President breaks off fall address for medical issue
Despite an interruption due to a medical issue in the middle of her Fall President’s Address, University President Maravene Loeschke delivered her address with Deputy Chief of Staff Marina Cooper filling in to finish the speech.
Speaking to an audience in the Stephens Hall Theatre on Sept. 12, Loeschke began her speech by naming Tracy Miller as the first recipient of the President’s Award for Distinguished Service.
“[Miller] is devoted to ensuring a quality student experience,” said Loeschke.
As she described her plans for Towson moving forward, Loeschke noted that the 2014 budget is set to include $13 million in increased state funding and revenue, which she said is the “first substantial increase in state support in five years.”
$1.5 million of that budget will be allocated for student scholarships while $1.7 million will be put towards STEM (Science, Technology, Math and Engineering) programs.
While last year’s address primarily focused on students, Loeschke saw this year as an opportunity to highlight the achievements of faculty.
Acknowledging the negative impact furloughs and pay freezes has had on morale, she cautioned “immediate solutions are not easy to accomplish.”
At the top of Loeschke’s agenda is monitoring the cost of attending Towson so that students don’t see their education as a financial burden, she said.
“I am concerned about the amount of debt accumulated by our students,” she said, adding that she will not support significant university fee increases.
Forty-five minutes into her speech, Loeschke felt faint and was escorted off-stage by staff. She then asked Deputy Chief of Staff Marina Cooper to finish the prepared remarks on her behalf.
Baltimore County Police were called to the scene, along with at least one ambulance. Medical personnel checked Loeschke out and determined that she did not need to be taken to the hospital, she had simply become lightheaded.
“I deeply appreciate the outpouring of support and concern for my well-being following my sudden exit at the end of the Fall Address,” Loeschke said in a statement. “I have been assured by my physician that I am fine.”
Student Government President Charlotte Ridgeway, who introduced Loeschke, praised her for recognizing recent struggles and distractions the university has faced.
Ridgeway was also pleased to hear about the successes of faculty.
“I appreciate all of the hard work [Loeschke] and the faculty do,” she said.
University President Maravene Loeschke became lightheaded during her fall address, causing her to cut the speech short and allow Marina Cooper, her deputy chief of staff, to finish the address.
The president had to leave the stage after being under the heat of the lights in Stephens Hall, and attendees were originally concerned that it was a serious medical emergency.
At least one ambulance was called to the scene, Towerlight reporters at the speech confirmed, and Baltimore County Police were also called to the scene.
Prior to the arrival of the paramedics, several TU faculty and staff members rushed to assist the president on stage.
Loeschke received medical attention and was not taken to the hospital by the paramedics that arrived, and she was eventually taken home.
On Friday morning, the president sent out a statement to the University confirming that she is feeling well.
“I deeply appreciate the outpouring of support and concern for my well-being following my sudden exit at the end of the Fall Address yesterday,” Loeschke said in the statement. “After 45 minutes of standing and speaking, I was overwhelmed by the heat of the stage lights and felt faint. I have been assured by my physician that I am fine and I plan to be back at work on Monday.”