Visitors to H.J. Patterson Hall can now view a new Special Collections and University Archives exhibit highlighting the history of international students on campus. The display is a part of the Year of Immigration, an initiative across all of the University of Maryland’s schools, that seeks to increase awareness about immigration, global migration, and refugees. The Year of Immigration strives to create a more diverse and inclusive community at the University of Maryland.
The exhibit is located on the first floor of H.J. Patterson Hall, right next to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. Materials featured in the exhibit include photographs of UMD’s earliest international students, Pyon Su and C.C. Chen. Other images portray the many international student groups on campus. Documents and brochures describing international student life at UMD are also a prominent part of the exhibit.
The Year of Immigration display was created by Ashleigh Coren, Special Collections Librarian for Teaching and Learning, and graduate assistant Clare Kuntz. Coren and Kuntz consulted President’s Office records, yearbooks, university publications, and The Diamondback in their research on international students at the University of Maryland.
When discussing the exhibit Coren said:
Exhibits are incredibly time intensive projects. It took us over a month to find materials, design the concept, and the print the materials and captions for the display. But, we’re pretty proud of what we’ve done. One of my favorite items is a 1966 letter by the Director of International Education Services and Foreign Affairs to then President Elkins about the housing discrimination experienced by students from Africa and the West Indies. While upsetting and in many cases, relevant to some of the struggles experienced today, it is nice to see that even in 1966 there were advocates for international students on campus.
The exhibit will be on view in H.J. Patterson Hall for the remainder of the semester, be sure to check it out in the next couple of weeks!