Terps on the Hill

UMD Grads No Strangers to National Politics
by Liam Farrell | illustrations by Jeanette J. Nelson

Iowans and New Hampshirites are being pummeled with political ads, pollsters are burning up phone lines and pundits are making (and changing, then changing again) their predictions. Yup, it’s a presidential election year.

This one has featured a Terp, CARLY FIORINA MBA ’80, vying for the Republican nomination, but other UMD grads have made their mark on the national political scene, too. Here are a few who have strolled Washington’s hallways.



STENY HOYER ’63 has become one of the most powerful lawmakers in the country. He’s now House minority whip, and from 2007 to 2011, he served as its majority leader, making him Maryland’s highest-ranking member of Congress in history. Back to top
In addition to Hoyer, four other Terps are serving in Congress: U.S. REPS. DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER ’67 of Maryland, WILLIAM LACY CLAY ’74 of Missouri, CHERI BUSTOS ’83 of Illinois and ERIC SWALWELL ’03 of California. Back to top
MILLARD TYDINGS 1910 was a Maryland congressman, then a U.S. senator from 1927–51. He is best known for co-authoring the law that led to independence for the Philippines and for chairing a subcommittee to investigate Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s charges of communists in the Department of State. Tydings eventually dismissed those claims as a hoax but lost a reelection bid in what some see as an early result of McCarthyism. His son, JOSEPH TYDINGS ’50, served as a U.S. senator as well, from 1965–71. Back to top
WILLIAM PURINGTON COLE JR. 1910, namesake of Cole Field House, was elected to the House of Representatives seven times between 1927 and 1942. A veteran of World War I, he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Back to top
THOMAS KINDNESS ’51 served six terms as an Ohio congressman from 1975–87, then failed in a bid for the U.S. Senate. He attempted a comeback in 1990, but lost the primary to John Boehner in the former House speaker’s first federal race. Back to top
TOM MCMILLEN ’74 was also a three-term congressman from Maryland in addition to a legendary Terp basketball star and Rhodes scholar. Back to top
PARREN MITCHELL M.A. ’52 was elected the state’s first black congressman in 1970 and served eight terms. The Art/Sociology Building was renamed for him in November. Back to top


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