It All Started Here … Mary A. Maloney

Published on June 27, 2018

Mary Maloney receiving her certificate of office

(July 14, 1980) - Mary A. Maloney received her certificate of office on Monday, July 14, 1980, as the newest member of Cecil Community College’s Board of Trustees from Clerk of Circuit Court Nelson D. Stubbs. Mrs. Maloney was appointed to a six-year term following her nomination to the post by the Democratic Central Committee of Cecil County and approved by Governor Harry Hughes. William Baker, chairman of the committee (second from left) and the president of the college, Dr. Robert L. Gell, attended the swearing in ceremony.

NORTH EAST, Md. – When Mary Maloney came upon the glass ceiling early in her career, she took a sledgehammer and smashed a hole through it. She was bound and determined not to be held back by any preconceptions about her gender or her ability to make a difference.

This grit and determination set her on a path to many firsts in her life. In 1970, Maloney was the first female county commissioner in Maryland. A decade later, Gov. Harry R. Hughes asked her to become a trustee for Cecil Community College, and 24 short years later she was approved as the first Trustee Emerita in the history of the college.

“I was elated. I was so pleased to be able to be on the college board. I loved it. We were beginning to do things. The student body was increasing, and it was just wonderful. We had some tremendous people on the board,” said Maloney, as Cecil College celebrates five decades of serving the residents of Cecil County and the tri-state region.

Her dedication to Cecil College was immense. During her 24-year career on the board, she missed just two of the monthly meetings – due to a cancer operation and the death of her husband, Leo. She described being a trustee as one of the best experiences in her life.

During her tenure – five years as vice chair and ten years as chair – the college grew from two buildings to multiple locations. Cecil complemented its offerings of degree programs, certificates, and continuing education classes by instituting a nursing program, programs for seniors and children, fine arts and performing arts programs, and online courses, as well as several new institutes and a weather station. The college nearly doubled its degree programs from 20 to 36.

“My association with Cecil College has been a profound experience for me. I’m so happy now that I’m even a small part of the foundation. It’s been a pleasure. Every hour I spent working for the college has been a pleasure,” said Maloney.

A 1941 Elkton High School graduate, Maloney attended the University of Delaware and Johns Hopkins University. As Cecil County commissioner, she established the Cecil County Department of Public Works, was responsible for proper implementation of the planning department, and actively participated in the Maryland Association of Counties. She also served on numerous other committees, councils and boards.

Maloney has been involved in numerous civic activities and organizations, including the Women’s Club of Cecil County, Historical Society of Cecil County, Maryland Humanities Council, and the Cecil College Foundation. Her involvement with the foundation dates back a couple of years before its 1982 incorporation, when she helped form a women’s group that sold baked goods and chances in front of the Elkton Acme to raise money for scholarships. As people made their purchases, the women explained what the college did, what it was all about, and where it was.