Alumni Association News

Letter From the Executive Director

Amy Eichorst headshot

Passion. Commitment. Dedication. Connection. Service. These are the words that come to mind when I recall the thousands of alumni I have had the privilege of meeting.

As I wrap up my nearly 10-year tenure at Maryland and look forward to retirement this summer, I am overcome with gratitude for the opportunity I have had to lead the engagement of the university’s former students. Together with the outstanding leadership of the Board of Governors along with a second-to-none alumni relations staff team, we’ve added value to the lives of thousands of alumni through our award-winning programming.

We’ve also activated alumni to show their Terp pride, make gifts to UMD and Do Good in their communities. Year after year, hundreds of alumni around the country volunteer by laying wreaths on veterans’ headstones, cleaning up local rivers, painting schools and much more. (See the article below for more on this.)

I also want to thank the volunteers with whom I’ve worked closely: our Board of Governors, Foundation trustees, and those who lead our regional, affinity and college alumni networks. We appreciate the countless hours you’ve served. I hope you were able to join us at our first-ever volunteer appreciation event so we could recognize your efforts.

It is hard to leave the people, the campus and the pure joy I’ve experienced at Maryland. But like all of you, I will always be a Terp. I hope our paths will cross at a future Maryland event. Go Terps!

Amy Eichhorst signature

Amy Eichhorst
Associate Vice President, Alumni and Donor Relations
Executive Director, Alumni Association

Terps ‘Do Good’ on Campus and Beyond

group wears red "Fearless" shirts

UMD Volunteers Uplift Others—and Raise Their Own Spirits

Whether protecting endangered species off the coast of Florida, supporting young mothers without housing in Washington, D.C., or mentoring young Terps starting their careers, University of Maryland alums step up to serve their communities. Meet five who say they get a lot out of giving back:

It took just one night sleeping on the streets in Washington, D.C. to spur TESSA EDISON ’99 to launch a nonprofit. Though her time on New York Avenue was by choice—raising money with friends for Covenant House, which serves youths experiencing homelessness—the experience opened her eyes to the significant gaps in housing services.

She created Building London Bridges in honor of her late mother, naming it after the street where she lived. It aims to expand transitional housing in underserved communities and offers support services, including education and job skills programs, especially for young moms.

She urges Terps to follow her lead: “What problems in society bother you? That’s where you should volunteer. Follow your heart.”

To BARBARA FRIEDLANDER ’85, doing good means “sharing my own career journey and creating excitement for the field of education.”

That’s why she serves as the president of the UMD College of Education (COE) Alumni Network, where, during and post-COVID, she helped create networking, professional development and mentoring opportunities for teachers. She’s grateful for the doors that COE opened for her, including collaborations with faculty members that started when she was a student and continued into her career.

“Give back to those that provided you with opportunities,” she urges. “Join the Alumni Association and ask, ‘How can I help?’”

woman with red M hat and dog

When JULIA RING ’16 lost her dad at just 11 years old, bonding with other kids who’d suffered the same loss each summer at Experience Camps offered her a chance to heal.

Since 2017, she’s volunteered as a counselor at the national no-cost camps, and now serves as the girls’ program director for its new Maryland location.

Supporting these kids with “community, support and space to process all of their messy feelings is beyond rewarding,” she says.

Through his four decades as a successful engineer, JIM BLAIR ’81 has always looked for ways to bring young Terps into the field.

Doing good can “be something as small as making someone smile—or something with broader impact such as changing their life ... offering a career opportunity,” he says.

As president of the Northrop Grumman Terps Alumni Chapter, he regularly recruits on campus, organizes networking events, volunteers at hackathons and fosters alum engagement, including through lunch and learn events.

LAUREN RICHESON ’00 joined the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega at UMD and stayed involved throughout her college career.

“When I moved to Florida, I knew I needed to continue,” says Richeson. Today, she’s a regular volunteer at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, home to more than 15,000 plants and animals, including 15 threatened or endangered species. She gardens, sources plants for native butterflies, hosts visitors and takes part in monthly “Trash Bashes.”

“I love the people we meet, both in the fellow volunteers and guests, who share a passion for learning and preserving natural spaces,” she says.

To learn more about volunteering opportunities through the UMD Alumni Association visit


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