Howard County Residents Ed and Fern Hamel Honored by Howard Community College
Columbia, MD – The Howard Community College Board of Trustees recently awarded its Senator James Clark, Jr. Medal to Ed and Fern Hamel in recognition of their unwavering commitment to service and philanthropy in Howard County for more than 40 years. The Hamels have demonstrated outstanding generosity to the students of Howard Community College (HCC) and to organizations such as Howard County General Hospital and the Community Foundation of Howard County.
“Mr. and Mrs. Hamel are long-time Howard County residents, business owners, community leaders, and volunteers,” said Edmund Coale, III, former chair of the Howard Community College Board of Trustees. “They are exceptional role models and have helped shape our county as a wonderful place to live, learn, and work.”
The Clark Medal was established by the Howard Community College Board of Trustees in 2006 in honor of Senator Clark’s lifelong contributions to Howard County and Howard Community College. The medal is awarded by the college to recognize individuals whose passion and achievements emulate the values held by Senator Clark, described as, “unparalleled integrity and honesty, love of land, and love of country” by his close friend, Senator Julian Lapides. Previous recipients of the Clark Medal include Victor Broccolino, Dr. Edward Cochran, Dr. Sydney Cousin, Leola Dorsey, Padraic M. Kennedy, Dessie and James Moxley, Jr., former Maryland Senator James N. Robey, and Richard Talkin.
The Hamels have long had a connection to Howard Community College. Fern Hamel was among the first class of students to graduate from HCC’s nursing program, and through his business, Hamel Builders, Ed Hamel built HCC’s athletic and fitness center in the 1970s. For more than 20 years, the couple has supported Howard Community College students with scholarship funds to the Howard Community College Educational Foundation.
When reflecting on his and his wife’s generosity toward Howard Community College, Hamel explained, “We’ve got to educate our kids… and where do you invest your money better than a college at the community level?”.
“Your scholarship and your generosity has lifted a huge burden and has allowed me to have more time focused on my studies and my path to becoming a successful nurse,” said Kirsten Murrill, a student and recipient of a Hamel Family Scholarship through the Howard Community College Educational Foundation. “I am very thankful.”
Mr. and Mrs. Hamel’s involvement and devotion to the Howard County community extend to Wilde Lake High School, where their volunteering efforts and donations continued well past their children’s graduations from the high school. Their altruistic passion led them to support countless local causes in their community; meanwhile, their company, Hamel Builders, has contributed to the Special Olympics, Rebuilding Together Howard County, and construction rehabilitation projects of regional historic sites, including improvements in the downtown Elkridge area.The Hamels received the Clark Medal on June 8, 2016, at an annual year-end event with the Howard Community College Board of Trustees and the board of directors of the Howard Community College Educational Foundation.