TU alumni Soistman, Sharps celebrated as Influential Marylanders

August 4, 2022

Maryland Daily Record honors leading executives and philanthropists

soistman and sharp
TU alumni Fran Soistman Jr., ’79, ’15, and Robert Sharps ’93 are celebrated for their philanthropy and leadership.

Two prominent Towson University alumni—Fran Soistman Jr., ’79, ’15, and Robert Sharps ’93—were named to The Maryland Daily Record’s 2022 Influential Marylanders list and honored at a July 28 gathering hosted by the newspaper.

The Daily Record’s editors selected the individuals on the list “for their significant contributions to their respective fields and for their leadership in Maryland in the following areas: civic leadership, communications, education, finance, freestyle, general business, health care, law, philanthropy, real estate and technology.” Soistman was honored for his philanthropy, while Sharps was celebrated for his work in finance leadership.

TU is a national leader in student-centered education, where students develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to become ethical leaders in a global society.

“We are extremely proud to have two outstanding Tigers recognized as top leaders in our state," TU President Kim Schatzel says. "Fran and Robert exemplify the impact our alumni have on the state of Maryland and in their communities. Congratulations to them on this tremendous honor!”

Soistman, the CEO and director of e-Health, is a passionate supporter of TU. His $5.6 million gift in 2021—the largest from an alum in TU history— received national media coverage.

Soistman, a nationally recognized expert and top executive in the health care management sector, has supported many projects and initiatives across the university with more than $6.25 million in contributions since making his first gift of $25 to TU in the late 1980s.

“Attending The Daily Record’s awards event last week, joined by members of the Towson University Board of Visitors and representatives from the Towson University administration moved me more than I can express into words,” Soistman says. “As I was looking through the program and read the list of past honorees in the philanthropy category, I gained even greater appreciation for the significance of this recognition.”

Sharps became CEO and president of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. in January. He is also the chair of the company’s executive, management, and management compensation and development committees.

Sharps, also a generous TU donor, spent six years on TU’s College of Business & Economics Alumni Advisory Board.

“As a lifelong Marylander, I’m thrilled to be honored by The Daily Record as a recipient of their annual Influential Marylanders award,” Sharps says. “This has been made even more special as I am celebrating my 25th anniversary with T. Rowe Price this year, which has prompted me to reflect on my professional journey, including the importance my education had on that journey.”

“The education I received at Towson University fostered the critical thinking skills essential for my work as an investor and now as CEO. I remember the active debate encouraged in Lamont Steedle’s and Barbara Stewart’s classes and how that encouraged me to challenge conventional wisdom while learning to trust the expertise of those around me. I’m grateful for my experience at Towson University and how it prepared me for my career at T. Rowe Price.”