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Princess Anne Academy, Class of 1894
*This date in 1886, marks the origin of Princess Anne Academy. This was a school for emancipated Black slaves that paved the way for America’s many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Founded as the Delaware Conference Academy, it can be found in Princess Anne on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, this school was organized by Morgan College.
Records show that 37 students were enrolled by the end of the year. Later about two hundred pupils were enrolled, and, for lack of room, it was necessary to turn away more pupils than were received. In connection with the standard elementary and secondary goals of the school special emphasis was put on industrial education. The State of Maryland, in operating its land grant program at the Maryland Agricultural College at College Park, to which Blacks were not admitted as students, sought to provide a Land-Grant program for Blacks and assumed control of the Princess Anne Academy, renaming it the Eastern Shore Branch of the Maryland Agricultural College. The arrangement was effective in 1919.
In 1926, the College passed into complete control and ownership of the State, and the University of Maryland was designated as the administrative agency. In 1948, the Eastern Shore Branch of the University of Maryland, popularly known as Princess Anne College, became officially Maryland State College, a Division of the University of Maryland. In 1970, Maryland State College became the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. With the strong support of the Maryland Board of Regents, Systems Administration, and the faculty, UMES has developed an academic program above and perhaps more impressive than any other higher educational institution of its size in the East.
Today, the University offers major programs leading to the B.A. and B.S. degrees in 26 disciplines in the arts and sciences, professional studies, and agricultural sciences. In addition, UMES presents 13 teaching degree programs and eight pre-professional programs, as well as an Honors Program designed in cooperation with the University of Maryland at Baltimore to prepare students for professional school study.
The campus encompasses over 600 acres, 28 major buildings, and 41 other units. Many students arrive from neighboring major cities including Baltimore (119 miles), Washington, DC (133 miles), Philadelphia (139 miles), Richmond (180 miles), and New York City (239 miles). The newest programs on the UMES campus also look toward the current and future needs of the Eastern Shore. Airway Science, Law Enforcement, and Rehabilitation services have all been recently added to the University’s curriculum.