UMD123: 1957

1957 represents a very special year in University of Maryland history!

On this day, 59 years ago, just four years after her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II visited the University of Maryland. The Queen was on a tour of Canada and the United States in the fall of 1957, and wanted to see a “typical American sport.” Our campus was selected as a spot to watch an American college football game, and so Queen Elizabeth and her consort Prince Philip made their way to Byrd Stadium on a sunny Saturday afternoon to watch the Terps take on the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Program for the Queen's Game
Queen’s Game program cover.

The 1958 Terrapin yearbook staff wrote about the day:

A ‘Royal’ atmosphere produced a royal game today as the spirited Terps struck for three second half touchdowns to defeat Jim Tatum and the favored North Carolina Tar Heels 21-7. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, were among the 45,000 fans who packed Byrd Stadium to see the Terps score an upset.”

See photographs and more memories here, here, and here in the yearbook.

Queen Elizabeth's ticket
Ticket stub from the Queen’s Game.

Thanks to our football film digitization project, you can watch the football game, which includes footage of the Queen and Prince Phillip. Watch the first half and the second half.

See a Universal Newsreel report about the event here.

In 2007, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the game,  local videographer Mike Springirth produced a documentary, “Maryland’s Queen for a Day,” full of interviews with players and coaches from the 1957 team.  You can check out the video from the library here.

Queen Elizabeth with the Terps football captains
Gene Alderton (#51) and Jack Healy (#23), co-captains of the University of Maryland football team, standing with Queen Elizabeth and Governor Theodore McKeldin, October 19, 1957. The Tar Heel captains are to the left in white.

In addition to the resources listed above, you can view lots of other documents, photographs, and realia relating to the Queen’s Game in the UMD Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives. You can find a description of these items here.

Has Queen Elizabeth ever watched another American college football game in person? As far as we know, she has not, so that October afternoon in 1957 is truly a singular experience for the longest-reigning British monarch and female head of state in world history.

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.

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UMD123: 24

Twenty-four represents the number of years Millard Tydings served in the United States Senate

TydingsWithHammer
Mechanical engineering students at Maryland Agricultural College pose with hammers, circa 1910. Millard Tydings is at right. http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/8458

Millard Tydings (1890-1961) was a native of Havre de Grace, Maryland, a 1910 alumnus of the Maryland Agricultural College, and one of just two Terps to serve in the upper house of the federal legislature, a surprisingly low total given all of the Maryland grads that have graced the House of Representatives.

Tydings began his public service shortly after leaving school; he was elected to the Maryland General Assembly in 1916 and became speaker of the House of Delegates in 1920. By 1922, he had moved up to the state senate, but that same year, he was elected to Congress as the Representative of Maryland’s 2nd District. He remained in the House of Representatives until 1927, when he became one of Maryland’s senators, a job he would hold for the next quarter century. Continue reading “UMD123: 24”

UMD123: 5

Thousands of athletes have graced this campus and led UMD athletics to new heights throughout the years. Among these thousands, 46 individuals proudly represented not only the University of Maryland, but their home countries in the Olympic Games. Out of those 46, FIVE athletes achieved the prized gold medal!

Arthur Cook

In 1948, the kingpin rifle shooter of the world was none other than Arthur E. Cook, Class of 1950, better known as “Cookie.” As the “baby” of the shooting team representing the U.S. at the Olympics in London, Cookie was found astonishing for his age and his performance was a great upset to the competition. He won the 50-meter competition with an unbelievable score of 599 out of a possible 600, earning him the gold medal!  He was the rifle team captain while attending the University of Maryland’s College of Engineering.

Steve Sheppard with medal 2

A dominate force on the basketball court, Steve “Bear” Sheppard jumped at the opportunity to play with the USA men’s basketball team in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Sheppard would help Team USA go undefeated through the tournament and crush Yugoslavia, 95-74, for the gold medal! Returning to UMD, Sheppard finished out his collegiate career with many highlights before becoming the second round pick for the Chicago Bulls in 1977-78.

universityofmar1988univ_0_001As a tremendous, aggressive defensive star, Victoria “Vicky” Bullett was the youngest member (age 20) of the U.S women’s basketball team at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.  Vicky scored four points to help Team USA defeat Yugoslavia (77-70) for the gold medal! On her return from South Korea, Vicky stated that, “I’m in a daze, it still hasn’t really hit me yet. It was a great experience, very exciting.”¹ Vicky Bullett graduated from Maryland in 1989 with a degree in General Studies.

Andrew Valmon

The current head coach of Maryland Track and Field, Andrew Valmon, is no stranger to the Olympics. As a young runner, Andrew attended the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, and the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. In his first appearance at the Olympics, he assisted in winning the gold medal for the Men’s 4 x 400 meter relay with a final time of 2:56.17 just missing the 1968 Olympic and World Record.  At the next Summer Games (1992), Andrew once again assisted the Men’s 4 x 400 meter relay in capturing the gold and setting a new world record of 22:55.74.  In 2003, Andrew was named head coach of Maryland’s Track and Field team. He reached the highest level of his coaching career when he was named the head coach of the U.S Track & Field Team for the 2012 London Olympics.

fpo-dominique-dawesAt the young age of six, Dominique Dawes began a long and successful career as a gymnast.  Twelve years later after numerous competitions and already an Olympic veteran (competing in the 1992 Olympics), she once again proved her ability by gaining a position on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team for the 1996  Summer Olympics in Atlanta. By the end of the games, the team earned the nickname “Magnificent Seven” and became the first U.S. women’s gymnastics team in Olympic history to win a gold medal. Dawes would later graduate from University of Maryland (though never a member of UMD Gymnastics) in 2002 and is currently a co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition while working for Yahoo Weekend News.²

This is a post in our on-going series on Terrapin Tales called UMD123! Similar to our “ABC’s of UMD” series in the fall 2015 semester, posts in this series will take a look at the university’s history “by the numbers.” New posts will come out twice a month; 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.

¹ Quote taken from UMD Diamondback article in September 1988 issue.

² Information sourced from Dominique Dawes Wikipedia page. Photo used from Bio section on President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition website.

 

UMD123: 7

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

1974WLAX
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.

1986Lax
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!

2015wlax
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.)

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.

greekMap1953
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.

fratPreview1953
Preview of a finished house from the 1953 Terrapin yearbook

Continue reading “UMD123: 14”

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.

hoyerFreeStateParty1963
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”

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

calvert
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.
lee
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
silvester
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”

UMD123:3

Many colleges and universities across the United States experienced an extended and often violent period of student unrest during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s, memorialized in an iconic photograph from the Kent State shootings by John Filo. Student outrage here at Maryland against U.S. military involvement in Vietnam and elsewhere in Southeast Asia  peaked between 1970 and 1972. These protests prompted Governor Marvin Mandel to declare a state of emergency and send the National Guard to maintain order. That brings us to the next post in our UMD123 series: 3 is the number of times Governor Mandel dispatched the National Guard to campus.

May 4, 1970

In response to the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, thousands of students across the country protested. Here in College Park, on May 1, 1970, after a noon rally on McKeldin Mall, student protesters vandalized the ROTC and AFROTC offices and proceeded to block traffic on Route 1. Prince George’s County police could not contain the students, who returned to campus to throw bricks, rocks, and bottles and slash tires. Over the next two days, students continued to block traffic on Route 1. The Washington Post reported on May 4, 1970, that the protest had grown to the “largest and most violent in the university’s history,” involving 1,000 -2,000 students and 250 police officers. Later that day, after students set fire to the Main Administration building, Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel declared a state of emergency. He sent 600 National Guardsmen to campus and placed Adjutant Major General Edwin Warfield III in command of operations on campus.

1971
Student protesters gathered in the rain outside McKeldin library with a banner reading “Pigs Out of Cambodia, Pigs Off Campus,” spring 1970. (From University AlbUM).
1970_Route 1
Crowd of protesters block Route 1 at the South Gate of the University of Maryland, 1970. (From University AlbUM)

Protests continued even after the governor declared a state of emergency. When students attempted to overtake the ROTC armory, they were met with National Guardsmen armed with M16 rifles. The Guardsmen never loaded their weapons and students left peacefully, but the administration cancelled classes indefinitely. Students continued  occupying and damaging buildings on campus, and the National Guardsmen remained on campus for nearly five weeks.

Continue reading “UMD123:3”

UMD123: 37

37 is for the number of sections on (the original) Testudo’s shell

sorority testudo
(I hope I brought enough flowers…)

Testudo, we all know him. Whether as the mascot who tirelessly cheers our sports teams to victory, or the subject of statues and artwork throughout the campus and the College Park area, or maybe even as  the dapper guy on the right asking out three sorority sisters at once, he is a constant presence in our lives at the University of Maryland. But did you know that the University Archives at Hornbake Library has the preserved remains of the real-life diamondback terrapin who served as the model for the Testudo statues, like the one in front of McKeldin? This treasure is the subject of today’s post!

HCByrd at desk
Harry Clifton Byrd in the President’s Office, ca. 1945-1953.

Our story begins in January 1933, when Harry Clifton “Curley” Byrd, then an assistant to University President Raymond A. Pearson, wrote a letter to the Holland Sea Food Company in Crisfield, Maryland, his hometown. Byrd instructs Mr. Holland to send:

“one big diamondback terrapin of Maryland variety, and not one of those that come from North Carolina. I want it to use as a model for a sculpture.”

The impetus behind acquiring this turtle originated with the Senior Class of 1933, which wished to leave behind a terrapin statue as a class gift. Consequently Dr. Byrd purchased “Archbishop,” aka “Archie,” (soon to be re-christened Testudo) and sent him on to Providence, Rhode Island, to be modeled in bronze by the Gorham Manufacturing Company under the direct supervision of Maryland Agricultural College Class of 1904 alum — and former quarterback — Edmund C. Mayo. “Archbishop” traveled overnight on the train in the company of Senior Class President Ralph Williams, who was also responsible for bringing “Archie” back alive to participate in the statue’s dedication.

Mayo 1906
2nd Lieut. Edmund C. Mayo from 1904 Reveille

According to the May 27, 1933, issue of the Old Line student magazine, Mr. Mayo, now president of Gorham Manufacturing, produced the statue at cost, after Aristide Cianifarani made a model of the live terrapin in clay, based on designs by Joseph Himmelheber. The base of the statue was a separate gift from the Student Government Association, and was likewise produced at cost by Bunt Watkins based on designs by Major Howard Cutler, who had previously designed Ritchie Coliseum, where the statue was to reside.

As to the reasoning behind the gift-giving, the unsigned article continues:

“The memorial has been erected for two purposes. First, it will perpetuate the symbol that the University has adopted, and second, it is to serve as an award to the class winning the annual Freshman-Sophomore struggle. The name of each victorious class is to be engraved each year on a bronze plaque on the base of the memorial, for ten years. After that, bronze plates will be placed around the top of the base, to perpetuate the conquering classes in name at least.

The bronze Terrapin is five feet long, twenty inches high and three feet wide. The original, who measures ten inches, will help unveil his own image on June 2.”

Testudo dedication 1933_2
University President Raymond Pearson shakes hands with Ralph Williams, president of the senior class, at the dedication of the Testudo statue in front of Ritchie Coliseum on June 2, 1933. Also pictured at left is assistant to the president, Harry C. Byrd.

On the day of the big reveal, “Archie” was again called into service. As reported by the Diamondback, “with a string attached to the cloth covering the bronze image and tied about his neck, he ambled off at the precise moment and unveiled his image.”

Unfortunately, the strain of his duties and a particularly hot summer proved too much for Testudo née Archbishop, and he died shortly thereafter. Again, the Diamondback reported, “Dr. R.V. Truitt, head of the Zoology Department, has kept ‘Archie’s’ remains in a state of preservation and now the S.G.A. has essayed to finance the mounting of the terrapin so that he may repose in the Coliseum to arrest the curious gaze of future generations of Maryland students.”

“Archbishop” no longer lives at Ritchie Coliseum, but instead enjoys a quieter after-life, preserved in a humidity-controlled case in a vault in the University Archives at Hornbake Library.

Real Testudo head on
The “real deal” housed in the University Archives at Hornbake Library

Many classes that tour the Archives and all visitors to Hornbake on Maryland Day have the chance to count the number of sections on his shell and take selfies with the university’s most famous diamondback terrapin! The campus community is forever grateful for his brave sacrifice. Happy Maryland Day, everyone! Don’t forget to stop by Hornbake and visit the real Testudo!

This is a post in our new series on Terrapin Tales called UMD123! Similar to our “ABC’s of UMD” series last semester, posts in this series will take a look at the university’s history “by the numbers.” New posts will come out twice a month, on Wednesdays, throughout the semester; search “UMD123” or check out Twitter #UMD123to see the rest. 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.

 

UMD123: 30

Thirty could be a lot of things at Maryland.

It could be the number of IFC fraternities currently on campus–but that’s 25.

It could be the number of food locations on campus–but that’s 39.

It could even be the insane number of credits you took this semester (it isn’t, but we know it feels like it.  That said, what were you thinking???)

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Even Honey Boo Boo knows 21 credits was a bad idea.

No, 30 represents the number of days that Benjamin Hallowell, our first president, actually served in the job before resigning, all the way back in 1859.

Hallowell
Poor Benjamin Hallowell. Maryland’s first president, and perhaps its first dropout.

To be fair, Dr. Hallowell, a noted educator and abolitionist, was not initially aware that he had been chosen to be the first president of the Maryland Agricultural College.  The trustees apparently assumed he would take the position, as he had been advising them on matters relating to the college, so they went a step further and announced that he was the president at the college’s opening ceremonies on October 6, 1859, as well as acknowledging that Hallowell hadn’t been informed yet.

But wait!  There’s more.

Hallowell was soon told of his election and agreed to serve, but he was not prepared for the condition of the college when he arrived.  According to newspaper coverage of the college’s opening, there was still a great deal to do.  Landscaping remained unfinished, and the college’s barracks, which also served as chapel, classrooms, kitchen, dining hall, etc., was not complete. In fact, construction was so delayed on the Barracks that only one-third of the building was erected before it was destroyed by fire in 1912.

Barracks_crop

Only half the faculty had been appointed, and those professors who were on-site did almost nothing until Hallowell arrived to assume command–six weeks after the college opened.

end-well-this-will-not
No Jedi Master required.

As he later recorded in his autobiography, upon arriving, Hallowell observed that the faculty “had apparently been waiting for me…to organize the college…six weeks that had elapsed without regular order or government…in the earnest effort that I made to effect a proper organization, and secure a healthy order and discipline, my health gave way in about a month.”

Hallowell had for some time been suffering the ill effects of a prescription that had been mixed incorrectly and which had almost killed him.  Perhaps fearing that the Maryland Agricultural College would finish what the pharmacist had started, he “resigned the Presidency unconditionally.”  After a period of rest, he resumed his teaching and scientific research, until after another period of declining health, he passed away on September 7, 1877.

Hallowell’s brief tenure at the helm of the college led to a rapid succession of presidents, 15 more leaders over the next 33 years, until Richard Silvester offered a bit more stability. Sylvester served the college from 1892 to 1912.

This post is part of our new series on Terrapin Tales called UMD123! Similar to our “ABC’s of UMD” series last semester, posts in this series will take a look at the university’s history “by the numbers.” New posts will come out twice a month, on Wednesdays, throughout the semester; search “UMD123” or check out Twitter #UMD123 to see the rest. 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.