News Release, College of Southern Maryland

The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County presented $4,450 on behalf of the Commission for Women on May 21 to the College of Southern Maryland to support the Jane Hale Sypher Scholarship Fund. Established in 2010 by the Commission for Women, the Jane Hale Sypher Scholarship Fund supports a non-traditional student who is a single parent or displaced homemaker at CSM.

The scholarship fund is supported by the Commission for Women’s annual Women’s History Banquet in March. Proceeds from and donations collected at the event support the Jane Hale Sypher Scholarship Fund.

Those attending 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, chair, 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.

Sypher, a life-long resident of St. Mary’s County, began her career in secondary education as a teacher at Great Mills High School, where she also held positions as career education coordinator and assistant principal.

She was acting principal at Leonardtown High School before being named assistant dean and then dean of CSM’s Leonardtown Campus beginning in 1992. Sypher retired in 2004 after 30 years of work in both the public school system and CSM. She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a master’s degree from Bowie State University.

She served as the first female president of Lexington Park Rotary, secretary of St. Mary’s County Democratic Club, board member for St. Mary’s Hospital 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 at least 25 years of age.

When the scholarship was established in 2010, CSM Vice President Michelle Goodwin, who worked closely with Sypher during her years 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.”

Brown advised the commissioners that since the scholarship was established there have been 24 recipients of the Jane Hale Sypher Scholarship.

“This year’s proceeds from the Women’s History Month banquet will support the annual scholarship. 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

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...