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Senator Stoltzfus Receives Fourth Annual Hargreaves Award

SALISBURY, MD--When this Mennonite farmer and teacher first entered the Maryland legislature in 1991, he brought those rock solid rural values that had been nurtured in him all his life.  For 14 years now, Senator J. Lowell Stoltzfus has served in the Maryland House and Senate as the Republican representative from the Eastern shore counties of Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico and it is those core values that have won him the respect of his colleagues and led to his position, since 2001, as Minority Leader of the Senate.

In recognition of his distinguished career in public service, Salisbury University’s Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE) has announced that Senator Lowell Stoltzfus will be named the fourth annual John R. Hargreaves Distinguished Legislative Fellow. Previous honorees have been Senator Mike Miller and Delegates Pete Rawlings and Norman Conway. The award will be presented at a reception in Annapolis on Salisbury University’s annual Legislative Day on Tuesday, January 25.

Senator Stoltzfus has served on numerous legislative committees, particularly those dealing with finance and rural issues. Actively involved in the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays Critical Areas, he was co-sponsor of the 2004 Bay Restoration Act. Commenting on his legislative expertise, Governor Robert Erlich noted that the Senator has “earned him the trust and respect of his colleagues and constituents. He is a longtime friend and trusted ally in my efforts to make Maryland a cleaner, safer and more prosperous place to live”  

“You may agree or disagree with the Senator’s views, but one thing you cannot deny,” Dr. Harry Basehart, PACE co-director, commented, “is the depth and honesty of his moral and political commitments.”

It is that straight-shooter reputation that has led to his meteoric rise through the Republican ranks to Minority Leader. His colleague, state Senator David Brinkley, characterized him this way: “He is universally known to be fair and a man of his word, the most important asset among Legislators.”

Behind his legislative efforts lies Senator Stoltzfus’s belief that state government should become, as he says, “closer to the people.” Dr. Francis Kane, PACE’s other director, noted that the Senator’s view on government makes him particularly right for this award: “We look for representatives, whatever their political persuasion, who are dedicated to the public good. We want our students to have role models that can counter negative stereotypes of politicians and inspire them to live lives of political engagement.”

Salisbury University’s president, Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach, will present the award to Senator Stoltzfus in Annapolis. “As I have gotten to know the Senator over the past few years,” she said, “I have come to recognize him as a man of principle and someone who is committed to education and the betterment of the Eastern Shore. I am delighted to be presenting the Hargreaves Award to a distinguished alumnus of the University.”

As part of the Fellowship program, Senator Stoltzfus will host a group of PACE students later in the legislative session and, upon its conclusion, come back to the University and speak to the students and local community. For further information, contact PACE at 410-677-5045 or visit the SU Web site at "