Annual UMD Open House Dodges Rain as Do Good, ‘Wimpy Kid’ Make Splash
Photo by John T. Consoli
Mother Nature must be a Terp. Between weather washouts on Friday and Sunday, the clouds parted and the sun peeked out on Saturday for the 25th year of Maryland Day.
The only thing needed to complete the mini-miracle was a rainbow over Memorial Chapel. Instead, all the colors appeared at ground level, from the balloons and tents on a lush McKeldin Mall, to the Red vs. White spring football game, to the traditional array of international flags displayed on Hornbake Plaza.
This year’s highlights included the unveiling of two new campus landmarks: the Instagram-ready Do Good icon in front of Thurgood Marshall Hall and a statue in the Adele H. Stamp Student Union of Greg Heffley, star of the megapopular “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books by Jeff Kinney ’93.
Kinney, who created the popular comic strip “Igdoof” for The Diamondback when he was a student, told the enthusiastic crowd that Greg was also born out of his experiences on campus. He joked about dropping out of his computer science major and graduating with one in criminology and criminal justice before becoming a children’s author.
“Your path might not be straight either, but you’re going to use everything you learn,” he said. Kinney donated the 4-foot-tall bronze statue to his alma mater to represent how “anyone can become anything.”
Hundreds stuck around after the short ceremony to have Kinney sign their dog-eared books, but it wasn’t hard to find other crowds on campus. At the newly updated Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel, families squealed and screamed with delight as they got “blown away.” Critters were a draw, as usual, whether the knobby-kneed new foals at the Campus Farm, or the whip scorpion and ghost mantis at the Insect Petting Zoo. Sports fans started lining up before Maryland Day’s 10 a.m. opening in hopes of meeting members of the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
But nobody stood still for long as they traversed the campus to fill out a bingo-like card and earn a “Do Good” T-shirt, took their first official campus tour, tried out a hip-hop dance class at The Clarice or climbed the high ropes at the Eppley Recreation Center.
As another Maryland Day ended, sore feet were a small price to pay for bags of swag, dozens of photo opps and countless feel-good memories.
“We could not have asked for a more perfect day,” said Cynthia Martínez, the university’s senior director of brand marketing, who led the event’s organization and coordination.
Scroll down to relive some of the day's most memorable moments.
The ever-insecure Greg Hefley is the star of Maryland Day festivities at Adele H. Stamp Student Union on Saturday as author Jeff Kinney ’93 (at right behind statue) joins his son, Will ’25, and UMD President Darryll J. Pines in unveiling a statue of the main character of Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” book series. Kinney donated the statue by artist Allyson Vought; an identical one stands in the author’s Plainview, Mass., bookstore, An Unlikely Story. (Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle)
A real dog and a robot dog (in the form of a four-legged vehicle known as “Spot” from Boston Dynamics) have a moment during a tech demonstration outside the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building. (Photo by John T. Consoli)
Terps women's basketball player Bri McDaniel '25 joins fellow student athletes in signing autographs for appreciative fans on McKeldin Mall’s Main Stage. (Photo by Madison Wells-James ’23)
Maryland Day guests pose for photos with the new Do Good icon. It was officially unveiled outside Thurgood Marshall Hall as the university announced a range of new components of the Do Good campus, including new courses, funding for additional faculty and staff positions and support for students with ideas and ventures to create a social impact. (Photo by John T. Consoli)
Spring football practice concludes at Maryland Day with the annual Red-White Spring Game, giving Terps fans their first chance to see the football team play since defeating N.C. State in the 2022 Duke's Mayo Bowl in December. The Red team squeaked out a 20-19 win at SECU Stadium. (Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle)
Wide receiver Tai Felton of the Red team carries the ball during the Spring Game at SECU Stadium. He finished with 75 yards on five receptions. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles/Maryland Terrapins)
From left, Zander Barrow '25 and Larissa Hsu '26 watch Lauren Riley '26 try out a violin at the Instrument Petting Zoo at The Clarice, which gave Maryland Day guests a chance to play musical instruments. (Photo by Hong H. Huynh)
Students from the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies’ Musical Theatre Workshop host performances of Broadway songs and scenes for Maryland Day guests. (Photo by David Andrews)
Hillary Tyler of Columbia, Md., holds nephew Eli Cherry, 4, in a fun blast of wind in the newly reopened Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel–long a tradition at Maryland Day but unavailable in recent years. Her mother and Eli’s grandmother, Helene Tyler, left, also enjoys the breeze in the facility, where upgrades now allow maximum wind speeds of 330 miles per hour. (Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle)
UMD students start to scatter as the hefty blocks of an oversized College Park-themed version of Jenga teeters on McKeldin Mall Saturday during Maryland Day. (Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle)
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