic identity also played a part in the hiring.

At the time, Mount St. Mary’s was dealing with considerable debts; Newman’s financial expertise was a necessity for the struggling university. A fifty-one-year-old from the United Kingdom, Newman held almost thirty years of experience in the financial sector, specifically in private equity, strategy consulting, and financial operations. During that time, he led several businesses from the brink of bankruptcy, coordinating for more than $200 million in profit improvement.

Newman took charge of the university on March 10, 2015, five months earlier than expected. In an editorial piece, the editing staff of the Mountain Echo student newspaper welcomed Newman to his new position. While the authors of the article cited that Newman would have “his work cut out for him” in improving and increasing the campus’ living spaces and other facilities, they also affirmed that there was “utmost faith” in his ability to “guide the university through these times of concern.”

Newman’s program for improving the university, deemed Mount 2.0, outlined several key changes in the university’s programs and functions. Newman, with the support of the Board of Trustees, implemented several changes to the university’s academic development and marketing. Among other major changes were a re-evaluation of the core curriculum and the addition of two new financial programs: Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management.

While Newman’s financial decisions were originally lauded by the majority of those at the university, he came under fire for one particular decision in October 2015. On October 29, 2015, Mount St. Mary’s administration notified its employees of the elimination of the university’s long-held retiree health care benefits. Prior to this announcement, retired employees of the university that had served before 1996 were allowed to remain on the university’s health care plan. After Newman’s adjustments, these employees were removed from the program, as well as spouses of current employees. Retirement fund benefits for current employees were also cut in half.

While many retired and current employees of the university acknowledged that these benefits could not be funded forever, they criticized the way that Newman and the university administration went about implementing the changes. In a letter from three retired professors addressed to members of the university community, it was stated that the retired professors were “shocked” by the “very abrupt termination of the retiree health benefit.” The letter also stated that Newman implemented the changes behind the backs of many of the retirees.

“We were also shocked by the way we were informed—by receiving a letter in the mail or an email, and in some cases, not being informed at all,” the letter read.

While the administration assured that the benefit cuts were necessary for the continued operation of the university, members of the university community began to distrust Newman’s methods. This distrust reached its climax on January 19, 2016, when the Mountain Echo reported that Newman’s newly-created student retention plan was engineered to ensure the dismissal of twenty to twenty-five of the university’s worst-performing students. Additionally, the article referenced a conversation between Newman and Professor Greg Murray, where Newman allegedly referred to poorly-performing students as “bunnies” that needed to be drowned or have a “Glock to their heads.”

The university’s administration responded swiftly to the article, condemning it as “grossly inaccurate.” A subsequent statement from John E. Coyne, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, confirmed that Newman used the “inappropriate metaphor” but denied that Newman’s new retention program targeted unintelligent students for dismissal. Coyne’s statement blamed the misinformation on an “organized, small group of faculty and recent alums working to undermine and ultimately cause the exit of President Newman.”

Opponents of Newman and the administration were further inflamed in February, when Newman ordered the termination of two university faculty members, one of which was tenured. Professors Thane Naberhaus and Edward Egan were escorted off campus by security, and their university equipment was seized. Newman himself did not address the men about their termination, but rather had letters delivered to the professors, stating that their termination was due to unspecified violations of university policy.

The majority of the faculty members believed that the terminations were retaliatory, as both men had objected to Newman’s policy changes. While the university offered later that same week to reinstate both professors, the damage had already been done. Articles about the university’s termination of the professors—one of whom still had tenure—were published in several local newspapers, as well as The Washington Post. Letters to the editor of the Mountain Echo poured in from current and past members of the university community; some stood with the faculty while others sided with Newman.

In light of the national publicity, the university faculty members voted overwhelmingly in favor of asking for Newman’s resignation. Despite the 87-3 vote, Newman insisted that he had no intention to resign.

On February 29, 2016, Newman did step down from the presidency. The Board of Trustees appointed Karl Einoff as the acting president.


CYA Lacrosse Registration Now Open

It’s a new year—try a new sport! Lacrosse is known as the fastest game on two feet for good reason—you’re never sitting still! The Catoctin Youth Association (CYA) Lacrosse league is happy to say that it’s that time of the year again to start gearing up for another fun and exciting spring season of lacrosse. Anyone can play lacrosse—big, small, boys or girls—the game rewards coordination and agility. There is a rise in the number of teams that play, both in Maryland and nationally. CYA Lacrosse strives to provide a fun, educational, family-driven experience. In recent years, they have been fortunate to produce a number of competitive teams, including last season when their U11 Cougars—with half of the players never having played before—went to the championship.

CYA Lacrosse offers opportunities for school-age children, ages five to fourteen. They have established teams in the boys’ division, and they are happy to announce that this year they have added a girl’s division. Many of their coaches are U.S. Lacrosse certified, and with a certified coach in each division, even children with no experience will be in very capable hands to grow in the sport. Starting a new sport can be an undertaking, and an investment. For those who are interested in trying the sport, they have equipment available.

Registration is now open; they have multiple ways for you to register—even from home. You can visit them at to learn more about the sport and to register; you can also find registration forms to print and mail to P.O. BOX 374 Thurmont, MD 21788.

Questions? They have answers. Email them at [email protected] or give them a call at 240-342-6238.

Just want to see what CYA Lacrosse Cougars are up to this season? Make sure to be social with them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Thurmont Little League is Gearing Up for an Exciting Season of Baseball

The cold weather has arrived, but Thurmont Little League is gearing up for their 65th Season of Thurmont Little League baseball. Registration is open and is in full swing until March 1, 2016. Visit their website at to register.

Players from Thurmont, Sabillasville, Emmitsburg, Rocky Ridge, Woodsboro, Taneytown, and Union Bridge are welcome to register. Come be a part of the Little League experience: #playLittleLeague.

At the Tee-ball, Instructional, Minor, and Major divisions, all of their games are played in-house at the Thurmont Little League Complex. This provides families the convenience of not having to travel around the county during school nights for games.

2016 League Divisions: Tee-Ball (ages 4-6): typically, seven to ten teams; Instructional League (ages 5-8): typically, six to eight teams; Minor League (ages 7-11): typically, eight to ten teams; Little League Major (ages 9-12): six teams.

Thurmont Little League is looking forward to seeing your player on the Little League Ball Fields. Feel free to call Ed Lowry at 267-664-5059 with questions or email [email protected]

Mount St. Mary’s University to Host 16th Annual Maryland International Youth Rugby Festival in April

Mount St. Mary’s University (MSM) will be the site of the 16th Annual Maryland International Youth Rugby Festival on April 23-24, 2016. The entire community is invited to come out and see some of the best boys and girls high school rugby teams from the United States and Canada.

Event Chairman Dan Soso stated that the event was moved to MSM because of the outstanding facilities, the championship caliber play of Mount St. Mary’s rugby program, and the friendliness of the entire Emmitsburg community. “It’s an amazing opportunity for us to showcase our event, the scenic beauty of our state, and the outstanding program at Mount St. Mary’s. It is a win-win for everyone involved, and we can’t wait to bring first-class high school rugby to the Mount.”

Catoctin-Ettes Hosting Free Introductory Baton Twirling Course

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc., a local non-profit youth organization, is again hosting its free, four-week introductory baton twirling course set to begin on Monday, February 1, 2016, at the Emmitsburg Community Center Gym (on the first floor). Each class will operate for 45 minutes and run on consecutive Monday evenings, from 6:30-7:15 p.m. The course, geared for the beginner twirler from age five and up, is completely free. Additionally, batons are loaned for class-time free of charge.

The course is designed to teach beginner baton twirling skills and marching while introducing this growing sport to the community’s youth. Classes are taught by experienced coaches within the organization in an exciting and fun atmosphere. This is an exceptional opportunity to bring baton twirling to families with no costs whatsoever and to determine a child’s interest in twirling without membership commitments. All students must be pre-registered. Please contact Donna Landsperger at 240-405-2604 or [email protected]


Deb Spalding

On Saturday, October 17, 2015, the 91st Banquet of the Emmitsburg High School Alumni was held at the Emmitsburg Ambulance activities building on Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. The Class of 1968 was the last graduating class from Emmitsburg High School. The Class of 1969 held the distinction of closing down Emmitsburg High School and transferring to the new Catoctin High School a few months shy of their graduation.

The second class to graduate from Catoctin, but the first to spend a full school year at that location, was the class of 1970. This class was one of several that was honored at this banquet. Other classes included those with graduating years ending in 5 or 0.

It is of note that the Class of 1953 had 20 graduates, eighteen of them were present at this banquet. The oldest alumnus in attendance was Emory Motter (95) from the class of 1934. Calvin Chatless, class of 1970, traveled the farthest, coming from New Jersey.

For the past 22 years, the association has awarded annual scholarships to several individuals seeking further education. This year’s scholarships were awarded to four students: Josh Little (Mount St. Mary’s University), Elizabeth Shriver (Delaware Valley College), Taylor Shank (Clemson University), and Sophia Eureka (Robert Morris University). For the second year, an additional scholarship was derived from an anonymous gift in memory of Emmitsburg’s 6th grade teacher, Mary B. Scott, who taught for many years at the old Emmitsburg School. This scholarship was also awarded to Devin Cash (Salisbury University).

This year’s entertainment (singing and keybaord) was provided by John Martin (Class of 1970). Various parts of the presentation were given by Phyllis Kelly, Jim Martin, and Joyce Bruchey. Special thanks was given to those who hold, or have held, volunteer positions with the Alumni Association.

Calvin Chatless put together display boards (donated by Eric Glass) showing newspaper articles and photos of the partnership that was created when Emmitsburg and Thurmont High Schools combined into Catoctin High School. He said that the two schools were rivals and had to show up to a couple of scuffles to establish themselves. But, with time, Principal Howard Goodrich, allowed Emmitsburg to have a large influence on the new school with input into the mascot, class ring, and artwork (by Carolyn Keilholtz) for the crest (handshake) for the school.

The rivals merged in every way for the class of 1970. The soccer team won a championship and the basketball team went to county championships in that first year. Calvin stressed the importance of the heritage from Emmitsburg that the students were able to carry to the new school. He said, “We had a wonderful experience there.”

During the banquet, alumni in the honor classes were asked to introduce themselves. John Horine shared that Kenny Swomley (Class of 1962) is being inducted into the Frederick County Soccer Hall of Fame on December 5. He is also in the Alvin Quinn Hall of Fame. Other Hall of Famers associated with Emmitsburg High School include John Horine (coach), George Kuhn (coach), Paul Straud, and John Weaver. All three Swomley boys, Kenny, Dick, and Dave, have been inducted into the Mount St. Mary’s Sports Hall of Fame.

It is important to note that students who attended Emmitsburg High School at any time during their education, regardless of whether or not they graduated, are encouraged to be part of The Emmitsburg Alumni Association. Joyce Bruchey’s parting words for the evening were, “Stay healthy and bring a classmate next year.”

Next year, the classes that end in a 6 or a 1 will be honored. Alumni historian, Joyce Bruchey (Class of 1962), is always appreciative of photos and memorabilia from the students. She said, “If something happens to you and your children are going to pitch it out, pitch it to me.” Souvenir books for honors classes are available for $5.00 each. Call Joyce at 410-775-7921 if you have Emmitsburg High School history that you would like to contribute or for more information.

Photos by Deb Spalding

EBH HS banquet 2

Class of 1970 (from left): John Martin, Carolyn Maddox, Calvin Chatlos, Nancy Mathias Summers, Harold Cregger, Shirley Wireman Freshman, and Joe Topper.

EBG HS banquet

Emory Motter, the oldest alumnus in attendance, looked through a Class of 1934 Memory Book.

EHS banquet

Calvin Chatless put together display boards (donated by Eric Glass) that showed newspaper articles and photos of the partnership that was created when Emmitsburg and Thurmont High Schools combined into Catoctin High School.

Deb Spalding

Emmitsburg’s Vigilant Hose Company hosted their 7th annual Spring Fling in the parking lot of Mount St. Mary’s University’s Waldron Family Stadium on May 16, 2015. In past years, the event has been described as our community’s version of a party at the beach; this year’s location was described as a community tail-gate party. No matter how you look at it, it’s a good time. During the event, some families host their family reunion; some pre-arrange gatherings of friends; some play cards or table games, others play corn hole, and still others relax and socialize. All the while, ticket jars and raffle drawings take place.

This year, a storm blew through towards the end of the event, causing many to leave early; however, those who stayed seemed to have a really good time. About those who stayed through the storm, event coordinator Gabe Baker said, “They were crazy and wet.”

The Spring Fling is Vigilant’s main fundraiser during the year. Thousands attend in hopes of winning a large amount of money. The event’s biggest prize award is $4,000, which you do not need to be present to win. This year’s lucky winner of the big jackpot was Warren Zentz. If you were a winner but did not receive your prize on-site, prizes have been mailed. If you did not receive yours, please email Vigilant’s President Tim Clarke at [email protected] Ticket jar winners are encouraged to visit to view a list of winners. If you are a winner of an unclaimed ticket jar, please stop by the firehouse (call ahead at 301-447-2728 to make sure someone is there to help you) to claim your winnings or call Bill Boyd at 717-642-9717.

The Vigilant Hose Company would like to thank everyone who purchased a ticket or who volunteered, resulting in another successful Spring Fling. Volunteers work hard to set up and break down the event, gather and transport equipment, hand out food and beverages, sell tickets, and grill chicken. Good job to all!

Sam Bigham

Sam Bigham is shown hoping for a big win at the Vigilant Hose Company’s annual Spring Fling, held on May 16, 2015.


In the tent shown slicing meat are Vance Click, Herb Click, and Ed Wantz.


Pictured are Dottie Davis with Shannon and Mike Wetzel.

Melissa Wetzel CPA Staff and Customers Donate for Emmitsburg Food Bank

Customers and staff at Melissa Wetzel CPA in Emmitsburg have topped last year’s record for collecting food donations in comparison to the annual numbers for the project that started in 2009.

 “With 1,244 food items collected, it’s still catching on. Our goal is to beat the number of cans collected the year before,” said Melissa.

Customers of the accounting office are on board with the collections since they can get up to $5.00 off of their tax return preparation fee for bringing in five food items to support the Emmitsburg Food Bank. To take part in the benefit next year, please call Melissa at 301-447-3797.

This year, Melissa’s receptionist, Jill Ott, is retiring from the company. She started working for the CPA firm in 2008. For Jill’s years at the company and for her commitment, Melissa said, “Thank you for your years of service. You will be missed by all of the employees and our clientele.”

Melissa Wetzel would also like to include a “thank you” to their clients for making the food drive such a success each and every year.

If you would like to donate to the Emmitsburg Food Bank, it is located at 502 East Main Street in Emmitsburg. Food Bank hours are: Tuesday and Wednesday (7:00-8:00 p.m.); Friday (1:00-2:00 p.m.); Saturday (10:00-11:00 a.m.). Email Phyllis Kelly at [email protected] or call 717-642-6963 for more information.

Pictured from left are Melissa Wetzel, Mary Flickinger, and Bobbie Click.

Melissa Wetzel Food bank donation

Photo by Deb Spalding

Golden Statue of Mary Gets Crowned

As hundreds gathered on May 3, 2015, on the grounds of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, the golden 25-foot statue of Mary, which stands atop the 95-foot campanile and stands high above the campus, was crowned with flowers. The crown measured 12 feet in diameter and was elevated by a crane and placed upon the statue’s head.

The event celebrated the Catholic tradition of crowning Blessed Mother Mary with spring blossoms to recognize her model of faith and discipleship. The 12-foot crown was constructed by florist Will Stone, owner of Flower Fashions in Frederick, Maryland.

The crowing of the golden statue of Mary on May 3, 2015.

Grotto Mary gets crown

Photo by Robert Rosensteel, Sr.

Tom’s Creek UMC Message of Hope

Just imagine a tree that is leaning, decaying, and dying, and it is only a matter of time before it falls over and lands on a building, car, road, and so on. So, what do you do if it is on your property?

Most people cut it down and then have the stump removed and the story ends there. However, Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church (UMC) had a different vision. They had a dying tree cut down to a ten-foot stump and then had it carved. They took something that was dead and/or dying, and they gave it new life. Even better, they turned to local artist and businessman, Jason Stoner, to transform it into a message of hope. A member of the church paid to have the stump carved into Jesus Christ, holding a lamb, sending the message of hope to the lost, the wandering, the hopeless, and the unloved. This dead tree that was resurrected to be a message of hope can be found at Tom’s Creek UMC (a couple of miles off of Route 140, by taking either Simmons Road or Tom’s Creek Church Road).

For years, the community has had a gold statue of Mary watching over the area, and, now facing her, is the carving of Christ. If you are out on a ride, stop by and see it.

Courtesy Photos

Tom's Creek -- tree carvingTom's Creek -- tree carving 2

Local Artist Jason Stoner carved the stump of a cut down tree into a message of hope, outside of Tom’s Creek United Methodist Chruch in Emmitsburg.

Drop Your Change for Food

by Deb Spalding

The Emmitsburg Food Bank was founded in the 1980s to help meet the needs of local residents in emergencies (fire, flood, accidents, illness, job loss, divorce, economic recession, job transition, etc.) and to assist citizens with the sustained low incomes.

This food bank serves about sixty families per month, and operates on donations of food and money from the community. The Emmitsburg Business and Professionals Association (EBPA) started a change drop box program several years ago, called “Change for Food.” The coordinator of that program, Bob Rosensteel, Sr., said that donations have been going down in the past year because other charitable entities are vying for change box donations. He wants to make sure donors know how much their contributions are appreciated by the food bank.

“Please tell everyone not to forget to drop one dollar per month in a Change for Food box. That one little dollar makes a huge difference!” said Rosensteel.

Emmitsburg Food Bank Director Phyllis Kelly indicated that the food bank constantly buys meats, eggs, cheese, margarine, and bread with money from the Change for Food donations.

“Organizations, churches, schools, FEMA, and Mount St. Mary’s University have been very generous over the years. The EBPA’s Change for Food collection boxes that are seen around town in stores have helped greatly. Thanks to all of you,” said Kelly.

The Emmitsburg Food Bank requires proof of residence in the Emmitsburg school district area and a photo ID. While a driver’s license qualifies as a photo ID, it may not show a current address. Proof of residence may be in the form of a lease, a utility bill, a car registration, or a piece of mail addressed personally to the client. They will maintain copies of the documents during the calendar year. When a new year begins, clients must re-submit documents showing current address and a photo ID.

The Emmitsburg Food Bank’s policy is to help with food once a month, unless proof of greater need is shown by contacting Social Services in Frederick at 301-600-4575 for services such as Food Stamps, medical assistance, cash assistance, or Family and Adult Services (301-600-2635). They suggest that all clients apply for Food Stamps. If one is denied, they can bring the denial letter to the Food Bank and more help can be provided. They cannot give food from government sources more than once a month. The Frederick County food banks are linked through the Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs. One may not use more than one food bank—this is called “double-dipping.” It is unfair to others who are in need.

The Emmitsburg Food Bank has guidelines for the number of items from various food groups, based on family size. They have a “Help Yourself” section of items that don’t fit any category.

Any questions can be directed to the manager, Phyllis Kelly, at 717-642-6963. Food bank hours are: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 7:00-8:00 p.m.; Fridays, 1:00-2:00 p.m.; Saturdays, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Don’t forget to drop your change in the Change for Food boxes at various locations around town! Contact the Emmitsburg Food Bank by emailing [email protected].

change for food ebg food bank

Pictured from left are Emmitsburg Food Bank volunteers Mary Kate Price, Carson Kelly, Phyllis Kelly, and EBPA Change for Food Coordinator Bob Rosensteel, Sr.

James Rada, Jr.

Many Emmitsburg residents have the soul of a poet that is striving to be released. On the third Friday of each month they gather in the Holy Grounds Café inside St. Philomena’s Catholic Books and Gifts on the square in Emmitsburg. They order a drink and then settle down to read poetry or to simply listen to it being read.

The members of Catoctin Voices, Emmitsburg’s local poetry group, come from all walks of life, but they all share a love for the rhythm of words.

“I am always amazed at the different styles and voices we have reading to us,” said Lisa Cantwell, the group’s founder. “And the more we have, the better it will be.”

Catoctin Voices met for the first time in November 2013, and has been going strong ever since.

“Word is getting out,” Cantwell said. “Poetry needs to be out there in the public eye.”

The meetings begin at 7:00 p.m., and after a few short announcements, members read a couple short pieces to the group. Sometimes it is a poem the member has written, but other times, it’s simply a piece that appealed to the reader. The pieces may be short or long, humorous or serious. Some of the subjects at a recent meeting were seasons, photographs, love, diets, and dead cats. Often there is a guest speaker at the meetings.

“We’ve had Virginia Crawfort, Maryland’s Poet in Residence, come from Baltimore to speak with us, as well as Sis. Ann Higgins, who has been featured twice on National Public Radio (NPR),” said Cantwell.

The guest speaker at the meeting on February 20, 2015, will be Mark Greathouse. Greathouse not only writes poetry, but has published a self-help book and young-adult novel. He is also the president and managing partner of Strategic Capital Partners, LLC, a business that connects early-revenue-stage, technology-based ventures with the private equity capital necessary for growth.

Catoctin Voices is not meant to be a critique group. Some members meet separately to critique each others’ works. The group was set up to give poets an outlet where they can read their work and to allow them to inspire and delight each other through their works. 

“Poetry speaks to the soul,” Cantwell said. “These mountains seem to speak out and tell stories.”

Poetry group 2 - by James Rada, Jr.

Reader is Martin Malone from Mount St. Mary’s University.

New Premises for Thurmont Town Offices

Lindsay Brandt

TM Town new officeOn January 12, 2015, the Thurmont Town Office will open in a new location at 615 East Main Street, in the premises of the former Dailey Funeral Home.  After a full renovation of the building, which was once the residence of former Thurmont Mayor James Black, the new offices are inviting, parking is spacious, and service is complimented with modern conveniences.

The move to the new premises will bring many positive changes for the staff and citizens of Thurmont. The spacious building will hold approximately 10 different sectionals, rooms, and offices for the staff. Although not all rooms will be open to the public, the space is being put to good use.

Upon stepping through the large front doors, you can choose entering the reception area to your right or entering the spacious commissioners meeting room to your left.

In the reception area, the receptionist’s station is the first work area you see. If Debbie Ecker and Melody Dix are busy with patrons who arrived beforehand, you may peruse the media area of brochures and pamphlets or sit and watch a flat screen television that will be running through announcements.

On the other side of the building, in the back of the commissioner’s meeting room, you will find restrooms, a drinking fountain, and beautiful, large windows that seem to draw visitors in. The meeting room can hold 50 chairs compared to the 35 chairs available in the previous building, and if more than 50 people are anticipated for a town meeting, additional chairs can certainly be added.

Some of the offices that the public will not have direct access to are; Lori Kaas, who is involved with permits and utility building; Becky Long who assists with Planning and Zoning and works with grants; and Tracy Schur and Wanda Stottlemeyer in the Finance Office. As always, the public will be able to pay utility bills, ask questions, inquire about permits for parks and pavilions, and submit plans for permits, construction, and variances. 

TM New Town Office 2The second floor has a conference room, the commissioner’s office, and the mayor’s office. “We will be using the conference room a lot. Right now, I can accommodate four people in my office, but if we have meetings larger than that, we have to go to the meeting room. So this will be a nice place to bring people in to talk about things,” said Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick.

Before the town offices move, the building needed to have work done, both inside and out. The renovation of the building was a combined effort of the Lone Star Builders, Inc., Dorsey Brothers, Green Brothers Construction and Town of Thurmont Dept. of Public Works. Some of the different areas of renovation include: electrical, landscaping, sewer line connections, signs for the parking lot, flooring, and windows. The city accepted a grant to install energy-saving equipment, including new lighting and a state of the art energy efficient HVAC system. “With moving from the old to the new [building], the energy savings will be tremendous,” Humerick said.

An open house is in the works but the date has yet to be set. After the Town of Thurmont staff are settled in and they make sure operations are running smoothly, they plan for a weekend open house so the community can venture in and have a look around. There is no need to be worried about finding parking for the open house because the new building has 50 parking spaces, instead of the four at the old building. Another excellent feature of the parking lot is a drive-through lane with a drop box for people who are in a hurry and don’t want to leave their vehicle to drop off a bill.

The Public Works division will continue to work out of the 10 Frederick Road, location. Additionally, the Thurmont Food Bank will be relocating into the former town office building. There is no set date for the move, but it is hoped that towards the end of February, 2015, they will be ready for business.

The current office will be closed on Friday, January 9, so staff can make the move to the new location. Cubicles, furniture, and appliances will be among the items transferred to the new building.

“I think the new municipal offices will be a welcome improvement for both our staff and the residents of Thurmont, and I want to thank the Board of Commissioners for their shared vision of this new public facility and for their support during the entire process. A special thanks goes to Jim Brown and Jim Humerick for their oversight of the project and for managing to satisfy all the Commissioner’s requests and concerns during the renovations,” said Mayor John Kinnaird.

Advance Auto Parts Opens in Thurmont

Lindsay Brandt

advance auto partsAdvance Auto Parts opened the doors to their new building at 131 Frederick Road in Thurmont on December 20, 2014.

The Grand Opening ceremony started at 11:00 a.m. when the Advance Auto Parts staff welcomed friends, families, and current and previous Town of Thurmont staff members by gathering in the parking lot for speeches and dedications.

“We were made to feel so welcome that we were coming, and little by little we started to hear the buzz around town, and everybody was so excited,” Lou Perez, District Manager for Advance Auto Parts, said. “I think this was the right move for our company and the right move for Thurmont.”

Thurmont Store Manager Donald Starliper is excited about the new location in Thurmont. He has been with the company for three years and has been looking forward to his transfer to Thurmont. He explained about store-wide Grand Opening deals and the free services the company provides that include, testing car batteries, installing batteries, and the free installation of wiper blades.

The ceremony also included a donation to the Thurmont Food Bank from Advance Auto Parts. Pastor Sally Joyner-Giffin accepted the $1,000 check on behalf of the Thurmont Food Bank.

“I think it’s a great addition to Thurmont; everybody seems excited about it and it’s been nice watching it grow from a hole in the ground to the finished product. Everybody is kind, courteous, and very willing to help you,” customer Sharon Richards said.

Advance Auto Parts is open daily from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., except Sundays during which hours are 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Call the store at 301-271-1113 for more information.

EBPA Reviews its Work in 2014

James Rada, Jr.

While the name of the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA)would make one think that the group is only interested in business issues in town, it does much more than that for the Emmitsburg community. This never becomes more obvious then during the EBPA’s annual banquet.

This year’s banquet was held in JoAnn’s Ballroom at the Carriage House Inn in Emmitsburg on December 5, 2014.

One of the major donations that the EPBA makes each month is to the Emmitsburg Food Bank. Board member Bob Rosensteel came up with the idea years ago to leave boxes at the registers of local businesses to collect loose change customers received after purchases.

“We never dreamed it would do what it’s doing, with something as simple as pocket change,” Rosensteel said.

In 2014, the change boxes collected nearly $5,500, which was then donated to the food bank to help feed local families.

“It just keeps coming,” EBPA Treasurer Allen Knott noted.

Similarly, the EBPA also donated $600 to the Emmitsburg Lions Club annual food drive.

EBPA board member Chris Ohanion reminded the audience that the EBPA had also taken over paying for the annual fireworks show during the Lions Club Emmitsburg Community Day.

“The generosity here in Emmitsburg is second to none,” said Rosensteel.

The EBPA is made up of nearly three dozen Emmitsburg-area businesses, who network and help promote Emmitsburg as a community.

The EBPA also sponsors local business luncheons to promote better business methods and local events.

For more information about the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association, visit the EBPA website at

Mount St. Mary’s Appoints New President

Mount St. Mary's new presidentSimon Newman, Chief Executive Officer of Cornerstone Management Group—a private equity, merger and acquisition, and strategic consulting firm based in Los Angeles, California—has been appointed the 25th President of Mount St. Mary’s University.

Newman succeeds Thomas H. Powell, president of the university since 2003. Newman’s appointment concludes a six-month national search process conducted by a committee comprised of members of the University Board of Trustees, as well as individuals representing the Mount community. Francis W. Daily, a member of the Board of Trustees and a 1968 graduate of the Mount, led the search.

“The committee entered this process with a clear understanding of the board’s requirements for our next leader. We focused on those candidates with experience in fund raising, strategic planning and fiscal leadership, strong communication skills, and a deep Catholic faith,” said Daily. “I commend my colleagues for the time they gave in searching for our next president.”

The announcement was made during an on-campus Mass celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Born in the United Kingdom, Newman, fifty-one, holds a BA degree (with honors) and an MA degree in natural sciences from Cambridge University, in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s third-oldest university. He also earned an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, in Palo Alto, California.

“Simon brings a strong background in business, finance, and leadership to our campus,” said John E. Coyne, III, C’77, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “He has many strengths: his collaborative management style, vision, progressive leadership, experience as a successful entrepreneur, and passion for our mission—all remind us of the skills of our founder, Fr. John Dubois.”

“He is a devout Catholic— involved in his parish, serving as a religious education teacher, and for many years as an instructor working with youth held in detention. Simon’s energy and accomplishment, and notably his firm commitment to the Mount’s strong Catholic liberal arts tradition, will serve the University well as we enter a most competitive and critical decade in higher education,” Coyne added.

“I am honored to help continue the Mount’s rich legacy and to further lead the University on its quest for greatness,” said Newman. “President Powell has elevated the University’s academic profile as a leading Catholic liberal arts University. I am inheriting a very solid foundation for future growth and development, and very much look forward to joining the Mount community.”

Newman has almost thirty years of experience working as an executive with a strong background in private equity, strategy consulting, and operations. He is currently a Managing Director of the private equity fund JP Capital Partners, as well as President and CEO of Cornerstone Management Group, founded in 1997.

During his career he has started or co-founded four different businesses, completed more than $33 billion in transactions, and raised more than $3 billion in equity funding for ventures and bids he originated. He has led several business turnarounds and delivered more than $200 million in profit improvements.

He started his career in consulting working with Bain & Co and LEK Consulting where he managed the media and entertainment practice working with clients such as Warner Bros., Disney, and Universal Studios. He has also worked at Canal+ International, Liberty Media and the investment bank, Wasserstein & Perella.

An avid sportsman, Newman and his wife, Michelle, have two children: Chantel (six) and Sienna (three).

Mount St. Mary’s and the Civil War

by James Rada, Jr.

Looking Back COLUMN photoIn the years leading up to the Civil War, Mount St. Mary’s enjoyed prosperity. The college celebrated its golden anniversary in 1858, and student enrollment was around 200 young men and growing.

“The Mount was thriving, as was most of the South thriving before the Civil War,” Father Michael Roach, instructor of church history at the Mount, said on the DVD “Mount St. Mary’s University: The Spirit Continues…”

This changed with the outbreak of war in 1860; the school began to lose students and faculty who were sympathetic to the southern cause. More than half of the students prior to the war came from the South. Not all of them headed home, and the school wound up supporting them because funds from the students’ parents could not make it north.

The college expenses increased while income fell off. During the 1859-1860 school year, Mount St. Mary’s had 173 students, not including the seminarians; two years later, the enrollment had fallen to 67 students, its lowest number in fifty years.

The remaining students and faculty began to take sides in the conflict, either pro-Union or pro-Confederacy. While this created some tension on campus, it never became open hostility. The consensus opinion seems to be that a majority of the campus supported the Southern cause.

“[President John] McCaffrey eventually, and some of professors, were monitored, observed, by President Lincoln’s loyalty police. These were men appointed all over the country to keep an eye on folks who might be or were suspected of being Confederate sympathizers,” Steve Whitman, associate professor of history at the Mount, said on the DVD “Mount St. Mary’s University: The Spirit Continues…”

Though Confederate in his sympathies, McCaffrey was not hostile to the Union. A Pennsylvania officer wrote, “Two miles from Emmitsburg, we passed Mount Saint Mary’s, and taking advantage of a moment’s halt, a party of three or four rode up to the main entrance…We were cordially received by the president and with characteristic hospitality a collation was in preparation for us.”

In the fall of 1862, the sounds of battle during the Battle of South Mountain could be heard at the college.

“As we were going up to Mass to the old church on the hill, and as we were returning from Mass, we could hear the firing distinctly. Yet, recreation went on the terraces and the ordinary routine of college life was followed, as if nothing unusual was happening,” Monsignor James T. Dunn, an 1863 Mount graduate, wrote after the war.

After the battle of Antietam in September 1862, six of the seven seniors remaining in the school slipped away to visit the battlefield, leaving only a note for McCaffrey that read: “Dear Doctor McCaffrey: We are very sorry for what we are going to do but we cannot help it. Please do not be worried about us: we will be back surely on Friday evening. Yours truly. Class of ‘63.”

This wasn’t the first time boys had left the campus without permission to see a battle or soldiers. McCaffrey decided to put an end to it. When the boys returned three days later, McCaffrey expelled them. However, within a month, he changed his mind and reinstated them.

Small Confederate raids occurred around the college and “Vice-President, Rev. John McCloskey, an excellent horseman and a notable figure on horseback, rode for quite a distance alongside the commander, General J. E. B. Stuart,” according to Dunn.

The next big event for the college was in 1863, as troops entered the area on their way to Gettysburg. “Many of us sat on the fences along the road watching and listening to their sayings. We naturally looked upon the men as sheep led to the slaughter, and we were not a little surprised when we overheard two of them closing a bargain on horseback with the remark: ‘Well, I will settle with you for this after the battle. Will that suit you?’ The other party readily assented. The whole period of life is treated as a certainty, even by men going into battle,” Dunn wrote.

He wrote that his commencement was held about a week earlier than planned “on account of the threatening appearance of everything without, and so that the students might safely reach their homes.”

Mount President John McCaffrey was known for his Confederate sympathies and refused to let the U.S. flag fly. “When Lincoln was shot, Federal orders were issued ‘for every house to display some sign of mourning. An officer visited the college, but there was no sign visible,’ until Dr. McCaffrey produced ‘a small piece of crape’ on a door which had been opened back so that it would not be visible until disclosed,” according to the Emmitsburg Chronicle.

In the spring of 1863, Mount student Maurice Burn was arrested by Union soldiers for sedition. Burn, who was from Louisiana, had written his father and expressed his Southern sympathies. Burn was jailed when he refused to sign an oath of loyalty to the Union. McCaffrey wrote Lincoln pleading Burn’s case, and the youth was released to McCaffrey’s custody.

In all, three students were killed during the war, according to “Mount St. Mary’s University: The Spirit Continues…” One of these young men was Maurice Burn, who had been arrested and paroled for sedition. Those young men were buried at the college cemetery on the mountain.