ABC’s of UMD: Letter C


Charles Benedict Calvert
Charles Benedict Calvert, photograph by Matthew Brady,

Charles Benedict Calvert (1808-1864) is considered to be the founder of the Maryland Agricultural College (MAC). Calvert worked vigorously to obtain the charter for the MAC from the Maryland General Assembly, canvassing farmers, planters, and businessmen across the state to raise funds for the institution he sought to establish. He led the committee that planned the first buildings, laid the cornerstone for the “Barracks,” and held the second largest number of stock subscriptions to charter the college. When the MAC opened its doors in 1859, he served as the first Chairman of the Board of Trustees and became president of the college when the first president, Benjamin Hallowell, had to resign. Calvert also underwrote college expenses when there was no money to pay salaries. When he died in 1864, the MAC lost one of its strongest advocates

In this letter in the UMD Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives, Calvert outlines his vision for the MAC, stating that the college would “teach everything that is taught in the best Universities.” He outlines the coursework the students will take as well as their daily activities, setting the tone for the school that would become today’s internationally renowned University of Maryland.

Charles Benedict Calvert letterCalvert, letter 2 1858

If you would like to learn more information about Calvert you can read his full bio here and check out the list of resources we’ve found about him in this guide.

This is the third post in our series on Terrapin Tales called ABC’s of UMD! Posts will come out twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, throughout the semester. If you want to learn more about campus history, check back weekly to see what we’ve picked to highlight, and you can also visit our encyclopedia University of Maryland A to Z: MAC to Millennium for more UMD facts.

Do you have other ABC’s about campus? Let us know in the comments below!

Up next is the Letter D!


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