Salute to Major Charles Emerson Winchester III

Late M*A*S*H actor David Ogden Stiers remembers UMES in his will

For the Crisfield-Somerset County Times
Posted 11/11/21

PRINCESS ANNE — David Ogden Stiers, best known as Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III to fans of the critically acclaimed TV show M*A*S*H, bequeathed $50,000 to the University of Maryland …

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Salute to Major Charles Emerson Winchester III

Late M*A*S*H actor David Ogden Stiers remembers UMES in his will

Posted

PRINCESS ANNE — David Ogden Stiers, best known as Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III to fans of the critically acclaimed TV show M*A*S*H, bequeathed $50,000 to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to establish a student scholarship fund.

Stiers, who died March 3, 2018, was awarded an honorary degree at the university’s spring commencement in May 2012. His estate released the gift, which grew to just over $53,300, to the university, late last month.

While Stiers did not speak at the graduation event that day, his unassuming manner charmed other platform guests backstage as well as those he encountered at a post-graduation luncheon, where it was clear he was honored to be recognized as a “Doctor of Humane Letters.”

“Growing up, I was a huge fan of M*A*S*H and always enjoyed Mr. Stiers’ role as Major Wincester,” President Heidi M. Anderson said. “And who didn’t enjoy his iconic voice role as Cogsworth in the Beauty and the Beast? I am delighted that Mr. Stiers elected to remember so many worthwhile organizations in his estate, including UMES.”

According to news organizations that focus on reporting about entertainers, Stiers also left identical donations to the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, the Children’s Advocacy Center in Newport, Ore. and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The evening prior to receiving his honorary degree, Stiers was in Pocomoke City for a Mar-Va Theater Performing Arts Center fundraiser.

According to the The Daily Times, Stiers “read … poems and short stories from favorite authors … from Mark Twain and James Thurber to Oregonian poet Catherine Rickbone, who directs the Newport (Ore.) Performing Arts Center where Stiers … is associate conductor of the Newport Symphony Orchestra.”

“I want this evening to be a re-acquaintance with the romance and the splendor of the language,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.Stiers traveled cross-country from his Oregon home to the mid-Atlantic via train, the newspaper reported.

Stiers’ visit to Delmarva was arranged by Andrea Sims, a publicist and president of Lion’s Share Communications, an Arlington, Va.-based public relations firm. At the time, Sims had a home in Princess Anne and was instrumental in organizing scholarship fundraising events for UMES that featured entertainers.

In addition to his signature role in the popular drama-comedy show about a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War, Stiers acted on Broadway, appeared in films such as The Accidental Tourist and Doc Hollywood, and did voice work for the Public Broadcasting System as well as eight animated Disney films.

Stiers, Sims told the newspaper in 2012, “loves the arts and is very generous of spirit.”