20 Maryland Students You Wish Were Your Roommates

It’s hard to forget the people we meet in college, and lots of times, these are the people you’ll know for the rest of your life! We’ve picked 20 UMD alumni or groups of students we think would be great roommates and life-long friends. See if you agree.


1. First, there’s Jim Henson- the creative roommate who can always keep you entertained.


Jim Henson created and performed with puppets even before be started at UMD. Shortly before his freshman year in 1954, he created Sam and Friends, a puppet show that was televised on local stations and featured a character named Kermit, later to become the famous Kermit the Frog. Henson graduated from UMD in 1960, with a degree in Home Economics.


2. And Connie Chung- the roommate who always knows what’s going on around campus.

Connie Chung_1966

Before she became a journalist and news anchor of national renown, Connie Chung was active in student government and journalism at UMD. On top of that, she was even elected freshman queen in 1966! Chung graduated in 1969 with a degree in journalism.


3. There’s the roommate who always thinks outside the box…

Drinking water the hard way, University of Maryland, circa 1974_2

There’s more than one way to drink from the fountain…


4. And Boomer Esiason- the roommate who is always there to drive you to class.

Boomer Esiason_1984

Raining? Class on the other side of campus?  Better get a ride! Before he graduated in 1984, star quarterback Boomer Esiason’s truck was a common sight at UMD. “That thing could go wherever it wanted to, where ever Boomer wanted to drive it,” said a former roommate, “and Boomer had a knack for seeing a parking spot where there was nothing but grass and bushes.” Better watch out for DOTS!


5. How about Judith Resnik- the roommate who can help you with your math homework.

Judith Resnick_1986

Judith Resnik spent several years at UMD as a graduate student, before receiving her Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1977.  Her intense-sounding dissertation was titled “Bleaching Kinetics of Visual Pigments.” Afterwards, she became the second woman in space and spent 145 hours in orbit before being tragically killed in the Challenger explosion in 1986.


6. Or a roommate who will always watch your back.

Women's Rifle Team, ca. 1920-1930

The Women’s Rifle Team was founded at UMD in 1922 and dominated the national scene for nearly twenty years, featuring multiple national champions and an Olympian on the team. We think it’s safe to say they always hit their mark!


7. There’s also William Cole- the roommate who becomes your best friend.

William Cole_1910

The namesake of historic Cole Field House, William P. Cole was apparently obsessed with sports while he was a Civil Engineering student at the Maryland Agricultural College. According to his senior entry in the 1910 yearbook, he was known to watch baseball “for hours at a time,” not stopping for anything. But Cole was even more devoted to his friends then he was to baseball. After arriving at school, Cole was assigned a room with baseball star and class president Jackson Grason, and “to our knowledge has not left him since.”


8. And Juan Dixon- the roommate who you want on your rec basketball team.

Juan Dixon_2001

A two-time All-American and the holder of six school records including total points scored, Juan is the man you need on your squad for that intramural championship.


9.  Don’t forget food! Everyone needs a roommate who can keep you well fed.

Students at table in barracks with ham, Maryland Agricultural College, 1902

Yes, you’re reading this image correctly- these cadets are eyeing a big smoked ham hanging from the ceiling in this 1902 dorm room photo. And did we mention the stellar room-decorating skills?


10. Could your roommate secretly be Testudo?

Testudo mascot standing with Testudo statue, McKeldin Library, University of Maryland, circa 2003

Who is the student in the Testudo costume?  It could be anyone! But did you ever think it’s strange that you’ve never seen your roommate at any Maryland games?


11. Watch out for Harry Clifton “Curley” Byrd- the roommate who is a total heart-throb.

Curly Byrd_1908

Here’s what the 1908 yearbook had to say about Byrd: “when ‘Curly’ grins, watch out. Something is sure to break. His paths are strewn with the broken hearts of guileless maidens whom he has ‘loved to death,’ he-siren that he is, and never has our handsome Don Juan been found ‘de trop’ in feminine society.” Need we say anything else?


12. And there’s Tom McMillen- the roommate who has a killer sense of fashion.

Tom McMillan_1971

Three-time All-American, Academic All-American, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar, Tom McMillen graduated at the top of his class with a degree in chemistry in 1974.  During his years at UMD, McMillen was a lot more than a smart-looking coat and tie.


13. Boring day in the dorm? You need Munro Leaf- the roommate who is an awesome story teller.

If you haven’t already read the story of Ferdinand the Bull, you probably should! After Leaf wrote the popular story of the bull who would rather smell flowers than fight, it was published in more than 60 languages and even turned into a Disney film that won an Academy Award in 1938. Leaf was an English major and graduated in 1927.


14.Lost and can’t find your way around campus? Everyone needs a roommate who knows their way around UMD!

Freshman Becky Mewis getting directions, circa September 1958

It seems like there’s a new building or some kind of construction job every year at UMD. And let’s face it- we all needed help finding our classes freshman year.


15. And let’s not forget Gary Williams- the roommate who has to win everything.

Gary Williams_1965

Before this fist-pumping coach was leading the Terps to a national championship and hundreds of wins at home and on the road, Gary Williams was a determined student-athlete who would stop at nothing to win. In his student days at UMD, Gary spent long hours perfecting his skills on the basketball court. His hard work made him team captain in 1967, and he graduated with a school record in field goal percentage. Let’s just hope some of that work effort rubs off on you come finals time…


16. Need some help with tools? Here’s Millard Tydings- the roommate who can help you build things.

Millard Tydings_1900
Tydings is the one on far right.

For those of us who have had to put their dorm room furniture together or build projects for classes, look no further than Millard Tydings, Class of 1910. The future Maryland  Senator majored in Engineering and was a wiz with all things mechanical. If your construction project is going to take a while, you’re also in luck! Tydings was a gifted speaker and could talk about any subject for hours. Don’t say things are ever boring when he’s around.


17.And did we already mention that everyone needs a roommate who likes to eat?

Alpha Delta Pi Members Snacking, 1954

Because food is important when you’re a student, that’s why.


18. But if you’ve been eating TOO well, then there’s Randy White, the roommate who will go to the gym with you

Randy White_1974

Randy White wasn’t called half man and half monster for nothing. “The Manster” was a fearsome presence on the gridiron, earning All-American status twice and winning the Lombardi Trophy in 1974. The defensive end weighed 248 pounds, could bench-press 430 pounds, and ran the 40 in 4.6 seconds and is definitely the man you would want to spot you on the weight bench.


19. Most importantly though, everyone needs a roommate who can just be themselves, whether they’re just super chill…

Student Relaxing with in Residence, 1975


20. Or they’re loudest, craziest person you’ve ever met!

Terp Fans Painted Red, 2003


Is there someone you think we missed? Leave a comment and let us know!


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