Trustee Melhorn honored with Proxmire award

November 20, 2008

James. I. Melhorn, McDaniel Board Chair Emeritus and President and CEO of EMA, a faith-based family of retirement communities and resources headquartered in Sykesville, Md., was one of three awardees honored Nov. 12 at the 6th Annual William Proxmire Awards dinner held at the U.S. Supreme Court. Other honorees included Robert Essner, former CEO and retired chairman of the board of Wyeth, one of the world’s leading research- driven pharmaceutical and health care products companies, and Dr. David Satcher, member of the National Alzheimer’s Study Group and former U.S Surgeon-General.

Melhorn was congratulated by the evening’s Master of Ceremonies Cokie Roberts, ABC News award winning journalist and author, and McDaniel President Joan Develin Coley. Both Melhorn and Roberts are honorary degree recipients of McDaniel.

In his top leadership position with EMA, Melhorn has grown this not-for-profit organization from its first retirement community to three additional communities including Copper Ridge, a residential and outpatient facility dedicated exclusively to the care of people with memory-impairing illness. He also initiated the internationally recognized Copper Ridge Institute, a center affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for research and study of memory-impairing illness, and created EMA Management, which provides consulting services to continuing care retirement communities, developers, and financial industries and educates caregivers around the globe.

The award honors the late Sen. William Proxmire who battled Alzheimer’s disease and was cared for at Copper Ridge. His widow, Ellen, is a true believer in Copper Ridge’s missions and a tireless advocate for funding Alzheimer’s research. The award is given to individuals who have exhibited extraordinary leadership roles in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Former distinguished honorees have included Congressmen Roscoe Bartlett, Edward Markey, David Obey; Senators Barbara Mikulski, Paul Sarbanes, Jeff Sessions, Arlen Specter; Constantine Lyketsos, MD, director of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center; Mrs. Melanie Sabelhaus, former deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and noted philanthropist; Ms. Meryl Comer, president of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer Initiative; and Dale B. Schenk, PhD., executive vice president and chief scientific officer for Elan Pharmaceuticals.

Melhorn joined the College Board in 1993, and served as Board Chair from 1996-2007. He was instrumental in acquiring the Jessie Ball duPont grant to support the Center for the Study of Aging and established a partnership between McDaniel and EMA, Inc. to advance the study of gerontology.