Maryland’s independent-college presidents honor McDaniel alumnus

September 21, 2009

McDaniel College alumnus and Maryland Senator Edward Kasemeyer said during his Sept. 18 campus visit that helping people solve problems is the greatest reward he receives as a long-serving politician. While on campus he addressed Political Science students and was honored by the state’s private college and university presidents whose public policy advocacy association held its fall meeting on the Hill.

The unassuming, yet studious Democratic senator was recognized by the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA) with its Presidents Award for his steadfast support of state aid to private higher education.

Kasemeyer’s political career began in 1979 when he was elected to the Howard County Democratic State Central Committee, and in 1983, he was elected from District 14 to the Maryland House of Delegates. Three short years later, he was elected to the Senate where he has served since 1995 and earlier from 1987-90. Currently, he is the majority leader and vice chair of the Budget and Taxation Committee.

Joan Develin Coley, president of McDaniel, cited Senator Kasemeyer as an outstanding alumnus whose “fellow legislators follow (his) guidance and acknowledge (his) leadership skills as a monumental consensus builder and responsive communicator.”

Kasemeyer credits his education at McDaniel for learning about how to get along with others. “It was a perfect place for a guy like me,” he said. While he confesses to not taking up any causes while a college student, he did serve as president of the SGA and his fraternity. He currently defines himself as a centrist and laments that too many lawmakers today are so polarized that it impedes legislation to solve problems and make life better for the citizens.

“Everything is about relationships,” he says. “The most important lesson is learning to get along with all different kinds of people.

“When you can have a positive impact on policy – pensions, healthcare, retiree benefits – you feel you’ve made a real contribution.”

Don Hobart, ’62 and Corynne Courpas ’76 also gave accolades to Kasemeyer on behalf of the McDaniel Alumni Association.