A message from President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous:
As the semester ends, we want to share highlights of UMBC’s 50th anniversary celebration and encourage your participation in upcoming events, particularly the special weekend celebration planned for September 16–19.
UMBC50 celebrates the Grit & Greatness that make UMBC a national model of inclusive excellence in higher education. Thank you for all you do to make our UMBC such an exceptional community.
Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust will speak at undergraduate Commencement May 19 to celebrate our institutions’ shared commitment to greater inclusivity in higher education. We are also thrilled to welcome UMBC alumnus and Clemson University President Jim Clements back to campus as our graduate Commencement speaker May 18. Both of these distinguished speakers will receive honorary degrees.
UMBC now has almost 70,000 alumni. Over the past 10 years, 30 percent of those alumni have been engaged with the campus through events, volunteering, and philanthropy. This is a good foundation, and there is plenty of room to expand alumni connections with the current life of the campus. We are delighted that more than 70 departments, programs, and alumni groups submitted proposals for 50th anniversary alumni programming during this academic year and next year. The Office of Institutional Advancement, with input from a campus-wide committee, has awarded nearly $100,000 to 30 applicants. OIA also continues to work with many other departments that plan to engage alumni during this special year. OIA staff will offer three workshops in May and June for colleagues planning 50th anniversary events. Click here for more information.
September 16–19 Celebration
The weekend leading into the actual anniversary date of September 19 represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to dramatically increase alumni engagement. We know that robust faculty and staff participation during that weekend is essential to attracting alumni participation. The September celebration will span Friday, September 16, through Monday, September 19. It is especially important to have faculty and staff on campus Saturday, September 17, when the greatest number of alumni are expected to attend. For one day only, UMBC will be a party school, as we celebrate the collective Grit & Greatness of our special community.
- A luncheon will honor retired faculty and staff, founders no longer with us, and past winners of Presidential and Regents awards.
- An afternoon, family-friendly festival will center around the Performing Arts and Humanities Building so that alumni can experience this transformational new building. There will be smart-fun, recreation activities, a soccer match, performances, and many opportunities for reunions with alumni. GRIT-X talks featuring faculty and alumni experts will run through the afternoon in the PAHB.
- After sunset, a spectacular celebration finale will feature a UMBC trivia quiz competition and a light show accompanied by fireworks.
We need hundreds of you to reach thousands of us. Please mark your calendar now for September 17 and contact alumni you know to invite them to join you.
The 50th celebration is already underway online at Retriever Stories —retrieverstories.umbc.edu — an innovative website built through a partnership involving the Imaging Research Center, the Division of Information Technology, and the Office of Institutional Advancement. The beta version has attracted 300 posts and 250 unique users in just two weeks. We encourage you to visit the site often to enjoy stories from alumni and share your own.
For more information on UMBC50, please visit 50.umbc.edu.