Nonprofit Spotlight

Nonprofit Spotlight

Remembering Emily Ferren: A Pillar of the Southern Maryland Nonprofit Community

It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of Emily Ferren this year, a beloved and esteemed member of the Southern Maryland nonprofit community. Emily's unwavering dedication, tireless efforts, and profound impact on the lives of countless individuals will be remembered and cherished. Her passing leaves a void, but her legacy will continue to inspire and guide us.




Emily Ferren dedicated her life to serving others. Her passion for making a difference was evident in every endeavor she undertook.

For 50 years, Emily worked for public libraries in Ohio, New York, and Maryland. Most recently, she was the public library director for two counties in Maryland: Garrett County and Charles County. As the long-time director of the Charles County Public Library, Emily hired many members of the library's staff. In her position, she supported and encouraged employees. After she left the library, Emily continued to check in on the staff, just as she did while working alongside them.

Throughout her life, Emily has also held several other positions. She has acted as the Stephen Minister, Stephen Leader, and Treasurer for Grace Lutheran Church and School. She has also been a sign language interpreter. Additionally, she has served on the boards of many local nonprofits, including Mattawoman Creek Arts Center, Southern Maryland Center for Independent Living, and Families in Recovery.




Emily was known for actively volunteering in the community. She shopped for items that the drug court used to incentivize good behavior. She also assisted Jude House by working the nonprofit's evening help desk. Beyond this, she made cookies for others, located resources, and remained hands-on in her efforts.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Emily continued participating in the activities of local nonprofits as much as she could. She discontinued this when her health no longer allowed for it.

Those who had the privilege of working with Emily remember her as a source of strength. Her leadership style was marked by inclusivity, collaboration, and a genuine desire to empower others.

Emily Holchin Ferren was born on March 30, 1949, in Cleveland, Ohio. She was baptized on Easter Sunday in 1949.

Emily received several degrees during her educational journey. She had a degree in education, a master's degree in library sciences, a degree in special education, and a degree in learning disabilities.




Emily Ferren's passing is a profound loss for the Southern Maryland nonprofit community and beyond. Her contributions, dedication, and spirit will be remembered. As we mourn her loss, let us celebrate her life and the indelible mark she left on our hearts and the community she served. May her legacy continue to inspire us to strive for a better, more compassionate world.

The information used in this article was collected from Raymond Funeral Service, P.A., La Plata Library Branch Manager Daniel Rheingrover, a friend of Emily's, and the Nonprofit Institute's knowledge from working with Emily.

The pictures used in this article were also collected from Raymond Funeral Service, P.A.

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Nonprofit Institute
College of Southern Maryland
PO Box 910
La Plata, MD 20646-0910

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