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Mount Announces Delaplaine Family Academic Commons

Delaplaine Family Academic Commons rendering

The Delaplaine Family Academic Commons will be a collaborative multi-purpose space connecting the current science building with a new one.

Mount St. Mary’s University President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D., announced today that philanthropist and long-time supporter of the Mount George B. Delaplaine Jr., has made a major donation to fund the Delaplaine Family Academic Commons, a collaborative multi-purpose space which will connect the current science building with a new one.

george-delaplaine.jpg"My wife provided the way for me to recognize what the Mount is all about. I am so pleased with how God opened doors for me,” Delaplaine said. “I salute you all and do whatever I can to perpetuate the work done here.”

Delaplaine, president of Great Southern Enterprises, Inc. and chair of the Board of Delaplaine Foundation, Inc., made his remarks as he accepted honorary membership in the National Alumni Association at the annual National Alumni Association Alumni Banquet on June 1.

Delaplaine and his late wife Elizabeth “Bettie” have been generous donors to the Mount over many years, giving a lifetime total of more than $6 million, as well as sharing their talents. Bettie served on the Mount St. Mary’s Board of Trustees for 14 years. She chaired the inaugural committee for President George Houston, served on the Bicentennial Committee and served as honorary chair for President Thomas H. Powell’s inauguration. George received an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 1997. The Delaplaine Fine Arts Center is named for the support received from the Delaplaines.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am thrilled that the Delaplaine family name will be associated with the academic commons. George, Bettie, and their extended family set the standard for excellent citizenship in Frederick County, and we are proud to honor the family name with a multipurpose space that will encourage our students and graduates to meet the Delaplaines’ community leadership standard,” said Mary D. Kane, C'84, chairwoman of the Mount St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees.

This donation is the first major gift to the Mount’s Forward! Together as One capital campaign, which is in a leadership phase. The leadership phase is the last step before the campaign is fully promoted to the public. Building upon the Mount’s 210-year history, the campaign is designed to develop new facilities and enhance existing buildings in order to grow and adapt the university for the present and future.

“It is highly appropriate that the academic commons will be named in honor of the Delaplaine Family,” said Trainor. “Just as George, Bettie and their extended family have endeavored to improve the Frederick County community through their good works and a collaborative spirit, the Delaplaine Family Academic Commons will enhance the Mount’s community atmosphere and educational experience. We are deeply grateful for this gift and its role in moving the Mount and our students successfully into the future.”

The Delaplaine Family Academic Commons will be used for studying, collaborative work, group meetings, and recreational activities, which will foster a community atmosphere for all students on campus.