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The University of Maryland, College Park (often referred to as The University of Maryland, Maryland, UM, UMD, UMCP, or College Park) is a public research university located in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland, approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) from the northeast border of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1856, the university is the flagshipinstitution of the University System of Maryland. With a fall 2010 enrollment of more than 37,000 students, over 100 undergraduate majors, and 120 graduate programs, Maryland is the largest university in the state and the largest in the Washington Metropolitan Area. It is a member of the Association of American Universities and competes in athletics as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
The University of Maryland's proximity to the nation's capital has resulted in research partnerships with the Federal government. 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), the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department of Homeland Security.
The operating budget of the University of Maryland during the 2009 fiscal year was projected to be approximately $1.531 billion. For the same fiscal year, the University of Maryland received a total of $518 million in research funding, surpassing its 2008 mark by $118 million. As of May 11, 2012, the university's "Great Expectations" campaign had exceeded $950 million in private donations.
History of UMD
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, a future U.S. Congressman, purchased 420 acres (1.7 km2) of the Riverdale Plantation in College Park. Calvert founded the school later that year. 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
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. 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. 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
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. Students were housed by families in neighboring towns 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.
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. 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.
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. Like many colleges during the Vietnam War, the university was the site of student protests and had curfews enforced by the National Guard.
In a massive 1988 restructuring of the state higher education system, the school was designated as the flagship campus of the newly formed University of Maryland System (later changed to the University System of Maryland in 1997) and was formally named University of Maryland, College Park. All of the five campuses in the former network were designated as distinct campuses in the new system. 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. The University of Maryland, Baltimore, is the only other school permitted to confer certain degrees from the "University of Maryland".
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). 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.
Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- The university is ranked as tied for 60th in the 2017 U.S. News and World Report rankings of "National Universities" across the United States, and it is ranked tied for 20th nationally among public universities.
- An October, 2014 publication from Business Insider ranked the University of Maryland #9 in "Smartest Public Colleges in America".
- The Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked Maryland as 52nd in the world in 2016.
- The 2015–2016 Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed Maryland 117th in the world.
- The 2016/17 QS World University Rankings ranked Maryland 131st in the world.
- The university is among Peace Corps' 25 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges 2015.
- Kiplinger's Personal Finance 100 Best Values in Public Colleges 2015 ranked the University 9th for in-state students.
- For the third consecutive year in 2014, the university is ranked 1st in the number of Boren Scholarship recipients – with 12 undergraduates receiving awards for intensive international language study.
- In 2016, University of Maryland ranked in the Top 50 Online Colleges with the Highest Student Satisfaction by OnlineCollegePlan.com.
Student life @UMD
There are two main residential areas on campus, North Campus and South Campus, which are further divided into seven residential communities. North Campus is made up of Cambridge Community (which consists of five residence halls), Denton Community (which currently consists of four halls, including Oakland hall which opened in the fall semester of 2011), and Ellicott Community (consisting of three halls).
South Campus includes the North Hill Community, made up of nine Georgian-style halls located immediately west of McKeldin Mall, South Hill Community, made up of fourteen small residence halls for upperclassmen, Leonardtown Community, which offers apartment-style living and is further divided into Old Leonardtown (consisting of six buildings) and New Leonardtown (also consisting of six buildings), the South Campus Commons Community, which consists of seven apartment-style buildings (the seventh and most recent building being opened in January 2010), and the Courtyards, a garden style apartment community in north campus consisting of seven buildings.
The South Campus Commons Community and Courtyards, while built on campus, are managed by a private company, Capstone On-Campus Management, as part of a public-private partnership between the company and the University of Maryland.
The university does not have family housing. As of 2011 some students with families have advocated for the addition of family housing.
Residential life is overseen by the Department of Resident Life, which consists of a staff members and departments. For instance, Resident assistants, who are full-time undergraduates facilitating the student interaction and development of floors within their assigned floor, building, or community, are supervised by Resident directors. The Department of Resident Life offers its residents and other students many programs, including the Math Success Program, Academic Success Program, Common Ground Dialogue Program, and many Living and Learning programs.
There are two main dining halls on campus: The North Campus Dining Hall ("The Diner") is located in the Ellicott Community, and the South Campus Dining Hall is located near the South Hill and South Campus Commons communities. Located in the Denton Community, 251 North is the third dining hall on campus and features the first all-you-can-eat style dining experience on campus. A food court in the Stamp Student Union provides a plethora of dining options for the university community.
The university is served by the three airports which exist in the greater Washington metropolitan area. A small public airport in College Park, College Park Airport, lies nearly adjacent to campus, but operations are limited.
A free shuttle service, known as Shuttle-UM, is available for UMD students, faculty, and staff. The university is served by an off-campus stop on the Washington DC Metro Green Line called College Park – University of Maryland. The station is also served by the Camden Line of the MARC train, which runs between Baltimore and Washington. A Shuttle-UM bus (Route 104) arrives at the metro station every five minutes during fall and spring semesters (every ten minutes during the summer) to bring all visitors to campus (stopping in front of the Stamp Student Union). The DC Metrobus and the Prince George's County TheBus bus services also stop on campus. There is an additional service called Nite Ride which is a curb-to-curb service offered every night from 5:30 pm to 7:30 am. The service is designed to serve the areas of campus that are not included on the evening service routes.
In addition, beginning in early 2012, Prince George's County TheBus bus services were made free of charge to all students and staff.
Over 21,000 parking spaces are on campus, in parking lots and garages. Zipcar service is also available on campus for all UMD students, faculty, and staff.
The university has been attempting to make the campus more bike-friendly by installing covered bike parking and bike lockers on campus, introducing a bike-sharing program, and plans to add more bike lanes on campus. As of Spring 2011, the university has encouraged cycling on campus by installing covered bike storage outside of the newly built Oakland dorm as well as security lockers in the Mowatt Lane Garage. In addition to increased storage options, the University runs the Campus Bike Shop where students can get their bikes repaired and learn how to maintain them on their own. The installation of one or more light-rail stops on campus as a part of metropolitan Washington's proposed Purple Line is an ongoing debate.
The Diamondback is the independent student newspaper of the university. It was founded in 1910 as The Triangle and renamed in 1921 in honor of a local reptile, the Diamondback terrapin, which became the school mascot in 1933. The newspaper is published daily Monday through Friday during the spring and fall semesters, with a print circulation of 17,000 and annual advertising revenues of over $1 million. It has four sections: News, Opinion, Sports, and Diversions.
For the 2008–2009 school year, "The Diamondback" earned a Mark of Excellence award from the Society of Professional Journalists, placing second nationally for Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper and first in its region in the same category. Three years earlier the newspaper had finished third place nationally for Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper and first in its region. 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 Jeff Kinney, who created the Diary of a Wimpy Kid fiction series and whose Igdoof strip appeared in The Diamondback; Aaron McGruder, who first published his cartoon The Boondocks in The Diamondback; and Frank Cho, who began his career with the popular "University Squared" for The Diamondback.
Main article: WMUC-FM
WMUC-FM (88.1 FM) is the university non-commercial radio station, staffed by UMD students and volunteers. WMUC is a freeform radio station that broadcasts at 10 watts. Its broadcasts can be heard throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Notable WMUC alumni include Connie Chung, Bonnie Bernstein, and Aaron McGruder.
About 12% of men and 17% of women in Maryland's undergraduate student body are involved in Greek life. Many of the fraternities and sororities at the school are located on Fraternity Row and the Graham Cracker, which are controlled by the University. Fraternity Row is the background of several recently produced films.
All social Greek organizations are governed by one of five groups: the Inter-Fraternity Council, the Panhellenic Association, the Pan-Hellenic Council, the United Greek Council, or the Professional Fraternal Association. All cultural Greek organizations are governed by the United Greek Council. These councils assist in the creation and governance of chapter by-laws, risk management plans, and philanthropic activities, with support from the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Each year, every Greek organization must fulfill certain requirements, including doing a service and conducting a program/event related to community service, diversity, or alumni and faculty outreach.
Services of UMD
Your parents are bound to wonder: Are you eating right? Do you have a ride home? Do you know who to call if you need help? At Maryland, you will be able to say "yes". From your early-morning coffee and bagel to your late-night cravings, Maryland’s dining options can feed your needs.
In our two main dining halls, you’ll find culinary stations serving fare such as stuffed-to-order burritos, a Mongolian grill, gourmet burgers and made-to-order salads. A third, new dining hall offers all-you-care-to eat cuisine and showcases some of our most popular fare. Vegan and vegetarian menu selections are available every day in the dining rooms. You’ll also find a huge food court in the Stamp Student Union, cafes in academic buildings across campus, and a half-dozen convenience shops.
You can choose from three meal plan options and a kosher meal plan. For snacking on the go, you can use your plan’s Terp Bucks in campus cafes and shops. Or, you can sign up for Terrapin Express, an optional pre-paid debit program. Use it to supplement any meal plan or cover your tab at the University Book Center, University Health Center and other spots on campus.
Fear the Turtle! It’s the rallying cry at the University of Maryland, which has one of the country’s most comprehensive and successful athletic programs. From intramural and club sports to our Division I teams, Terps are active. You can rock-climb at the Eppley Recreation Center, jog around our scenic campus or swim laps in our Olympic-size pool. And stretch your lungs muscles by cheering onyour favorite team, like our national-champion women’s field hockey team, and sit in the Xfinity Center’s student section during our hugely popular men’s and women’s basketball games—our student athletes love to see you there! The Princeton Review regularly ranks Maryland in the top fifteen for “Students Pack the Stadiums,” and our teams draw strength from the spirit of our fans.
The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics provides hundreds of student-athletes a rewarding experience, an integral and valued component of their Maryland education. A current member of the Big Ten Conference, Maryland is one of only three NCAA Division I institutions to have won national championships in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball. From field hockey and wrestling to soccer and lacrosse (men’s and women’s), Maryland is a perennial championship contender, and our student-athletes compete in some of the finest athletic facilities anywhere in the country. The Terrapins have won 15 national championships since 2005, including the NCAA title in women’s basketball, three in men’s soccer, and in 2014, women’s lacrosse.