By Stewart L. Edelstein, Shady Grove
I have known Brit Kirwan for almost 40 years, including all of my years at College Park and my 12 years as Executive Director of the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). Brit did not establish USG, but it was during his tenure as Chancellor that USG flourished into the state’s largest regional higher education center and become nationally recognized for its unique structure and success in expanding access to baccalaureate, graduate and professional degrees.
USG is not one institution, but a partnership of 9 USM institutions which offer their degrees in one location in Montgomery County. Over 50% of the students who are enrolled in the bachelor’s programs offered at USG are the first in the family to receive degrees. Many of these students and countless others would not be able to obtain a university degree from a USM institution without the presence of USG.
Access to affordable quality higher education in service to the greater good has been a cornerstone of Brit’s many contributions to the state of Maryland and the nation. Over his career, Brit has touched and affected almost every aspect of higher education and we as a University System are the better for his efforts. His contributions are indelible and his legacy will be long-lasting. It has been an honor to work so closely with him to build USG and to see up front his skill, commitment and dedication to what education can do to change lives and build thriving communities.