More than 300 people gathered at the new Towson University in Northeastern Maryland for the ceremonial grand opening of the location on Friday.
“It’s one of the most anticipated projects in the near-150 years of our history,” said Towson University Acting President Timothy Chandler as he addressed the crowd of faculty, staff, students, legislators and other supporters.
In the works for nearly a decade, the new campus at 510 Thomas Run Road in Bel Air, Maryland allows students at Harford Community College or Cecil College to complete four-year degrees in six programs without having to travel to TU’s main Baltimore County campus. All classes are held in the new, state-of-the-art building that features everything from labs to a library to a book store and a café.
“It’s a place where they want to be,” Chandler said about the students who attend classes there. “It says, ‘We care enough about you to give you the very best spaces in which you can learn.’ It means a lot to them, and it means a lot to us.”
That sentiment was echoed by junior Brittany Martin, who is working toward her bachelor’s degree in psychology at TU in Northeastern Maryland.
“As you take the tour around here today, you’ll see that we have everything we could possibly need,” she told the crowd.
Students began attending classes at the new facility at the start of the fall term. This fall, 218 full- or part-time students are studying there, earning bachelor’s degrees in business administration with a management concentration; elementary/special education; early childhood/special education; information technology; psychology; or sociology with a criminal justice concentration.
Next fall, a degree in family studies with services to children and youth track will be added.
Tuition is the same as it is at the main Baltimore County campus, but fees are lower and parking is free. Students who currently attend the main TU campus in Baltimore County campus, but live in the northeastern part of the state, may transfer to TU in Northeastern Maryland beginning their junior year if they want to live at home while completing their degree.
The location has enjoyed widespread support from legislators, community leaders, the University System of Maryland and others since the idea first came to fruition under previous presidents Bob Caret (TU) and James LaCalle (HCC).
“I have never seen an entire community so united in getting this facility here,” said current Harford Community College President Dr. Dennis Golladay during Friday’s event. “It’s hard to express how important this is to our students.”
“It’s going to give me a new family,” Martin said. “There’s a definite connectedness here. I think our budding relationship is off to a great start. I feel taken care of.”
Watch video from the grand opening here.