Bernhard Wynder Legacy Fund Recieves Profit From Book Sales, Encourages Diversity

The sudden loss of Frostburg alumnus Bernard “Bernie” Wynder on July 20, 2013 affected the campus as a community. A graduate of 1978 & 1984, the late Mr. Wynder, brother of Omega Psi Phi, dedicated his career to Frostburg State University and creating a more culturally diverse environment for students. With a rich background in serving the FSU community, Mr. Wynder was personally asked by the president to create an advising center for transfer students and those with undeclared majors. Mr. Wynder was known for his passion for helping students. Before his death, Mr. Wynder held the position of assistant vice president for Student and Educational Services, along with serving on a number of organized committees such as the NAACP, the Maryland Salem Children’s Trust, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Human Relations Commission, Allegany County Multicultural Committee, Western Maryland Food Bank, Potomac Council Boy Scouts of America, and many more.

He left his widow, Ms. Robin Wynder, to continue their dreams giving people the opportunity to come together and work in unity. She started the Bernard Wynder Legacy Fund to honor his memory and preserve his ideals in life. The first idea for the fund was a combination book and programming fund. “My husband would buy books for his students out of pocket—that’s the kind of person he was,” Ms. Wynder explained. The issues preventing this would be deciding who to grant assistance, and how. Instead, the fund is dedicated to bettering the community through promoting diversity and improving relationships between students with open programs. “It was a passion of mine and Bernie’s,” Ms. Wynder told me, “helping people get along.” Such programs would include Ms. Wynder’s personal favorite, diversity retreats. As a student organization, the office has no program budgets and must find other venues to create a budget that fit the Diversity Center’s mission.

The main beneficiary of this fund is the proceeds from selling the nonfiction work, “Being Black in Brownsville” by Mr. Wynder’s personal friend, Lynn Bowman. Together they are committed to diversity and equity. The book details the African-American community that was displaced to make room for Frostburg Normal School, which was located in FSU’s now-upper quad. Ms. Wynder commented: “It was an unwilling contribution, but a contribution nonetheless.” Learning about a region’s history is just as important when it comes to cultural equality and understanding.

“We are fortunate to have a campus with a diverse population,” Ms. Wynder remarked. She went on to illustrate the importance of the programs that the fund would support and finance: “Unfortunately, there exists a majority that does not have the skills to be culturally intelligent. We want to create opportunities for students to come together and get along; learn how to be professionally effective individuals. For all of us to be safe, as individuals we must be safe. Everyone needs to know what’s happening in the world—we’re all connected.”

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