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History of UMBC

This guide contains information about the available resources for conducting research on the history of UMBC's origins, people, departments, and traditions.

Timeline Introduction

Content in this timeline has been pulled from multiple sources, including a timeline prepared by the Office of Institutional Advancement in 2006 for the 40th anniversary and updated in 2013. Additional content is added by Special Collections when appropriate.

To search the timeline, use your browser's Find function (Ctrl + F) or search this UMBC History guide using the search box in the upper right.

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  • The Pullen Commission, assembled under Maryland's Governor McKeldin, issued, "The Needs of Higher Education in Maryland," which recommended the expansion of existing public institutions at their existing locations.


  • The "Advisory Committee on Higher Education in the State of Maryland" report suggested that a Baltimore branch of the University of Maryland be established as a two-year program, subordinate to the College Park campus.


  • The Warfield Commission, appointed by Maryland's Governor Tawes, issued, "A Plan for Expanding the University of Maryland," which suggested transforming the state's public teaching colleges (Towson, Frostburg and Salisbury) into liberal arts institutions and creating three additional university centers.


  • The Curlett Commission study, "Public Higher Education in Maryland 1961 - 1975," offered a plan that focused on functional diversity and independent development of campuses.


  • The Maryland State Legislature passed a bill to establish four additional campuses of the University of Maryland, including an undergraduate and graduate branch of the University of Maryland in Baltimore County (available online).
    • WHEREAS, Baltimore County is blessed with a number of science-based industries which are currently engaged in highly specialized research and development work and a graduate branch of the University would undoubtedly be of great assistance to these industries and would attract new industry into the metropolitan region.”  (Senate Bill 73, Approved April 30, 1963)

  • Although an Evening Sun editorial complained that the decisions were "Too much, Too soon," the Board of Regents approved the location of UMBC on what was a 425-acre tract of land operated by Spring Grove State Hospital and anticipated an opening in 1966. The Spring Grove site was suggested by Maryland Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein, and the hospital’s donation of the site saves the state millions of dollars in costs to acquire land for the campus.


  • In a matter of months, UMBC began to take shape with ground breakings and hirings. All eyes were pointing toward September 1966.
  • Albin O. Kuhn was named vice president of the so-called “Baltimore Campuses” – UMBC and University of Maryland, Baltimore. (In 1967, he is named as UMBC Chancellor.) 
  • Homer Schamp was appointed dean of faculty.
  • John Haskell, Jr. was hired as the first full-time UMBC employee and its first librarian.
  • David T. Lewis was hired as the first faculty member, heading the division of social sciences.



  • With applications already exceeding the anticipated 500 students, UMBC prepared for a year of firsts. The entire community was involved in the school's opening:
    One incident occurred on a Sunday early in September. A van full of furniture arrived on the campus. 'It was the furniture factory owner and his son. They couldn't get a driver to make the trip,' said Dr. Kuhn, 'so they drove the van from North Carolina themselves.' On the eve of opening day, 20 people showed up and spent a Sunday tidying up the buildings, 'including one lady who had read that we were opening and just came down to see if anything needed dusting,' Dr. Kuhn said.
  • UMBC opened on September 19 with 750 students, 3 buildings (Gym I, Lecture Hall I), and the older wing of the Biological Sciences building, 45 faculty members, 35 support staff and 500 parking spaces.
    •  “Each of you brings individual background, talents and education to our new campus. Collectively, you are a different student body from any previously assembled. In working with the faculty and staff of UMBC, make the most of this opportunity to help create a center of learning in which those who give their best in the laboratory and on the playing field develop a brilliance that is the mark of their efforts and the UMBC environment.” – Albin O. Kuhn, UMBC News 1, no. 1 (1966):1. (accessed September 15, 2014).
  • Gabija Brasauskas was the first student to register and Doug Gordon, '70, history, was elected first SGA president.
  • W. Richard Mentzer became UMBC's first athletic director and Del Langdon the first men's lacrosse coach. Men?s soccer was the first intercollegiate sport played at UMBC and earned high praise despite a 4-1 loss to Maryland.
  • The first dance was held in the University Cafeteria with music by the Marauders. Admission was free with a student i.d. and $.50 for guests. Did you dance to the music of the Marauders?
  • The Math Club was formed.
  • The Chesapeake Bay Retriever was selected as UMBC mascot.
  • The first student theatrical performance was staged with excerpts from The Importance of Being Earnest, Hamlet, Macbeth and A Streetcar Named Desire.
  • A modern dance concert group performance was noted as the "first cultural event."
  • The Classical Languages program was established by Walt Sherman.


  • Campus enrollment nearly doubled to 1400 students as UMBC continued to grow academically and physically.
    Albin O. Kuhn was appointed the first UMBC chancellor.
  • The Baltimore Colts played UMBC in basketball and the baseball team played its first game. The first varsity men's lacrosse game ended in defeat to Loyola College and men's basketball played its first varsity contest after a year on the club level. Richard Watts was named second athletic director.
  • First intercollegiate game played at UMBC is a men’s soccer game against University of Maryland, College Park on November 4, 1966.
  • The UMBC’s women’s basketball team forms without a coach. They play (and win) their first game on January 11, 1969.
  • UMBC announces its first Winter Session. It is the first university in Maryland to offer such classes.
  • A student forum on academics was held, led by Homer Schamp, and "Student Issues Week" aired student-faculty-administration issues in public forums.
  • The first permanent police patrol was established.
  • Student Glenn Blanchard led a protest over on-campus Marine Corps recruitment.
  • The first Student/Faculty Convocation was held in October.
  • Sam, the first live Chesapeake Bay Retreiver mascot, was given to UMBC. Born on January 12, 1967, Sam's first campus appearance was at a men's lacrosse game in May. (The Retriever, vol. 1, no. 16 (May 15, 1967): 3.
  • UMBC students appeared on WBAL-TV to discuss their first-year experience.
  • Charlie Byrd headlined at UMBC's "Jazz Day" and Otis Redding performed on campus, just months before his tragic death in a plane accident.
  • A portion of the Student Union opened and the student court system was established.
  • Paul Sekulik, '72, theatre, was elected second SGA president.
  • Dialogue, the first literary magazine, was published.


  • Debate abounded on campus during 1968, with internal and external topics receiving attention. A "Vietnam Teach-In" was held with opposing viewpoints represented and a "Time Out Day" focused on issues facing students on campus and in larger society.
  • Debate over literary magazine Dialogue continued to raise community concerns over the appropriateness of its subject matter.
  • Phase I of the Library opened.
  • A women's basketball team formed, playing initially without a coach, and men?s basketball won its first intercollegiate game. Men's and women's tennis played their first matches. Were you one of the first Retriever athletes? What's your most vivid memory?
  • The first Winter Session classes were announced. UMBC was the first campus in Maryland and one of only 26 in the nation to offer winter session classes.
  • The Temptations performed at a student dance on campus and a student pizza-eating contest attracted many participants. We know who the winners were. Do you?


  • In the year of Woodstock, UMBC continued to embrace "revolutionary" ideas. UMBC's Sage Players staged Keep the Peace Baby, a rock musical version of the classic Greek comedy, Lysistrata newly translated by Ancient Studies faculty members Jay Freyman and Walt Sherwin and adapted by Clyde Rader, instructor of speech and drama. Did this musical really rock?
  • Red Brick, a provocative student publication, created controversy in the surrounding community and debates continued as students and the administration discussed greater student involvement in campus services and faculty contract decisions.
  • The campus literary magazine, Dialogue, publishes a series of nude photographs by artist Robert Stark. The publication draws criticism from legislators and creates rifts between UMBC administrators and the university’s faculty and students.
  • Seventy-six 1970 class members protested the granting of the "first" UMBC diplomas to five seniors who did not arrive as freshmen in 1966.
  • The Mathematics/Psychology building opened and Humanities was the first UMBC division to offer evening classes to current students and qualifying community members.
  • UMBC was among an early group of universities that required education majors to complete an academic major along with teacher training.
  • Professors Walt Sherwin, Jay Freyman and Rudy Storch founded UMBC's first overseas study program, "Rome: Ancient and Modern," leading 42 students on a three-week tour that included stops in London and Paris, followed by two weeks in Rome.
  • Women's basketball won its first contest and five days later UMBC would defeat its first four-year school with a win at Morgan State.



  • With the commencement of its first freshman class on June 7, 1970, UMBC fulfilled one of the paramount goals of a university - to produce graduates. In all, 241 students were granted degrees.
  • The Chemistry Building and Dorm I opened with 61 men and 57 women in residence and a dining hall soon followed. Did you attend the Dorm I reunion? What are your favorite memories from dorm life?
  • Graduate work began at UMBC with the establishment of a master?s degree in Applied Mathematics and the Departments of Social Work and Ancient Studies were established.
  • Students led the first Earth Day activities for the campus and surrounding communities.
  • A sit-in was staged by students protesting faculty hiring and firing policies and the lack of reinstatement of four specific instructors. Students continued with a sleep-in and held a peaceful rally the next day attended by 300. One result was the Faculty Senate's acceptance of student representation on committees reviewing faculty and the development and use of an instrument measuring teacher effectiveness.
  • The Retriever ceased publication for several weeks, seemingly due to lack of funding and conflict between newspaper staff and the SGA.
  • The Class of 1970 raised over $13,000 for student emergency loans through corporate/community service initiatives. Organizers included Jeannette Lampron, Royce Bradshaw, Arthur Kahn, Barbara Drees, James Starr and James Rogers.
  • Women's basketball competed in the first Maryland Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament and UMBC was officially accepted into its first athletic conference, the Mason Dixon Athletic Conference, remaining members through 1978 and again from 1983 - 1986.
  • Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman came to campus as part of a 'political/rock program.'


  • Albin O. Kuhn resigned his position as UMBC's first chancellor, succeeded by Calvin B. T. Lee.
  • The Department of African-American Studies was established and the theatre program became a department.
  • The Women's Union formed and the first women's studies course was offered.
  • Lecture Hall II, the Dining Hall, the Chemistry building, Dorm II (Chesapeake Hall), the campus greenhouse, and the Physical Plant opened.
  • Student enrollment was approximately 2,800.
  • The Faculty Senate recommended that UMBC seek to have a total enrollment of 10-15,000 students.
  • UMBC's wrestling team competed in its first match and the program would continue until the 1977-1978 season.


  • Student enrollment grew to 4,700, including 1,600 freshmen.
  • A UMBC song was created by personnel officer John Hollt. A three-verse tune, the words to the song were written to match the theme from the film Romeo and Juliet. Hollt began the project on his own initiative and completed it in just one hour. Does anyone remember the lyrics?
  • The UMBC Symphony was founded by Robert Gerle and Gym II - the Fieldhouse - opened.
  • Al Flora's Bar in Arbutus refused service to "long haired" people.
  • The fencing team, UMBC's only co-ed sport, debuted, playing against Johns Hopkins. The program continued for eight years.


  • Watergate was in the news and in the classroom as UMBC students enrolled in a new course, "Watergate: The Constitutional Questions."
  • Undergraduate enrollment topped 5,000.
  • A new recreation center opened and Gym I added night hours. The Fine Arts, Social Sciences and Administration buildings and another dorm (Patapsco Hall) opened.
  • A "buddy program" was launched for incoming freshmen and "Guys and Dolls," a campus dating service, began. Did you find your perfect match through Guys and Dolls? Tell us about it.
  • Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology, was recognized on campus.
  • Men's basketball won the Potomac Intercollegiate Conference Championship.
  • Steve Rothfield was senior class president and invited psychologist B.F. Skinner to give the commencement address and receive an honorary degree.
  • UMBC awards 543 undergraduate degrees.
  • Psychology is most popular undergraduate major (140 graduates).
  • UMBC awards its first graduate degrees. (Master’s degrees in applied math.)
  • The state budget appropriation to UMBC is under $10 million, comprising over 70% of university’s revenue.
  • The Alumni House at 5451 Wilkens Ave. was acquired by the university.


  • UMBC's production of You're a Good Man Charlie Brown received national recognition at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, university theatre’s most prestigious competition. Were you a part of the theatre scene at UMBC? What was your favorite performance and why?
  • Delta Sigma Theta sorority established a UMBC chapter and the Pleasure Pit, in the basement of Lecture Hall I, was a popular student hang-out.
  • Men's lacrosse, guided by head coach Dick Watts, placed 10th for small colleges in the Associated Press poll. See The Retriever, March 25, 1974 for more information.
  • Mel Hammell, '76, history, pitched UMBC's first no-hitter, winning against Coppin State.
  • A master's degree program in Policy Sciences was established.
  • Board of Regents approved construction plans for Academic IV, additions to Gym II and the Commuter Cafeteria and the building of a University commons. A Library addition was completed.
  • Robert Nielsen arrives at UMBC and begins serving as Director of the Public Safety Department. Before Nielsen arrived, the police were known as the Security Department, which Gorden Beere run, and fell under the Physical Plant Administration. The Public Safety Department began to be directly responsible to the Chancellor. During the Spring, Nielsen would also teach an freshman English composition course. (September)
  • A series of bomb threats disrupts campus, possibly to disrupt exams. (November)
  • The warehouse building on Popular Ave. was built. 


  • UMBC's library took center stage when it won an award for architectural significance from the Baltimore chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
  • Stadium construction began and men's lacrosse ranked number one in NCAA Division I standings. The men's cross country team won its first Mason Dixon title, capping a perfect 10 - 0 season. Were you a lax man or a harrier? How did it feel to be on such winning teams?
  • The Library Gallery was established.
  • A graduate program in applied sociology was approved by the Board of Regents.
  • The Office of Cooperative Education is created at UMBC. This office is the forerunner of today’s Shriver Center, which is established in December 1993.
  • The parking lines along the loop were eliminated and Loop Road construction continued past Hillcrest Building with the goal of encircling the campus.


  • UMBC's first graduate program came to fruition when the first Ph.D. degree was awarded in applied mathematics.
  • Progressions, one of the longest-running contemporary art festivals in the U.S., premiered.
  • After a spring semester of strong opposition from faculty and students, Chancellor Calvin B.T. Lee resigns his position. Louis L. Kaplan, former Chancellor of the University of Maryland’s Board of Regents, is named as the interim Chancellor.
  • Students protested tuition fee increases and rumors of cell blocks in the UMBC police building were squelched.
  • Cathy Hardy's arrest on campus on October 8, 1976 encourages demonstrations. Officer Glenn Johnson made the arrest after Hardy, the African American secretary to the Director of Student Activities, ran two stop signs without a license and reportedly assaulted Johnson. Chancellor Kaplan supports the Department.
  • The UMBC Stadium Complex was constructed.
  • There must have been a lot more that happened in 1976. Help fill in the details!


  • John Dorsey – Administrative Vice President at the University of Maryland, College Park – is appointed as UMBC’s third Chancellor.
    • “Most importantly, [UMBC Acting Vice Chancellor Robert K.] Webb said UMBC must provide ‘programs to catch up with the quality of the faculty we’ve got.’ He said UMBC’s role in the Baltimore area was a distinctive one. ‘It’s the only publicly supported university in the genuine sense of the term.’ ” – The Retriever  August 29, 1978

  • James Motsay, '78, political science, became the first student regent from UMBC.
  • The Retrievers had a great year as men's soccer gave UMBC its first NCAA tournament bid, women's lacrosse was undefeated, men's basketball had its first win over a Division I program and Kathy Zerrlaut became UMBC's first female Coach of the Year.
  • UMBC staged its first opera, The Marriage of Figaro and the Maryland Camerata choir was established. Were you a UMBC music buff? What was the most memorable performance you saw and why?
  • Construction begins for a new Police headquarters on campus. (June)


  • Everybody into the pool! UMBC's Natatorium, an Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool, opened.
  • The first Madrigal Festival was held, with performers garbed in Elizabethan dress.
  • A Ph.D. program in biochemistry was established.
  • UMBC rented dormitory space from St. Mary's Seminary in Catonsville to accommodate an overflow of resident students. Were you a St. Maryan? What was it like?
  • Despite its growing resident student population, UMBC is still largely a commuter campus. By the end of the 1970s, the university will have over 3,000 parking spaces. The first parking meters are installed in 1978, with a fee of 10¢ per hour.
  • A Campus Beautification Committee was established to make the campus a more attractive, educational experience with the addition of sculptures, fountains and other visual effects.
  • In May, the Department of Public Safety hired its first female security officer. Donna Reed had just completed her junior year at UMBC and was majoring in sociology.


  • After a decade of graduating classes, UMBC's Alumni Association was formed.
  • UMBC’s innovative Option II program, established in 1969 to allow students to develop their own courses of study, becomes the Interdisciplinary Studies department.
  • Men's basketball advanced to the quarter finals of the NCAA Division II championships. Men's baseball, basketball, lacrosse and soccer were all nationally ranked.
  • UMBC's production of five plays by Samuel Beckett won three awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
  • A master's degree program in instructional development was initiated.
  • Students successfully recommended renaming dormitories with the names of Maryland waterways: Susquehanna (Dorm I), Chesapeake (Dorm II) and Patapsco (Dorm III). Were you part of the naming committee? What were some of the choices that didn't make it?
  • The Blizzard of '79 left much of the campus blanketed in snow for several days. Come on - you can tell what you did during the Blizzard of '79.



  • 1980 heralded the beginning of two beloved campus traditions - Quadmania and Homecoming.
  • Undergraduate enrollment topped 5,800.
  • Men's lacrosse won the NCAA Division II National Championship. It is the university's only team intercollegiate title. The next year, the university moves to Division I in the sport.
  • UMBC's Steve Zerhusen played for the Ft. Lauderdale Strikes of the North American Soccer League.
  • UMBC graduated 17 ancient studies majors - a number second only to Harvard - and the Association of American Colleges ranked UMBC's modern languages and linguistics program among the top 10 nationally.
  • The Department of Emergency Health Services created the first bachelor's degree program in this field in the nation.
  • Academic IV and the Hillcrest apartments (West Hills) opened.
  • A fire in Chesapeake (Dorm II) caused $25,000 in damage but no injuries.
  • UMBC students joined anti-draft demonstrations in D.C. Did you march on Washington? What was it like?


  • Enrollment continued to rise, with over 6,300 students on campus.
  • UMBC created the first applied molecular biology master's degree program in the U.S.
  • Computer science became UMBC's first bachelor of sciences degree program and an honors program was established.
  • The Terrace apartments opened with room for 400 students. Were you a Terrace dweller? What was it like to live in the newest digs on campus?
  • Over 1,000 people protested the rumored merger of UMBC and UMB.
  • Men's lacrosse moved up to NCAA Division I competition.
  • Quad concerts featured Skyhawk, Smile, Rave, the Emperors and Face Dancer.
  • Media reports that Sheldon Knorr, executive director of the Maryland Higher Education Commission, will propose that UMBC be shut down and turned into an industrial park create a campus firestorm. Students, faculty and administrators rally to defend the university.
    • “Photographers snapped away as [UMBC Chancellor John] Dorsey deplored the ‘unfortunate incident.’ Saying the newspaper reports were ‘demoralizing and damaging,’ Dorsey asserted that ‘if the threat is real, we are prepared to ­fight it.’ ” – The Retriever March 4, 1981


  • The University Center opened, housing a bookstore, cafe, recreation room, meeting rooms, SGA offices and a ballroom.
  • Undergraduate enrollment was nearly 7,000.
  • MIPAR - the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research - was founded.
  • A women's studies minor was approved and the first degrees in computer science and information systems were awarded.
  • Class of 1982 - what are your favorite memories? Help fill in the blanks.
  • Terrace Apartments became the new addition to the campus residence halls.


  • UMBC's arts community continued to grow with the creation of Phoenix, a professional dance company-in-residence established by dance department chair Liz Walton. Are you a dance alum? What do you remember most about the program?
  • UMBC's Joey Molz was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/McDonald?s All-American Soccer Team.
  • A conference on "Marxism: 100 Years Later" drew scholars from across the U.S. and Europe to UMBC.
  • UMBC starts the K-9 patrol. Rocky, a German Shephard, serves as the sole dog in the force. The K-9 unit is one of the first of its kind, and other universities write to UMBC for advice in starting their own K-9 forces.
  • UMBC awards 730 undergraduate degrees.
  • The computer science department awards 27 undergraduate degrees.
  • First Ph.D. awarded in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (Public Policy).
  • The state budget appropriation to UMBC is still under $20 million, comprising roughly 50% of university revenue.
  • Annual research expenditures have yet to break $2.5 million.
  • Addition to Biological Sciences Building opens.


  • In keeping with its reputation for innovation, UMBC established the Image Laboratory - the genesis of the Imaging Research Center now on campus today. Part of the initial funding came from Jim Henson, creator of the "Muppets" and a University of Maryland graduate.
  • Maryland State Board of Higher Education approved engineering degree programs at UMBC at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels.
  • An exchange program brought a student delegation from Hanover, Germany to campus.
  • UMBC hosted an international conference on the literature of Africa and the first Annual Indian Music and Dance competition was held.
  • UMBC announced its intention to install cable service in all dorms.
  • Rocky, UMBC's police dog, was a popular campus VIP (Very Important Pooch). What do you remember about Rocky? Where did he live? What were his duties?
  • The women's lacrosse team won the ECAC Division II championship.
  • The Student Development & Success Center opened its doors.


  • Parlez-vous Francais? UMBC's France-TV Magazine was created and continues to be broadcast to hundreds of schools, colleges and universities throughout the country.
  • UMBC's modern languages and linguistics program was one of the first in the country to develop "immersion" techniques in language instruction.
  • Full undergraduate programs in mechanical and chemical engineering were offered for the first time.
  • The first production of Shakespeare on Wheels, A Midsummer Night's Dream, traveled to 11 sites in Maryland.
  • West Hills apartment residents were evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Gloria, which ultimately resulted in no damage to campus. Were you on campus for Hurricane Gloria? What was it like?
  • Undergraduate enrollment approached 8,000.
  • Karin Wagner, '85, interdisciplinary studies, finished eighth in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Division II nationals, having finished 17th in the Boston Marathon earlier that spring.
  • Claudia Ordonez, '87, biological sciences, was appointed Student Regent.


  • Chancellor John Dorsey resigns. Bennington College president Michael Hooker is named as UMBC’s fourth Chancellor.
  • UMBC marked its 20th anniversary with the arrival of Michael Hooker as its fourth chancellor. Who remembers UMBC's 20th? How was the anniversary celebrated?
  • A master's program in applied physics was implemented.
  • UMBC graduated its first class of engineers: eight bachelor's degrees and one master's degree and the engineering student organizations ASME, AIChE and Council of Majors were established.
  • Undergraduate enrollment topped 8,500.
  • The number of bachelor's degrees awarded at commencement exceeded 1,000 for the first time.
  • Men's and women's swimming competed in their first intercollegiate competitions and UMBC played its first contest as a full-fledged NCAA Division I-AAA member, as the men's soccer team defeated Randolph-Macon.
  • UMBC undertakes comprehensive strategic planning for the first time in its history, partly in response to critical comments from the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.


  • Preserved for posterity, True Grit was the live model who posed for the bronze sculpture of UMBC's Chesapeake Bay Retriever mascot created by Paulette Raye, '87, philosophy.
  • The Maryland Stage Company, UMBC's professional theatre company-in-residence staged its first production, A Winter's Tale.
  • Maryland State Board of Higher Education approved a master's degree program in engineering management, jointly offered by UMBC and UMUC and UMBC graduated its first MS degrees in chemical and mechanical engineering.
  • The Imaging Research Center was established to develop, research, and implement new technologies in digital and media arts.
  • UMBC's debate team earned a number one ranking in the U.S.
  • Graduate programs offering master's degrees in engineering management and master's and doctorates in operations analysis were created.
  • The USM President's Club, which acknowledged donors who pledged $10k or more gained its first alumni members - James Atsaides ('71, psychology), Kevin Bress ('75, economics), Brenda ('82, nursing) and Thomas M. Callahan ('80, political science), Richard S. Cassard, Jr. ('80, political science), Nathan Chapman ('80, political science/economics), Winston Griner ('74, biological sciences) and Michele Hayes ('83, political science).
  • Students celebrated as The Rat re-opened its doors. Why was The Rat closed? What was your favorite past time at The Rat?
  • Women's basketball standout Tammy McCarthy, '87, economics, became the first player in Maryland history to score 2,000 career points.
  • Hillside Apartments opened.


  • A reorganization of the administrative structure of the state's public colleges and universities resulted in the creation of the University of Maryland System, with each school now headed by a president, not a chancellor.
  • Winston Griner, '74, biological sciences, became UMBC's first Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, presented to an alumna/us who has achieved national recognition for excellence in his/her profession or field of endeavor.
  • With initial accreditation received by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology for bachelor's programs in mechanical and chemical engineering, UMBC's engineering faculty surpassed $1 million in research funding for the year and the Technology Research Center was established to provide space for research and development laboratories.
  • The first Engineering Day was celebrated and the first Engineer of the Year Awards presented.
  • UMBC's Honors College was established.
  • The Meyerhoff Scholars Program is founded. The effort becomes internationally renowned for its advancement of diversity in the sciences and engineering, and creates a model for pedagogical innovation across UMBC’s campus.
  • The first Engineering Day was celebrated as UMBC's undergraduate programs in chemical and mechanical engineering earned national accreditation.
  • The Athletics Department announced its plans to replace field hockey with women's soccer.
  • The Retriever Weekly protested and won the right to name its own editor-in-chief.
  • Jellomania debuted on campus.


  • UMBC's first Research and Teaching Professors were named: Robert K. Webb, history (Research), and Jay Freyman, ancient studies (Teaching). These annual awards recognize the work of outstanding UMBC faculty.
  • The Meyerhoff Scholars Program enrolls its first students.
  • The Center for Structural Biochemistry, one of six such centers in the world, was established at UMBC with a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
  • National Geographic selected UMBC as the site for the Maryland Geography Alliance, a teacher-training program benefiting schools throughout the state.
  • Ground was broken for the new Engineering-Computer Science Building.
  • The Fine Arts Gallery (now the Center for Art Design and Visual Culture) opened, emphasizing contemporary art in all media. What have been some of your favorite arts activities on campus?
  • The End of the Edge new music series, created by UMBC music professor Stuart Saunders Smith, made its debut.
  • Men's basketball won the inaugural Baltimore Beltway Tournament with a win over Towson and gymnast Jenny Webster, '89, health science and policy, had the best all-around performance in UMBC history.
  • A proposed merger between UMBC and the University of Baltimore is voted down by the University System of Maryland’s Regents.



  • At UMBC's 21st commencement, 30 graduates received Ph.D. degrees, more than double the number that had been awarded the year before. The biggest increases were in Ph.D.s awarded in computer science, applied physics and psychology.
  • The ESIP program - Elementary Science Integration Project - funded by the National Science Foundation was established.
  • Spanish-TV Magazine, created by Alan Bell, debuted.
  • The Center for Bioprocess Manufacturing was established under the Maryland Biotechnology Institute and the first Mini Baja Cars Race invitational was held by UMBC, with student-designed cars entered by such institutions as Bucknell, Penn State, RPI and Virginia Tech. The Center for Photonics Technology was also established.
  • UMBC's total enrollment reached 10,000 students and sponsored project awards reached a new milestone - $10 million.
  • A Campus Master Plan was presented, covering physical development to the year 2010. Among its recommendations were "softening" the look of the campus with additional trees and plantings, adding more campus housing and doubling academic space - for offices, classrooms and laboratories.
  • Larry Simmons, '90, economics, broke UMBC's all-time men's basketball record with his 1,729th point. He finished his career with 1,805 points. Who remembers Larry's record-breaking moment? How about other favorite Retriever hoops moments?


  • Three UMBC engineering professors - Jayavant Gore, Jay Humphrey and Govind Rao - were named Presidential Young Investigators by the National Science Foundation.
  • The Geography Laboratory for Spatial Analysis opened.
  • Physics professor Larrabee Strow was awarded a 10-year, $2.7 million contract from NASA to develop the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) project to study the earth's environment.
  • The first Ph.D. in electrical engineering was awarded, as well as the first master's degrees in engineering management.
  • The first Presidential Young Investigator Awards were presented to UMBC engineering faculty members Jay Gore, Jay Humphrey and Govind Rao.
  • The Office of International Programs was created. Were you a UMBC international student? Tell us about your experiences.
  • The first Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition was held.
  • The softball team played its first varsity contest - a doubleheader at Drexel.
  • UMBC's Women's Center was established to assist women in achieving their full potential in education, work and personal lives through personal empowerment, academic and intellectual growth and professional development.
  • A merger plan for UMBC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore wins approval in Maryland’s House but is not taken up by the State Senate.
  • The university issues its first comprehensive strategic plan – Advancing the Greater Baltimore Region: The Strategic Enhancement of UMBC. The focus of the plan is bolstering the university’s strengths in the sciences, engineering, mathematics and technology – as well as in public policy.


  • Michael Hooker leaves UMBC to become president of the University of Massachusetts system. UMBC’s executive vice president, Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, is named as interim president.
  • Having outgrown the Fieldhouse, Commencement moved to the Baltimore Arena, where 1,500 bachelor's degrees and almost 200 master's and Ph.D. degrees were awarded.
  • UMBC's College of Engineering was officially approved and established, independent from the University of Maryland, College Park.
  • The Engineering and Computer Science building opened. Potomac Hall opened, making campus housing available to 350 more students and bringing the on-campus student population to over 2,200.
  • The Humanities Scholars program was initiated. Were you a Humanities Scholar? What did you like best about the program? What are you doing now?
  • Baseball became UMBC's first team in its NCAA Division I history to advance to the NCAA regionals through the efforts of players such as Shawn Shugars, '94, economics, Craig Grasser, '97, geography, and Greg Elliott, '94, psychology.
  • Derell Thompson, biological sciences '92, set a UMBC record by scoring 43 points in a game against Towson and Jason Smith, '95, history, scored a record-setting 10 goals in a win over Colgate in men's lacrosse.
  • Melissa Scarborough, '97, interdisciplinary studies, tied an NCAA softball record by hitting three triples in one game and Steve Marohl, history '93, broke a USILA single-season assist mark with his 74th in a game against Towson. He finished the year with 77 assists.
  • UMBC shone as it won the President's Cup in the East Coast Conference, symbolizing the overall excellence of the athletic program, and lights were added to the Stadium.


  • The first class of Meyerhoff Scholars graduated, going on to graduate programs at Northwestern, Princeton, Penn State and the University of Pennsylvania, among others.
  • Freeman Hrabowski became UMBC's fifth president.
    • “We will continue to strengthen our arts and sciences programs, for the benefi­t of all our students. We will be a national leader in educating students in science and engineering, including minorities and women. And we will continue to focus on issues of diversity.” – Freeman A. Hrabowski, III   Installation address as President of UMBC

  • Loren Siebert, '93, computer science, became UMBC's first Marshall Scholar.
  • The Shriver Center, named for Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, officially opened. Did you volunteer or intern through the Shriver Center? What are some of your favorite memories?
  • A Master of Fine Arts degree program in imaging and digital arts was established.
  • Mike Meyer, '95, interdisciplinary studies, won the ECAC Golf Championship with a birdie on the third playoff hole. Volleyball standout Kelly O'Brien, '94, psychology, became the 18th player in NCAA history to record 2,000 career kills and Bobby Wagner, '95, health science and policy, was named UMBC's first Division I All American in men?s soccer.
  • Number of undergraduate degrees awarded has more than doubled in past decade to 1,558.
  • Huge growth in undergraduate degrees granted in engineering and information technology (54 in 1983 to 353 in 1993.)
  • The number of Ph.D.s awarded by UMBC leaps to 49. (Six in 1983)
  • State appropriation to UMBC more than doubles to over $40 million, and less than 40% of university revenue comes from state funds. Research funding at the university is more than $7.5 million.
  • UMBC's Tau Beta Pi chapter, MD Delta, was founded as the 217th chapter of the Tau Beta Pi Association on December 11, 1993.
  • Engineering Computer Science Building opened.
  • Potomac Hall was constructed.


  • From the sciences to foreign affairs, UMBC's faculty received national recognition. Michael Summers, chemistry and biochemistry professor, was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
  • L. Michael Hayden, physics professor, was awarded one of 17 Cottrell Scholarships.
  • Warren Cohen, history professor, was named the first scholar-in-residence at the U.S. Department of State's National Foreign Affairs Training Center.
  • The Center for Health Program Development and Management was established on July 1, 1994.
  • The Discovery Channel's five-part series, "The Human Brain: Our Universe Within," included animation produced by the Imaging Research Center.
  • UMBC was ranked 25th by the American Chemical Society for the number of ACS-approved chemistry/biochemistry undergraduate degrees granted.
  • Jack Suess, '81, mathematics, MS '95, now UMBC's chief information officer and vice president of IT, developed one of UMBC's first Internet homepages.
  • The President's Commission for Women Achievement Award was established, acknowledging a UMBC employee or student whose individual efforts have worked to improve the quality of life for women and others.
  • Missy Quille, '02, sociology, recorded UMBC's first "triple-double" with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in tournament play. David Miller, '96, economics, was named Eastern Intercollegiate Most Outstanding Swimmer for an unprecedented second straight year.
  • Adam Sandler performed on campus. Who saw Adam Sandler when he was on campus? Was he funny?


  • The Middle States Association of Colleges gave UMBC an unconditional accreditation, noting that UMBC "has achieved truly remarkable progress in becoming an excellent center of undergraduate education and is poised to become a center of graduate education and research of the very first rank."
  • UMBC rebrands itself as “An Honors University in Maryland” – a new title that reflects the institution’s achievements and aspirations.
  • An expanded Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery opened, drawing thousands of visitors to MindFest, a two-day celebration of the intellectual life of the university. Did you attend the opening? What was the best part of the celebration?
  • The Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) was established, operating under cooperative agreement between UMBC and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to develop new technology for environmental remote sensing.
  • Nineteen freshmen enrolled as the first class of Linehan Artist Scholars, a program for high-achieving students in visual and performing arts supported by a $1 million gift from Earl and Darielle Linehan.
  • UMBC hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I men's basketball finals in Baltimore. In addition, UMBC was one of the first five schools awarded unconditional certification from the NCAA for meeting guidelines on academic excellence, equity for women and minorities and fiscal integrity.
  • Softball/volleyball standout Jennifer Jewell, '95, psychology, was named Maryland's NCAA Woman of the Year and the volleyball team captured the Big South championship title.


  • As UMBC turned 30, the number of Ph.D.s awarded had more than doubled in six years, with 63 graduates earning doctorates. Sixteen hundred students received bachelor's degrees and 318 received master's degrees including the first recipients a of new Master of Fine Arts in Imaging and Digital Arts.
  • UMBC acquired the former Lockheed-Martin office complex to create techcenter@umbc.
  • The first permanent full-time dean of the Graduate School at UMBC, Scott A. Bass, was hired. Prior to 1995, one dean served both UMBC and UMB in the joint University of Maryland Graduate School, Baltimore.
  • Chemistry professor Michael Summers and a team of UMBC students reported in Science that they had successfully characterized the HIV-1 capsid protein.
  • UMBC holds its first Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD) – a demonstration of the university’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate education.
  • UMBC's chess team hosted the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Championship in Baltimore and won.
  • The Meyerhoff Scholarship Program was opened to people of all backgrounds committed to increasing the representation of minorities in science and engineering.
  • Course registration was performed via telephone through STARS.
  • On-campus housing had a 300-person waiting list.
  • The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching honored a member of the UMBC community for the fourth consecutive year as Maryland Professor of the Year. Associate professor of modern languages and linguistics Thomas Fields joined Kristan Presnell, '83, computer science, '98, Ph.D., Stephen Vicchio, '73, interdisciplinary studies, and Jay Freyman, associate professor of ancient studies, in being honored by the Foundation.
  • Kathy Zerrlaut coached the final game of her 24-year UMBC career in both volleyball and lacrosse. Were you a member of Coach Zerrlaut's teams? Tell us your most vivid memory.
  • UMBC's Jay Witasick debuted with the Oakland Athletics and became the first Retriever to play in the major leagues. He has enjoyed a 10-year major league career, including World Series appearances in 2001 (Yankees) and 2002 (Giants).
  • A new track and field complex was opened and new turf installed at UMBC Stadium.


  • UMBC was one of six institutions in the nation to receive the first Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
  • Phi Beta Kappa, one of the most prestigious honor societies, established a chapter at UMBC.
  • UMBC's production of Diary of a Scoundrel performed at the national Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and won both individual and institutional awards.
  • The debate team was the first from a U.S. public university invited to join the American Parliamentary Debate Association.
  • The Model United Nations team ranked in the top 10 percent of institutions competing in the national conference.
  • Men's and women's crew teams were ranked in the top five in the Mid-Atlantic, with the women's team winning the gold medal at Philadelphia's Frostbite Regatta.
  • David Bobb, '02, health administration and policy, earned his 3rd, 4th and 5th All American awards in track and field and was ranked as the fastest American-born sprinter in collegiate competition that year.
  • The first winter graduation ceremony was hosted at the request of students. Were you a part of the first winter graduation ceremony? What was it like?
  • UMBC's first Dean?s List was unveiled.
  • After more than a decade of protests and lawsuits, construction begins on bwtech@UMBC − a research park at the university. The process also yields the 50-acre Conservation and Environmental Research Areas (CERA), with much of it adjacent to the new research park.
  • The African-American studies department became the Department of Africana Studies.
  • UMBC launched its first capital campaign with a goal of raising $50 million. By the campaign’s end in 2002, it has raised $66 million.
  • UMBC joined Internet2 and Teaching, Learning and Technology Brown Bag workshops were first offered to the campus community.
  • The first Provost's Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day took place.
  • Facilities Management Building was built.


  • UMBC inducted its first students into Phi Beta Kappa.
  • Men's swimming captured the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference title.
  • Women's lacrosse won the Northeast Conference regular season and men's lacrosse earned its first bid to the NCAA Division I Championships. Men's golf won the Northeast Conference title.
  • Women's volleyball won the Northeast Conference title in its first season of NEC play and was awarded a spot in the NCAA Division I Championship Tournament. UMBC's Joanne Marshall was named the tournament's MVP.
  • Women's tennis won a post in the NCAA Division I Championship Tournament, its first Division I tournament bid.
  • UMBC's Hilltop Avenue entrance was reconstructed to include a roundabout. Do you remember life before the roundabout? How long did it take you to get used to it?
  • The Center for Women in Technology (CWIT) is founded by Joan Korenman – a professor of English and director of the UMBC’s gender and women’s studies department.
  • UMBC's new campus portal (myUMBC) and its redesigned homepage won Gold Medals in Excellence from the Council in Support and Advancement of Education (CASE).


  • Yahoo! Internet Life magazine named UMBC one of "America's 100 Most Wired Colleges."
  • The American Association of Museums awarded UMBC first place for excellence in design for the Fine Arts Gallery publication series, Issues in Cultural Theory.
  • The Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program launched with an endowment of $6 million that attracted leadership support from The France-Merrick Foundation, The Abell Foundation, The Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation and The Annie E. Casey Foundation, along with gifts from more than 20 other individual and foundation donors.
  • The Shriver Center was recognized by The Templeton Guide: Colleges That Encourage Character Development.
  • UMBC won a $200,000 Maryland Higher Education grant to support faculty development in the use of technology.
  • UMBC's Graduate School awarded 325 graduate degrees, setting records for both master's and doctoral degrees conferred and sponsored project awards reached a new milestone - $50 million.
  • The first phase of Erickson Hall was opened to students, adding an additional 255 beds to campus housing made possible through a $1.25 gift from the Erickson Foundation.
  • Blackboard, a Web-based course management application, was first used for the first time at UMBC to support an online master's degree program in information systems.
  • The chess team won the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship for the third time in four years. Were you on the UMBC chess team? What's your favorite memory?
  • The Presidential Distinguished Staff Award - Professional Staff was established, recognizing exceptional performance, leadership and service by a full-time member of the associate staff.
  • The Center for the Humanities was established.
  • UMBC was the first school to ever win the Northeast Conference Commissioner's Cup in its first year of conference participation.
  • Tennis player Oscar Lopez, mechanical engineering/mathematics '00 MS '02, became UMBC's first-ever First Team Academic All American.
  • The Retriever Activities Center was added to the existing athletics complex, doubling the indoor space of the facility.
  • Men's soccer won the Northeast Conference title and advanced to NCAA Tournament play where they fell to Duke in overtime. The team held the nation's best winning percentage that year.
  • Physics Building opened.



  • UMBC received its largest research contract ever when it was selected to lead a consortium of universities and private-sector companies in a $70 million, five-year cooperative agreement with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to develop the Goddard Earth Science and Technology (GEST) Center. A renewal of the GEST agreement in 2005 brought the total amount to $140 million.
  • UMBC received a $1 million gift to endow the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship.
  • The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) ranked UMBC among the leading producers of chemistry and biochemistry degrees, especially those awarded to minority students.
  • UMBC’s Honors University Task Force issues its fi­nal report. Among its recommendations are making “the rigorous ways of learning” offered through selective programs at the university available to the wider student body.
  • The Carnegie Foundation classified UMBC among the top tier research universities, Doctoral/Research Universities - Extensive, achieving 50 or more doctoral degrees per year across at least 15 disciplines.
  • The Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education was established.
  • William A. Whiteford, '80, interdisciplinary studies, won an Oscar for best short documentary film.
  • Chester Hedgepeth, '93, biological sciences, a member of the first class of Meyerhoff Scholars, became the first African American student to receive an M.D./Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
  • UMBC developed its first Information Technology Strategic Plan.
  • Kaplan Newsweek College Catalog rated UMBC a "best value," the only Maryland university named in this category.
  • The Presidential Distinguished Staff Award - Non-Exempt Staff was established, recognizing exceptional performance and service by a full-time member of the non-exempt staff.
  • UMBC athletes captured the Northeast Conference Commissioner's Cup for the second consecutive year.
  • Guiliano Celenza, '03, sociology, achieved All American status and later went on the earn MVP honors in the Major Indoor Soccer League All Star game with the Baltimore Blast. UMBC teammates Billy Nelson ('88, economics), P.J. Wakefield ('02, health administration and policy), Andy Wells ('02, psychology) and Brian Rowland ('03, economics) joined Celenza to win league titles with the Blast. What was UMBC like as it entered the new millennium?
  • Erickson Hall opened.


  • The UMBC community came together to mourn and support one another during the week following the September 11 bombings. Activities included a teach-in led by faculty experts, a candlelight vigil, and a Service of Mourning and Reflection.
  • The first e-Lincoln Prize for Civil War research was awarded to assistant professor of history Anne Rubin for her interactive website and CD-ROM, Valley of the Shadow: The Eve of War.
  • President Freeman Hrabowski received the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education and was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • Ground was broken for the first building of bwtech@UMBC, the university's research and technology park complex and sponsored project awards reached a new milestone - $80 million.
  • UMBC adopted the Assured Access Policy, requiring students to own or assure access to a personal computer.
  • UMBC athletes captured the Northeast Conference Commissioner's Cup for the third consecutive year.
  • The gap between the percentage of commuter and resident students narrows to 20 percent.
  • The residence halls were expanded with the construction of Harbor Hall.


  • The Commons opened on the foundation of Gym I, consisting of multiple dining opportunities, the campus bookstore, student lounges, meeting rooms, administrative offices, and space for many of the 180+ UMBC student organizations. What's your favorite place in The Commons?
  • The first wireless access was installed on campus as part of The Commons construction.
  • UMBC's first capital campaign exceeded its $50 million goal, raising $66 million.
  • UMBC's Graduate School awarded over 300 master's degrees - a record number at that time and graduate enrollments increased by more than 50% over 1999 levels for a total of 2,162.
  • Cleopatra Borel, '02, interdisciplinary studies, was UMBC's first NCAA Division I national champion, winning the shot put competition.
  • Women's lacrosse won their first NCAA Division I tournament bid and the softball team advanced to the NCAA Division I tournament.
  • UMBC athletes captured the Northeast Conference Commissioner's Cup for the fourth consecutive year.
  • One of the youngest institutions to compete in NCAA Division I athletics, UMBC was ranked by Sports Illustrated in the top half of all of the 324 programs in the nation.
  • The Shriver Center received a three-year, $1.36 million grant from the National Science Foundation for a new school-university program.
  • Two of the four UMBC Technology Center companies nominated for the Maryland Technology Development Corporation's Incubator of the Year Awards won honors at the ceremony.
  • Harry S. Johnson, '76, political science, was chosen president-elect of the Maryland Bar Association.
  • UMBC was featured as one of America's Hot Schools in the Kaplan/Newsweek "How to Get Into College" guide, along with George Washington University, Boston College and the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
  • Claudia Lenhoff, '91, psychology, was selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to receive one of its Community Health Leadership Awards.
  • Robert A. Schiffer, chief scientist at UMBC's Goddard Earth Science & Technology Center was awarded NASA's highest honor, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.
  • Melodee Baines, '02, modern languages and linguistics, was the first UMBC student to win a grant from the Fulbright Program, the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to undertake international study and research.
  • UMBC's Graduate School was honored by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) for its efforts to build a comprehensive, supportive environment for women and minority graduate students.
  • Margaret Cho performed on campus at the second annual "Make Me Laugh" student comedy competition.


  • UMBC received the Council of Graduate Schools/Petersen's Award for Innovation in Promoting an Inclusive Graduate Community.
  • The ADVANCE program launched at UMBC, funded by a $3.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation and promoting the recruitment and advancement of women faculty in science, technology, engineering and math.
  • The Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research was established in part through a grant from NASA to foster advanced photonics research and technology.
  • The Information Technology/Engineering building opened, serving as a model for creating symbiotic relations between engineering and related information technology transfer.
  • UMBC's Graduate School awarded 425 graduate degrees, once again setting records in the number of master's and doctoral degrees conferred.
  • UMBC's chess team won the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship for the sixth time in seven years, the best record in the tournament's 56-year history.
  • SGA President Phil Shockley '04, information system management, was appointed Student Regent.
  • The Walker Avenue apartments opened, bringing year-round student housing to UMBC.
  • Hurricane Isabel closed campus for two days.
  • Jeffrey Mitchell, associate professor of emergency health services, received the Austrian Red Cross Bronze Medal for his work in training Austrian emergency responders.
  • Professor of mathematics Manil Suri received numerous awards for his first novel, The Death of Vishnu, including the Barnes and Noble Discover Prize, the Ralph Heyne Corrine Buchpreis and the McKittrick Prize.
  • Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation, was named president of the Association of University Research Parks.
  • The Retrievers accepted an invitation to join the NCAA America East Conference.
  • Women's basketball advanced to its first conference championships and men's soccer won UMBC's first America East title by capturing the regular season crown. What's your favorite Retriever athletic moment?
  • Three UMBC entrepreneurs were "Innovator of the Year" finalists in the annual awards competition established by The Daily Record.
  • The Mosaic: Culture & Diversity Center opened with a commitment to empowering all members of the campus community to be culturally conscious and aware members of their community.
  • UMBC hosted the first Computer Mania Day, inviting 300 sixth and seventh grade girls to campus to spend a half day with some of the top women in information technology.
  • An intense period of strategic planning for the university results in Framing the Future: A StrategicFramework for 2016.
  • UMBC awards 1,729 undergraduate degrees. Information systems awards 378 undergraduate degrees. UMBC awards 67 Ph.D.s. Total UMBC research funding from federal sources tops $34 million. State appropriation hovers near $70 million, comprising less than 30% of university revenue.
  • The ROTC House (5447 Wilkins Ave.) opened. 


  • UMBC led the nation in the number of undergraduates receiving the highly competitive Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarships.
  • UMBC was recognized by CosmoGIRL! magazine as one of the top 50 best colleges for women.
  • UMBC received $3 million from the Homer and Martha Gudulsky Family Foundation to strengthen efforts to prepare students for careers in teaching.
  • Graduate programs produced a record number of graduates, conferring 400 master's degrees and 65 Ph.D.s., with the most degrees in instructional systems development, education, information systems, and computer science. Two new master's degrees were granted, the master's of arts in teaching and the master's of arts in education.
  • Buried - a production developed by students and faculty in UMBC's theatre department - participated in the national Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
  • Saved! - the first feature film by Brian Dannelly '97, visual and performing arts - was a feature presentation at the Sundance Festival.
  • The Public Policy building opened - home to UMBC's Shriver Center and the departments of sociology and anthropology, economics, political science, and public policy/MIPAR.
  • Cleo Borel, '02, interdisciplinary studies, competed for Trinidad and Tobago, her native country, in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
  • Tennis player and Academic All American Lana Khvalina, '04, political science, became the first UMBC student-athlete to receive an NCAA post-graduate scholarship.
  • A UMBC initiative to increase commercial applications of technology by training women entrepreneurs received a $600,000 grant for Achieving the Commercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training for Entrepreneurs (ACTiVATE) from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
  • Bradford Engel, '89, American studies/education, was named the 2005 Maryland Teacher of the Year by the Maryland State Department of Education. Two other UMBC alumni, Sharon Grimes, '90, English/education, and Kevin Mulroe, M.A., education '98 were also finalists for the award, which is Maryland's highest honor for teachers.
  • The Erickson Foundation announced a $5 million commitment to support the formation of a new school to develop leaders in the burgeoning seniors housing and care business and related fields. The Erickson School of Aging Studies focuses on courses and research in seniors housing and aging service.
  • The men's swimming and diving team made school history by becoming the first Retriever team to win an American East Conference Championship.
  • UMBC's Habitat for Humanity members camped outside the Commons for a 5 day/4 night fund raiser, raising $3,300 toward building a second UMBC-sponsored house in the Baltimore area.
  • The Student Events Board held the first annual Dodge Ball Tournament on Erickson Field, with 13 teams competing. Do you know who won the Dodge Ball Tournament? Do you know what the prize was?
  • UMBC was the only Maryland school ranked in the top 25 of 100 "Most Unwired College Campuses" by Intel.


  • Walter Sondheim, Jr. and his late wife were honored for their achievements in community service, social justice and diversity with the dedication of UMBC's first named academic building, Janet and Walter Sondheim Hall.
  • The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Chemistry Building was dedicated in recognition of the Meyerhoffs' advocacy of the universal benefits of education.
  • UMBC hosted the First International Symposium on Women and Information and Communication Technology to explore concrete ways in which access by girls and women to technology could be increased to effect economic, social and political change.
  • The College of Arts & Sciences was split into two new colleges: the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, in an effort to further enhance the opportunity to provide a distinctive undergraduate experience and support faculty development and research.
  • Three hundred trees were planted by students in the Conservation Environmental Research Area as part of Earth Day celebrations. Did you help during this planting? Tell us about it.
  • UMBC launched campus-wide efforts to raise funds to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Men's and women's swim teams were recognized as Academic All-American Teams by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America.
  • UMBC is ranked #1 in the America East Conference in the NCAA?s new Academic Progress Report. The men's basketball program was one of 33 in the country to receive a perfect score.
  • Adam Grossman, '06, environmental science, was named the America East League's Scholar Athlete in both indoor and outdoor track and field for the second consecutive year.
  • Men's cross country won the America East Championships, nearly 30 years to the day that the 1975 team captured the conference title. Father and son Bob, '75, economics, and Ryan Cartwright, '06, information systems, were members of those teams.
  • A new, lighted tennis facility was unveiled - capping a facilities upgrade that included a new turf field at UMBC Stadium, new basketball locker rooms, a sports medicine complex, an academic center and a media center.
  • Students attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the largest water gun fight in an effort to welcome new students and prove "once and for all that UMBC is, in fact, an exciting school."


  • The Erickson School of Aging Studies was the first in the nation to offer an undergraduate degree program in Management of Aging Services.
  • In the six years from 2000 - 2006, Ph.D. production nearly doubled to 89 Ph.D.s granted.
  • Professor of History Sandra Herbert was appointed the "Distinguished Visiting Scholar" in Christ's College, University of Cambridge, for 2006-07 will participate in planning for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 800th anniversary of the University of Cambridge in 2009.
  • Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry Katherine Seley-Radtke was the only female and one of only six researchers to be named a Jefferson Science Fellow.
  • The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) awarded a $2.2 million teaching grant to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) to further develop the HHMI Scholars Program, a science education initiative that focuses on students from diverse backgrounds.
  • A New York Times editorial reported that UMBC was "rocking the house when it comes to the increasingly critical mission of turning American college students into scientists."
  • The Sherman STEM Teacher Training Program was established through a $ 5 million endowment from the Sherman Family Foundation to engage greater numbers of UMBC graduates as teachers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics studies.
  • UMBC's chess team continued to dominate the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship by winning the title for the fourth consecutive year. Pascal Charbonneau, '06, economics, and Eugene Perelshteyn, '04, computer science, were named International Grandmasters in chess.
  • Three UMBC students and an alumna received international recognition as Fulbright Scholars for their exceptional research and academic achievements. This latest honor marks a UMBC first, with the largest number of students receiving Fulbright awards since the University's first Fulbright Scholar in 2002.
  • UMBC joined with Princeton to create a new Engineering Research Center (ERC) expected to revolutionize optics. Funding for the ERC may reach $40 million over ten years. UMBC's optics expert, Anthony Johnson, professor of physics and CSEE, will be the deputy director.
  • Marie desJardins, assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering, received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award and Assistant Professor of Biology Rachel M. Brewster received the nation's top honor for promising young scientists, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
  • Public Policy professor Tim Brennan was the first American selected as the T.D. MacDonald Chair in Industrial Economics for the Canadian Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency that promotes and maintains fair competition among Canadian companies.
  • Men's and women's lacrosse won regular season league titles and hosted the America East Tournament. The men's team advanced to compete in the NCAA Tournament. Sociology major Brendan Mundorf was named America East Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.
  • The re-instatement of a varsity cheerleading squad was announced, joining the UMBC dance team and Down and Dirty Dawg Band at home games. Were you one of UMBC's earlier cheerleaders? What's your most vivid memory?


  • President Hrabowski joined more than 330 college and university presidents in signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. This document expresses deep concern regarding "the unprecedented scale and speed of global warming and its potential for large-scale, adverse health, social, economic, and ecological effects." The University launched
  • General Electric (GE) awarded UMBC a 2007 "Partnership Award" for being a top producer of GE talent. GE gives this award to just two to three schools each year.
  • During his senior year, Isaac Matthews '07, mechanical engineering, was named the 2007 Arthur Ashe Jr. Male Sports Scholar of the Year. The award is given annually by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine to the U.S. female and male athletes who best combine athletic and academic excellence with community activism.
  • UMBC added undergraduate majors in media and communication studies, gender and women's studies and physics education, as well as graduate programs in biotechnology, geography and environmental systems, industrial and organizational psychology, management of aging services and systems engineering.
  • Two members of UMBC's faculty received Fulbright Awards. Associate Professor of Visual Arts Tim Nohe completed a research project titled, "Sounding Botany Bay," a surround-sound DVD audio-work, and teach at the School of Art and Design of the University of Wollongong, New South Wales. Associate Professor of Modern Languages & Linguistics John Stolle-McAllister conducted research and taught at the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar in Quito, Ecuador.
  • More than 500 middle-school youth and their families participated in the annual FIRST LEGO League State Tournament at UMBC. The competition builds students' ability to design and program LEGO robots, and the University provides faculty and staff support, coordinated by Anne Spence, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Spence received the 2007 Volunteer of the Year award from the FIRST LEGO League of Maryland for her work with the league, Project Lead the Way and students at UMBC.
  • UMBC undergraduates participated in a pioneering Digital Storytelling Project which received a Bronze Telly Award in 2007. Funded by Retirement Living TV (RLTV), the project is the nation's first three-way partnership between a media company, a university and a retirement community.
  • The UMBC Camerata was invited to participate as one of the handful of college choirs singing at the 2007 Christmas in Washington, which is attended by the President, his cabinet and other important political figures. The Camerata also performed at Carnegie Hall with famed English choral conductor and composer John Rutter.
  • Jason Reid '07, mechanical engineering, was awarded the 2007 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, which funds tuition, fees and living expenses for his pursuit of a Ph.D. at M.I.T.
  • Two UMBC alumni received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Both are from the Class of 2005: Oni Mapp, biochemistry and molecular biology, and Chad McCormick, biochemistry and molecular biology, philosophy.
  • Director of Undergraduate Admissions Dale Bittinger was named one of "10 Admissions Deans Who Are Shaping Their Field" by the Chronicle of Higher Education in 2007.


  • Total enrollment reached 12,268 students, including 9612 undergraduates and 2656 graduate students. Nearly 75 percent of freshmen live on campus.
  • UMBC was named an "Up-and-Coming" campus by college presidents and provosts across the nation - in U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges Guide. UMBC is among the Top 5 national universities recognized as innovators, along with George Mason, Clemson, University of Southern California and Arizona State University.
  • UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, has been named to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report "America's Best Leaders 2008" list. The Best Leaders awards recognize ability to set direction, achieve results and cultivate a culture of growth.
  • The Princeton Review features UMBC in its new 2008 edition of the Princeton Review Guide: "Best 366 Colleges" and ranks UMBC 2nd on its Diverse Student Populations list.
  • The University added a bachelor's degree in chemistry education.
  • Associate Professor of Computer Science Hillol Kargupta received the 2008 IBM Innovation Award for his work on distributed data stream mining.
  • Kristi Harris, Ph.D. candidate in physics, is UMBC's first Department of Energy Computational Science Fellow. The fellowship will fund her doctoral studies through 2010.
  • Three UMBC graduates received one of the world's most selective academic awards, the Gates Cambridge Fellowship: Ian M. Ralby '02, modern languages and linguistics, M.A. intercultural communication; Philip Graff '08, physics; and Simon Gray '08, chemical engineering. It is Ralby's second Gates Fellowship.
  • Five UMBC graduates are now studying at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England: Philip Graff '08, physics and mathematics; Simon Gray '08, chemical engineering; Skylar Neil '06, ancient studies; Aaron Ralby '05, modern languages and linguistics; and Ian Ralby '02, modern languages and linguistics.
  • Meyerhoff Scholar Carla Valenzuela, biological sciences, received a 2008 Goldwater Scholarship, considered the most prestigious U.S. award for undergraduates in mathematics, science and engineering.
  • The Shriver Center's Choice Program, a delinquency prevention program that has become national model for supporting at-risk youth, marks its 20th year on the UMBC campus.
  • Three UMBC faculty members were selected to serve on the Maryland Commission on Climate Change: Raymond Hoff, professor of physics; Andrew Miller, associate professor of geography; and Claire Welty, director of the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education.
  • For the second year in a row, UMBC's College Bowl Team won the Regional College Bowl Tournament.
  • Men's basketball advanced to the 2008 America East Championships. It was UMBC's first-ever appearance in a league title game in 22 years at the NCAA Division I level. The Retrievers earned their 23rd victory (23-8) of the season, tying the all-time (41 years) school record.
  • Head Basketball Coach Randy Monroe was one of ten finalists for the 2008 Hugh Durham Award, given to the nation's top Mid-Major coach. He was also named 2008 America East Men's Basketball Coach of the Year.
  • The Ethics Bowl team received first place at the Baltimore Area Ethics Bowl competition, marking the team's third win in two years.
  • From the New Media Studio, Bill Shewbridge, Paul Iwancio and Aaron Weidele were honored with a 2008 Centers of Excellence Award by the New Media Consortium for "leadership in capturing and disseminating digital stories across the institution.
  • Center for Health Program Development and Management changes its name to The Hilltop Institute, effective July 1.


  • UMBC ranks 2nd nationally in NASA university research grants and cooperative agreements.
  • UMBC faculty rank 3rd nationally in Science Watch for citations of their research in the geosciences.
  • Faculty hold the top ten rankings for information systems and public policy research in the most recent Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index.
  • Arts and humanities faculty rank 13th among public universities in prestigious scholarly awards per capita, including Fulbright, Guggenheim and Mellon awards.
  • Science and engineering faculty attract large numbers of NSF awards recognizing the most promising young researchers, e.g. 50% of the faculty in chemical and biochemical engineering.
  • UMBC has the highest percentage of science-and-technology bachelor's degree recipients (45%) among private and public institutions in Maryland, with the exception of the Naval Academy.
  • The campus ranks 1st nationally in public policy Ph.D.s awarded and is among the top three research universities in information technology degrees awarded.
  • The University's research park, bwtech@UMBC, has attracted 50 companies and 1250 jobs. Of more than 100 companies launched at bwtech, 80% are still in business and 85% of those remain in Maryland.
  • The award winning ACTiVATE program, which trains mid-career women with significant technical or business experience to start companies, has trained over 90 women and launched over 25 companies.
  • Brian Maguire, clinical associate professor of emergency health studies (EHS), has won a 2009 Fulbright Scholarship to expand his groundbreaking research on the occupational risks among ambulance personnel.
  • Associate Professor of History Kate Brown received a Guggenheim Fellowship.
  • James P. Clements '85, computer science, '93 Ph.D., operations analysis was named president of West Virginia University. Clements was previously provost of Towson University.
  • Ellen Hemmerly, Diane Lee and Diane Flanders (Erickson School) were among Maryland's Top 100 Women by the Baltimore Daily Record.
  • Hadieh Shafie, MFA '04, is one of three recipients of the inaugural Baker Artist Award, designed to promote Baltimore-area artists.
  • Tavon Cooke is the recipient of the U.S. State Department's Rangel Fellowship for 2009-11.
  • Four current sophomore chemical engineering majors - Nick Selock, Marsha Walker, Donterrius Ethridge and Angelina Nealen - won the top prize in the MTV "Dream It, Do It Challenge," an international competition for the best environmental sustainability ideas.
  • The UMBC Chess team holds the national record for the most wins (five) in the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship, also known as the "World Series of College Chess."
  • The men's basketball, men's lacrosse and men's swimming and diving teams competed for America East Championships in 2009. Men's lacrosse won its fourth championship in four years and the men's swimming and diving team won its sixth consecutive championship.
  • The Men's Crew Novice 4+ boat won the gold medal at the Johns Hopkins Invitational.
  • The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Mini Baja team ranked 7th out of 100 teams at the 2009 SAE Baja East race.
  • Winner of the Miss Maryland 2008 title, Louise Schlegel '09, theatre, was featured on TLC's "Countdown to the Crown," a four-part reality series in 2009.
  • Construction begins on Green Space, the first winner of the SGA Prove It! competition. Located outside of the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture in the Fine Arts Building, Green Space will be a public space for rest and reflection.


  • The College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS) Active Science Teaching and Learning Environment – better known as CASTLE – opens its doors in the University Center. The CASTLE extends on the successes of the Chemistry Discovery Center as an engine of innovation in undergraduate learning.
  • Ayers Saint Gross creates a new master plan for UMBC that reflects the university’s growth beyond Hilltop Circle and south to the bwtech@UMBC complexes.


  • UMBC closes its second capital campaign − “Exceptional by Example” − which raises $15 million over its stated $100 million goal.


  • UMBC opens the first phase of its new Performing Arts and Humanities Building with a ribbon-cutting and campus celebration. Phase Two of the building is slated to open in Fall 2014.
  • Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, celebrates his 20th anniversary as UMBC’s President by establishing a new fund for innovation in teaching at the university. He is also named as one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
  • The university formally commences a new strategic planning process with a series of campus conversations. The process will result in a new strategic plan for UMBC that will coincide with the university’s 50th anniversary in 2016.