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

 

Maryland Done a “Dirty Deal”

Ruth Finzel-cropAccording to the diary of 1930’s coed, Ruth Finzel, recently donated to the University of Maryland Archives, the Aggies football team got a “dirty deal” in their loss to the Naval Academy Middies 86 years ago today at Washington’s Griffith Stadium.

The Crab Bowl, as it is presently known, was played on November 22, 1930.  Notable attendees at the game included Charles F. Adams, Secretary of the Navy, Albert E. Ritchie, Maryland Governor, Sir Ronald Lindsay, British Ambassador, and Rear Adm. S.S. Robinson, Naval Academy Superintendent.  By many accounts, the 1930 game proved to be the first competitive contest of the series, with Navy scoring the only points on the second play of the game. The remaining 58 minutes were a defensive struggle

Here’s Ruth’s account of that football showdown:

“Norma, Jake, Morselly, Jane Smith and I went with Ruth Gilbert to the Navy game.  The girls wore chrysanthemums and ribbons to it [sic].  The traffic was terrible and Ruth was driving like wild.  Smacked into someone and nearly upset [sic] another time.  Parked way off.  Lost 6-0 by a dirty deal.  Kennedy came down with me for the last 10 minutes of the game and walked out with me.  He’s so cute.  I told him about my Iota Nu Delta date, so he told me about his.  I’m glad he had a punk time.  Went to bed early.

The dirty deal to which Ruth refers?  Check out the account of the game in The Diamondback: “Byrdmen Beaten by Kirn Plus Ten Men in Annapolis Fracas.  Adverse Decision Turns Possible Triumph into Defeat”

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This was the latest installment of an intense football rivalry  between two institutions close in proximity (30 miles) but many miles apart in cultural and institutional differences.  Play began in 1905, ended abruptly 60 years later, but was renewed in 2005.  Losing the first 8 games, Maryland finally won in 1931, the season after Ruth graduated.  One of the highlights of this long series is the September 30, 1951, game at which Byrd Stadium, now known as Maryland Stadium, was dedicated. The Terps topped the Middies, 35-21, that day, and UMD Heisman Trophy runner-up Jack Scarbath scored the first touchdown in the new stadium. A total of 21 games have been played with an overall record of 14 Navy wins to Maryland’s 7.

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Scarbath scores!

Historically, the in-state rivalry was fueled by what some young men perceived as the coeds’ attraction to nattily-attired Midshipmen in their handsome uniforms over the more typical casual appearance and behavior of men on the Maryland campus.  There was also an enduring grudge borne out of a single-finger gesture made by a Maryland linebacker after tackling Navy QB Roger Staubach, during a narrow Maryland victory, 27-22, in 1964.  Consequently, the Maryland-Navy competition was suspended for 40 years by Navy.

Here’s a selection of program covers from some of our contests against the Middies:

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We post this today, on the 86th anniversary of this special day in Ruth’s life, and encourage you to check back for future snapshots of this era in UMD history! You can find her account of the 1930 May Day fun with Zingaree and the Gypsies here.

Student Life in the 1870s–new acquisition

“As a general thing we have stale bread, butter & meat (beef) that is hardly fit to eat, for breakfast.” So reported Maryland Agricultural College student Percy Davidson in a March 6, 1871, letter home to his mother, recently donated to the UMD Archives. Some things never change–like college students complaining about the food in the dining hall…

Davidson’s comment and a number of other interesting observations really capture what life was like at the Agricultural College in the early 1870s. He reports on student dress, his daily study routine, and his efforts to avoid “boys that I think would injure my good morals.” Davidson also asks his mother to send some “eatibles,” another necktie for Sundays, and a pair of slippers and comments on previous news from home.

Such early student commentary is rare, so this brief letter is especially valuable, and the UMD Archives is delighted to add this gem to its collections.

Try your hand at reading the letter. If you struggle a bit, the transcription appears below.

You can also stop by the Archives during our open hours and see the letter in person. Hope you will pop in soon.

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Md. Agrl. College

Feb. March 6, 1871

My Dear Mamma

I received your letter a few moments ago I hasten to answer it.

I have two neckties but one is hardly fit for use & I should like very much to have another one for Sundays.

Papa told me when he was out here that I was looking badly & attributes it to want of exercise, but I think the reason is that we never get a change of diet, we have the same thing over & over again, & sometimes dont [sic] get enough of what we do have. It is a very rare thing for the butter or vegetables to pass around. As a general thing we have stale bread, butter & meat (beef) that is hardly fit to eat, for breakfast.

As I do not drink tea or coffee Mrs. Regester gives me a glass of milk for breakfast & supper.

We have supper at 5 o’clock & the bell rings at 6 to study. I study until about 9 1/2 or 10, but I never stay up later unless I have a harder lesson than usual to study, but since Dr. Regester has stopped us from using lamps or candles after the bell rings to go to bed I never stay up later than 10.

Boys hardly ever congregate in my room especially bad boys. I never voluntarily associate with boys that I think would injure my good morals.

I hope I have answered your questions satisfactorily for I have told you nothing but the plain truth, Mamma.

I would like very much to have the eatibles that you mentioned & also some hard-tack & anything at all that would be the most convenient for you to get, but please don’t put yourself to any extra trouble for me, for I expect my visit home will compensate for anything that I dont [sic] get out here.

I would like to have a pair of slippers to put on in the morning when I get up  & at night while I am studying.

Most of the boys out here have got them.

Sister told me in one of her letters that you had a tremendous Newfoundland but she didn’t tell me its name or anything about it. Has sister got her little dog still. Tell Papa I received my suit of clothes a few days ago & they fit me splendidly. I have now got good suits of clothes including my uniform. I am glad to hear that Frankie talks & maybe he will send me a message soon.

I hope when you move you will be able to get a better house than the one which you now occupy for I know you are tired of being all cramped up.

Hoping to be with you soon & anticipating a happy meeting I remain your devoted son

Percy Davidson

 

 

 

15 (more!) Hidden Places at UMD

In 2015, we introduced our readers to 20 secret campus locations. Today, we’d like to show you a few more, and we hope that you’ll remember them throughout the semester. UMD has a number of hidden resources that may prove helpful to students as the year progresses. Some places are informational; some just provide a space to relax, reflect, and de-stress!

1. The University Libraries (That’s right! There’s more than just McKeldin!)

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Our campus has 7 libraries dedicated to providing millions of resources to our students.

McKeldin Library features our general collections, covering most subjects of study, as well as the Terrapin Learning Commons for group and late-night study 6 days a week.

We also have several subject-specialized libraries:
Charles E. White Memorial Chemistry LibraryMichelle Smith Performing Arts LibraryEngineering and Physical Sciences LibraryArchitecture LibraryArt Library, Priddy Library at Shady Grove

Keep on the lookout for another post in October about Hornbake Library, our home and our personal favorite resource on campus. This Library hosts Library Media Services, the  Prange Collection and the Maryland Room where patrons access our other Special Collections – all of which are way too cool to pass up!

2. Gem and Mineral Museum in the Geology Building

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Maryland Day Visitors in the Gem and Mineral Museum. Courtesy University of Maryland Geology Department Facebook Page.

Tucked away in the Geology Building is a wealth of minerals and gemstones for your viewing pleasure. You don’t need to be a Geology student to visit, and at the right time of day, you might be able to ask someone to tell you more about the different objects and gems. The quality of the specimens in the museum’s collection is often compared to the Smithsonian!

3. Norton-Brown Herbarium

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Sample specimen from the digital collections of the Norton-Brown Herbarium

The Norton-Brown Herbarium (Herbarium code MARY) was established in 1901 and is administered by the Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture in the College of Agricultural and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland, College Park. MARY’s natural heritage collection contains the largest number of Maryland-native specimens and includes approximately 87,000 specimens of various plant types from all over the world. The website for the herbarium hosts a searchable index of the collection and tons of digital images of the many different plant types.

4. The Campus Farm

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View of the Campus Farm, photo taken by John T. Consoli

The Campus Farm is a daily reminder of our heritage as a land-grant university and serves as an important study center for animal science students interested in large animals. Though the buildings currently used on our farm were not built until 1938 and 1949, the farm has been a long-standing presence on our campus. Recently, the campus farm,  home of the campus equestrian team, saw the birth of new foals for the first time in many years. The farm is one of the biggest centers of activity on Maryland Day, when visitors can see demonstrations by the equestrian team and a cow with a port-hole, known as a fistula, into its stomach…

Currently, the campus farm is raising money for a massive revitalization project of the barns and other buildings. It hopes to raise $6 million to turn the farm into a “teaching facility for the future.”

5. Earthen Bee Wall

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On North Campus, near the Apiary building and Maryland Stadium, stands a new habitat “to raise public awareness of wild pollinators and to facilitate monitoring of campus bee populations.” As many studies have recently shown, wild bee populations are dwindling across the country and, as much as we might fear them, we need bees to continue to enjoy a lot of the luxuries we hold dear. This habitat is designed to revitalize our campus bee population and to encourage further research on wild pollinators in other parts of the country as well!

6. Peace and Friendship Garden at University House

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Veteran Chinese artist Han Meilin designed “Diversity in Unity” to serve as a physical reminder of the growing bond between the University of Maryland and China. Meilin’s design is a Peace Tree which stands approximately 5 meters tall and serves as the focal point of the University’s peace garden on the vista of the University House. Meilin was inspired by Chinese-style gardens, which often incorporate asymmetry, art, stone, water, various colors and textures, and a variety of plant materials. The Peace Garden is open for visitors throughout the day and is an excellent place to indulge in a little inner peace without leaving campus.

7. Memorial Garden for 9/11

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Peace Garden, Main Admin. Burial site for flowers from 9/11 memorial service. Photo by John T. Consoli.

 

 

A few weeks ago, we wrote about September 11, 2001, and its effect on the campus community. Following the memorial service on McKeldin Mall on September 12, 2001, flowers from that ceremony were buried at the foot of the mall, near Main Admin, and turned into a memorial.

 

 

 

8. Climbing Wall at Eppley Recreation Center

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Courtesy of http://www.uniquevenues.com

Ever feel stressed during the semester? Exercise and physical activity are always a good way to deal with stress in a healthy and productive manner. RecWell provides numerous facilities and activities for our community – but the climbing wall , located just behind the ERC, is one of the most exciting. Take a break to practice a new physical skill and have fun at the same time.

9. Secret Subway and Taco Bell in Glenn L. Martin Hall

Imagine it – you’re starving in between a class in Math and another class in the Martin building. You’ve only got about 30 minutes, and Stamp seems like a mile away. Have no fear! There’s a Subway and a super-secret Taco Bell tucked away in between Martin and Kirwan Hall, which sometimes only seem to be found when you’re not looking for them…

10. Turtle Topiary outside of the Benjamin Building

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Topiary Testudo, outside Benjamin Building and across from Cole Field House, 2008. Photo by John T. Consoli.

 

 

Just across from the Benjamin Building and Cole Field House sits a Topiary Testudo – a sculpture made to allow a plant to grow around it and take its shape. As the hedge grows, the turtle becomes less metal-structure and more plant-like. This testudo arrived as a gift from the class of 2004.

 

 

 

11. Research Greenhouse Complex

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The greenhouses behind Terrapin Trail Garage are a state-of-the-art facility for research on plant life. These structures replaced the Harrison Labs along Route 1, now the site of The Hotel, and the original greenhouses behind the Rossborough Inn. The greenhouses, along with the campus farm and the Norton-Brown Herbarium, help us stay in touch with our roots as the Maryland Agricultural College.

12. The David C. Driskell Center  for the Study of Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora

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“Emancipating the Past”: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power, on display from February to May 2015

The Driskell Center honors the legacy of David C. Driskell – Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Art – by preserving the rich heritage of African American visual art and culture. Established in 2001, the Center provides an intellectual home for artists, museum professionals, art administrators, and scholars, who are interested in broadening the field of African Diasporic studies. The Driskell Center is committed to collecting, documenting, and presenting African American art as well as replenishing and expanding the field. Each semester the center features exhibits that showcase African American visual art and culture. This semester’s exhibition, “Willie Cole: On Site” will be hosted from September 22nd to November 18th.

13. Courtyard behind the Clarice

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Ever catch yourself in need of a nice, quiet place to study, relax, or just sit and think? The Clarice’s courtyard is the perfect outdoor study space. At any time, you can enjoy the weather, read, take notes, chat with a friend, all while listening to the various music rehearsals taking place around the building. The courtyard can also be reserved for an outdoor reception or celebration.

14. Dessie M. and James R. Moxley, Jr., Gardens at Riggs Alumni Center

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Moxley Gardens, in the courtyard at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center, is home to some of campus’ most relaxing spaces. The garden uses red, yellow, and white to represent our school pride – which is fitting, since the gardens sit right across Maryland Stadium’s main gate. While a number of events are hosted at the Riggs Center and in the gardens throughout the year, students and visitors are welcome to enjoy the garden any time the gates are open. It’s a wonderful place to study, chat, or just sit and relax – and it’s much less crowded than trying to enjoy the ODK fountain on McKeldin Mall!

15. Golf Course and Driving Range

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Hole 18 at the University golf course features its very own, “M”! Courtesy terpgolf.umd.edu

The University of Maryland’s Golf Course opened on May 15, 1959. There was immense student interest in having an accessible, affordable course, as well as adequate facilities in order to teach students to play. Since its opening, players have enjoyed the course’s combination of “challenge and playability,” as well as its landscaping, which keeps the course tucked away from the hustle and bustle of our busy city. The course was renovated and updated in 2008-2009 and has since been named one of Golfweek magazine’s top 25 campus courses several times. Famous golfer Jack Nicklaus even played a round there in 1971. If you visit, be sure to have lunch at Mulligan’s – one of the best-kept food secrets on campus!

If you have any other hidden places on campus that you like to frequent, let us know in the comments below.

Celebrating 100 years of women’s education at UMD

September 14 is a landmark day in University of Maryland history! One hundred years ago today, a young woman named Elizabeth Gambrill Hook entered the Maryland State College of Agriculture, as the University of Maryland was then known, setting the stage for the over 17,000 female students currently on campus.  The 20-year-old Hook indicated an interest in experimental work in her entrance register entry and fulfilled her dream by earning her degree in entomology in 1920, becoming the first woman to take all of her classes on campus and receive a four-year degree.

Charlotte Ann Vaux joined Elizabeth Hook on campus a few weeks later. Vaux took a two-year course in agriculture and received her degree in 1918.

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Charlotte Vaux’s entry in the 1918 Reveille yearbook.

These two pioneers and other early women at Maryland are featured in a new University Archives exhibit on the first and second floors of McKeldin Library. The display chronicles the academic, athletic, and social activities of early co-eds, and also features information on the rules of behavior that female students were expected to follow. Visitors can learn more about Misses Hook and Vaux, the first sorority and women’s sports teams at Maryland, the May Day tradition, and restrictions on women’s movements around campus, guests in the dormitory, and even use of musical instruments and typewriters. The exhibit also contains examples of academic expectations for the pioneering co-eds and the story of early early rebel, Vivian Simpson.

Coeds100YearsPoster_1st floor“We Take our Hats off to you, Miss(es) Co-eds: Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Education at Maryland” will remain on display outside of the Footnotes Café on the first floor and in the Portico Lounge on the second floor of McKeldin through mid-January 2017. Stop by and learn more about these amazing women from 100 years ago!

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 twice a month throughout the fall; 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.

 

 

September 11, 2001, at the University of Maryland, College Park

September 11, 2001, left a deep scar on American hearts. Over the past fifteen years, september-12-2001individuals have had time to reflect on what 9/11 means to them and how it affected both their communities and their relationship to our country. University Archives would like to take time today, on this solemn anniversary, to reflect on the impact of the terror attacks on the University of Maryland and its surrounding communities.

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Falkenberg family photo

Our university has a direct tie to the events of 9/11, as we lost two former faculty members, Charles Falkenberg and his spouse Leslie Whittington, on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. The family was  traveling to Australia where Leslie was going to work at the Australian National University in Canberra.

On September 12, 2001, the University of Maryland and The Diamondback focused on how the repercussions of 9/11 affected the campus community. President Mote cancelled all campus events and designated September 12 as a day for mourning, reflection, and grieving. Throughout campus, The Diamondback reported scenes of students hugging, crying, and praying together. Although everyone was affected differently, the university community pulled together to support one another.

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Flowers lining the ODK Fountain, following the 9/11 memorial service. Photo by John T. Consoli.

At 1:00pm on September 12, the University held a memorial on McKeldin Mall to mourn and remember those who lost their lives at the Pentagon, World Trade Center, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Over 8,000 people paid their respects by lining the Omicron Delta Kappa fountain with colorful flowers following the service, creating a little bit of beauty on a day overshadowed by such darkness. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the flowers were collected and buried in front of the Main Administration building at the foot of the mall. That site is now the University Peace Garden and stands in memory of the events of 9/11.

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Peace Garden, Main Admin. Burial site for flowers from 9/11 memorial service. Photo by John T. Consoli.

The terror attacks left a lasting mark on the University of Maryland. Students were deeply saddened but immediately willing to help with blood drives and other services to benefit those most personally affected. As the 2001 fall semester continued, and more hardship beset the campus, increased counseling and support services were made available to students.  Six years later, in 2007, the Memorial Chapel dedicated the Garden of Reflection and Remembrance. Each year, the Walk of Remembrance is held there to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11.

We hope you will take a moment today to remember the Falkenberg family and the nearly 3,000 individuals killed on that tragic day.

 

‘Let them drink beer!’—King Tom II’s Benevolent Reign

Good morrow! Earlier this week, we began the exciting tale of UMD’s regal history. Gather ’round as we complete the saga of King Tom II and his amazing reign!

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King Tom was a leader for the masses! Oscillating between the regal register and casual “party” lingo, it was his wit and blithe approach to politics that captivated many voters. He and his merry court espoused an extreme platform targeting campus security and safety in an outrageous, neo-medieval vision. Their promises included:

“constructing a moat filled with ‘fine, cold imported lager’ around the campus to protect the ‘peasants;’ breeding larger and slower cockroaches for dorms and dining halls, making it easier to catch and kill them; and installing gargoyles to beautify campus buildings.”

According to His Benevolence, the alcoholic safeguard would deter intruders via intoxication, while also transporting the campus to an Arthurian grandeur. Wading through beer, aggressors would become too drunk to walk before they could ever reach his realm, and students would have a free supply of spirits year-round!

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An illustrated medieval manuscript captures the aspirations of the Monarchy Party

The Diamondback also reported a proposal to erect a 30-foot, clear acrylic cube on McKeldin Mall because, as King Tom II stated, “[‘modern’ art [was] in.” Additionally, the King ensured improvements to the Student Tutorial Academic and Referral Center—he decreed that current exams and answer keys be made available during finals.

Continue reading “‘Let them drink beer!’—King Tom II’s Benevolent Reign”

“Of Moats and Monarchs”–Maryland’s First King

Once upon a time…

Long—but, not that long—ago, on a certain campus, lived a disenchanted student body. Political demonstrations brought classes to a halt at the University of Maryland, College Park, as tensions within the institution grew. At the height of the unrest, students and faculty activists found themselves confronted by a hoard of National Guardsmen on McKeldin Mall.  A courageous group of students pledged henceforth to vanquish institutional corruption and partiality in response to the widespread mistrust and animosity of student politics. They solemnly vowed to seek a wise and fair King to lead all Terps on a path to valor. With this solemn oath, the Monarchy Party was born!

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King Tom II salutes supporters in solidarity, The Diamondback, 1985

In conjunction with our ongoing Diamondback digitization project, today we weave you a yarn of the University of Maryland of yore. Join us as we tell the tale of the Monarchy Party’s rise to power during the mid-1980s. Among many brave heroes, we specifically recount the exploits of the valiant leader, King Tom II, who fearlessly combated the banality of student government in a series of farcical adventures.

 Of noble birth: the origins of Maryland’s Monarchy Party

Frustrated students founded the Monarchy Party in an endeavor to protest the perceived preference given to fraternity and sorority interests within the student government of the late 1960s. Mocking the petty jockeying of previous officials, the collective dubbed themselves Monarchists in reference to the tendency of internal cliques—especially Greek life lobbyists—to treat the student government as a school-funded “fiefdom.” The party’s founders felt that this internalized attitude led to nepotism and a grave mis-allocation of SGA funds. While its precise origins remain uncertain, reports in The Diamondback and The Washington Post date the Monarchy party’s inception between 1969 and 1972, which seems to coincide with the establishment of the Maryland Medieval Mercenary Militia.

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Medieval Mercenary Militia reenacts the Battle of Hastings, c. 1970-1975

As Washington Post correspondent Barbra Vobejda reported in 1985, ironic campus campaigns became a national phenomenon in the early 1970s after college administrations attempted to “whittle away” students’ rights. Pointing to the contemporary election of a cartoon character at the University of Texas in Austin and the Pail and Shovel party at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she suggests that satirical student groups, like the Monarchy Party, propelled significant conversations about the politics of higher education. An unaffiliated Monarchist regime was even established at Florida State University in, Tallahassee, Florida, in 1989.

Anticipating these anti-establishment collegiate trends, however, Maryland Monarchists blazed a trail for alternative student politics in the wake of early protests for equal rights and against the Vietnam War on our campus. Gaining traction over a period of approximately fourteen years, the party touted the record as the longest existing student-run political party of their day.

Continue reading ““Of Moats and Monarchs”–Maryland’s First King”

The Mystery of the Missing Frat House: Research Questions at UMD Archives

The University Archives at Hornbake Library is home to a wealth of information about the history of our school, campus, and the College Park area. One of the frequent tasks that we perform is researching questions that people have about the university. Some of the most commonly requested information has been gathered together on the University of Maryland A to Z: MAC to Millennium website, but there are also questions that aren’t so easily answered and require a bit of detective work on our part.

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One such question arrived in our inbox recently from an alumnus who wanted to know if we had any photos of his old frat house. He said he had graduated in 1955, and during his junior and senior years, he lived in the Alpha Chi Sigma house on campus, which he remembered as being an old farm house with a metal roof and a water pump on the front lawn. According to the gentleman, the house was demolished during the construction of Cole Field House. With this information in hand, I began my investigation to uncover what I could find about the AXE fraternity house.

Continue reading “The Mystery of the Missing Frat House: Research Questions at UMD Archives”

Mystery of the Stolen Silver

Memorial Chapel

Between the evening of June 19 and the morning of June 20, 1969, thieves stole into the Memorial Chapel on the University of Maryland campus. They made it past the new lock system and found their way into Room 13. Why this particular spot? Room 13 happened to be where the Chapel’s silver was housed, including the communion set donated to the Chapel by its architect, Henry Powell Hopkins.

The thieves got quite a haul from their break-in. They stole the Episcopal Foundation’s complete communion silver service. The thieves also grabbed a silver flagon that was part of the Hopkins set. Once they had taken what they wanted, the thieves disappeared into the night. No one was ever arrested for the robbery, and the silver was never recovered.

Unfortunately, this theft was not the first crime committed at the Memorial Chapel. Earlier that spring, in fact, the same piece from the Hopkins set had been taken. The flagon was stolen before classes let out in May, but was found in the grass on campus. The piece was then turned in to theDiamondback, and the newspaper staff returned it to the Chapel. Again, no one was ever charged with the theft.

Family members of Chapel architect Henry Powell Hopkins created two flagons as part of a silver communion set presented to the University of Maryland at the building’s dedication. The Hopkinses are well-known Baltimore silvermiths and still have a family business in the city today. The inscription on the remaining flagon reads, “Presented To The University of Maryland By Henry Powell Hopkins, Architect for This Chapel, October 5, 1952.” The flagons were estimated to be worth $548 each when they were given to the Memorial Chapel.

Although the silver from the June 1969 robbery was never recovered, the remaining communion service pieces are now housed in Hornbake Library as part of the University Archives’ holdings. These pieces are still used by the Chapel on special occasions. Below is the companion piece to the silver flagon stolen in the June 1969 robbery.

Chapel silver flagon