BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Visit the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and you’ll likely find University President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski strolling around campus and working with a crowd of students like a rock star.
What is surprising is that Dr. Hrabowski is so familiar with the campus community that he knows personal details about many of the students who attend UMBC, such as how long they have been there and when they have been on campus. will graduate.
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So if you ask Hrabowski what he’s most proud of, he’s willing to volunteer that it’s not the billions of dollars in new construction that has taken place during his tenure, but the students. and university staff.
In his head, he may recall some of UMBC’s most famous alumni, an impressive list that includes former US surgeon General Jerome Adams and Clemson University President James Clements.
It’s not just the people who stuck with himover for years, it’s what they’ve achieved, both at UMBC and after graduating and starting their careers.
“People will always remember that we made NCAA history. We were the first 16th seed to beat the 1st seed. We beat UVA that year,” said Hrabowski. “We beat Yale in a mock trial. We were national champions in mock testing and we were national champions in chess, national champions in cybersecurity. ”
Hrabowski is particularly proud of the school’s excellence in mock competitions, chess and cybersecurity. Why?
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“We are a nerd campus,” he said. “We are bookworms. We are very proud of that. ”
But it is worth noting that things have not always been easy for Hrabowski.
He led his school through major historical events that challenged the nation — from the 9/11 attacks that killed a UMBC graduate, to the unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray , to the racial divide that seems to have only increased over the past six years. And then there’s the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If there are services that we provide and have to pay for them, then we have decided not to charge those fees this year,” he said. “The number of first-year students entering the school increased by more than 20 percent. Graduate enrollment increased by 40%. So people want to be here at UMBC.”
Based on how welcoming he is on campus, it’s clear that students enjoy having Hrabowski around, too.
After three decades at UMBC, the longtime president will retire at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. But he will always cherish the time and opportunity he had at the school his identity helped shape.
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“It’s time for me to say thank you to our country, to this state, to UMBC,” said Hrabowski. “Because they took my chances, they believed in me, they allowed me to grow and dream of possibilities.”
https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/02/24/outgoing-umbc-president-dr-hrabowski-leaves-unforgettable-legacy/ Outgoing UMBC President, Dr. Hrabowski leaves an unforgettable legacy – CBS Baltimore