Towson U. to receive Ehrlich's papers

Governor-elect gives items from years in Congress

January 05, 2003|By Jennifer McMenamin | Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF

Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. will donate thousands of pages of records, correspondence and photographs from his eight years in Congress to Towson University tomorrow.

The collection includes Ehrlich's correspondence with congressional colleagues and advocacy groups; news releases; bills he authored or co-authored; photographs, including several shots of the four-term congressman with President Bush in the White House; an archive of "notable articles" written about Ehrlich during his political career; and the weekly columns Ehrlich wrote for newspapers in his district about the goings-on in Washington, spokesman Henry P. Fawell said yesterday.

The records also include templates of letters from Ehrlich to his constituents, although the recipients' names and addresses have been removed "to protect their privacy," Fawell said.

"It's a pretty extensive collection that will provide a wealth of information for students," the spokesman said. "In his four terms in Congress, [Ehrlich] has dealt with historic issues of war and peace, impeachment and funding for education and health care, and he was at the forefront of each of these issues. These documents will give students a look at how these issues are approached by a member of Congress."

Although the university did not request Ehrlich's congressional records, the governor-elect volunteered them, in part because of the relationship he has developed with the university in his district, Fawell said.

Ehrlich has spoken at Towson on many occasions, has taught several classes as a guest professor in the political science department and has "really taken to the faculty and staff and the enthusiasm of the students," Fawell said.

In addition, former Towson University President Hoke Smith served as an adviser to Ehrlich's campaign for governor and is a member of Ehrlich's transition team. And Mark L. Perkins, Towson's immediate past president who resigned in April under pressure after spending nearly $1 million to renovate the university's new $850,000 presidential mansion in Baltimore's Guilford neighborhood, donated $1,000 to Ehrlich's gubernatorial campaign and attended some of his fund-raisers.

Eight to 10 boxes of items will be delivered at noon tomorrow, with more to come later.

Asked whether professors from the University of Maryland might be envious of the donation to Towson, Fawell said, "I hope not. But there will be a lot more records to come over the next few years, and where those will go, only time will tell."

Sun staff writer Alec MacGillis contributed to this article.

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