Former Maryland Governor Harry Hughes ’44 Passes Away

Harry R. Hughes ’44, who served as governor of the state of Maryland from 1979 to 1987, died March 13 at age 92 in Denton, Md.
As governor, Hughes fought fiercely for the protection of the Chesapeake Bay, and brought stability to Maryland’s state government following a number of corruption scandals under previous administrations. His two terms as governor coincided with the gubernatorial tenure of Richard “Dick” Thornburgh ’50 in Pennsylvania, meaning that the neighboring states’ chief executives were both Mercersburg alumni during an eight-year span in the 1970s and 1980s.

After attending Mercersburg (where he played varsity football and was a member of the John Marshall Literary Society), Hughes joined the Navy during World War II and later earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a law degree from George Washington University.  He also briefly played baseball in the New York Yankees’ minor-league system. Hughes was married to Patricia Donoho for almost 60 years; she passed away in 2010.

Hughes served in the Maryland Senate and was named the state’s first secretary of transportation in 1971; he held the position until his gubernatorial run. Following his time in office, he practiced law and was president of the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, a research facility for the University of Maryland named in his honor in 2006. Hughes received environmental awards from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, the Scenic Rivers Land Trust, the Maryland Bar Foundation, and 1000 Friends of Maryland.

Hughes is survived by two daughters and a grandson.
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Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center.
Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236
GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236
717-328-6173