Hands Across UMD

For 15 minutes in May 1986, hundreds of Terps decided to get a grip and make history—or at least an eye-catching attempt at it. Hands Across America, a fundraiser to fight hunger in the U.S., challenged participants to create a continuous chain of people holding hands from coast to coast, and the ambitious route went right through the University of Maryland campus. Several gaps broke this segment, a problem that literally spanned the nation. Did you see the stunt? Or did you form a human link yourself? Tell us about it at terpfeedback@umd.edu, and check the next issue for the responses and another unique photo from UMD’s archives.

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Several Terps shelled out information about the Testudo II photo from the Winter 2024 issue. Bonnie Estes ’71, Chuck Woods ’70, M.Ed. ’72 and Chips Johnson ’68 recognized the coat-clad fellow as John Barron ’68, head of the Student Government Association Pep Committee that oversaw the monstrous motorized mascot. Barron helped guide the car on which Testudo II was built, and “when good things happened at football or basketball games, the front feet would flap and the eyes would flash,” Estes wrote.


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