Frostburg State University, in recognition for his service to the State of Maryland, Western Maryland and FSU, presented Casper R. Taylor Jr., Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, with the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters at the University's Spring Commencement Saturday, May 27.
"Cas' contributions to the state and to Western Maryland are legendary and well-documented," said FSU President Catherine R. Gira. "The press, including the Sun and the Washington Post on numerous occasions, have lauded him as the most inspired and inspiring of Maryland's political leaders - a true visionary."
The degree was approved by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents in February.
Taylor has been an advocate for FSU numerous times over the years, playing a vital role in enhancing the University. He backed to change to university status and the building of the Performing Arts Center. He helped make it possible for the Washington Redskins to move the team's summer practice camp to FSU, boosting not only FSU's revenue and image, but those of the community as well. He has provided vocal and vigorous support for the new Appalachian Laboratory and what will be the Compton Science Center. In ways large and small, he has called positive attention to the institution.
Taylor has served as Speaker of the House since 1994 and has marked his 25th anniversary in the House of Delegates. He serves a co-chair of the Legislative Policy Committee and is a member of the Spending Affordability Committee and Joint Committee on Maryland Port.
He has long championed economic development in Allegany County and has played an instrumental role in bringing jobs to the area. He secured funding for the Canal Place Historic Preservation District, which is transforming the area along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Cumberland into a tourist attraction that will celebrate the region's transportation heritage with museums and a waterfront park.
After 15 years of effort, Speaker Taylor realized the culmination of a dream as final funding was secured to begin construction of the $54 million Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort, thus transforming Western Maryland into a premier tourist destination.
The Allegany County native has received numerous honors recognizing his efforts on behalf of business, including the Maryland Chamber of Commerce's Public Affairs Award and being named the Nation's Outstanding Legislator by the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
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