In Fall 1994, the University of Maryland undertook an experiment of sorts, inviting about 450 students from different majors to live in the Cambridge Community and take a handful of core classes together. For the first time on campus, faculty were brought into the residence halls to teach classes and maintain offices, enhancing mentorship opportunities.

It worked. Since then, College Park Scholars has welcomed more than 16,000 students, including 950 first-year students this fall—a quarter of the freshman class—into 12 programs. 

“The idea of a true living-learning program, with faculty in the residence halls, a rich interdisciplinary curriculum, and a strong, reinforcing co-curriculum, is alive and well in the Cambridge Community,” said Executive Director Marilee Lindemann. “We still give first- and second-year students a small place to call home within the larger world of the university.”

To help celebrate its 25th anniversary, Scholars will be serving its own flavor of Maryland Dairy ice cream from 2:45 to 4 p.m. today in 1111 Cambridge Community Center, while supplies last. Scholars Chocolloquium—named after its weekly colloquium discussion classes and chosen by popular vote earlier this fall—features double chocolate ice cream with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Oreos and a marshmallow swirl.

While you await the ice cream tasting, hover your cursor over the boxes below to check out 25 facts you might not have known about College Park Scholars: