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Welcome back, Terrapins

August 31, 2020

My fellow Terps,
For over 160 years, the University of Maryland has proudly served the citizens of our state and the world. I have been fortunate enough to be part of this community for more than 25 of those years. Today, we officially begin the Fall 2020 semester, which will be like no other in our storied history.
To help with our efforts to phase in the resumption of on-campus activities, and out of an abundance of caution, we begin this semester with all undergraduate instruction delivered online. It is our hope and expectation that in-person and blended instruction will resume on September 14, because we believe that the full richness of a University journey comes from an on-campus environment, where a community of scholars, students and staff unite for an academic, research, residential, social, and athletic experience.
Our staff and faculty, along with many students, have worked all summer to develop comprehensive plans for campus-wide COVID-19 testing, isolation and quarantine protocols, contact identification and tracing, and a dashboard to transparently share data about the prevalence of the virus on our campus. As a result, our campus will look and feel different this semester.
Even as we begin this unprecedented semester, we must also remain focused on keeping our University moving forward:
  • We will relentlessly pursue excellence in everything we do;
  • We will celebrate our differences, and embrace different backgrounds and perspectives. There is a richness and a strength in our diversity as we work to be an anti-racist campus; and
  • We will dedicate ourselves to our land-grant mission -- service to the state and to humanity.
We are connected
It is our collective responsibility to follow our “4Maryland” guidelines: wear a face-covering inside and outside, wash hands frequently, practice physical distancing, and stay home when you are sick.
I believe we must all learn to adapt to life with this virus. So that means cautiously reopening our physical campus while, first and foremost, prioritizing the health and safety of our campus and the surrounding community.
The Fall semester opens in the shadow of the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech and, tragically, in the wake of more senseless violence against Black lives. The twin pandemics of the virus and racial injustice have reminded us of two indelible truths. We must fight for the change we want. And we must be united in that fight if we are to persevere.
With gratitude 
Finally, I want to recognize and thank every member of our community who worked so hard to get us to this day -- our amazing staff in housekeeping and grounds, housing and dining, facilities, the University Health Center, and everyone in the academic units in our colleges and schools. I know how much dedication and hard work each of you put in over the last few months, and I want you to know how much I appreciate you.
I want this to be a great fall semester, and I want a healthy and fulfilling experience for every one of our students, faculty and staff. We can do it together. TerrapinSTRONG.
Go Terps!
Darryll J. Pines
Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland
Twitter: @President_Pines
Instagram: @President_Pines



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 40,700 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and nearly 400,000 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.


Introducing The Nation's First Do Good Campus Transforming Idealism into Impact 


Spanning 12 schools and colleges, Maryland offers more than 300 degree-granting programs, many of them ranked among the best in the country. Our faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 58 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.


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.


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!

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. 

On Campus


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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.


Give to Maryland

Giving back is a fearless Terp tradition, and there are many ways you can not only keep it alive, but also make an instant impact. 

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