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Letters for Fall 2023

Letters for Fall 2023

Lauren Brown portrait


I didn’t expect to stumble onto the Wimbledon men’s finals—or cornhole games—at Wrigley Field.

My husband, his family and I spent a July afternoon in the historic venue watching the Red Sox pummel his beloved Chicago Cubs. But even during the game, hundreds of ticket holders remained outside the iconic venue. In a parklike plaza on the stadium grounds, they stared at giant screens as Carlos Alcaraz upset four-time defending champ Novak Djokovic, played lawn games with their kids or even splashed in a refreshing fountain.

In other words, fans paid to go to a ballgame to watch a different ballgame. That initially surprised me, given our quest with the kids to see an MLB game in every stadium. (We’ve crossed off 16 so far.)

Then I recalled Annie Krakower’s story in this issue of Terp about “Mallparks: Baseball Stadiums and the Culture of Consumption,” the new book by kinesiology Lecturer Michael Friedman M.A. ’04, Ph.D. ’08. She worked with him and art director Valerie Morgan on a delightful infographic that conveys how baseball stadiums—specifically Baltimore’s Oriole Park—now attract people by blending elements of a game venue, shopping mall and theme park.

It’s just one example of the stories in the pages ahead on topics that show how Terps aren’t
just smart and creative, but relevant in national contexts.

Another alum, David Do M.C.P. ’14, recently took the wheel of New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, meaning he oversees its universe of 170,000 drivers and 100,000 for-hire vehicles. Writer Karen Shih ’09 and photographer Stephanie Cordle climb inside a cab he’s driving for a feature on his new journey.

We also showcase another story with a driving angle, on the innovative approach that researcher Jessica Magidson Ph.D. ’13 has developed to address the opioid crisis. Her treatment concept connects people struggling with addiction to former drug users and health care providers in a van that goes from town to town. Sala Levin ’10 and creative director John T. Consoli ’86 head to Maryland’s Eastern Shore to hear—and share—their stories.

Or maybe just pull out your old boom box and tune into the ultimate playlist of memories from WMUC, Maryland’s student-run radio station. Maggie Haslam’s cover feature on its 75th anniversary is full of former jockeys’ laugh-out-loud tales—and at least one shocker about a guest promo.

Wishing you lots of fun surprises and amped-up Terp pride this fall.

Lauren Brown
University Editor

Deconstructing Maryland’s Open House

I really enjoyed reading your editor’s note on the fun Maryland Day events that you have had! My father was Clifford Sayre Jr. Ph.D. ’61, a longtime mechanical engineering professor at UMD. After Dad retired, I would often come down and take him to Maryland Day. We would walk around campus and to many of the student activity booths, and run into faculty members who were old friends of Dad. It was great fun to see Dad and his faculty friends smile!

Cliff Sayre III ’82, Pittstown, N.J.

How We Picture Greatness

It’s been a whole year, yet I resist placing the Spring 2022 issue of Terp respectfully in the recycle bin. I appreciate that three of the images you published in your cover story depict College Park circa 1991–95, the years I was an undergraduate. In each image even the daylight matches my experiences. While all of the steady new construction may render the town and the campus unrecognizable from some of our collective experiences, the usefulness and novelty are already setting the place for today’s students’ own memories, and I hope they enjoy it.

Lawrence Devadason ’95, Annapolis, Md.

Truth in Exile

I’m an emeritus faculty member in the Department of Biology. My father’s family was incarcerated at Tule Lake, and I enjoyed reading about this project.

David Inouye, Hotchkiss, Colo.