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University of Maryland, College Park

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  • Charles Benedict Calvert (1808 - 1864)
    Charles Benedict Calvert (August 23/24, 1808 – May 12, 1864) was a U.S. Congressman from the sixth district of Maryland, serving one term from 1861–1863. He was an early backer of the inventors of the ...
  • Harold "Keith" Snodgrass (1944 - 2006)
    H. Keith Snodgrass Tuesday, April 11, 2006 H. Keith Snodgrass, of Ouray, Colo., died accidentally on Tuesday, April 4, 2006, at the age of 61. Keith was born in Dodge City, Kan., on Sept. 21, 1944,...
  • Paul "Bear" Bryant (1913 - 1983)
    Nothing but a winner. That's how I described myself even before I broke the record that made me the winningest coach in the history of big-time college football at that time. I was national coach of ...
  • Simon Ernest Sobeloff (1894 - 1973)
    Simon Ernest Sobeloff (December 3, 1894 - July 11, 1973) was an American attorney and jurist, who served as Solicitor General of the United States, as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland,...
  • Caleb Davis Bradham, inventor of Pepsi-Cola (1867 - 1934)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Born in 1867, Caleb Bradham grew up in Duplin County, North Carolina and enrolled in 1886 at t...,_College_Park

The University of Maryland, College Park (often referred to as The University of Maryland, Maryland, UM, UMD, or UMCP) is a public research university located in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland, approximately 8 miles (13 km) from Washington, D.C. Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland is the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland. It is considered a Public Ivy institution, meaning it is a public university with a quality of education comparable to those of the private Ivy League. With a fall 2010 enrollment of more than 37,000 students, over 100 undergraduate majors, and 120 graduate programs, Maryland is the largest university in the state and the largest in the Washington Metropolitan Area. It is a member of the Association of American Universities and competes athletically as a member of the Big Ten Conference.

The University of Maryland's proximity to the nation's capital has resulted in strong research partnerships with the Federal government. Many members of the faculty receive research funding and institutional support from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department of Homeland Security.

The operating budget of the University of Maryland in fiscal year 2009 was projected to be approximately US$1.531 billion. For the same fiscal year, the University of Maryland received a total of $518 million in research funding, surpassing its 2008 mark by $118 million. As of May 11, 2012, the university's "Great Expectations" campaign had exceeded $950 million in private donations.

On March 6, 1856, the forerunner of today's University of Maryland was chartered as the Maryland Agricultural College. Two years later, Charles Benedict Calvert, a future U.S. Congressman, purchased 420 acres (1.7 km2) of the Riverdale Plantation in College Park. Calvert founded the school later that year. On October 5, 1859, the first 34 students entered the Maryland Agricultural College. The school became a land grant college in February 1864.

During the Civil War, financial problems forced the administrators to sell off 200 acres (81 ha) of land, and the continuing decline in enrollment sent the Maryland Agricultural College into bankruptcy. For the next two years the campus was used as a boys preparatory school. Following the Civil War, in February 1866 the Maryland legislature assumed half ownership of the school. The college thus became in part a state institution. By October 1867, the school reopened with 11 students. In the next six years, enrollment grew and the school's debt was paid off.

Twenty years later, the school's reputation as a research institution began, as the federally funded Agricultural Experiment Station was established there. During the same period, a number of state laws granted the college regulatory powers in several areas—including controlling farm disease, inspecting feed, establishing a state weather bureau and geological survey, and housing the board of forestry. Morrill Hall (the oldest instructional building still in use on campus) was built the following year.

On November 29, 1912, a fire destroyed the barracks where the students were housed, all the school's records, and most of the academic buildings, leaving only Morrill Hall untouched. There were no injuries or fatalities, and all but two students returned to the university and insisted on classes continuing. Students were housed by families in neighboring towns until housing could be rebuilt, although a new administration building was not built until the 1940s. A large brick and concrete compass inlaid in the ground designates the former center of campus as it existed in 1912.

The state took complete control of the school in 1916, and consequently the institution was renamed Maryland State College. Also that year, the first female students enrolled at the school. On April 9, 1920, the college merged with the established professional schools in Baltimore to form the University of Maryland. The graduate school on the College Park campus awarded its first PhD degrees, and the University's enrollment reached 500 students in the same year. In 1925 the University was accredited by the Association of American Universities.

By the time the first black students enrolled at the University in 1951, enrollment had grown to nearly 10,000 students—4,000 of whom were women. Prior to 1951, many black students in Maryland were enrolled at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

In 1957 President Wilson H. Elkins made a push to increase academic standards at the University. His efforts resulted in the creation of one of the first Academic Probation Plans. The first year the plan went into effect, 1,550 students (18% of the total student body) faced expulsion. Since then, academic standards at the school have steadily risen. Recognizing the improvement in academics, Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at the university in 1964. In 1969, the university was elected to the Association of American Universities. The school continued to grow, and by the fall of 1985 reached an enrollment of 38,679. Like many colleges during the Vietnam War, the university was the site of student protests and had curfews enforced by the National Guard.

In a massive 1988 restructuring of the state higher education system, the school was designated as the flagship campus of the newly formed University of Maryland System (later changed to the University System of Maryland in 1997) and was formally named University of Maryland, College Park. All of the 5 campuses in the former network were designated as formally distinct campuses in the new system. However, in 1997 the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation allowing the University of Maryland, College Park, to be known simply as the University of Maryland, recognizing the campus' role as the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland.

The other University System of Maryland institutions with the name "University of Maryland" are not satellite campuses of the University of Maryland, College Park. The University of Maryland, Baltimore, is the only other school permitted to confer certain degrees from the "University of Maryland".

In 2004, the university began constructing the 150-acre (61 ha) "M Square Research Park," which includes facilities affiliated with the U.S. Department of Defense, Food and Drug Administration, and the new National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction, affiliated with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In May 2010, ground was broken on a new $128-million, 158,068-square-foot (14,685.0 m2) Physical Science Complex, including an advanced quantum science laboratory.

Wallace Loh became President of the University in 2010.