Maryland House Call Is Surprisingly Awarding Visit for Richardson University president William C. Richardson got quite a surprise Wednesday when he went calling on the speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates. Before he could even get comfortable in the office of Speaker Cass Taylor, Dr. Richardson was escorted into the House chambers and presented with the first-ever Speaker's Medallion. The award was created to recognize Maryland citizens who have made a significant contribution to the state. The speaker presented the medallion to Dr. Richardson for his "many fine contributions...both as citizen of this state and as head of our largest and most renowned private research university." "I was very surprised and honored by the Maryland House of Delegates," Dr. Richardson said. "The medallion has special meaning because of the friendships with members I have developed over the last five years and because I consider the Maryland House of Delegates to be one of the best legislatures in the country," he said. The medallion depicts the House of Delegates mace, backed by the Mary-land flag on one side and the 1794 Great Seal of Maryland on the other. The side with the mace is inscribed "Speaker's Medallion, Maryland House of Delegates." The other side is encircled with the motto "Industry the Means, and Plenty the Result." Maryland archivist Edward C. Papenfuse told the delegates that the mace was selected for the Speaker's award because it is the oldest and most venerable object in the House's possession. It has been present at every session of the House of Delegates for nearly 300 years. "More than any other symbol, it stands for the orderly, deliberative process of representative government of the people, by the people and for the people," he said. For Taylor, making this presentation had strong personal significance. "As important as I consider the great contributions made by the public Bill Richardson to our state, I am no less thankful for the opportunity I have been afforded to know him as an individual, a man of hard work and ready good humor, a man any one of us would be proud to call a friend. "All of us are the richer for having the wisdom of your counsel and the pleasure of your company over the years." Dr. Richardson received the First Citizen Award in February from the Maryland Senate.
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