Trustee Profile: Sherrie Bailey

Sherrie Bailey, ‘81, St. Mary’s Alum and Judge for the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, is this week’s featured member of the Board of Trustees. Bailey became a Trustee in 2005 while she was an Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore City.

She was a member of the Presidential Search Committee in 2009 and currently sits on the committee for Academic Affairs and serves as the Vice-Chair for the committee on Enrollment and Student Affairs.

Bailey is also currently a Judge for the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. Appointed in May 2009, Bailey was up for election earlier this month due to Maryland law, which dictates that judges must be accepted by a vote in the next election after they have been appointed.

Bailey won enough votes to keep her appointment during the primaries (appointed judges are placed on the ballots for both the Democratic and Republican primaries), so she was only on the ballot for the general election as a formality.

Bailey graduated from St. Mary’s with a major in Human Development and a concentration in Psychology.

While a student here, she was active in the Black Student Union and the Fencing Club. She was also one of the first students from St. Mary’s to spend a semester abroad at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Oxford.

“It was a great experience,” said Bailey, who lived with an Irish host family in Oxford during the semester and recalled excursions to sites such as Stonehenge with a former St. Mary’s professor. When she was living on campus, Bailey lived in Caroline for most of her years at St. Mary’s.

Having been both a student and member of the Board of Trustees for St. Mary’s, Bailey believes that this gives her and other trustees who are alums a further understanding of the College community.

“I think the trustees who are alumni deeply appreciate the uniqueness and intimacy of the St. Mary’s College experience,” she said, particularly noting the relationship between faculty and students in a rural residential setting.

However, Bailey acknowledged the difficulties students might have understanding the role of the Board of Trustees in the school’s development, “When I was a student, I didn’t know what the Board of Trustees was.”

She admitted that when she as a student she did not think there was a Student Trustee at the time, making it more difficult for the Board’s work to be as known to the student population.

She said she “would encourage students to seek out” current Student Trustee Danny Ruthenberg-Marshall, senior, if they would like to know more about what the Board does for the College.

Even so, Bailey feels it is important for the College community to know that St. Mary’s has a Board of Trustees that is “very caring about the stewardship of the College.”

Trustees are not paid by the institutions they help run and, according to Bailey, they usually “have many activities, many charities, many institutions that they participate in.”

She also pointed out the passion Trustees have for the College, noting that “[they] choose to participate in St. Mary’s because they believe in the mission of the College and in the students” and in its dedication to public accessibility.

Many Boards for universities or other institutions have members who are “members just in name to go on a resume.” She said that Trustees for St. Mary’s, on the other hand, “really do appear and participate” and “engage each other for the betterment of the College.”

In terms of what she would like to see the Board accomplish this year, Bailey points out that the Board’s largest responsibility is “always to keep an eye on the budget,” especially since “these are difficult economic times for students, faculty and staff.” However, she says, “One of my primary goals…is to ensure that Dr. Urgo has a smooth transition into his presidency.”

Those who would like to learn more about how Sherrie Bailey or other Trustees are involved with the College can do so by visiting http://www.smcm.edu/board.

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