CSM Commencement

The College of Southern Maryland awarded degrees and certificates to 326 students at its 46th spring commencement May 26 on the administration building lawn at the La Plata campus.

The college presented 305 associate's degrees and 43 certificates to students representing 53 programs of study. This spring, 40 percent of those receiving associate's degrees and certificates were from Charles County, 35 percent from St. Mary's County, 21 percent from Calvert County and 4 percent from elsewhere. Of the graduates, 73 percent are women, and the average age is 28.

The youngest graduate, Andrew Lash, 18, of Leonardtown received an associate's degree in math and physical sciences. Lash enrolled at CSM as an early-admissions high school student in 2002. In the fall he plans to attend the Florida Institute of Technology to pursue a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.

The oldest graduate, Joan Shelley, 66, of Welcome, received an associate's degree in paralegal studies. "It's a great feeling of accomplishment to get your diploma, no matter what your age," Shelley said.

Calvert County commissioners President David F. Hale (R-Owings) was the keynote speaker.

Maritime Festival

Big boats, small boats, knots and sea shanties -- Historic St. Mary's City celebrates all things nautical at its Maritime Heritage Festival on June 18.

Small craft from throughout the tidewater region will join the Maryland Dove at the waterfront. Visitors can meet boatbuilders and sailors of handcrafted vessels, tour a Coast Guard patrol boat or cheer on contenders in a regatta of radio-controlled model sailboats, St. Mary's City officials said.

The skipjack Nathan of Dorchester will be visiting from the Richardson Maritime Museum in Cambridge. Cruises on the Dee of St. Mary's will be available (there is a charge, and it's recommended that reservations be made by calling 240-895-4960). Model maker Ray Miles will display his detailed scale replicas of contemporary and traditional craft, and "colonial" sailors will entertain the crowd with yarns about their travels.

Children and adults can try their hands at tying knots, learn the wonders of the block and tackle, build a sea-worthy model ship or create a sea monster.

Folk musician Charlie Zahm and Captain Will Gates of the Maryland Dove will host an afternoon sea shanty workshop for children. Later that evening, Zahm will return -- with his banjo, bouzouki, mandolin, concertina, penny whistles, guitars and fiddler Tad Marks -- to present a free concert on the State House lawn. Local singer-songwriter David Norris will open the concert at 6 p.m. with folk songs and upbeat country ballads with a Southern Maryland spin.

The Third District Optimists will be on site through the day with seafood, grilled foods and cold drinks. Holy Grounds will offer light dinner fare, snacks and beverages in the evening.

Maritime Heritage Festival activities begin at 10 a.m. The museum is off Maryland Route 5. For more information, call 800-SMC-1634, 240-895-4990, or visit www.stmaryscity.org.

Joan Shelley, right, is the oldest of CSM's spring graduates. She is 66.