Constance Ross Beims 

(1938 -  )

Image of Constance Ross Beims  taken from Maryland Women's Hall of Fame program.

Constance Ross Beims was born in Maryland on August 24, 1938. Through her achievements as an educator, state and university official, volunteer, wife and mother, Beims is an extraordinary example of what it is to be a true humanitarian. 

In 1997, Connie Beims served as the  Co-Chair of the first Maryland State Conference on Girls, and was critical in establishing the sponsoring coalition of the Maryland Commission for Women, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland (GSCM) and the American Association of University Women, Maryland. In addition, it was Beims who first identified the need for a conference that would help girls value themselves, learn life skills, and would empower them to become healthy women. 

Serving as First Vice President and Chair of the Fund Development Committee for GSCM, Beims formed the capital campaign committee to help raise funds for the Girl Scout Service Center and the 21st Century endowment.

As Executive Director of the Maryland Commission for Women and as the guiding force in establishing the University of Maryland’s Commission on Women, Beims has helped to open the doors for the inclusion of women at all levels of governmental and academic decision-making. Her accomplishments led to widespread recognition of the need to support women’s issues and programs to help women in crisis.

Beims’ dedication and hard work did not go unnoticed in Annapolis. She was the first woman appointed to the positions of Appointments Secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff. As Appointments Secretary, she was responsible for more than 14,000 appointments to the Governor’s Cabinet, judiciary, boards, and commissions. Beims’ innate ability to recognize problem areas, identify solutions, and to organize the support of others, was reason enough for Governor Harry Hughes to name her chairperson of the Governor’s Task Force on Violence and Extremism. As chair, Beims managed to bring together a number of disparate groups and agencies in the interest of promoting tolerance. It was for these efforts that brought about the formation of the National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence, which is recognized today for promoting understanding in a multi-cultural environment.

In 1987, as vice-president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Beims’ problem solving abilities were, once again, instrumental in bridging understanding between diverse groups and creating better relations between students and staff. Her skills as a coalition builder were essential in bringing together academics, governmental officials, and community leaders; in order to rise the funding for the $19 million library tower that graces UMBC campus today.

For her strong advocacy for racial harmony, nonviolence, and women’s rights, the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland honored Beims with the 1993 Distinguished Woman award. At each step of her career Beims has helped women by opening opportunities for them to achieve and excel. Constance Ross Beims’ selfless acts, extreme compassion, and tireless dedication to service has not only provided much needed programs and resources for girls and women, but also for the State of Maryland.

© Copyright Maryland State Archives, 2001