The University of Maryland, College Park (often referred to as The University of Maryland, UMD, UMCP or simply Maryland) is a public research university located in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland outside Washington, D.C. Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland is the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland. The university is considered to be a "public ivy". At a total enrollment of 36,014 students, Maryland is the largest university in the state as well as the Washington Metropolitan Area. It is a member of the Association of American Universities.
The University of Maryland's location has created strong research partnerships, especially with the Federal government. Many members of the faculty receive research funding and institutional support from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Homeland Security.
As of fiscal year 2007, the University of Maryland, College Park's operating budget was projected to be approximately $1.352 billion. The University has also raised more than $500 million in private donations in its recent "Great Expectations" campaign.
In July 1862, the same month that the MAC awarded its first degrees, President Lincoln signed the Morrill Land Grant Act. The legislation provided federal funds to schools that taught agriculture or engineering, or provided military training. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the school became a land grant college in February 1864 after the Maryland legislature voted to approve the Morrill Act.
Later that summer, around 400 Confederate soldiers led by General Bradley T. Johnson stayed on the grounds while preparing to take part in a raid against Washington. In local legend, it is told that the soldiers were warmly welcomed by university President Henry Onderdonk, a Confederate sympathizer, and that the cavalrymen were thrown a party on the campus nicknamed "The Old South Ball." The next morning the soldiers rode off to cut the lines of communication between Washington and Baltimore.
Financial problems forced the increasingly desperate administrators to sell off of land, and the continuing decline in student enrollment sent the Maryland Agricultural College into bankruptcy. For the next two years the campus was used as a boys preparatory school.
Following the Civil War, the Maryland legislature pulled the college out of bankruptcy, and in February 1866 assumed half ownership of the school. The college thus became in part a state institution. George Washington Custis Lee, son of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, was appointed president of the college by the Board of Trustees, but due to public outcry declined the position. By October 1867, the school reopened with 11 students. In the next six years, enrollment continued to grow, and the school's debt was finally paid off. Twenty years later, the school's reputation as a research institution began, as the federally funded Agricultural Experiment Station was established there. During the same period, a number of state laws granted the college regulatory powers in several areas—including controlling farm disease, inspecting feed, establishing a state weather bureau and geological survey, and housing the board of forestry.
In 1888, the college began its first official intercollegiate baseball games against rivals St. John's College and the United States Naval Academy. Baseball, however, had been played at the college for decades before the first "official" games were recorded. The first fraternity at Maryland, Phi Sigma Kappa, was established in 1897, and Morrill Hall (the oldest instructional building still in use on campus) was built the following year.
On November 29, 1912, around 10:30 p.m., a fire, probably due to faulty electric wiring, broke out in the attic of the newest administration building, where a Thanksgiving dance was being held. The approximately eighty students on the premises evacuated themselves safely, and then formed a makeshift bucket brigade. The fire departments summoned from nearby Hyattsville and Washington, D.C. arrived too late. Fanned by a strong southwest wind, the fire destroyed the barracks where the students were housed, all the school's records, and most of the academic buildings, leaving only Morrill Hall untouched. The loss was estimated at $250,000 (about $5.5 million in 2007 U.S. dollars) despite no injuries or fatalities. The devastation was so great that many never expected the university to reopen. University President Richard Silvester resigned, brokenhearted.
However, the students refused to give up. All but two returned to the university after the break and insisted on classes continuing as usual. Students were housed by families in neighboring towns who were compensated by the university until housing could be rebuilt, although a new administration building was not built until the 1940s.
A large brick and concrete compass inlaid in the ground designates the former center of campus as it existed in 1912. Lines engraved in the compass point to each building that was destroyed in the Thanksgiving Day fire. The only building not marked on the compass is Morrill Hall, which was spared by the blaze.
The state took complete control of the school in 1916, and consequently the institution was renamed Maryland State College. Also that year, the first female students enrolled at the school. On April 9, 1920, the college merged with the established professional schools in Baltimore to form the University of Maryland. The graduate school on the College Park campus awarded its first Ph.D. degrees, and the University's enrollment reached 500 students in the same year. In 1925 the University was granted accreditation by the Association of American Universities.
By the time the first African-American students enrolled at the University in 1951, enrollment had grown to nearly 10,000 students—4,000 of whom were women. In 1957 President Wilson H. Elkins made a push to increase academic standards at the University. His efforts resulted in the creation of one of the first Academic Probation Plans. The first year the plan went into effect, 1,550 students (18% of the total student body) faced expulsion. Since then, academic standards at the school have steadily risen. Recognizing the improvement in academics, Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at the university in 1964. In 1969, the university was elected to the Association of American Universities. The school continued to grow, and by the fall of 1985 reached an enrollment of 38,679.
In a massive 1988 restructuring of the state higher education system, the school was designated as the flagship campus of the newly formed University System of Maryland and was formally named University of Maryland, College Park. However, in 1997 the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation allowing the University of Maryland, College Park to be known simply as the University of Maryland, recognizing the campus' role as the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland.
The other University System of Maryland institutions with the name "University of Maryland" are not satellite campuses of the University of Maryland, College Park, and are not referred to as such. The University of Maryland, Baltimore is the only other school permitted to confer certain degrees that state, simply "University of Maryland". This is because the Baltimore school offers primarily graduate degrees in disciplines not covered at College Park, such as Dentistry, Law and Medicine. The relationship between the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore is akin to the relationship of the University of California, Berkeley to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), which also primarily offers graduate programs that Berkeley does not provide.
The Gemstone Program at the University of Maryland is a multidisciplinary four-year research program for select undergraduate honors students of all majors. Under guidance of faculty mentors and Gemstone staff, teams of students design, direct and conduct research, often but not exclusively exploring the interdependence of science and technology with society.
Honors Humanities is the University of Maryland’s honors program for talented beginning undergraduates with interests in the humanities and creative arts. The selective two-year living-learning program combines a small liberal arts college environment with the dynamic resources of a large research university.
The College Park Scholars programs are two-year living-learning programs for first- and second-year students. Students enroll in one of 12 thematic programs: Advocates for Children; Arts; Business, Society, and the Economy; Cultures of the Americas; Earth, Life, and Time; Environmental Studies; International Studies; Life Sciences; Media, Self, and Society; Public Leadership; Science, Discovery, and the Universe; Science, Technology, and Society.
The nation's first living-learning entrepreneurship program, Hinman CEOs, is geared toward students who are interested in starting their own business. Students from all academic disciplines live together and are provided the resources to explore new business ventures.
The QUEST (Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams) Honors Fellows Program engages undergraduate students from business, engineering, and computer, mathematical, and physical sciences. QUEST Students participate in courses focused on cross-functional collaboration, innovation, quality management, and teamwork.
The University also has many notable academics in other field of science. Professor of mathematics Sergei Petrovich Novikov won the Fields Medal in 1970 followed by alumnus Charles Fefferman in 1978. Alumnus George Dantzig won the 1975 National Medal of Science for his work in the field of linear programming.
The University of Maryland's location near Washington, D.C. has created strong research partnerships, especially with government agencies. Many of the faculty members have funding from federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, NASA, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Security Agency. These relationships have created numerous research opportunities for the university including:
The University of Maryland Libraries provide access to and assistance in the use of the scholarly information resources required to meet the education, research and service missions of the University.
The Center for American Politics and Citizenship provides citizens and policy-makers with research on critical issues related to the United States' political institutions, processes, and policies. CAPC is a non-partisan, non-profit research institution within the Department of Government and Politics in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
The Center for Technology and Systems Management (CTSM) has the mission to advance the state of the art of technology and systems analysis for the benefit of people and the environment. The focus has been always on enhancing safety, efficiency and effectiveness by performing reliability, risk, uncertainty or decision analysis studies.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities compiled by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranked Maryland as 37th in the world as well as 8th among public flagship universities in the United States. Newsweek ranked the University of Maryland as 45th in their ranking "global universities." Webometrics, a leading web collegiate ranking site, ranked Maryland 19th on its "Top 4000 Universities" list. Times Higher Education ranked the University of Maryland 79th on its top 100 universities in the world.
Notable journalists who have been with The Diamondback include David Simon of HBO's The Wire and NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street, disgraced Jayson Blair, who was editor-in-chief in 1996 (Blair did not graduate, instead taking a job with The New York Times); Norman Chad, who was editor-in-chief in 1978; cartoonists Aaron McGruder, who first published the cartoon The Boondocks in The Diamondback; and Frank Cho, who began his career with the popular "University Squared" for The Diamondback.
Greek recruitment rates fell sharply after the death of a pledge in 2002, but have picked back up to earlier levels in 2006.
The 2007–2008 academic year saw renewed discussions over hazing in fraternity and sorority life at Maryland. Delta Tau Delta and Zeta Beta Tau were criticized by the university administration over hazing incidents. Zeta Beta Tau's executive board was ousted when officials received an anonymous tip regarding a violation of ZBT's risk management policy. Pledges were required to chant the names of fraternity founders while in a circle. A wrong answer normally meant that water would be dumped on the head of the pledge who committed the infraction. In the offending case, a chemical cleaner was instead poured on a pledge's head, producing moderate eye trauma. Delta Tau Delta's Maryland chapter was disbanded after the university administration determined that pledges had been hazed "physically, mentally and emotionally" from 2005–2008. Delta Tau Delta members kept pledges in "The Cave" for days at a time, allowing them to come out only for class and other required functions. Much of this hazing became known to the general student body when pictures were posted on The Diamondback's website. Delta Tau Delta's international headquarters did not contest the charges and complied fully with the investigation.
Linda Clement, the university's Vice President for Student Affairs, said at the time of the Delta Tau Delta investigation, "I have to believe these are two incidents in two groups and not in every Greek letter organization." Dr. Clement further stated that the university's hazing policy "needs no changes" for these "isolated incidents. Susan Lipkins, a psychologist and author of Preventing Hazing, criticized this view as naive; when asked if these were isolated incidents, she stated "No. Absolutely not." In each fraternity, Dr. Lipkins suggests there exists a mindset of "Everyone before me did this; clearly I have to do it to get their respect. It was very important to get their respect." Subsequent editorials and letters to the editor and cartoons agreed in the criticism of Dr. Clement's position, which was described as "ill-founded" and "politiking for the good of the public profile of the university." Contrasting views were presented as editorials and letters by current members of Greek organizations, seeking to highlight the positive aspects Greek life has on the campus.
The school's sports teams are called the Terrapins, and the mascot of the University (pictured right) is a diamondback terrapin named Testudo, which is Latin for "protective shell." The Terrapins sports teams participate in the NCAA's Division I, and the school is a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. For years the school colors were black and gold. After World War One, new coach Clark Shaughnessy came to Maryland from Stanford, and brought a supply of that school's uniforms with him. Combining those colors with the old black and gold, the university's official colors were expanded to match those that appear on the Maryland State Flag: black, gold, red, and white. Red and white are now the most-used team colors, and gold is almost strictly used as an accent color. "Fear the Turtle," a slogan born during the basketball team's national championship run in 2002, has since been commonly associated with other Maryland teams.
The university's athletics program has always enjoyed national prominence. Most recently, the Maryland women's basketball team won the 2006 Women's National Championship on April 4, guided by Coach Brenda Frese, after beating Duke 78–75 in overtime.
The Maryland football program is traditionally one of the top programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and occasionally is a force in the national picture. Overall, Maryland owns Nine Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, third most in the conference school behind Clemson and Florida State. Maryland was recognized as a football dynasty from 1949 to 1955, as the team's overall record during this time was an astounding 60–9–2. After winning the 1949 Gator Bowl, the team went undefeated in 1951, and defeated heavily favored Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl. This was followed by the school's only National Championship in 1953. 1955 also saw the team go undefeated in the regular season, before falling to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.
The years from 1973 to 1985 were also some of the most successful in the history of Maryland football, and saw a total of six Atlantic Coast Conference Championships. The 1976 team stormed through the regular season undefeated and finished with an 11–1 record. In the 1984 season the Terrapins, down 31–0 at halftime in the Orange Bowl against the defending National Champion Miami Hurricanes, completed an amazing comeback to win 42–40 in thrilling fashion. After a fifteen-year period that saw only one trip to a bowl game, former Maryland player and coach Ralph Friedgen was hired as Head Coach in 2001. He reversed the fortunes of Terrapin football in his first three seasons, leading the team to 31 wins, an appearance in the BCS Orange Bowl, commanding victories in the Peach Bowl, the Gator Bowl and the Champs Sports Bowl, consecutive top-3 finishes in conference, and one ACC regular season title. These promising seasons were followed up by two disappointing 5–6 seasons. However, in 2006, Friedgen returned the Terrapins to bowl status, where they defeated the Purdue Boilermakers in dominating fashion, 24–7 in the Champs Sports Bowl, in Orlando, FL. This was followed by an appearance in the 2007 Emerald Bowl.
Maryland has produced numerous NFL stars such as all-pro quarterback Boomer Esiason, Vernon Davis of the 49ers, Shawne Merriman of the Chargers, Lamont Jordan of the Patriots, brothers E.J. Henderson and Erin Henderson of the Vikings, Domonique Foxworth of the Broncos and many others.
Men's basketball is also a very popular sport at Maryland and is under the guidance of another Maryland graduate, Gary Williams of the class of 1968. Williams, who returned to his alma mater in 1989 after successful head coaching stints at Lafayette College, American University, Boston College, and Ohio State, inherited a once-successful program that was suffering the aftereffects of the death of Len Bias as well as NCAA rules infractions under Williams's predecessor. Williams led Maryland to eleven consecutive NCAA tournament appearances (1993–2004) and eight consecutive seasons with 20 or more wins (1996–2004). In addition, he has taken the Terps to the tournament's Regional Semifinals (Sweet Sixteen) seven times, to the Final Four twice, and led the school to its first NCAA title in men's basketball in 2002. With one of the youngest teams in the nation, Williams led his team to his first ACC Tournament title in 2004. With a win over the Virginia Cavaliers on February 7, 2006, Gary Williams became Maryland's all-time leader in basketball wins with 349, beating the previous record of Lefty Driesell, who attended the record-breaking game.
Beyond these primary "revenue sports," Maryland excels in other areas as well. Women's basketball began a resurgence in 2002, and has reached the NCAA Women's Basketball tournament for four consecutive years under Coach Brenda Frese. The Lady Terps beat Duke in 2006 to bring Maryland its first NCAA title in women's basketball. Coach Sasho Cirovski has taken the men's soccer team to five Final Fours since 1997, including four straight. In 2005, the squad claimed the NCAA College Cup National Championship with a 1–0 win over New Mexico.
The field hockey team has made eleven Final Four appearances (through 2006) and won the 1987, 1993, 1999, 2005, and 2006 national titles. The volleyball team won the ACC tournament in 2003 and qualified for the NCAA tournament.
The women's lacrosse team has won a total of ten national championships since 1981, eight of which came under the direction of Cindy Timchal, including a run of seven straight (1995 through 2001). Additionally, the women's lacrosse team has been an NCAA finalist in eleven of the last fourteen years, and produced more All-Americans in the sport than any other school. Two of Maryland's outstanding All-Americans, Cathy Nelson-Reese and Jen Adams, became coach and co-coach of the team in 2006–2007 when Timchal took over the new program at the United States Naval Academy. The men's lacrosse program is often ranked among the top programs nationally and won the NCAA Championship in 1973 and 1975. For 31 years the women's gymnastics team has been under the guidance of head coach Robert 'Duke' Nelligan, the longest career of any coach at the university.
The Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band attends all home football games and at least one away game each season. The band provides pre-game performances that have remained largely unchanged for several years. A video of the pre-game show can be viewed at the band's Web site. The band also plays at halftime during home games, with a different show every game. At the end of their 2006–2007 season, the entire 250-member Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band traveled to New Orleans to build new homes with Habitat for Humanity for families displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
During the basketball season, the marching band converts into the University of Maryland Pep Band. The pep band provides energetic music and cheers in the stands at men's and women's home games. The pep band's repertoire (more than 300 songs, as of the 2006–2007 season) is compiled from past marching band shows and some special arrangements. The Pep Band also travels with the basketball teams during tournament play.
One famous incident in 1947 involved students from Johns Hopkins University who stole the bronze statue of the mascot and returned to their campus in Baltimore. According to Johns Hopkins alumni, it was hidden at 3025 St. Paul St., the Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter house. Maryland students went up to Baltimore from College Park to retrieve the statue and ended up besieging the house where the Johns Hopkins students had kept Testudo; over 200 riot police had to be called in.
In 1949, then-University President Byrd was awakened by a phone call from a University of Virginia fraternity requesting that Testudo be removed from their lawn. Testudo was later filled with 700 pounds of cement and fastened to his pedestal to ensure that the statue could not be stolen in the future. Students at rival schools continued to vandalize the statue, and was then moved to Byrd stadium in 1951. In the 1960s Testudo was moved from this location to a spot in front of McKeldin Library in the center of campus. The statue is considered a good luck charm by students, many of whom rub his nose and leave him offerings during finals week.
In 1992 a twin statue of Testudo was placed at Byrd Stadium that the football team and marching band touches for good luck as they pass by on their way. There is now also a statue of Testudo outside the Gossett Team House on the outskirts of Byrd Stadium. In 2002, another statue was placed in front of Comcast Center, the school's new basketball arena; and in 2005, a fifth statue (this one hollow) was erected in front of the new Riggs Alumni Center
During the 1994 session of the Maryland General Assembly, legislation was approved that named the Diamondback Terrapin (malaclemys terrapin terrapin) as the official State reptile of Maryland, as well as the legally-codified mascot of the University of Maryland. At the time, the terrapin was only the second university mascot in the nation (after the University of Florida gator) to receive such a designation.
In 2006, fifty Testudo statues decorated by University students were placed throughout the region. Besides the campus and College Park, other areas where statues were placed included Silver Spring, Ocean City, Baltimore, Annapolis, Landover, Washington, D.C., and along the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway at the Maryland House and Chesapeake House service areas of the Maryland Transportation Authority.
The fifty Testudo statues were later auctioned off to independent buyers to raise money for the school. Most are no longer found on campus, but some buyers in turn donated their purchases back to the school.
The university has promoted the slogan, "Fear the Turtle" to become a rallying cry for school pride.
Students often rub Testudo's nose for good luck.
University attendees have achieved fame or notability across a variety of disciplines. Famous alumni include the current House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, The Muppets creator Jim Henson, and Seinfeld producer Larry David. Prominent alumni in business include Jim Walton, CEO of CNN Worldwide; Kevin Plank founder of the athletic apparel company Under Armour; and Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Television personality Connie Chung and ESPN reporters Bonnie Bernstein, Tim Kurkjian, and Scott Van Pelt all graduated from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Well-known journalist Carl Bernstein, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for his coverage of the Watergate scandal, attended the University but did not graduate. Former Maryland Governor Harry R. Hughes and current United States Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon R. England are also alumni. Gayle King, Oprah Winfrey's best friend and editor-at-large of O, The Oprah Magazine, also graduated from the university with a degree in psychology. Kiran Chetry, CNN co-host of American Morning graduated with bachelors of arts in broadcast journalism and co-host Heidi Collins of CNN Newsroom also graduated with a bachelors of science.
Within the fields of science and mathematics, Nobel Laureates Raymond Davis Jr., 2002 winner in Physics; Herbert Hauptman, 1985 winner in Chemistry, and Fields Medal winner Charles Fefferman attended the University. Other alumni include George Dantzig, considered the father of linear programming; and NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin.
Several donors have distinguished themselves for their sizable gifts to the University. Businessman Robert H. Smith, who graduated from the university in 1950 with a degree in accounting, has given over $45 million to the business school that now bears his name, and to the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, which bears his wife's name. Construction entrepreneur A. James Clark, who graduated with an engineering degree in 1950, has also donated over $45 million to the college of engineering, which also bears his name. Another engineering donor, Jeong H. Kim, earned his Ph.D. from the university in 1991 and gave $5 million for the construction of a state-of-the-art engineering building. Philip Merrill, a media figure, donated $10 million to the College of Journalism..
Corner Stone Loft and Grill - With plasma TV's mounted on every wall, Corner Stone is the place to be to watch any prime time sporting event. During the games, this bar offers a wide variety of bar foods, but is known for their buffalo wings. After the games, this bar turns into a hangout for college students.
R.J. Bentley's - Known by students as Bentley's, this bar is infamous for its post football and basketball game celebrations.
The Mark - The Mark is an upscale lounge located on Route 1 in College Park. The Mark is the only bar in College Park that enforces a dress code.
Thirsty Turtle - The Thirsty Turtle is the largest bar/club in College Park. Downstairs at the Thirsty Turtle is a sports bar while their upstairs loft is filled with dancing college students.
Santa Fe - If you are looking for live bands, Santa Fe is the place to be. From a Beatles cover band to local college bands, this bar provides live music in downtown College Park.