USM Chancellor William E. "Brit" Kirwan's Statement on the Passing of The Honorable William Donald Schaefer

On behalf of the University System of Maryland, I express our collective sadness over the passing of Baltimore mayor, Maryland governor, Maryland state comptroller, and my good friend William Donald Schaefer. 

Governor Schaefer was a "public servant" in the truest sense of that phrase. He dedicated his life to others, with literally more than half-a-century of service. He served his country in the United States Army during World War II; he served his native Baltimore on the city council and as mayor; and he served the people of Maryland as governor and comptroller.

But greater still than his commitment to service was his impact. At a time when so many who serve in public office become diminished, Governor Schaefer was larger than life.  From the Inner Harbor and Camden Yards, to his visionary efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay, his influence-driven by his "Do It Now" approach-continues to reverberate throughout Maryland. 

Of course, Governor Schaefer was also the architect of the University System of Maryland (USM) as we know it today. It was Governor Schaefer who called for the establishment of a single public higher education system, through the merger of the former University of Maryland and its five campuses with Maryland's system of six state comprehensive colleges and universities. And it was Governor Schaefer who gave the USM our mandate of achieving "National Eminence," which continues to guide our efforts today. Finally, it was Governor Schaefer who followed through on these efforts with significant support for the University System of Maryland. 

Governor Schaefer's support for higher education and the USM will continue to shine brightly, thanks to the Schaefer Internship Program at the University of Maryland College Park's School of Public Policy, the Schaefer Center for Public Policy at the University of Baltimore, the Schaefer Engineering Building at Morgan State University, Schaefer Hall at St. Mary's College of Maryland, and the William Donald Schaefer Scholarship Program. We have lost a great friend, but we will never lose the impact of his commitment to public service and the advancement of the quality of life in Maryland.

Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719