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Wilson Homer Elkins

Wilson Homer "Bull" Elkins (1909-1994) was president of the university from 1954 to 1978.

Elkins earned an A.B. and an M.A. in 1933 at the University of Texas, where he was a football star. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he completed a doctorate. From 1938 to 1948, he served as president of San Angelo Junior College. He left San Angelo to become president of Texas Western College in El Paso, now the University of Texas El Paso, where he remained until 1954.

At the University of Maryland, Elkins sharply increased academic standards. In 1957, he unveiled the Academic Probation Plan, which subjected 1,550 students—18 percent of the undergraduate enrollment—to expulsion because their averages fell below a C. Fourteen percent were sent home. By 1964, 77 percent of freshmen came from the top half of their high school classes, and Phi Beta Kappa—which had turned down Maryland twice before—established a chapter.

He oversaw the establishment of a faculty government and administered a major expansion and improvement of the physical plant, including the construction of McKeldin Library and the Computer Science Center.

A 1976 accreditation committee praised the "campus-wide concern for good teaching" Elkins had instilled.

Elkins stepped down in 1978 at the state's mandatory retirement age of 70.

Constructed in 1979, the Elkins Building in Adelphi houses the University System of Maryland administration.

John S. Toll, president, 1978-1988

About

The University of Maryland is the flagship campus of the state’s higher educational system and a top-ranked public research institution. We are a diverse community of 38,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 352,000 alumni, all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., we discover and share new knowledge every day through our renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And we are committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation’s first “Do Good” campus. 

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Introducing The Nations' First Do Good Campus Transforming Idealism into Impact 

Academics

Spanning 12 schools and colleges, Maryland offers more than 200 degree-granting programs, many of them ranked among the best in the country. Our faculty includes three Nobel laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, 60 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. And our students, who include the highest achievers in the state and nation, enjoy experiences unique to our location just outside the nation’s capital, including internships, research, and leadership and service opportunities.

Research and Innovation

The University of Maryland is one of the world’s premier research institutions. With our strategic location and scores of partnerships with government and businesses, UMD conducts groundbreaking research on some of the biggest challenges facing our global community, including cybersecurity and terrorism, bioengineering, public health equity, food safety and climate change. We strive to discover new knowledge and put it to work through innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing economic development and transforming lives. 

Arts

At the University of Maryland, the arts, the humanities and the sciences intersect to address important societal issues and shed new light on the human experience. Our vibrant campus arts community collaborates with local and national cultural organizations such as the Phillips Collection, Kennedy Center and Folger Shakespeare Library. Student and faculty artists, designers, historians, writers and performers are exploring new media, presenting new perspectives, investigating new techniques and engaging new audiences.

Athletics

Home of the Terrapins, the University of Maryland has one of the nation’s most recognizable and successful athletics programs. More than 550 student-athletes compete each year in 19 intercollegiate sports—11 for women and eight for men. Since 2005 alone, Maryland has won 16 national championships, including NCAA titles in women’s basketball, men’s soccer and women’s lacrosse. Since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2014, UMD has won a combined 17 regular season and tournament championships. Fear the Turtle!

Student Life

The Terp experience extends beyond classrooms, labs and studios. It encompasses residence halls and dining halls, clubs and sports, fraternities and sororities, campus events and performances, and countless off-campus destinations. Maryland touts 800-plus student organizations, dozens of prestigious living and learning communities, and countless other ways to get involved. Students here can create a unique identity and grow as individuals, even as they’re part of a close-knit and diverse community. 

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On Campus

Terps are bold, smart, curious and proud. We do good, in our communities and out in the world. We are fearless. And we are always looking to expand our ranks. Interested in becoming a University of Maryland student? This is where to start.

 

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University of Maryland Alumni Association

As a Terp, you’re always ready to take the next bold step. The University of Maryland Alumni Association can help, from offering professional networking to reconnecting you with fellow Terps.

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