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Blog - Central Scholarship

Honoring André De Shields

Posted: 07.23

It never ceases to amaze us to see how accomplished our scholarship recipients become and it’s them that inspires us to continue our work. On June 9, 2019 we were once again reminded of this when we watched former Central Scholarship recipient André De Shields win a Tony Award for his performance as Hermes in Hadestown.

Mr. De Shields’ history with Central Scholarship goes back to 1964 when he received a scholarship from us as a senior at Baltimore City College. The scholarship enabled him to pursue his higher education and lead him on a path to Broadway. Central Scholarship President, Jan Moylan Wagner, remembered, “The leadership of Central Scholarship saw great promise in André. In the 1960s scholarships were one of the few forms of financial support that enabled talented people to attend college.”

Central Scholarship’s community of supporters and students were uplifted by Mr. De Shields’ achievement and on Monday, August 19, 2019 he came home to Baltimore where we honored him with our first ever Alumnus Award for his demonstration of unparalleled tenacity and talent. The celebration was held at Mt. Lebanon Baptist church where we enjoyed performances by Dezmond Covington, current Central Scholarship recipient, and Taylor Jackson, both Morgan State University Choir members, and Baltimore Symphony Musicians Rene Shapiro and Lior Willinger.

Of course, the highlight of the event was Mr. De Shields himself who offered a very hopeful message.

Our celebration of Mr. De Shields capped off his day of festivities where Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young presented him with the Key to the City of Baltimore earlier in the morning. Mr. De Shields is a reminder of the importance of the enduring value of education. We are honored to share his hopeful message.