CURIOSITY A N E W S L E T T E R F OR S U PP ORT E R S OF T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF M A RY L A N D / N OV E M B E R 2 0 17
TO DISCOVER NEW KNOWLEDGE / PASSION TO INSPIRE MARYLAND PRIDE / INSPIRATION TO TRANSFORM THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE / BOLDNESS TO TURN IMAGINATION INTO INNOVATION
BUILDING TOGETHER A. JAMES & ALICE B. CLARK FOUNDATION MAKES HISTORIC $219.5M INVESTMENT IN UMD
THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND IS HOME TO BRILLIANT, CURIOUS FACULTY AND STUDENTS WHO DISCOVER AND ADVANCE NEW KNOWLEDGE. I am proud to have joined this vibrant community that is dedicated to harnessing the power of fearless ideas. It has been a pleasure to get to know Maryland’s beautiful campus and many of the people—faculty, staff, students, alumni and other supporters—who are so vital to its success. October 4 was a day to remember: The university announced an unprecedented investment of nearly $220 million from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, which will increase college access and affordability, spark innovations and inspire the next generation of engineering leaders. The impact on this campus, and beyond, will be transformational. Across the university, Terps are pushing the boundaries of discovery this fall. The new Fearless Flight Facility (F3) opened as the only open-air drone testing facility in the Washington, D.C., area. It will advance research in flight control, sensing, autonomy and more. A team of undergraduates has developed a potentially revolutionary system to detect Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms appear, winning the top prize and $20,000 in a challenge sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. One of UMD’s most esteemed scientists, Distinguished University Professor Rita Colwell, was awarded the International Prize for Biology for her critical contributions to marine biology, bioinformatics and the understanding and prevention of cholera. The new Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education was launched this fall in the College of Education as a hub for research, policy and professional standards in this field. It will bring together diverse communities, government agencies, higher education institutions and international partners. I hope you enjoy reading about a few remarkable students, faculty and programs—all made possible by your generosity. The opportunity to Discover New Knowledge and create a better world is because of you. Sincerely,
Jackie Lewis Vice President for University Relations President, University of Maryland College Park Foundation
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BROAD PERSPECTIVE Former Intelligence Official Gives to BSOS, Athletic Scholarships, Cole Field House By Lauren Brown
michael S. Green ’67 surely has some remarkable memories from a 33-year career at the National Security Agency. But while he can’t share those, one he can was cheering in the Georgia Dome as the Terps men’s basketball team captured the 2002 NCAA championship. Green calls it one of the more exciting moments of his life. A half- century after graduating from the University of Maryland with a government and politics degree, Green is marking his appreciation for both Maryland athletics and his education here with a $1.2 million bequest. Sixty percent of the funds will establish an endowed fund for a scholarship for undergraduates majoring in disciplines within the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS), and 40 percent will create an endowed fund for athletic scholarships. Green has also pledged $100,000 in support of the renovation of Cole Field House as a hub for academics, athletics and research. The BSOS scholarship is “for serious students who want to study and who clearly are deserving,” he says. “Same on the athletics side: Having some kids who wouldn’t perhaps have an opportunity to go to college to get some help through an athletic scholarship was attractive to me.” Green grew up in Japan, Austria, England and the American South as the son of an Army officer, who later retired near Fort Meade, Md. When he won a state senatorial scholarship that would cover much of his education at Maryland, the choice of where to pursue his degree became easy, he says. On campus, he played intramural sports and was inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. After he graduated, he began a distinguished career in the U.S. intelligence
community, rising to the position of assistant deputy director of the NSA. He then worked for AT&T as director of business development for homeland security programs before teaming up with former NSA colleagues to start the National Means Group, a consulting firm to assist small businesses seeking to work with federal intelligence agencies. Green retired for good in 2010. Never did he lose his attachment to Maryland. He’s a long-standing Terrapin Club member, and he and his wife attended football and basketball games for decades. After her death, he began to think about a legacy based on his appreciation for what a quality college education had given to him. “That was an important thing for me,” Green says. “Attending the university and graduating really broadened my perspective, and I think the world and society benefit greatly from having an educated populace. I hope this bequest furthers the pursuit of that goal.”
BUILDING TOGETHER A. JAMES & ALICE B. CLARK FOUNDATION MAKES HISTORIC $219.5M INVESTMENT IN UMD
a. james clark ’50 knew the transformative power of a scholarship. The one he earned to attend the University of Maryland allowed him to pursue an education in civil engineering, hitchhiking daily from his parents’ Bethesda home. He used that degree to land a job at a modest local firm and over the next 60 years, Clark grew it into one of the nation’s largest construction companies, Clark Construction. Now just imagine how an unprecedented new investment from his family’s foundation will transform this university. The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation announced on Oct. 4 that it will give $219,486,000 to a stunning array of university priorities: New scholarships for incoming and transfer students that increase college affordability and access. Graduate fellowships and expanded scholarships for generations of promising UMD students. Funding to recruit high-level faculty across campus who will pursue research opening new frontiers. New facilities that will cement the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s stature among the world’s finest.
The largest gift ever given to a Washington metro area public institution, “Building Together: An Investment for Maryland” celebrates the legacy of A. James Clark, the noted philanthropist and a builder of modern Washington, D.C., and his belief in the power of education to change lives. “The University of Maryland played an unparalleled role in my dad’s academic preparation and his success as a business leader,” said Courtney Clark Pastrick, board chair, A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. “This gift is symbolic of his profound gratitude and commitment to ensuring the best education is accessible and affordable to all with the will to work hard.” “This investment is historic in scope and transformational in impact, and I do not say this lightly,” UMD President Wallace D. Loh said. “Access to higher education is essential, if we are to solve urgent national problems. Creating this path for the most promising students in engineering and other fields may well prove to be Mr. Clark’s greatest legacy.” As both a philanthropist and the former president and CEO of the Clark Construction Group, A. James Clark invested heavily in his alma mater: He donated millions in his lifetime to grow and strengthen the college that bears his name. The Foundation named for him and his wife is guided by the Clark family’s belief in the value of hard work and their desire to create immediate impact, backing projects focused on engineering, D.C. education and community, and veteran support. This monumental new investment from the Clark Foundation will enhance the university’s role as a bold leader sparking new innovations that solve today’s problems.
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Photo: John T. Consoli
I knew that being a full-time engineering student and working parttime was asking for trouble. I planned to live very frugally on my savings from my years in the workforce and hoped for scholarships. When I got the email telling me I’d been awarded a Clark Opportunity Scholarship, I was with my mom and we just went crazy. It was an amazing opportunity.” nina uchida ’19
My parents immigrated from South Korea in the early ’90s. It was my parents’ dream for me to go to college and get a good education. And because I received the Clark scholarship, I was able to come out of undergrad debt-free, which allowed me to ultimately pursue my Ph.D.” danny kim ’08, doctoral student
Mr. Clark embodies everything we can possibly imagine about a great alum, a person who gives back, a person who started from nothing and turned himself into something huge. We owe it to him at the Clark School of Engineering to take to heart one of his famous quotes, ‘We must solve today's problems.’” darryll pines, Clark School dean and Farvardin professor of engineering
Highlights of the investment include: THE CLARK CHALLENGE FOR MARYLAND PROMISE
A campus-wide matching program that will provide need-based scholarships to hundreds of students every year from all majors. If fully matched by gifts from other donors, this program will establish a $100 million fund to support students with financial need. A. JAMES CLARK SCHOLARS PROGRAM
A new program providing scholarships to 40 high-performing engineering undergraduates. Reflecting the Clarks’ commitment to the local community, priority will be given to in-state students. CLARK OPPORTUNITY TRANSFER SCHOLARS PROGRAM The endowment of a pilot program
that will provide need-based scholarships to 40 engineering majors coming from Maryland community colleges. CLARK DISTINGUISHED CHAIR The creation of eight faculty chairs for stellar engineering researchers who directly address engineering’s most critical research areas, such as additive and advanced manufacturing, autonomy and robotics, and energy and sustainability. CLARK LEADERSHIP CHAIRS The establishment and endowment of five faculty chairs
throughout the campus in interdisciplinary fields that are critical to the knowledge-based economy of the future, such as data analytics, neuroscience, virtual and augmented reality, and cybersecurity. CLARK DOCTORAL FELLOWS PROGRAM An endowment supporting 30 additional first-year doctoral fellowships, allowing the Clark School to increase research productivity and graduate more outstanding Ph.D.s every year. NEW ENGINEERING BUILDING A new space that secures the university’s stronghold in engineering innovation by helping recruit and retain world-class faculty and facilitating collaborations between disciplines with institutional and business partners. IDEA FACTORY An expansion of the Clark School’s signature Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building that will foster innovation with new cutting-edge labs, startup space and areas dedicated to cross-disciplinary research. IMPACT Also known as the 125th Anniversary Fearless Ideas Mpact Challenge, the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s “moonshot” engineering program to spur innovative engineering research.
6 / CURIOSITY
PREPARING THE GROUND AGNR Professor’s Gift Strengthens Soil Research at UMD By Chris Carroll
soil grows our food, cleans our water and is linked inextricably to our physical health, but it’s something few of us think about except when we’re cleaning up. A $1 million gift will establish the Ray R. Weil Endowed Professorship in Soil Science to help ensure this crucial resource gets its proper due. Weil, a longtime University of Maryland professor of soil science in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology, says his gift will help cement UMD’s place as a key center for the discipline. “There are fewer soil science departments now than there used to be… (but) there is more need for it than ever,” he says, both at home and in places like western China, where Weil recently advised environmental officials on how to preserve cropland and stop creeping desertification. Weil came to UMD in 1979 after receiving his Ph.D. in soil science from Virginia Tech and spending a few years teaching at a university in Malawi. Though his research has
taken him all over the world, he has all along taught the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ introductory soil science class and is the lead author of “The Nature and Property of Soils,” long considered the bible of soil science. “I’ve enjoyed the teaching, and I appreciate the academic freedom I’ve had here,” he says. “I’ve known for a long time I wanted to give something back to the university.” He at first had planned to fund a Ph.D. scholarship, but realized that thanks to some lucky stock picks —like a small early-’90s investment in Apple that resulted in a 200-fold return—he could endow a distinguished professorship that would attract a world-class researcher. He says he’s looking forward to watching soil science grow at UMD, where he still has plenty of work to do. “I’m 69-and-a-half with no intention of retiring,” Weil says. “I’m finding my expertise is more and more in demand.”
LEDGERS OF THE PAST Gift Increases Commitment to Teaching Business History By Liam Farrell
that heralded economist Henry Kaufman, nicknamed “Dr. Doom” for his cautionary forecasts, wants people to heed the financial warnings of the past. Kaufman fled Nazi Germany with his family in the 1930s and went on to have a distinguished career on Wall Street, most notably with Salomon Brothers; in 2010, the Henry and Elaine Kaufman Foundation gave $1 million to the Robert H. Smith School of Business to create an endowed fellowship in business history. “Business schools tend to turn out students who are well prepared in quantitative analysis and management skills. But they have limited understanding of what’s happened in the past,” he says. “And if you don’t remember the past, there’s a risk that you will repeat the past.” Now the foundation is giving an additional $1.2 million to create the Henry Kaufman Chair in Financial History. The chair will be filled by the current fellow, David Sicilia, who is affiliated with the Smith School’s Center for Financial Policy and is an associate professor of history. Business history, Sicilia says, is the study of companies, entrepreneurs and industry, examining how they emerge, grow and, sometimes, fail. “By studying business you get quickly to the core of what it means to be not just an American but also a global citizen,” he says. Studying past business events, and the influence of morality and ethics, is critical to having a successful career, Sicilia says. The people at the top of the corporate ladder “aren’t just technicians.” “You can master accounting or logistics or something like that,” he says. “But if you want to rise to the higher levels of corporate life or found a firm and become a successful entrepreneur, you’re going to have to think more broadly.” IT’S NO SURPRISE
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TIAA, UMD EXPAND “DO GOOD” EFFORT WITH NEW FELLOWSHIP By Lauren Brown
it took just one conversation with Robert T. Grimm Jr., director of the School of Public Policy’s Do Good Institute, to make a believer out of David Ahlquist ’98. A senior financial advisor with the financial services provider TIAA, Ahlquist is a lifelong proponent of philanthropy and an active Terp alumnus. During this talk, he was struck by the similarities in the university’s mission to produce leaders in social change, and his organization’s work helping employees in academic, research, medical, government and cultural fields. Their dialogue led to the first major collaboration coming out of the institute since the university announced its commitment to become the nation’s first “do good” campus. TIAA has pledged to help establish a two-year fellowship program for master of public policy students. The TIAA Nonprofit Leadership Fellows Program funds five graduate students starting this fall and five more in 2018, preparing them for careers in creating social change. “TIAA is excited to work with the University of Maryland on developing the next generation of nonprofit and philanthropic leaders,” says
Doug Chittenden, head of institutional retirement at TIAA. “We were founded nearly 100 years ago in the vision of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, and this collaboration will allow us to continue his legacy for the next 100 years and beyond.” Fellows will take courses in nonprofit management and leadership, strategic philanthropy, social entrepreneurship and fundraising. They’ll receive significant tuition remission, mentoring, health benefits and paid internships with the Do Good Institute and two nonprofits. The program is similar to the School of Public Policy’s Philanthropy Fellows program, which focuses on grant-making foundations rather than service nonprofits, and links students to paid experiences with members of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. Ahlquist notes that the future nonprofit leaders of the world will be TIAA’s client base, and he’s “thrilled” about the opportunities presented by the relationship. “I think the biggest challenge for all of us is to just be patient, because we’re just in the fledgling stages of building this out into what it will eventually become.”
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WHY I GIVE
BY PATRICIA DAVISON MAIL PH.D. ’96
That’s why I’ve made a bequest of $250,000 to establish an endowed dissertation fellowship to support a Ph.D. student in the School of Public Health.
I have always enjoyed learning. Let’s face it: I was a college junkie, which explains why I have five degrees. I was blessed to receive work-study support, earn scholarships or federal grants, benefit from the GI Bill, or make enough to pay my own tuition. And I had the help, patience and encouragement of faculty and staff. There is no greater gift than a departmental secretary who calls you at work to remind you of deadlines and applications that are due.
Why do I give back? Because I can, because I know it is important to the school, because I know it doesn’t require huge sums but consistency, and because I believe in returning grace and gifts when I can. Giving allows flexibility for the school, which is important as times and events change. I am deeply grateful for the support I received, and I am blessed to be able to return some measure of my thanks in a tangible way: writing a check or directing my estate to make distributions after I am gone. Look at the history of great institutions and you will see that they are supported not just by grants and tuitions, but also by alumni. It’s my way of saying, “Thank you, Maryland, for your support and encouragement.”
My classmates did not always receive as much support as I did. And I now have an honorary niece in college who is running up staggering bills, despite seeking grants and scholarships. Patricia Davison Mail Ph.D. ’96 is a retired
I am now able to set aside sums of money to help others. It seems natural to, as the saying goes, “pay it forward.” I cannot contribute enough to endow a chair or have a building named after me, but I know that every penny adds up to real assistance for someone struggling to finish.
commissioned corps officer for the U.S. Public Health Service and a past president of the American Public Health Association. She spent her career dedicated to public health education, working on issues of substance abuse and tribal health.