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Catching Up to the (Nonbasketball) UMBC Story?

March 19, 2018
 
 

Friday night's upset win by the University of Maryland Baltimore County over the University of Virginia in men's basketball has prompted numerous articles about UMBC and its (nonbasketball) successes, and the attention may well continue even after Sunday night's loss to Kansas State University. That's because the university's reputation isn't built on basketball.

Many in academe know the UMBC story, but if you are playing catch-up, the university has become particularly well-known for programs that have encouraged underrepresented minority students to study mathematics and science fields, and UMBC graduates from these programs have gone on to success at top universities around the country. This year, one of those students was named a Rhodes Scholar. The university has also become known for recruiting and retaining female faculty members in the sciences. The Final Four with which UMBC has been most associated is chess.

Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC since 1992, is widely credited with leading and encouraging these and other efforts. Here are two of his essays for Inside Higher Ed, one on the need for higher education to recruit more students from all groups and the other on the responsibilities of colleges in Baltimore in the wake of the 2015 riot there.

Hrabowski was honored with a lifetime achievement award this month at the annual meeting of the American Council on Education. Here are his remarks at that meeting on "why higher education matters."

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