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Hrabowski Receives 2014 ACE Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award

March 09, 2014

Freeman Hrabowski


​Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, president of The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), was presented today with the 2014 Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award* during the opening plenary of ACE's 96th Annual Meeting.

(Hrabowski pictured center, with ACE President Molly Corbett Broad and Fidelity's Rick Mitchell.)

The Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award is bestowed annually to acknowledge the enormous role of mentors in the success of ACE Fellows Program participants.

Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration. Nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program since its inception, with more than 300 Fellows having served as chief executive officers of colleges or universities and more than 1,300 having served as provosts, vice presidents and deans.

Hrabowski, UMBC president since 1992, has mentored six Fellows, as recently as the 2012-13 class and dating back to 1989-90:

  • Michael Gabel, Associate Professor, Mathematics and New Century College, George Mason University (VA), ACE Fellow 1989-1990
  • Valerie Epps, Vice President for Student Affairs, University of the District of Columbia, ACE Fellow 1994-1995
  •  Jack Thomas, President, Western Illinois University, ACE Fellow 1999-2000
  • Karen Burg, Interim Vice Provost & Dean of the Graduate School, Clemson University (SC), ACE Fellow 2006-2007
  • Donald Palm, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, ACE Fellow 2011-2012
  • Craig Rhodes, Special Assistant to the Provost & Vice
    President for Academic Affairs, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, ACE Fellow 2012-2013

"President Hrabowski for many years has demonstrated a staunch dedication to mentorship and the ACE Fellows Program,” said Joan Wodiska, ACE vice president and chief leadership officer. “We are grateful for the many hours he and other higher education leaders spend mentoring Fellows and giving so much of their time to the ACE Fellows Program.” 

Since 2008, Fidelity Investments® has been a generous supporter of the ACE Fellows Program, enabling the Council of Fellows to provide support for the discretionary fund of the Mentor Award winner's institution as well as the Fellows Fund for the Future, which provides stipends to defray costs for institutions unable to afford the cost of sponsoring a Fellow.

“Fidelity Investments congratulates President Hrabowski, a distinguished and committed mentor who is helping to shape the future generation of higher education leaders,” said Rick Mitchell, executive vice president, Tax-Exempt Retirement Services, Fidelity Investments. “As an advocate for continual professional development, Fidelity is proud of its continued support of the ACE Fellows program, which is firmly committed to strengthening the leadership within American higher education institutions.” 

Hrabowski’s research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He was recently named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. In 2008, he was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked UMBC the nation’s #1 “Up and Coming” university the past five years (2009-13). He serves as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academies and universities and school systems nationally. 

With philanthropist Robert Meyerhoff, he co-founded the Meyerhoff Scholars Program in 1988. The program is open to all high-achieving students committed to pursuing advanced degrees and research careers in science and engineering, and advancing underrepresented minorities in these fields.

Born in 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama, Hrabowski graduated at 19 from Hampton Institute with highest honors in mathematics. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he received his master’s (mathematics) and four years later his doctorate (higher education administration/statistics) at age 24.

Previous Recipients of the Council of Fellows Mentor Award (Titles reflect status at time of award):

  • 2013: E. Gordon Gee, president, The Ohio State University
  • 2012: John C. Cavanaugh, chancellor, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
  • 2011: Robert Caret, president, Towson University (MD), and president-elect, University of Massachusetts
  • 2010: Marvalene Hughes, president, Dillard University (LA), and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president emeritus, The George Washington University (DC)
  • 2009: Robert Hemenway, chancellor, University of Kansas
  • 2008: Robert Glidden, president emeritus, Ohio Universit
  • 2007: Carol Cartwright, president emeritus, Kent State University (OH)
  • 2006: Jerry Sue Thornton, president, Cuyahoga Community College (OH)
  • 2005: Robert Carothers, president, University of Rhode Island, and David Roselle, president, University of Delaware
​*ACE and Fidelity Investments® are independent entities and are not legally affiliated. The recipients of the Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award are selected solely by the Executive Committee of the Council of Fellows. Fidelity employees are not involved, in any way, in determining, selecting or approving the recipient or amount of any award. The selection criteria and guidelines for the award may be obtained directly from ACE.

Media Contact: Jon Riskind ▪ 202-939-9453 ▪​

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