A special Midday broadcast today, live from Hodson Auditorium on the campus of Hood College, in historic Frederick, Maryland.
Our topic today: Frederick at the Crossroads.
Founded in 1748, Frederick has seen its share of American history. It was founded at the crossroads of a major north-south Native American trail and the east-west route from the Chesapeake Bay across the Appalachian Mountains to the Ohio River Valley. Frederick County is home to Ft. Detrick and a branch of the National Cancer Institute. The Catoctin Mountain Park, and the presidential retreat, Camp David, are here.
It is quaint. And beautiful, as anyone who has been in downtown Frederick can tell you. But while it may be old, it is anything but standing still. In fact, the city and the county are among the fastest growing parts of Maryland. The population of Frederick City, with its 70,000 residents, has grown 32 percent since 2000 and a whopping 73% since 1990. And with growth like that, Frederick finds itself at a crossroads once again. How does it honor its past, while being thrust into the future by incredibly rapid growth? How does it remain charming, despite the pressures to become a bedroom community of Rockville and, by extension, Bethesda and Washington, DC?
Lots to talk about today with Tom's guests:
Hood College President Andrea Chapdelaine is here. In 2015, Dr. Chapdelaine became only the 11th president of Hood College, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. She has more than two decades of experience in higher education, including serving as provost and chief academic officer at Albright College in Reading, Pa. from 2006 to 2015.
Frederick County Executive Jan H. Gardner is also here. Ms. Gardner is a Democrat and Frederick County’s first County Executive, since its transition from a commissioner system to a charter system. She served as a county commissioner and as the president of the county commissioners before being elected County Executive in 2014.
And Michael O’Connor also joins Tom here on stage at Hood College. The Frederick native is the mayor of the city of Frederick, an office to which he was elected just last fall, after serving on the city's Board of Aldermen since 2009.
A little later in this hour, journalist Danielle Gaines joins County Executive Gardner and Mayor O'Connor on stage. Ms. Gaines covers Frederick County and Maryland politics and government for the Frederick News Post.
And in our final segment today, Dr. Terry Anne Scott, Hood College Assistant Professor of History and Raymond Clay, one of her students, will join us to talk about Project Pilgrimage -- a civil rights history tour that has opened new windows onto America's past for students at Hood and across the country.
This broadcast was streamed on Facebook Live, and you can watch the video at WYPR's Facebook page.