The University Of Maryland’s Southern Management Leadership Program Kicks Off Its 15th Year

It’s with great pleasure that I welcome students to the Southern Management Leadership Program (SMLP) at the University of Maryland for the 2020 fall semester.

SMLP has always had a commitment to inclusion since it was created in 2006 at the behest of David and Suzanne Hillman. Formerly known as the Hillman Entrepreneurs, SMLP was rebranded in late 2019. SMLP is a program that fosters the success of entrepreneurially-minded transfer students from Prince Georges Community College (PGCC) and Montgomery College (MC) with academic mentoring and scholarship support. None of this would be possible without the leadership and support of Southern Management. As of April 2020, Southern Management is the 40th largest multifamily apartment owner in the country. Southern has core values that make it very different from other commercial real estate owners, like their community investment.

In August, at the start of the 2020 term, SMLP introduced me as the Interim Director after being an Adjunct Professor in the previous two years. Our program’s mission is to develop strong leaders who will use their educations and experiences to make positive and lasting impacts in their hometowns. Our program helps minority, first-generation, and low-income students reach their educational goals and become leaders in their communities.

This semester is remote without in-person activities, and this will give us all an opportunity to experience new ways of teaching and learning online. I wholeheartedly believe that this time will allow students to make a positive and lasting impact in their communities and beyond. Entering our fourth week into the semester, we’re seeing students make significant strides. Some assuring comments I’ve received from students include:

  • “The fact that you’re engaging gives us a sense of relief that we’re being heard.”
  • “I’m surrounded by people who are very goal-driven, and that’s motivated me.”
  • “If I need your help, I feel comfortable reaching out.”
  • “I get a lot of value, and I’m excited about the virtual events and workshops that we’re doing.”

We will provide the resources to support students in reaching their educational goals. I assure that SMLP, an inclusive program that has helped develop local community leaders through a scholarship and intensive mentoring program for over a decade, will maintain its excellence. Thanks and go Terps!



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Harry Alford

Harry Alford

Institutional Sales, Coinbase Cloud