Business and community leader honored at spring Commencement
TOWSON, Md. (May 23, 2007)—Towson University awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Edwin F. Hale Sr. at commencement exercises for the College of
Business and Economics on May 23.
Hale, a Baltimore native, is well known for his many entrepreneurial successes as well as his philanthropic and community leadership.
He has for the past 12 years served as CEO and chairman of 1st Mariner Bancorp, one of the nation’s fastest-growing banks. First Mariner also owns Finance Maryland, which offers consumer loans from offices across Maryland and Delaware.
Hale also owns the Baltimore Blast professional indoor soccer team.
Developers have described Hale’s $500 million Canton Crossing project—which aims to bring new perspectives through mixed-use development in an urban neighborhood—as “the largest privately funded building project in Maryland’s history.”
He spearheaded efforts to found the Maryland Business Council, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates advancing a common agenda among small-to-medium sized businesses.
Hale chairs the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association board of directors. He is chairman of the board for the Living Classrooms Foundation and chairman of the National Historic Seaport. He also serves on the Maryland Wildlife Advisory Committee.
Hale and 1st Mariner Bank have led a number of charitable efforts, including financial support for some of Baltimore City’s shipments to hurricane Katrina victims. Other philanthropic endeavors include Special Olympics, Maryland’s Polar Bear Plunge, Catholic Charities’ Dragon Boat Races and the American Cancer Society’s Race for Life.
Hale is among four recipients worldwide to receive the Beta Gamma Sigma medallion for entrepreneurship. Beta Gamma Sigma, an international honor society for AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, presented an award to TU's chapter for nominating Hale. Beta Gamma Sigma membership is the highest recognition students in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral business programs can receive.
His many honors also include Baltimore Business Journal’s Businessman of the Year award in 1986 and 1988; Save-a-Heart and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Baltimore’s Humanitarian of the Year award in 1990; Advertising and Professional Club of Maryland’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 1991; The Israel Bonds Foundation’s Man of the Year in 1993; and Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 1996.
Hale’s support for Towson University includes his involvement in The Associate, the College of Business and Economics’ adaptation of the NBC hit series, The Apprentice. In his “Donald Trump” role, Hale provided TU business students with invaluable, real-world lessons and eventually hired several of Associate contestants.
President Robert L. Caret said, “On behalf of Towson University, I am delighted to recognize Mr. Hale for his contributions to our students’ applied business education. He is an exemplary role model for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make major contributions to the prosperity and well-being of their communities.
“In fact, I can think of no finer example of civic engagement than Ed Hale.”