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Gov. Schaefer's Legacy: 'Do It Now!'—and a New, Prestigious Award to Rep. Elijah Cummings

October 8, 2015
Contact: University Relations
Phone: 410.837.5739

The University of Baltimore's Schaefer Center for Public Policy will further the legacy of legendary Baltimorean and Maryland political leader William Donald Schaefer, LL.B. '42, LL.M. '51, with the inaugural William Donald Schaefer Award ceremony, to be held Monday, Nov. 2 at 5:30 p.m. at Martin's West, 6817 Dogwood Road, Baltimore, Md. The award will be presented to Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, a lifelong civil rights proponent, son of Baltimore, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1996.

The Schaefer Center, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014, is located in UB's College of Public Affairs, where it serves as a nexus for excellence and a statewide resource in strengthening and professionalizing the delivery of services of public agencies, nonprofits and more. The center is named in honor of Schaefer, former governor and state comptroller of Maryland, mayor of Baltimore, member of its City Council, and a lifelong public servant. Schaefer died in 2013. He is widely remembered for his catchphrase, "Do it now!"—a call to action for public servants, and, indeed, citizens everywhere, to undertake the hard work and innovative approaches necessary to improve people's lives and encourage healthy, engaged communities.

Congressman Cummings is a native of Baltimore and still resides in the city today. His public-service career began in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served for 14 years and became the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem. Since 1996, he has led Maryland's 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Currently, Congressman Cummings is the Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In this capacity, he holds the Executive Branch to a high standard of excellence to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the actions of the government of the United States. He also seeks to identify appropriate reforms that prevent waste, fraud and abuse and that ensure government programs meet the needs of the American people.

Congressman Cummings is also a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, serving on both the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation and the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

As part of Schaefer's legacy, the Schaefer Center has undertaken the "Do It Now" campaign to raise funds for an expanded, more dynamic range of contributions to solving problems—the kind of independent, fact-based approaches that Schaefer touted as a public official.

"The Schaefer Center aims to be the go-to resource for both the public and nonprofit sectors in Maryland, helping to understand issues and come up with solutions," said Ann Cotten, director of the center. "Governor Schaefer said at the Center's dedication in 1985, 'Everyone knows what the problems are, but how do you get the answers?' With our knowledgeable faculty and researchers, polling and data collection capacity, we can find the answers. I think Gov. Schaefer would be pleased to know that we are continuing his legacy of problem solving."

The "Do It Now" campaign is co-chaired by Lainy LeBow-Sachs and Mark Wasserman, two of Schaefer's closest advisers.

The William Donald Schaefer Award ceremony on Nov. 2 will be the culmination of the "Do It Now" campaign, and, it is expected, the beginning of a new level of recognition for Schaefer's impact on Baltimore and Maryland.

"Gov. Schaefer's legacy is that of a dedicated public official who never stopped caring," Cotten said. "That inspires us in the Schaefer Center every day, and we hope that we can expand on that legacy through the award and our campaign in the years to come. The people of our city and our state deserve the kind of strong, independent thinking—plus the positive results—that Gov. Schaefer demonstrated throughout his life."

Tickets for the William Donald Schaefer Award ceremony are available online at For more information about this event, contact the Schaefer Center at 410.837.6188.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the School of Law, the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Public Affairs and the Merrick School of Business.


Last Published 6/9/16