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UMGC ImpactThe Ehrensberger Legacy Society Welcomes New Inductees

The Ehrensberger Legacy Society Welcomes New Inductees

From left to right: UMGC President Dr. Gregory Fowler, Anna Doroshaw, Arthur James Jr., I-Ling Chow's family. Ellsworth S. Brown Jr., and Christina Bitting. Not picture: Alba Beckford, Norman Grabowsky, and Marilyn and Dr. Rene Grace.

In November, eight UMGC supporters were inducted into the Ehrensberger Legacy Society, a special group of the University’s long-term, philanthropic supporters who are contributing to the University through their estate plans including bequests, stocks, trusts, annuities and other assets.

This group was honored at the 2022 Ehrensberger Legacy Society Luncheon at The Center Club in Baltimore, and this occasion marked the first time the celebration has been held in person in two years due to the pandemic.

UMGC President Dr. Gregory Fowler, inductees and other members of the UMGC community were on hand to welcome the newest members of The Ehrensberger Legacy Society.

“Thank you for your commitment and generosity and for your belief in our students and our mission,” said Dr. Fowler. “[And thank you for believing] in the power of education to transform lives and make the world better and the future brighter for ourselves, our loved ones and for generations to come. This support couldn’t have come at a better time, as UMGC strives to deliver on its updated mission statement: To inspire hope, empower dreams and transform lives … one student at a time.”

Did you know?

The University’s Ehrensberger Legacy Society is named after Ray Ehrensberger, the first Chancellor of UMGC. Known as the “Flying Dean,” Ray Ehrensberger was an innovative thinker who traveled the worked as he expanded the university’s relevance and reach. He was dynamic and forward-looking like the members of the society that bears his name.

Mr. Ehrensberger was admired for a remarkable combination of qualities. He was a charismatic leader, an accomplished administrator, a distinguished scholar, an adventurer and a forward-thinking visionary whose influence can still be seen at UMGC today. Ehrensbeger passed away in 1997 at the age of 92.

The Ehrensberger Legacy Society recognizes the foresight and generosity of all alumni and friends who have established planned gifts with the university or have provided for UMGC in their wills. Through planned giving, donors establish personal legacies that can support any number of priorities and initiatives, from scholarships and endowed chairs to programs that span disciplines to provide students with valuable perspectives.

Meet the newest members of The UMGC Ehrensberger Legacy Society:

Christina Bitting

Christina Bitting spent her childhood traveling with her military family to various embassy posts in Europe and South America. Her father, Winfield, pursued his college studies through UMGC’s overseas programs, proudly receiving his bachelor's degree in 1969. 

Bitting and her sister established the Bitting Memorial Endowed Scholarship in 2015 to support veterans attempting to complete their college education, something they believe is a fitting tribute to their father.

Bitting spent her career in the field of higher education, from a first job with the Fulbright-Hays International Exchange Program to a final position as vice president at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

In retirement, she has volunteered with Meals on Wheels, Bethesda Help and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. In addition, Bitting has pursued a lifelong interest in Spanish language and culture.

Alba Beckford

Alba Beckford is an Academic Program Coordinator at UMGC’s The School of Cybersecurity and Information Technology.  She began her career with UMGC in October 1999 with Faculty and Distance Educations Services. 

Beckford has also worked in Admissions Services and Advising, and she is currently assisting the information Technology Program Chair and Program Director in the day-to-day operations for UMGC’s Information Technology department. 

Beckford has over 23 years of experience working with students and faculty stateside and overseas and is honored to contribute to the success of future UMGC students.

Ellsworth S. Brown Jr. ’01, ‘07

Ellsworth S. Brown Jr. is a U.S. Department of Defense contractor working as a senior acquisition program manager on a 12-billion-dollar government contract supporting classified projects for the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has over 10 years of experience working in the combined intelligence community.

Brown is also a financial coach and a licensed investment, life insurance, and annuities agent in Delaware, Washington D.C., Maryland, Nevada, and Virginia, with over 30 years of industry experience.

Previously, Brown retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2009 at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant after 27 years of service. During his time in the military, he participated in Operation Desert Storm from Moron Air Base, Spain, and Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom from Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia. He served his last five years as the aircraft maintenance career field manager at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

Brown has made his commitment to assist veterans interested in achieving degrees and pursuing careers in STEM.

Norman Grabowsky

Normal Grabowsky moved to the Washington, D.C., area in the early 1970s. He became a CPA in Maryland in 1982 and started a tax practice that he ran until 2008 when he retired.

Grabowsky designated a bequest to UMGC because he enjoyed being involved with UMGC as both a student and later a faculty member. He is grateful to the University for the opportunities it provided to him.

Grabowsky taught part time at Maryland community colleges and later at UMGC. Realizing his passion for helping students succeed, he accepted a full-time accounting faculty position at UMGC, as position he held for size years, including one as acting director of accounting. He is currently enjoying a happy retirement in Florida.

Grabowsky’s bequest is designated to the Norman S. Grabowsky Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Arthur James ‘91

Arthur James received his master’s degree in technology from UMGC in 1991. After retiring from the U.S. Government Accountability Office as assistant director of data analysis, he has dedicated his life to service as an auxiliary volunteer and as a member of the Clinical Review Board at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

He also volunteers as an information specialist with the Annapolis Visitors Center and as a group facilitator with the Parkinson’s Support Group of Bowie.

James met his late wife, Mary Lee Seifert, while in a UMGC graduate class in statistical regression. They were together for more than 26 years. James made his gift to honor and remember the joy and love that Mary Lee brought into his life and to give future UMGC students, who contribute so much through their service as caregivers, the opportunity to earn a UMGC degree.

Marilyn ’82 and Dr. Rene Grace

Marilyn and Dr. Rene Grace believe in giving back. For many years, Grace was a single mother raising two wonderful children. She worked at the Board of Governors at the Federal Reserve System and retired as a senior computer analyst.

She also found time to continue her own education by completing a bachelor’s degree from UMGC in Computer Science in 1982. In retirement she enjoys being a tax aide volunteer for AARP and assisting local charities, as well as spending time at church and with friends.

Grace’s husband Dr. Rene Grace had a private practice in Clinton, Maryland, from which he retired in 2006. He enjoys giving back by volunteering.

The Graces’ generous bequest will be allocated to the Marilyn and Rene Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports undergraduate students majoring in cybersecurity.

I-Ling Chow

I-Ling Chow chose UMGC to carry forth his vision to assemble his family’s ancient Chinese works, dating back to the Sung dynasty in the years 960 – 1279. These works were displayed both in UMGC’s headquarters in Adelphi, Maryland, and UMGC’s Art of China collection. They include scroll painting, ceramics and sculptures. They were also digitalized to live online to share with the world.

The collection was pillaged when his family fled China in 1949 when the communists defeated the Nationalist Party that had ruled the Republic of China since 1911. Chow was unaware that the artifacts his father salvaged would be so valuable.

Chow was a generous benefactor of UMGC through his contributions and establishment of the Art in China exhibit. He chose UMGC to house the collection because of the University’s dedication to collecting Asian artwork and for the educational opportunities it provides to U.S. servicemembers and their families stationed in Asia.

During his life, Chow helped to establish and manage important economic and community organizations to serve the needs of a growing Asian American population in the Washington, DC, area.

He founded the first regional branch of the New York-based Asia Bank N.A. in Rockville, Maryland, and served as president and managing director. He also created a credit union under the Capital Chinese Americans Community Center in the early 1980s.

Chow, a beloved husband, father, grandfather and local Chinese American civic and business leader, passed away earlier this year after a long battle with Alzheimer's.

Anna Doroshaw ‘91

Anna Doroshaw recently retired after more than 30 years in public service, most recently with the Air Traffic Organization at the Federal Aviation Administration.

Doroshaw served over four years on the National Partnership for Reinventing Government Task Force during the Clinton Administration. In her role, she led the national effort to improve customer service through collaboration across federal, state, and local government, and in partnership with the business and not-for-profit sectors in local communities.

Graduating from UMGC in 1991, Doroshaw was an active member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors for 13 years and served on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee during Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg’s tenure. She is honored to dedicate her gift, which will contribute to the success of future UMGC students.

Learn more about The UMGC Ehrensberger Legacy Society