Ask Anne

Questions for Anne Turkos, the university archivist
Q: As an avid watch collector for 20 or more years and an NCAA basketball nut, I have stumbled upon a little piece of Maryland basketball history. I have a 1974 Tissot automatic watch with a custom-commissioned dial for the 1974-75 Maryland Invitational Tournament (MIT). In today’s dollars this watch would have cost the university $600 or more, which leads me to believe that it was most likely not given to student athletes, but rather coaches, the athletic director or important boosters. Since there's no engraving indicating for whom it was made, do you have any ideas?—Mark Whitaker

A: The MIT was a men’s basketball tournament hosted at Cole Field House around the Christmas holidays from 1971 to 1980. In the 1974–75 season, the Terps played Georgia Tech, then UCLA. I spoke to former coach Lefty Driesell, and his recollection is that his friend and NBA coach Red Auerbach had a brother who worked for jeweler Kahn-Oppenheimer and had the watches made for the university. Since Maryland did not win the MIT that year (the only season the Terps didn’t win their home tournament), he suspects the watches went to all the participating teams and coaches.

Q: Is it true that thieves once broke into the Memorial Chapel?—Allen Tan ’10

A: Sadly, it happened twice in 1969. In May, someone stole the flagon that was part of a silver communion set donated by the chapel’s architect, Henry Powell Hopkins. It was found abandoned in the grass and returned. In June, thieves struck again, taking not only the flagon but also the Episcopal Foundation’s complete communion silver service. No one was ever arrested, and the silver was never recovered. The rest of the Hopkins set is now housed in Hornbake Library, though the chaplains borrow pieces for special occasions.

Q: Do you have a date for the student production “Dark of the Moon?” I think Jim Henson designed the poster, program and sets for the show.—Karen Falk, the Jim Henson Company

A: Jim, a 1960 alumnus, is listed in the program as part of the scenery crew and as co-chairman of publicity for the production, which ran Dec. 2–10, 1955. A faculty member, James Byrd, was listed as designing the “settings.” Jim did design the program and cover, drawing the spiky trees used in the sets.

Questions may be emailed to Terp magazine or tweeted to @UMDarchives University of Maryland University Archives: online | blog | facebook


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