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Letters for Spring 2023

Letters for Spring 2023

Lauren Brown portrait


One of my favorite Maryland Day memories was in 2012, when my older son worked alongside me in our unit’s booth and yelled “STEP RIGHT UP!” to passersby like a pint-size carnival barker.

There was the year a preteen buddy pitched in with me and Henry and began cheerfully feeding spoonfuls of Maryland Dairy ice cream samples directly into guests’ mouths until I quickly halted that. In 2022, the younger one—who first attended this event by stroller—handed out Testudo bobbleheads before taking a campus tour.

Peter and I stood on the top floor of the gleaming, not-yet-open Johnson-Whittle Hall and looked down on the Terps’ baseball game below, and the lively scene beyond. There, on that sunny spring afternoon, he was 100% sold on being a Terp. We’re so happy that this fall, he will be.

While COVID spoiled my streak of volunteering at every Maryland Day since 2009, I wore my new 15-year anniversary pin on April 29 anyway. The 2023 event itself marked 25 years of “celebrating our world,” as the motto went, and my little milestone got me thinking about how I’ve watched my kids grow up there.

I hope you too have happy memories of attending Maryland Day, whether reminiscing about your student days, introducing the campus to your friends and family, or returning year after year with your own kids to pet the tarantulas, cheer at the spring football game or fish for toy turtles in the ODK Fountain. We marked the 25th anniversary here in Terp by collecting fun facts, backstories and stats on the university’s biggest one-day event.

In this issue’s cover story, we trace new UMD researcher Thomas Abt’s pioneering work on preventing gun violence, from theory to the streets of Knoxville, Tenn. Writer Sala Levin and photographer John Consoli traveled to the city, struggling like so many others nationwide to end this plague, to meet those suffering its effects and the city leaders, police and local activists committed to stopping it.

You’ll also find on the following pages other examples of the university tackling the toughest problems facing our communities and world, starting with its one-of-a-kind $30 million investment in Grand Challenges Grants earlier this year for 50 projects from researchers across campus.

In late-breaking news, we squeaked into this issue the announcement on Maryland Day of a major expansion of the university’s Do Good endeavors, aimed at empowering Terps and others to tackle even more grand challenges. Take a peek, and you’ll feel proud of how UMD is committed to making a difference, everywhere.

Lauren Brown
University Editor

Traditions by the Bucketload

On page 5 of your Winter 2023 issue, I noted a remark in a letter about an article on the M Book. As a sophomore at UMD, I illustrated the M Book along with my sorority sister, Arlene Hoffman. She provided cartoon-like drawings, but mine were more serious. I do recall particular drawings featuring the marching band and color guard and several wrestlers. (As a member of that same color guard, we were featured on the front page of The Washington Post back in the day.)

Kristen-Streubing-Beazley ’61, ’75, Boston

Coal Veins

Please give my appreciation and compliments to writer Liam Farrell and anthropology Professor Paul Shackel for the article and research described in it. As a native of northeastern Pennsylvania (Scranton), I can attest to the lives of those who worked in the mines and on the railroads. The article brought back memories from stories conveyed to me by both grand- fathers, who worked for the Erie Lackawanna Railroad.

Peter M. Mecca, Herndon, Va.

Beer, Off the Beaten Track

Great to hear about this Terp-owned brewery. I drank the Alaska Amber while on a cruise in 2006. As a homebrewer and proud Terp alumnus, I always love to hear about great alumni beer success stories. Would love to see the beer distributed out here in New Jersey. Cheers!

Richard Cohen ’87, Livingston, N.J.

This is cool! Love that they’re embracing sustainability and conservation along with brewing. I’ll definitely look for their beers locally. Go Terps!

Sanjay Shantaram, Oakton, Va.

‘All the News That Fits’

I am delighted by Terp’s colorful artwork, well-written articles and upbeat attitude. Our sleek university of today is a far cry from my own primitive days of the 1940s. Back then, we staff members of undergraduate publications sweated away in wooden, army-style barracks, one of several hastily built to accommodate masses of veterans on the G.I. Bill. Underneath the splintery wooden floor could be found a secret earthen crawlspace, perfect for romantic trysts. (Or so I’m told.) On the wall of The Diamondback office hung a handprinted variation of The New York Times slogan, “All the news that’s fit to print.” Our sign read, “All the news that fits.”

Mollee Kruger ’50, Rockville, Md.