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Campus & Community

Pines Touts Innovations and Accomplishments in State of the Campus Address

Highlights Include Rising Rankings, Student Competition and Talented Incoming Class

By Sala Levin ’10

Main admin building reflected in fountain

UMD President Darryll J. Pines gave the State of the Campus address Wednesday, praising student and faculty achievements, calling for the institution to "keep moving fearlessly forward."

Photo by Dylan Singleton

On the same day that a Terp spoke to campus from space, University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines presented a soaring list of achievements, from a record class of applicants to rising academic rankings and an expanding vision for UMD’s future.

During his biannual State of the Campus address on Wednesday at the Colony Ballroom in the Adele H. Stamp Student Union, Pines also reaffirmed UMD’s commitment to a diverse student body, lauded faculty-staff innovation and student competitive drive, and promised the university would continue to push world-changing research into surrounding communities and beyond through the Grand Challenges Grants program.

President Pines speaks at podium

“Let’s keep moving along this path and keep moving fearlessly forward,” Pines said to the University Senate and other community members.

Here are five takeaways from his remarks:

UMD keeps rising in national and global rankings.
Ten of the university’s online graduate programs were ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top 15. The Robert H. Smith School of Business and A. James Clark School of Engineering had especially strong showings.The University System of Maryland placed ninth among U.S. public institutions in the National Academy of Inventors’ patent rankings, moving up five spots, and rose 11 spots to 21st in the world, with UMD contributing the bulk of the patents. A new variety of apple trees, an intranasal flu vaccine and ultra-durable wood were among the UMD innovations.

The Class of 2028 is accomplished.
The university estimates that more than 60,000 high school students have applied to join the Class of 2028, and the admitted Terps have exceptional credentials: Their average GPA was 4.5, with the middle 50% of SAT scores ranging from 1440 to 1540 and an average ACT score of 34. (Submitting test scores is now optional.)

“I know we say this every year, but this truly will be a standard-setting class in terms of talent,” Pines said.

With the largest number of African American students in UMD history now enrolled, the university will strive to maintain diversity in the face of last year’s Supreme Court decision overturning affirmative action, he said.

“It will be a challenge to keep up this progress because of these new rules, no question,” he said. “But we have spent decades working on the diversity of our university, and we aren’t going to stop now.”

Campus will keep flourishing.
Next month will officially bring two new additions to campus: A sculpture by artist Melvin Edwards will be unveiled outside of the David C. Driskell Center on April 4, and the new Chemistry Building will be dedicated on April 11. Pines also highlighted the Campus Facilities Plan, which imagines how the university landscape could look in 10 or 20 years, with new public spaces and even a new entrance.

A new competition spurs student innovation.
xFoundry@UMD is a new 15-month program in which student teams come up with solutions to some of the most difficult problems facing our world. In its inaugural year, the program is focused on school safety, asking students to develop a business based on a tech innovation that schools can actually implement. Each year culminates in a contest, in which the winning team receives up to $2 million in investment funding. Next year’s program will focus on mental health.

“As someone who loves competitions and believes in their power to unlock unknown talents and creativity, I can’t wait to see what our students come up with for both school safety and mental health,” Pines told the audience.

Researchers take on grand challenges.
The Grand Challenges Grants program has awarded $30 million in grants to 50 projects across disciplines that tackle global dilemmas. Pines highlighted research on addressing agricultural problems at the intersection of food, water and energy needs; developing early-warning systems to alert people to imminent weather disasters, and increasing literacy in schools.

“I am particularly proud that our initial investment has been matched with over $11 million in external funding,” he said. “So our impact is even greater.”

Schools & Departments:

Office of the President

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