News Gc Honors Edwards Beitzel At Commencement - Garrett College
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Campus News

May 24th, 2022

GC honors Edwards, Beitzel at commencement

Outstanding Graduate awards named for retiring legislators

The achievements of Senator George C. Edwards and Delegate Wendell R. Beitzel will have a permanent impact on Garrett College. Those achievements are now set to be permanently recognized with annual student awards named for the retiring legislators.

The Outstanding Transfer Student Award and the Outstanding Career Advancement Award – two of the top academic awards given annually at Garrett College’s commencement – have been named respectively for Senator Edwards and Delegate Beitzel. That announcement was made by Dr. Brenda McCartney, vice-chair of the Garrett College Board of Trustees, Saturday morning at GC’s 50th commencement exercises.

“The Board of Trustees wished to recognize their service in a lasting way,” said Dr. McCartney in announcing the namings. Later in the program, Senator Edwards and Delegate Beitzel participated in the presentation of those awards to the 2022 winners, Outstanding Transfer Student Natalie Lehman and Outstanding Career Advancement Student Landon Custer.

The Board of Trustees, on behalf of the Garrett College community, also provided each legislator with a resolution thanking them for their combined 56 years of service in the Maryland General Assembly.

Edwards graduated from Northern Garrett High and then-Fairmont State College, where he was named an NAIA Football All-American and was then drafted by the Baltimore Colts. He’s served the past 40 years in the General Assembly, including the last 16 in the Maryland State Senate. His 24-year career in the House of Delegates included four years as House minority leader.

Prior to entering the General Assembly, Edwards twice served on the Grantsville Town Council (1972-74, 1980-82) and as a Garrett County commissioner (1974-78).

Edwards, a Maryland National Guard veteran, has been an ardent advocate for Garrett College projects while serving in both houses of the General Assembly. He played pivotal roles in acquiring state funding for the College’s student center, library, the Garrett Information Enterprise Center (GIEC), the Community Aquatic & Recreation Complex (CARC), Offutt STEM Center, and the soon-to-open Performing Arts Center (PAC) at Garrett College. Edwards also annually advocated for appropriate state operating funding support for Garrett College.

Beitzel, like Edwards, graduated from Northern Garrett High and Fairmont State College. He also earned two master’s degrees from Frostburg State University and eventually owned businesses in several different fields. Beitzel, an Army veteran, served a term as a Garrett County commissioner prior to being elected to succeed Edwards in the House of Delegates in 2006.

Garrett College built the Center for Adventure & Outdoor Studies (CAOS), acquired the Southern Outreach Center, and built the GIEC during Beitzel’s term as county commissioner (1998-2002). Beitzel also played important roles in securing state funding for the CARC, STEM Center, and PAC during his legislative career.