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Terps in Space, Episode II

Terps are often considered stellar students, but recent news about Jeanette Epps becoming a member of Expedition 56 to the International Space Station in 2018 really takes things to a new level.

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Jeanette Epps

After completing her undergrad at LeMoyne college in 1992, Epps received her Master’s of Science and Ph.D. (both in aerospace engineering) from UMD in 1994 and 2000, respectively. After graduate school, she worked with Ford Motor Company and later the CIA. Dr. Epps was selected as an astronaut in 2009.

Her participation in the expedition reserves her the honor of being the first African-American female to crew the International Space Station. The announcement of this momentous accomplishment came on the tail of the release of the movie Hidden Figures, a story about a talented group of African-American women tasked with the calculation of the trajectory of John Glenn’s orbit in space. Fun fact, John Glenn is involved in a bit of UMD history himself. Learn more about the connection here.

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Diamondback photo of Resnick

Though she is the most recent, Jeanette Epps is not the only astronaut to attend UMD. Judith Resnik, one of the astronauts who perished in the Challenger explosion, received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1977.William “Willie” McCool, who died aboard the space shuttle Columbia, received his master’s degree in computer science from UMD in 1985. Paul Richards, a 1991 graduate with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, participated in the  Discovery mission to the International Space Station. Richard “Ricky” Arnold II got his master’s in  Marine Biology from UMD in 1992. He was selected as a member of the 2004 class of astronaut recruits, and his first journey into space was aboard the space shuttle Discovery, on a February 2009 mission to the International Space Station.

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Richard Arnold II and the International Space Station

The University of Maryland can truly be proud of our Terps in space throughout the years. We congratulate Dr. Jeanette Epps on her new assignment, and we wish her well as she takes her place among the stars!

One more Super Terp

Getting psyched for Super Bowl LI on Sunday? You can bet one former Terp is!

joe-vellanoAtlanta Falcons defensive lineman Joe Vellano anchored the Maryland defense for four seasons, 2009-2012, before heading off to the New England Patriots for two seasons and the Indianapolis Colts for another. Vellano was re-signed by the Patriots in January 2016 but didn’t make the final roster for the fall. In a interesting twist of fate, he will line up against his former team on Sunday for perhaps the biggest game he will ever play.

Vellano joins a long list of Terps who have played in the Super Bowl. You can find more information about these terrific alumni here.

Maryland fans will be keeping a close eye on the game to see if Vellano can have the same sort of defensive impact he had when he took to the field in Maryland Stadium! May the best team win!

What’s in a Name?

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Marie Mount, c. 1940-1950

On this day in 1967, the Board of Regents voted to rename Margaret Brent Hall at the eastern end of McKeldin Mall for Marie Mount, who came to campus in 1919 as the head of the Department of Home and Institution Management and served as the dean of the College of Home Economics from 1925 until her death in 1957, with “quiet dedication and unswerving loyalty,” as the Board noted at the time of her passing.  The building was constructed in 1940, and it was originally named Margaret Brent Hall after the colonial Marylander who was the first American woman to request  the right to vote.

UMD President Wilson Elkins noted in a tribute to Dean Mount that he was

“impressed by her quiet efficiency, her ability to carry out the duties assigned to the office of the Dean and, above all, her ability to inspire confidence. She had an abundance of common sense which was apparent to all who sough her judgment on important questions.”

The re-naming came at the request of a group of alumni from the college who felt strongly that Miss Mount’s legacy should be honored in a very visible way.

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Request for re-naming, 1966

At one time, Miss Mount supposedly lived in the building in a special dean’s apartment there.  She was much loved by her students, and University President Wilson Elkins declared in a 1957 memorial to the dean that “The character of Marie Mount will live forever.”

Dean Marie Mount does just that.  Night watchmen and building inhabitants in the late 1970s reported sensing other-worldly presences, doors opening and shutting on their own, toilets flushing when no one was there, and matches blowing out when all the doors and windows were closed.  Could these activities be Dean Mount reminding us of her everlasting presence? It’s said that on dark and stormy nights, as the wind blows through the building, and the rain pounds on the window panes, she can be heard vigorously playing a piano. Next big thunderstorm, Marie Mount Hall is the place to be!

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Marie Mount Hall

 

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Soviet gymnasts visit Cole Field House at height of Cold War

   olgaOn March 21, 1973, the University of Maryland received a special visit from the Soviet Union’s women’s gymnastics team. The country’s female gymnasts had never lost a Summer Olympic Games up to that point, racking up golds at every games between 1952 and 1972.

The team’s visit featured young star Olga Korbut, who was only 17 years old when she came to College Park.

After meeting with President Richard Nixon earlier in the day, the Russian gymnasts traveled to College Park to perform in the evening. 

“He told me that my performance in Munich did more for reducing the political tension during the Cold War between our two countries than the embassies were able to do in five years,” Korbut said in The Olympic Odyssey: Rekindling the True Spirit of the Great Games.

univarch-61991-0004So, amidst the Cold War, a sellout crowd packed Cole Field House for a glimpse of Korbut and her teammates. Their performance was even televised in the D.C. region.

Korbut amazed the crowd with her signature performances on the balance beam and the floor routine, mixing in splits, somersaults and flips. Korbut even performed her famous “Korbut Flip,” a backflip on the uneven parallel bars that is still performed by gymnasts today.


At the end of the team’s performance, univarch-61991-0003the crowd rose for a standing ovation while Naval Academy students “presented the Soviets with roses and kisses,” according to The Diamondback. 

In response to the Soviets’ appearance, a group of students from the Jewish Defense League protested outside the arena.protest

The visit by the Soviet gymnasts was the second diplomatic sporting event in Cole. The preceding year, China and the U.S. faced off in a ping-pong match that was the first athletic event ever between the two nations. You can find more information about this landmark occasion here.

articleThe Diamondback is the university’s primary student newspaper, and its coverage of campus events provides an invaluable perspective on the university’s history. Thanks to generous donations and a successful Launch UMD campaign, the University Archives is digitizing the entire run of the newspaper, which is currently available on microfilm in the University Archives and McKeldin Library. This post is the part of a series based on information collected during the Diamondback Digitization Project. Check out the Twitter hashtag #digiDBK or the DigiDBK tag on our Terrapin Tales blog for previous posts. Look out for more DigiDBK posts from our team throughout the coming months!

Rock Around the Clock!

In the fall of 2016, the UMD Archives received a terrific addition to the documentation of a landmark event in Terrapin football history, the January 2, 1956, Orange Bowl game vs. Oklahoma. UMD alumnus and former marching band member Carleton Weidemeyer donated the band’s halftime playlist and charts for the formations the band created on the field during the show. Featured tunes included “Yellow Rose of Texas,” “Wake the Town,” and “Rock Around the Clock,” and the band exited the field playing the “Maryland, My Maryland” march. The charts, shown here, capture the intricate and complicated shapes, made more complex with the addition of motion to some of the formations.

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1956-orange-bowl-vs-oklahomaMr. Weidemeyer’s gift complements the other materials the Archives has about this historic game, including the game day program and media relations file, a felt pennants, newspaper clippings, photographs, and footage from the game which you can view here as part of the highlights from the 1955 football season.

The UMD Archives is grateful to Mr. Weidemeyer for his donation, which helps re-create a special moment in Terrapin athletic history, 61 years ago today!

John Glenn – A Terp in Space

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1963 Terrapin yearbook

The University of Maryland has offered courses all over the world since 1949. Now those programs occur through the University of Maryland University College but, before the creation of that separate institution, the University of Maryland offered courses to members of the armed forces through some 400 outposts across the world. John Glenn, the fifth man in space and the first American to orbit the earth, as well as an Ohio senator, attended UMD through the Pentagon outpost in the late 1950s. Through this extended relationship with the university, we claim him as one of our most famous and treasured alumni.

The 1963 Terrapin yearbook was dedicated to John Glenn and his spectacular 1962 trip on the Friendship 7 mission to orbit the earth. The editors cleverly noted that his trip to space truly made the University of Maryland an “out of this world” institution.

After retiring from the astronaut corps in 1964, John Glenn eventually served four full terms as a Democratic senator for Ohio. At 77 years of age, Glenn returned to space aboard the Discovery shuttle on October 29, 1998. On this trip he achieved further notoriety as the oldest human to enter space.

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The 1963 Terrapin yearbook cover, dedicated to John Glenn

Americans remember John Glenn as their first man to orbit the earth – a pioneer of American frontiers like Lewis and Clark or the Wright brothers. He was part of a mission that, in 1962, totally revolutionized what humans thought was within the realm of possibility. John Glenn was the 1960s Charles Lindbergh – breaking boundaries that were thought to be impossible and paving the way for further exploration and technological innovation.

We are proud to call him a Terp, even if it was just for a little while.

The Power of Testudo

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It’s final exam time, and not only do students rub Testudo’s nose for good luck, they also leave offerings of various sorts at his feet–food, candles, beer, notes, furniture, flowers, and on and on. The UMD Archives does not routinely preserve all of this, but we did save one little verse left for our beloved terrapin in the late 1990s:

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of exams
I shall fear no question, for thou art with me.
Thy shell and thy nose, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a pen for me in the face of mine professors
Thou anointest my head with knowledge, my cup runneth over
Surely good grades and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
And I will dwell in the house of the Terrapin forever.
Help us in our hour of need, Testudo!

Wishing all our Terps much success during exams and a terrific winter break!

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A legendary politician visits campus

With the 2016 Presidential election in the rearview mirror, the presidency has been on all of our minds lately. But back in 1959, the students got to hear from one of the country’s most iconic presidents: John F. Kennedy.

front-pageThen a Senator representing Massachusetts, Kennedy hadn’t even declared his intent to run for President in 1960 when he visited campus on April 27 to speak to 5,500 students at the Spring Convocation held in Cole Field House. He was joined on stage by University of Maryland President Wilson Elkins and Dean James Borreson. 

Kennedy “called for  more students to enter politics and stressed the need for the American people to do their duty in these days of world crisis.”

While many in attendance enjoyed the speech and Kennedy’s charisma, others reportedly articlefelt the Senator should have taken a harder stance on civil rights and foreign policy issues. 

Kennedy visited the campus once more, on May 14, 1960, before his assassination in November 1963. In that appearance, Kennedy spoke on the eve of the Maryland primary and left Ritchie Coliseum holding on to a stuffed Testudo.

pictureThe Diamondback is the university’s primary student newspaper, and its coverage of campus events provides an invaluable perspective on the university’s history. Thanks to generous donations and a successful Launch UMD campaign, the University Archives is digitizing the entire run of the newspaper, which is currently available on microfilm in the University Archives and McKeldin Library. This post is the part of a series based on information collected during the Diamondback Digitization Project. Check out the Twitter hashtag #digiDBK or the DigiDBK tag on our Terrapin Tales blog for previous posts. Look out for more DigiDBK posts from our team throughout the coming months!

“A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”

On this the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, we remember all the brave members of the University of Maryland community who gave their lives in the service of their country during World War II and highlight resources in the UMD Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives that support study of that conflict.

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Dr. Gordon W. Prange in his office in the UMD History Dept.

The personal papers of Gordon W. Prange are one of the most frequently consulted collections in the UMD Archives. Dr. Prange (July 16, 1910 – May 15, 1980) was an historian and history professor at the University of Maryland from 1937 until his death in 1980. While teaching at Maryland, Prange published many books and articles on a variety of historical topics, but he is probably best known for his research on the attack on Pearl Harbor. Prange conducted interviews and collected accounts from diaries, articles, and correspondence with many of the key participants in the battle, both Japanese and American, as well as completing extensive research on the causes, planning, build-up to, execution, and consequences of the attack. The collection consists of both personal and professional papers and includes unpublished manuscripts, correspondence, interview notes and transcripts, research notes, articles, maps, and photographs related to Prange’s research on the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway, the Russian spy Richard Sorge, and the speeches of Adolf Hitler. There are also materials related to Prange’s tenure as a history professor at the University of Maryland and his service as an historian for the US Army under General Douglas MacArthur during the Allied occupation of Japan.

 

The Prange Papers were most recently used by NHK Television in Japan for a documentary on the life of Mitsuo Fuchida, the pilot who led the first airstrike against Pearl Harbor. This video aired on TV in Japan in August 2016; an English version of the same piece ran on PBS in Hawai’i two days ago.

The Gordon W. Prange Collection on the Allied Occupation of Japan, 1945-1949, an internationally known resource documenting life in post-war Japan, is named in Dr. Prange’s honor.

A selection of additional, World War II-related resources in the University of Maryland Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives may be found in this subject guide: http://digital.lib.umd.edu/archivesum/rguide/wwii.jsp.

The University Archives’ Scrapbook Collection also includes a volume presented to the Alumni Association following the war, which includes a collection of newspaper clippings about University of Maryland alumni who fought in the war. Colonel John O’Neill, University of Maryland class of 1930, is the subject of several pages, with articles detailing his recommendation for a Distinguished Service Cross. In addition to the large collection of clippings about Maryland alumni in the armed services, there are numerous obituaries and notices of those missing-in-action. Similar coverage of Maryland students and alumni serving in the war can be found in the alumni magazines of the period, accessible via links on http://www.lib.umd.edu/univarchives/alumni-magazines, and in issues of The Diamondback, currently available on microfilm and soon to be accessible online.

The University Archives is also proud to preserve the University of Maryland Memorial Book, which contains a Roll of Honor listing the names of University of Maryland alumni who were killed in action in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. The book was engraved by White House calligrapher and 1943 Maryland graduate William E. Tolley, and was dedicated at a service in Memorial Chapel on November 19, 1961. You may find the entirety of this moving tribute to these brave members of the campus community online at http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/5024.

For more information about the resources described here, contact the University Archives at askhornbake@umd.edu or 301-405-9058.

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UMD123: 263

As a successful season comes to a close for DJ Durkin and the Maryland Terrapins football team, the curtains are drawn on another fantastic season for the 263-piece ensemble, the Mighty Sound of Maryland.

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The Crown Imperial                                        PC: Ken Rubin Photography

The marching band (also referred to as MSOM) has long been a major part of the University’s culture. The group can find its roots in Maryland Agricultural College, when the college bugler brought together a 17-piece band to perform at military functions in 1908. From that point, the band began growing into the sizable and talented group we know today. The band has passed many milestones within this time period, with the inclusion the first UMD bandswomen in 1937, being integrated as a recognized ensemble in the School of Music in 1955, and even marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2000!

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MAC Cadet Band
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This picture, from the 1937 yearbook, depicts Misses Long, Beach, and Beane performing at All-University Night
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MSOM at the Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2000

Of course, MSOM could never live up to its name without the hard work of over 250 students. These individuals practice up to five days a week, and perform at every home football game. The band as we know it today is made up of 11 sections, which include drumline, clarinets, mellophones, low brass (aka KAOS), flutes and piccolos, trumpets,

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The infamous “Block M”                       PC: Ken Rubin Photogaphy

saxophones, tubas, colorguard, the dance team, and a twirler. This is a far cry from the 17-piece band that was created over 100 years ago! In addition to participating in the ensemble, a select group of students are employed as band staff members who are truly the backbone of the band, ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

 

 

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Often imitated but never duplicated:                    Block and Mess!                          PC: Ken Rubin Photography

The Mighty Sound of Maryland is truly one of the most unique and prized characteristics of the University of Maryland. We wish them luck as they travel to support the football team at the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit on December 26!

This is a post in our 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 monthly; 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.