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The University of Maryland, College Park

The University of Maryland, College Park

The University of Maryland, College Park (commonly referred to as the University of Maryland, UMD, or simply Maryland) is a public research university in College Park, Maryland.[ Founded in 1856, UMD is the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland, and is the largest university in both the state and the Washington metropolitan area, with more than 41,000 students representing all fifty states and 123 countries, and a global alumni network of over 360,000.[ Its twelve schools and colleges together offer over 200 degree-granting programs, including 92 undergraduate majors, 107 master's programs, and 83 doctoral programs.[UMD is a member of the Association of American Universities and competes in intercollegiate athletics as a member of the Big Ten Conference.

The University of Maryland's proximity to the nation's capital has resulted in many research partnerships with the federal government;[ faculty receive research funding and institutional support from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security. It is classified as one of 115 first tier research universities in the country by the Carnegie Foundation,[ and is labeled a "Public Ivy", denoting a quality of education comparable to the private Ivy League.[] UMD is consistently ranked among the top 100 universities both nationally and globally by several indexes.

In 2016, the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore formalized their strategic partnership after their collaboration successfully created more innovative medical, scientific, and educational programs,[23] as well as greater research grants and joint faculty appointments than either campus has been able to accomplish on its own.[As of 2017, the operating budget of the University of Maryland is approximately $2.1 billion. For the 2018 fiscal year, the university received a total of over $545 million in external research funding.[ In October 2017, the university received a record-breaking donation of $219.5 million from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, ranking among the largest philanthropic gifts to a public university in the country.

Early history


Charles Benedict Calvert (1808-1864), founder of the Maryland Agricultural College in 1856, predecessor to UMCP
On March 6, 1856, the forerunner of today's University of Maryland was chartered as the Maryland Agricultural College. Two years later, Charles Benedict Calvert (1808-1864), a future U.S. Representative (Congressman) from the sixth congressional district of Maryland, 1861-1863, during the American Civil War and descendent of the first Lord Baltimores, colonial proprietors of the Province of Maryland in 1634, purchased 420 acres (1.7 km2) of the Riversdale Mansion estate nearby today's College Park, Maryland.[32] Later that year, Calvert founded the school and was the acting president from 1859 to 1860.[33] On October 5, 1859, the first 34 students entered the Maryland Agricultural College.] The school became a land grant college in February 1864.

Bankruptcy and revival

Morrill Hall, built in 1898, is the oldest academic building on campus.
During the Civil War, Confederate soldiers under Brigadier General Bradley Tyler Johnson moved past the college on July 12, 1864 as part of Jubal Early's raid on Washington, D.C.[34] By the end of the war, financial problems forced the administrators to sell off 200 acres (81 ha) of land, and the continuing decline in enrollment sent the Maryland Agricultural College into bankruptcy. For the next two years the campus was used as a boys preparatory school.[1] Following the Civil War, in February 1866 the Maryland legislature assumed half ownership of the school. The college thus became in part a state institution. By October 1867, the school reopened with 11 students. In the next six years, enrollment grew and the school's debt was paid off. In 1873, Samuel Jones, a former Confederate Major General, became president of the college.

Twenty years later, the federally funded Agricultural Experiment Station was established there. During the same period, 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. Morrill Hall (the oldest instructional building still in use on campus) was built the following year.

The Great Fire of 1912

The campus during the 1912 fire
On November 29, 1912, a 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. There were no injuries or fatalities, and all but two students returned to the university and insisted on classes continuing.[1] Students were housed by families in neighboring towns until housing could be rebuilt, although a new administration building was not built until the 1940s.[1] A large brick and concrete compass inlaid in the ground designates the former center of campus as it existed in 1912.

Modern history

The University of Maryland campus as it appeared in 1938 before the dramatic expansion engineered by President Byrd
The state took control of the school in 1916, and the institution was renamed Maryland State College. That year, the first female students enrolled at the school. On April 9, 1920, the college became part of the existing University of Maryland, replacing St. John's College, Annapolis as the University's undergraduate campus.[35][36] In the same year, the graduate school on the College Park campus awarded its first PhD degrees and the university's enrollment reached 500 students. In 1925 the university was accredited by the Association of American Universities.

By the time the first black students enrolled at the university in 1951, enrollment had grown to nearly 10,000 students—4,000 of whom were women. Prior to 1951, many black students in Maryland were enrolled at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

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.

On October 19, 1957, Queen Elizabeth II of England attended her first and only college football game at the University of Maryland after expressing interest in seeing a typical American sport during her first tour of the United States. The Maryland Terrapins beat the North Carolina Tar Heels 21-7 in the historical game now referred to as "The Queen's Game"

21st century
In 2004, the university began constructing the 150-acre (61 ha) "M Square Research Park," which includes facilities affiliated with the U.S. Department of Defense, Food and Drug Administration, and the new National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction, affiliated with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).[41] In May 2010, ground was broken on a new $128-million, 158,068-square-foot (14,685.0 m2) Physical Science Complex, including an advanced quantum science laboratory.

Wallace Loh became president of the university in 2010.


The university's "Great Expectations" campaign from 2006 to 2012 exceeded $1 billion in private donations.

The university suffered multiple data breaches in 2014. The first resulted in the loss of over 300,000 student and faculty records. A second data breach occurred several months later.[45] The second breach was investigated by the FBI and Secret Service and found to be done by David Helkowski.[46] Despite the attribution, no charges were filed. As a result of the data breaches, the university offered free credit protection for five years to the students and faculty affected.

In 2012, the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore united under the MPowering the State initiative to leverage the strengths of both institutions.[48][49][50] The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Act of 2016 officially formalized this partnership.[25][26][23]

The University of Maryland's University District Plan, developed in 2011 under President Wallace Loh and the College Park City Council, seeks to make the City of College Park a top 20 college town by 2020 by improving housing and development, transportation, public safety, local pre-K-12 education, and supporting sustainability projects.[] As of 2018, the university is involved with over 30 projects and 1.5 million square feet of development as part of its Greater College Park Initiative, worth over $1 billion in public-private investments.[ The university's vision is to revitalize the campus to foster a dynamic and innovative academic environment, as well as to collaborate with the surrounding neighborhoods and local government to create a vibrant downtown community for students and faculty alike
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