Over 100 guests helped Anne Arundel Community College pay tribute Tuesday to a woman characterized by the chairman of the school's Women's Institute as "a champion of progressive, feminist values, a woman who handled problems and kept her values . . . a good role model."
As state Sen. John A. Cade, Councilwoman Maureen Lamb and Councilwoman Diane Evans watched, the college officially named its new classroombuilding after Lila R. Schwartz, a member of the school's Board of Trustees from 1970 to 1990.
"I am astounded that one person could have accomplished all that she has in her lifetime," said Lamb, characterizing Schwartz as a woman of vision.
Although she retired from the board last year, Schwartz continues to serve the school as a member of the board of the Anne Arundel Community College Foundation. Besides a three-year stint aspresident of the college's Board of Directors, she has served as the northeast regional representative to the Association of Community College Trustees.
Schwartz has practiced optometry with her husband, Robert, in Glen Burnie since 1947. In 1988, she received the Woman of Distinction Award from the Soroptomist International Club of Anne Arundel County for service through Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity.
Women's Institute Chairman Shirley C. Parry, who suggested naming the new classroom building after Schwartz, presented her with a rose bush in honor of the occasion.
"She was working when not many women were working," said Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, who delivered the convocation. "She had the courage to be a mother and a wife and to juggle the responsibilities necessary to do those jobs and to pass onthe values that were important to her children."
Schwartz said she and the community college proved to be a perfect match.
"I have always valued ways to improve the quality of life and equal opportunity for all," she said. "The community college has been the perfect vehicle for this purpose.
"I love the mission (of the community college), I love the philosophy, and I love the goals. I especially love graduation. In 1970, only 133 students graduated from the college. In1990, there were 1,004 graduates."
Schwartz paused during her remarks to note the passing of Dean Anthony Pappas, who died suddenly last month. She said the school's grief helped reinforce its sense of community.
"Thank you for the most wonderful day of my life," she told her audience.
The $1.3 million, 8,400-square-foot classroom building houses six faculty offices, a computer lab with 20 stations and other classrooms wired for future computers. It was financed entirely by the county.