Skip to main content

Remembering and honoring the first loss in our UMD community due to COVID-19


April 4, 2020


Dear University of Maryland community,
 
I write to share the heart-breaking information of the first known death, on April 1, 2020, of a member of our University community due to complications related to COVID-19. I do so with the consent of the family. He is Distinguished University Professor David C. Driskell, a renowned artist, art historian, collector, and curator.
 
Professor Driskell joined the Department of Art in 1977 and taught until his retirement in 1998. The University in 2001 established the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora to honor his work. A towering figure in the art world, he transformed the field of African American art through his scholarship, innovation, and humanity, showing how it is essential to the American art canon. In 2000, President Clinton awarded him the National Humanities Medal.
 
He said that some of his happiest experiences were with students. He taught, mentored, and helped countless students to successful careers in the arts.
 
To many on campus, Professor Driskell was a beloved friend. We grieve his passing. On behalf of the University, I offer our deepest condolences to his wife Thelma, to his daughters Daviryne and Daphne, and to his many friends and colleagues. We are grateful that he came to offer remarks at the Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell lecture at the Driskell Center on March 3, 2020, his last time on campus.
 
We are all concerned about the safety of our loved ones and ourselves. The University has implemented social distancing and other safety measures in the face of this unfolding and invisible public health crisis. We must continue to remain vigilant, prioritize preventive and safety behaviors such as stay at home, avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, stand six feet away from others, wash hands frequently, and wear face masks in public settings.
 
While we do not know how long this crisis will last, we are called upon to show resilience, determination, and compassion. These qualities of mind and spirit are rooted in our togetherness as a community and in our obligations to each other and to our collective safety. Our vulnerability connects us. An emergency summons us to do our duty as citizens and neighbors. Together, we have the capacity to make it through, and we will.
 
In solidarity,
 
Wallace D. Loh Signature
 
Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland
 
Additional Languages
Spanish
Creole

About

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 41,000 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and 388,000 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.

DO GOOD 

Introducing The Nation's 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. 


The newly launched Innovation Gateway will guide you to the resources, programs, partners, and spaces you need to activate and scale your fearless ideas into innovations that launch new ventures, catalyze growth, and advance economic development.

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.

Events

October 23
12:00am (All day)
October 26
12:00am - 12:00am (All day)
October 26
12:00am - 12:00am (All day)

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 20 intercollegiate sports—12 for women and eight for men. Since 2005 alone, Maryland has won 19 national championships, including NCAA titles in women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men's lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, and field hockey. Since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2014, UMD has won a combined 32 regular season and tournament championships. Fear the Turtle!

Our Commitment to Student-Athletes

At the University of Maryland, our commitment to the safety and well-being of our students is paramount and resolute. For our student-athletes, that means both on and off the field.
The University of Maryland is committed to accountability, transparency, and fairness and is working to ensure our program upholds the values of our University.
Learn more about our commitment.

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. 

Latest information on Coronavirus

News

Latest news at Maryland Today

For media releases visit UMD Right Now


Coronavirus Updates:
We have worked diligently to develop and enhance plans for reopening our campus while prioritizing the health and safety of our community members. Hundreds of faculty, staff and students have collaborated in work-groups and teams to create and maintain a physically distant, yet academically and socially rich environment for the fall semester. Our plans continue to be coordinated with state and county health officials, with additional guidance provided by the University System of Maryland. Latest 4 Maryland Updates

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.

 

Terps Need Your Help

Brick MHelp Terps in Need. Your gift to the UMD Student Crisis Fund provides critical funds to students who need immediate assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Give Now