Prodigies at UMD

Were you ready for college at age 14? Age 16?

One of the university’s youngest graduates, William Bridges Smith, enrolled at the University of Maryland in 1958 at age 14. He graduated in 1962 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at age 18– the age when many students start college! His photograph in  Biographical Photographs – Print File Collection is nearly identical to his yearbook portrait, enabling us to identify him.

William Bridges Smith_Bio Print File
William Bridges Smith in the University Archives Biographical Print File Collection

William enrolled alongside his 16-year-old brother, Harry Leroy Smith, Jr., who graduated in 3.5 semesters at age 20. Both William and Harry made their marks on the university in spite of concerns over their relative youth. The 1962 Terrapin Yearbook lists William under Who’s Who among Students in American Colleges and Universities in the United States. He is pictured next to Harry under the Omicron Delta Kappa national men’s honor society and among the members of Aiee-Ire (Joint Student Branch of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and Institute of Radio Engineers). The Terrapin also records the two young students’ membership in Phi Kappa Phi, an honor society for the upper ten percent of the graduating class and from all schools at the university.

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The Baltimore Sun, interested in the story of one of Maryland’s youngest graduates, printed a brief biography of William “Bill” Smith on June 10, 1962. William, who graduated with a 3.02 GPA, was advised by elders (other than his parents) not to start college too early. He commented on their advice, “You’re supposed to get socially maladjusted or something.” Clearly, he did not take their recommendations to heart, as he became involved in Aiee-Ire, AFROTC, the chess team, and the chess club, dated college freshmen, and took 20-23 credits per semester. In his second semester, he dropped out of a social fraternity because he earned B’s instead of A’s. Answering questions about his extensive extracurricular involvements and high academic achievements, he responded, “Some kids will sharpen pencils or play the radio, and wonder at the end of an hour why they haven’t accomplished anything.” Upon graduation, William planned to work at the Bell Labs location in Holmdel, NJ, to pursue his master’s and Ph.D. research.  [1]

Continue reading “Prodigies at UMD”


UMD123: 7

Seven represents the number of consecutive national championships won by the Women’s Lacrosse team between 1995-2001

The inaugural 1974 Women’s Lacrosse team, from the Terrapin yearbook

Varsity Women’s Lacrosse at Maryland debuted in the fall of 1974 as a member of the now-defunct Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. Led by Coach Sue Tyler, the program quickly rose to spectacular levels; of the five AIAW Division I championship games held between 1977-1982, Maryland appeared in four, and won its first title in 1981.

After 1982, women’s sports were integrated into the NCAA, and the Lady Terps continued their dominant level of play. The team competed in three straight national championships starting in 1984 and won their second title on home turf, defeating Penn State at Byrd Stadium in 1986.

Terrapin #39 in action against Harvard during 1986, from the 1987 Terrapin yearbook

Cindy Timchal took over the coaching duties from Sue Tyler in 1991, and during this period, Maryland would evolve from one of the better teams in the country into the best women’s lacrosse program in NCAA history. Starting in 1990, the Lady Terps would be involved in all but one national championship game until 2001, missing out only in 1993. The team won its third national title in 1992, but the march to truly astronomical levels of success commenced three years later. Beginning in 1995, Maryland would win every single national championship in women’s lacrosse until 2001, seven in all, making them back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back champions. During that monster run, the teams lost a total of only five games, compiling an overall record of 140-5 over seven seasons. The Lady Terps took home 6 ACC titles during that span and recorded four perfect seasons.

Current head coach Cathy Reese took over the women’s program in 2007 and helped perpetuate its storied tradition. In 2010, Maryland prevented Northwestern from assembling its own unbroken string of national championships by defeating the Wildcats at nearby Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson. Even more recently, the Lady Terps won back-to-back national titles in 2014 and 2015. Now the dominant power in the Big 10 Conference, Maryland has won the conference title every year since leaving the ACC and should continue its dominance this spring. You can catch the action yourself at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex located at the northeastern end of campus, near the Xfinity Center!

Terrapin midfielder Taylor Cummings (21), cradles the ball as midfielder Erin Collins (12) and defender Casey Pepperman (13) look on during the national championship game at St. Joseph’s against North Carolina, May 24, 2015; Greg Fiume and TJ Root for Maryland Athletics

This is a post in our new series on Terrapin Tales called UMD123! Similar to our “ABC’s of UMD” series in fall 2015, posts in this series will take a look at the university’s history “by the numbers.” New posts will come out twice a month throughout the summer; on the Terrapin Tales blog, search “UMD123” or use the UMD123 tag. You can also check out Twitter#UMD123. If you want to learn more about campus history, you can also visit our encyclopedia University of Maryland A to Z: MAC to Millennium for more UMD facts.

(The featured image in this post is from the cover of the 2002 Women’s Lacrosse Media Guide.)

What in the heck is a minikin?

There’s a fascinating new post on the Hornbake Special Collections blog today about minikins and their connection to the University of Maryland College of Home Economics? Find out what in the heck a minikin is and the full story at


LGBTQ+ Activism in The Diamondback

In conjunction with the ongoing University Archives exhibit of pivotal moments in the history of LGBTQ+ activism at the University of Maryland, this installment in our #digiDBK series features Diamondback coverage of LGBTQ+ issues and achievements. Campus activism for LBGTQ+ rights began with the Student Homophile Association’s fight for funding and recognition in the 1960s and 1970s. Students fought to add sexual orientation to the university’s 1976 Human Relations Code, which was modified in 1998. Due to the tireless work of community advocates, the University of Maryland is now considered one of the most welcoming campuses in the United States.[1]

2.17.92 Queer Nation Kiss-InDiamondback coverage of LGBTQ+ issues includes reporting on student activism such as the Queer Nation Kiss-In in 1992. On Valentine’s Day, one week after the Human Relations Committee of the University Senate unanimously voted to amend the Human Relations Code to include the term “sexual orientation,” Queer Nation staged a “kiss-in.” [2] Ten couples from the activist group announced the formation of their organization by kissing in front of the Student Union and Hardee’s. Twenty other LGBTQ+ couples supported them by blowing whistles and cheering.  Although the University Senate committee had already unanimously adopted the inclusive amendment, The Diamondback’s documentation of the variety of student reactions to the demonstration the following Monday demonstrated the campus climate at the time.  Some students described the kiss-in as a slap in the face and “totally gross and distasteful,” while others claimed that “[Non-heterosexual people] have just as much right to love as anyone else does.” Members of Queer Nation such as Meaghan O’Keefe responded in The Diamondback that now was the time for activism because they had been “apologetic far too long.”

“We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it!” – Queer Nation motto, chanted by student members at the Valentine’s Day Kiss-In

Continue reading “LGBTQ+ Activism in The Diamondback”


UMD123: 14

Fourteen represents the number of houses on Fraternity Row

bluto-animal-houseGreek life! It’s one of the most frequently stereotyped facets of undergraduate existence, and also one of the more enjoyable (provided you don’t end up on Double Secret Probation). From raucous parties and pledging hi-jinx to community service and school spirit, fraternities and sororities have been an integral part of student life at the University of Maryland since 1913. Greek organizations have also long served the university in a somewhat less obvious way: by helping to ameliorate the chronic shortage of housing.

Hand Drawn Map of Greek Houses, from 1952 book

As strange as it might seem now, fraternity houses were once scattered throughout the area: in Old Town College Park, west of Route 1 in the area between Knox Road and modern-day South Campus Commons, and even on the main portion of campus itself, intermingled with the academic buildings and residence halls.

In the years following World War II, the university was flooded with former soldiers and their families, arriving in College Park to make good on the promise of the G.I. Bill. Temporary barracks and dormitories were built to house the new students, but it was clear that more needed to be done, thus the Board of Regents and President Byrd ushered in the greatest period of construction and expansion in the history of the university. One of the many new additions was the current football stadium, which freed up a large plot of land across Baltimore-Washington Boulevard next to Ritchie Coliseum, on the site of the old Byrd Stadium, dedicated in 1923. Plans were made to build ten Colonial-style houses in a ring around a central field to house 400 Greeks.

Preview of a finished house from the 1953 Terrapin yearbook

Continue reading “UMD123: 14”

Two Turtles?

Did you know the University Archives’ collections actually contain two turtles? One, of course, is our beloved model for the original statue of Testudo. The other is a huge hawksbill turtle that was a gift to the University  from  J.L. Enyart, Captain and Commanding Officer of the Naval Medical School on April 19, 1952, before a lacrosse game between UMD and Navy.

Gift of Hawksbill Turtle-small
Captain Enyart presenting his turtle.

This turtle originally resided in the Gossett Football Team House, and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics transferred it to the Archives prior to one of the facility’s renovations.

Hawksbill Turtle-small


For a long time, the only clues the Archives staff had about the origins of the turtle were the small brass plate inside the turtle’s case noting Captain Enyart’s name and the date of his gift and the photograph above. Fortunately UMD journalism and iSchool alumnus Rob Garner was intrigued by this amazing specimen and volunteered to help us track down the story behind this 64-year-old gift.

Rob turned out to be quite the sleuth! He managed to find Capt. John Enyart’s son living in Florida several years ago, who told him:

“In the 1930s, the family happened to live in Guam.  Naturally, that area of the world has some strange wildlife in comparison to what we have around here.  Captain Enyart would collect the turtles’ shells, some of which could reach upwards of two or three feet in size.

Fast forward a few years to the 1950s.  The Enyarts live in the D.C. area, now that Capt. Enyart heads the Naval Medical School.  The Enyarts were evidently fans of the school; both father and son (according to John Jr.) did graduate course work here.  Knowing the school’s affinity for all things turtle, Enyart Sr. asked himself why he was keeping this turtle from Guam in his garage, where it took up space and didn’t do anybody any good.  So, some conversation took place between Enyart Sr. and the University, which resulted in the presentation at the lacrosse game (in 1952).”

The Archives loves a happy ending.  Thanks to Rob for tracking down the answer!!!


UMD123: 35

Thirty-five represents the number of years that Steny Hoyer, ’63, has served Maryland in the House of Representatives

In today’s UMD123 post, we are highlighting the service of the Maryland alumnus who has risen the highest in the U.S. Congress, Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland’s 5th District. Hoyer was first elected to Congress in a special election in 1981 to fill Gladys Noon Spellman’s seat after she was incapacitated following a stroke and has served continuously ever since. Representative Hoyer has been the second highest member of the House Democratic Caucus since 2007, when he became House Majority Leader under Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. After the Republicans retook the House in 2011, his title changed to House Minority Whip.

Hoyer as Whip of the Free State Party. From the 1963 Terrapin

Steny Hoyer’s years at the University of Maryland were very much a harbinger of his bright future. A Political Science major, he was a member of the Sigma Chi, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Omicron Delta Kappa fraternities. He worked on the Diamondback newspaper and was an important member of the Student Government Association, serving as vice president and as a member of the legislative council and finance and judiciary committees, as well as whip of the ruling Free State Party. Hoyer was also a member of the Young Democrats and served on the Central Student Court. His deep involvement in university life also undoubtedly helped earn him a spot on the exclusive “Who’s Who” list of students his senior year. All Hoyer’s activities chronicled in the 1963 Terrapin yearbook proved prescient, as only three years after graduating, Hoyer was elected to the Maryland State Senate, where he would eventually rise to president, before beginning his long stay in Congress.

Steny Hoyer may be the longest-serving Maryland alumnus in the House of Representatives, but he is hardly the only Terrapin to join that body. Here is a list of Maryland’s Congressional alumni: Continue reading “UMD123: 35”

Delays on the Green Line: Grand Opening of the College Park Metro Station



“The band [the UMD marching band] was here before playing the theme to ‘Jurassic Park,’ and I thought it was appropriate because it often felt like it took 165 million years to build.” – Michael Smith, city councilman who served on the Metro Watch committee, in the Diamondback on the occasion of the grand opening of the College Park Metro Station on December 13, 1993

Do you ride the Metro? Are you all too familiar with the terms track worksingle-tracking, or delays on the Green Line?   Are you dreading Metro’s  year-long, system-wide maintenance, which began this month?

As residents of the District, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) lament delays while SafeTrack is underway, here’s a bit of the history of the College Park Metro station, our university’s connection to the Green Line of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The Metro was founded in 1967, and Metro broke ground on the Green Line in 1969 along 12th and G Street, NW. The College Park Station opened to the public decades later on Saturday, December 11, 1993 — 14 years after the projected opening date of 1979!

Shuttle-UM stop 1971
Students waiting at a Shuttle-UM stop, April 19, 1971 (from The Diamondback)

On April 19, 1971, The Diamondback reported that navigating from the WMATA office in downtown Washington, DC, to Prince George’s Plaza required four buses, took at least 90 minutes, and cost 95 cents. To get to the University Student Union (now the Stamp Student Union), members of the campus community spent another 32 cents on an additional 15-minute bus ride. The Diamondback welcomed the fact that by 1979, students could expect a 19-minute Metro ride into downtown.

Continue reading “Delays on the Green Line: Grand Opening of the College Park Metro Station”


UMD123: 33

Thirty-three represents the number of previous presidents of the University of Maryland

Since its founding in 1856, the present-day University of Maryland, College Park, has operated under three different monikers and numerous forms of administration, but one thing has remained constant: a single person has been tasked with running the show. Dr. Wallace Loh heads just the 34th administration to guide the university, and our UMD123 number today recognizes the 33 men to hold the job (however temporarily) before him.

Presidents of the Maryland Agricultural College

Charles Benedict Calvert

The university was first chartered in 1856 as the Maryland Agricultural College on land that was part of the Riversdale estate of Charles Benedict Calvert. Classes began in 1859 with 34 students, including four of Calvert’s sons.

  1. Benjamin Hallowell, 1859 – President for one month. A Quaker who only took the job on the condition that slave labor not be used on the college farm.
  2. Charles Benedict Calvert, acting, 1859-60 – Our founder took the reins himself temporarily until a suitable replacement could be found.
  3. John Work Scott, 1860 – Elected president, but may never have even stepped foot on campus!
  4. John M. Colby, 1860-61 – Saw enrollment rise but then fall sharply with the approach of the Civil War.
  5. Henry Onderdonk, 1861-1864 – Forced to resign amidst accusations that he willingly harbored and feted Confederate soldiers under the command of General Bradley Johnson on their way to the assault of Fort Stevens in the capital.
  6. Nicholas B. Worthington, acting, 1864-1867 – A journalist and professor, he sold almost half of the original campus to meet outstanding debts. As a result of the college’s bankruptcy and the Maryland General Assembly’s decision to designate it a Morrill Land Grant institution, the State of Maryland takes a partial ownership stake in the college for the first time.
George Washington Custis Lee
  1. George Washington Custis Lee, 1866 – The son of Confederate general Robert E. Lee and descendant of Martha Washington, he was offered the position of president but eventually declined due to his loyalty to the Virginia Military Institute and opposition from the Maryland legislature
  2. Charles L. C. Minor, 1867-1868 – Another former Confederate officer, Minor had only 16 pupils when classes opened in 1867.
  3. Franklin Buchanan, 1868-1869 – Yet another former rebel, Buchanan was the first Superintendent of the Naval Academy in Annapolis before serving as the highest-ranking admiral in the Confederate Navy.
  4. Samuel Regester, 1869-1873 – A Methodist minister, Regester eliminated the Bachelor of Science degree and implemented rigid religious discipline.
  5. Samuel Jones, 1873-1875 – After a brief respite, the college once again elected a Confederate officer as president. Former Major General Samuel Jones greatly expanded the curriculum and shifted the focus away from agriculture and towards military training.
Cadets_Class of 1890
Cadets, Class of 1890
  1. William H. Parker, 1875-1882 – Parker saw service in the Civil War as a captain in the: _________ (you guessed it), Confederate Navy! He continued Jones’ unpopular focus on militarism until the state legislature pressured him to resign by threatening to withhold funding.
  2. Augustine J. Smith, 1883-1887 – A commercial agent for a manufacturing firm, Smith sought to build connections between the college and farmers throughout the state.
  3. James L. Bryan, 1887 – Head of schools in Dorchester county, Bryan declined the job after visiting campus.
  4. Allen Dodge, acting, 1887-1888 – A school trustee, Dodge filled in after Bryan turned down the presidency.
  5. Henry E. Alvord, 1888-1892 – In a shocking break with MAC presidential tradition, Alvord was a former major in the Union army. He shifted in the opposite direction of some previous administrations, choosing to focus the school’s efforts almost exclusively on agriculture
Richard W. Silvester
  1. Richard W. Silvester, 1892-1912 – The school’s first long-term president, Silvester served for two decades until a devastating fire the night of November 29, 1912, burned down two major buildings campus. Already in poor health and now faced with the enormous challenges of re-opening the college, Silvester resigned shortly after the conflagration.

Barracks burning, November 29, 1912

  1. Thomas H. Spence, acting, 1912-1913 – A professor of languages, Spence oversaw the construction of temporary buildings and dormitories as the college struggled to resume operations.
  2. Harry J. Patterson, 1913-1917 – The once-and-future director of the Agricultural Experiment Station (housed at the Rossborough Inn), which was unaffected by the fire), Patterson presided over the transfer of the college to full state control in 1916. H.J. Patterson Hall was later named in his honor.

Continue reading “UMD123: 33”

The Greatest visits with the Terps

As the nation mourns the passing of Muhammad Ali, the UMD Archives remembers his encounter with the Terps 40 years ago.

Ali with Harrington Magid Schrader
Muhammad Ali with Terps’ (l to r) Pat Hand, Brian Magid, Asst. Coach Joe Harrington, and Eric Schrader

The historical records we have from Terps’ men’s basketball include a series of shots of The Greatest from the 1975-1976 season-ending banquet on April 26, 1976. Ali was in town preparing for his April 30 fight vs. Jimmy Young at the Capital Centre in Landover, and his training camp set-up in the banquet room at the Sheraton Lanham re-routed the Terps’ celebration to a side room at the hotel. To make amends, Ali agreed to appear at the event, and from the photos we have in our collections, really enjoyed himself.

Head coach Lefty Driesell presented the champ with a Terrapin clock with his name on it during the evening. According to the account of the banquet in the April 27 Washington Post, Ali teased the crowd by responding “You mean this is all you’re giving me?” and offered up one of his famous poems:

“I like your team, I admire your style, But your gift is so cheap, I won’t see you for awhile.”

Certainly a memorable night for all those in attendance.

Farewell to a great champion in sport and in life.