TOWSON, Md. – Dr. James Lyons, Secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission, will join Dr. Teresa Hall, the Associate Vice-President of Campus Life at Towson University, and two prominent members of the University Faculty, Heather Epkins and Dr. Donald Thomas, as captains for the Tigers' Spring Football Game on Saturday, April 25, it has been announced by Coach Rob Ambrose. The Tigers will conduct their first Spring Football Game under the direction of Coach Ambrose at Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium at 1:30 p.m.
“We are honored to have such prominent educators serve as our captains on Saturday,” said Coach Ambrose. “By having these captains, we are reaching out to the academic community on campus and throughout the state of Maryland.
“Originally, we had extended an invitation to Governor (Martin) O’Malley,” added the Tigers’ new coach. “He asked Dr. Lyons to represent him at our Spring Game and we are very excited that he will be joining us.”
The president of California State University, Dominiguez Hills for eight years, Dr. Lyons was named as the Secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission in January, 2007. Dr. Lyons received his B.A., his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. Prior to his stint as president at California State University, Dominiguez Hills, he was the president at Jackson State University in Mississippi and Bowie State University in Maryland.
The Associate Vice-President for Campus Life at Towson, Dr. Hall supervises the areas of student activities, orientation and new student programs, off campus student services, and the parents association. She works to promote students’ involvement and connection to the University’s campus community. A graduate of Southern Illinois University, she has been part of Towson University for more than 20 years.
“Teri Hall has been an excellent ambassador for the University for as long as I can remember,” says Coach Ambrose. “We are very happy to recognize her as often as we can.”
An adjunct instructor in the Mass Communication Department at Towson University, Epkins is an outstanding speaker who has become an expert in the field of Mass Communications. Formerly the Communications Director for America’s Travel Industry Association, she also spent two years as a Press Secretary for the United States House of Representatives on Capitol Hill. A native of Severna Park, Md., she earned her B.A. degree in Mass Communications from Virginia Tech in 1996 and her Master’s degree from Louisiana State University in 1998. A classical pianist, she was the winner of the Miss Maryland Pageant in 1998.
“Heather is an amazing person who has already experienced so much in her lifetime,” says Coach Ambrose. “The way she has dealt with personal hardship can serve as an example of perseverance for our student-athletes and everyone else. We’re honored she will be one of our captains.”
The Director of the newly-created Willard Hackerman Academy of Mathematics and Science in the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics, Dr. Thomas joined the Towson University community two years ago after a distinguished career at NASA.
A retired astronaut and engineer who spent 20 years at NASA, Dr. Thomas orbited the earth 700 times and traveled more than 20,000 miles in space. He flew on four missions, three on Columbia and one on Discovery. In his role as the Director of Hackerman Academy, Dr. Thomas is hoping to influence more students into studying the fields of science and Mathematics.
“Dr. Thomas is a nationally-recognized scientist and astronaut,” says Coach Ambrose. “We are glad that he will be one of our captains on Saturday.”
Despite a high number of injuries, Coach Ambrose has divided his roster into teams for the Tigers’ Spring Game on Saturday. The teams will play a regular first half with the offense and the defense facing each other. However, the second half will be running time.
In conjunction with the Maryland Food Bank, the Tiger football team is conducting a Food Drive at the Spring Game on Saturday. All fans attending the Spring Game are asked to bring a canned food item to be placed in large barrels at the gates so they can be donated to the Maryland Food Bank.
Cheerleaders and selected Tiger football fans will be stationed at the gates collecting all donations.
There is no admission charge for the Tigers’ Spring Football Game.
The Tigers have 44 letter winners returning from last year’s team. Despite the loss of four players who earned All-Colonial Athletic Association notice in 2008, the Tigers return eight starters on offense and eight starters on defense.