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When he graduated from Atholton High School in 1982, Dan Schrider did not have a clear notion of what he wanted to do next. He was a sociable, athletic teenager with no clear goals. Today, the president and CEO of Sandy Spring Bank attributes his next step all those years ago with setting his course for a successful professional career. That next step was enrolling at HCC.
Schrider says his experience at the community college was time well spent. "I did not leave high school with a great deal of academic confidence because I never really focused enough on studying and learning. The personal, nurturing environment at HCC gave me just what I needed to polish my learning skills."
When asked what he values most from those two years, he describes small classes, faculty support, and the close personal relationships he developed with other students – especially with one particular student, Dedi, who he’s been married to now for 25 years.
"HCC was an important part of my educational journey, providing me with the development and confidence I needed to continue learning." His business courses piqued his interest, so Schrider continued his journey by transferring to the University of Maryland for a bachelor’s degree in marketing and to Mount St. Mary’s University for an MBA. He also graduated from the American Bankers Association (ABA) Stonier Graduate School of Banking and ABA’s Graduate School of Commercial Lending. He began a career in retail banking and joined Sandy Spring Bank in 1989 as a commercial lender.
Schrider speak to a class of HCC students.
Today, Schrider serves as director on the boards of the Maryland Bankers Association, Stonier Graduate School of Banking, and Mount Airy Christian Academy. He has a passion for supporting programs for young people and, as HCC’s 2012/2013 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, he is especially enjoying his hours spent volunteering with student groups, such as Silas Craft Collegians and Howard PRIDE.
Schrider renewed his connection to HCC when his daughter enrolled two years ago. Next fall, she’ll continue her education at Towson University. "Her experience all these years later is similar to mine. She loves being part of the great campus environment and has developed wonderful friendships with students and bonds with teachers," he says.
Schrider is delivering HCC’s commencement address this spring, something he laughingly says he never imagined he’d be asked to do, "but I guess I’m a good example of the college motto ‘you can get there from here.’"
And what will this alumnus, who has steadfastly worked his way up the ladder of his profession, say to the students graduating from the community college where he got his start almost 30 years ago? "Think carefully about your next step. The choices we make say a lot about who we are. What really counts is what we decide to do with the benefit of the education we received, how we take that investment and make the difference in our community, our work, and our personal lives."