MAC to Millennium


Pablo Neruda Literary Award — Distinguished university professor and poet Jose Emilio Pacheco was awarded the first Pablo Neruda Literary Award in 2004. The prize was established to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Chilean Nobel Laureate.

Pagels, Heinz Z., Human Rights Scientists Award — Faculty member Jack Minker, who served as the founding chair of the Computer Science Department, received the 2011 Heinz Z. Pagels Human Rights Scientists Award for his work in writing extensive human rights violations reports in oppressive societies around the world.  The award honors scientists who strive to protect and advance civil liberties for scientists on an international scale.

Parcels of Land — The 428 acres of land that George and Charles Benedict Calvert and their wives sold to the Maryland Agricultural College on March 22, 1858, to form the original campus were named "Rossburgh Farm" and consisted of parcels known as "Arthur's Stamp," "Original Buck Lodge," "Resurvey on Buck Lodge," "New Look Out," "Godfather's Gift," and "Belt's Range."

Park, Rooftop — The roof of the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering features a park dedicated to the memory of UMD alumnus Andrew Reisse, Class of 2001.  Reisse met Brendan Iribe and Michael Antonov while all three were students at UMD and later partnered with them to found the virtual reality firm Oculus VR. Reisse was killed by a speeding car in 2012 while walking near his home in Southern California.  Reisse Park includes garden plantings, a flowing water feature, and amazing views of College Park.

Parking Meters — As of January 15, 2005, there were approximately 451 parking meters on campus.

Parking Permits, First — The first campus parking permits were issued for the fall 1943 semester.

Parking Spaces — As of October 4, 2019, there were approximately 16,500 parking spaces on campus, of which 2,200 are assigned to visitor parking.

Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building — The Art-Sociology Building, which opened in 1976, was named for Parren J. Mitchell in November 2015.  Mr. Mitchell was the first African American graduate student to take all of his classes on campus and receive a degree, a master's in sociology in 1952. He later served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1971 to 1986, representing Maryland's 7th District, and was one of the founders of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Pastor, First Female — Rev. Beth Platz, who served as the Lutheran chaplain on campus for 47 years, was the first woman ordained by the Lutheran Church in the United States. Her ordination took place in Memorial Chapel on November 22, 1970.

Patterson, H. J., Hall — Constructed in 1931; named for Harry Jacob Patterson, president of the Maryland Agricultural College, 1913-1917. After renovation in 2017, the building became the home for the Office of International Affairs, the Maryland Language Science Center, the Education Abroad office, International Student and Scholar Services, the Latin American Studies Center, and the Arabic and Persian flagship programs. A Facilities Management employee spotted a spectral shape in the attic of H.J. Patterson, and it is one of the 11 stops on the UMD ghost tour.

Patterson, J. M., Building — Constructed in 1953; designed by Ted Englehardt. Named for James Milton Patterson, member of the Board of Regents, 1935-1953.

Patuxent Building — Constructed in 1990; named for the Patuxent River.

Peabody Awards — Two groups associated with UMD have won George Foster Peabody Awards, the highest honor in the broadcasting field. The university's Visual Press received a Peabody in 2000 for their documentary "King Gimp," which also received an Academy Award for Best Short Subject and Documentary the same year. Journalism professor Dana Priest was part of a team who won a Peabody in 2019 for their documentary "The Facebook Dilemma." In addition, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow and her team used the personal papers of former vice president Spiro T. Agnew, one of the signature collections in the University Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives, to research her podcast "Bag Man," which received a Peabody Award in 2019. Alumna Connie Chung won a Peabody Award in 1980 for her work on the television special "Terra: Our World."

Peace Garden — Garden created in 2003 to honor the memory of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The garden, located at the east end of McKeldin Mall near Main Administration, marks the spot where the flowers placed along the ODK fountain during the campus' memorial service on September 12, 2001, were buried. The site includes a plaque with the phrase "May Peace Prevail on Earth" and an explanation of the garden's origin.

Pendulum — In 1955, the Standard Art, Marble and Tile Company installed a Foucault pendulum in the Mathematics Building (now known as Kirwan Hall), which, as it slowly turned, created a sensation of the entire building revolving. The pendulum itself is no longer in place, but the tile work remains in the floor as a reminder.

Penn Relays — Annual indoor track relays held at the University of Pennsylvania during April. University of Maryland relay teams won the competition numerous times.

Perfect Game — Dick Reitz pitched pitched the first-ever perfect game in intercollegiate play for the Terps on April 9, 1959, throwing a no-hit, no-run game against Johns Hopkins University. Ryan Ramsey followed Reitz’s perfect game performance 63 years later, on April 29, 2022, with a no-hit, no-run victory over Northwestern University.

Perfect 10 — Jill Fisher was the first Maryland gymnast to score a perfect 10, in the floor exercise at the Governor's Cup gymnastics meet in North Carolina on February 4, 2000.

Ph.D. — The first doctorate awarded by the University of Maryland after the establishment of the Graduate School was given to Charles E. Sando in 1920. Dr. Sando received his degree in botany, and his dissertation was entitled "The Process of Ripening in the Tomato, especially from the Commercial Standpoint."

Phi Beta Kappa — The campus chapter of this distinguished honorary fraternity was established in 1964.

Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity, Eta Chapter — Oldest University of Maryland fraternity, founded on the Baltimore campus on January 8, 1897. The chapter dedicated a tree on McKeldin Mall near Woods Hall on September 13, 1997, honoring the over 1700 students who have been initiated into the oldest continuing fraternity at the University of Maryland.

Pillow Fight — On April 17, 2009, the Terrapins attempted to set a world record for the largest organized pillow fight in a battle organized by the Senior Council. 1,834 students gathered on McKeldin Mall, pillows in hand, to attempt to beat the previous record of 3,706 participants set by the BBC in November 2008. Pillows collected after the event were distributed to the homeless, and the fight was to be the subject of a book produced by Dream Village.

Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest — Alumna Carolyn Gurtz (Class of 1970) won the grand prize in the 43rd annual Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in 2008 with her recipe for double-delight peanut butter cookies, a combination of Pillsbury cookie dough, a creamy peanut butter center, and a crunchy nut crust.

Plaques — The University of Maryland landscape is dotted with numerous plaques honoring faculty, staff, students, alumni, and events in campus history; many of the plaques are attached to particular structures and have been listed elsewhere in MAC to Millennium; others of interest include:

  • Memorial for Kelly Elizabeth Nalwasky, located between LaPlata and Ellicott Halls.
  • Maryland Agricultural College map, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the November 1912 fire, behind Shoemaker Hall.
  • History of Morrill Hall located to the right of the building's front entrance.
  • Pearson Gate, dedicated to Dr. Raymond A. Pearson, president of the university (1926-1935), located on the south side of McKeldin Mall; reunion gift of the Class of 1934.
  • Plaques honoring Marc F. Pizzuto located in Morrill Quad.
  • Memorial tree and plaque for Thomas Charles Dawson, located on the south side of Memorial Chapel, a short distance from the Vietnam Memorial.
  • Memorial tree and plaque, located between Worcester and Somerset Halls, for Jayanth "JJ" Charya (1983-2003), a resident of Worcester Hall and the North Hill Community.
  • Memorial for former UMD student Matthew Davis Weaver, located near the entrance to the Eppley Recreation Center. Matthew was a lifeguard at Eppley before his death in 2005.
  • Recognition of the founding of PHEAR (Public Health Engaging and Representing) in 2009, located near the southeast entrance to the School of Public Health building. PHEAR represents and unites graduate and undergraduate studies from the School of Public Health "to create a community of collaboration, networking, mentoring, and service."
  • Memorial plaque for Stanford Berman, benefactor, friend, and former chair of the School of Music Board of Visitors, and a plaque marking a tree planted to recognize the generosity of Frances M. "Kelley" Green in the School's courtyard at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.
  • Memorial for David G. Kyle, a faculty member in the Institute for Child Study, located adjacent to a Colorado blue spruce tree on the north side of the Benjamin Building.
  • Opening ceremony for the Campus Recreation Center, now known as the Eppley Recreation Center, May 2, 1998. Plaque contains quotes from President William E. Kirwan, Vice President for Student Affairs William L. Thomas, Jr., Lance Billingsley, Chair of the Board of Regents, State of Maryland Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein, and Meghan Price, Vice President of the Student Government Association.
  • Frederick Douglass Square contains a plaque recognizing support for the creation of the square from the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, the Maryland Historical Trust, and the Maryland Department of Planning.
  • The main entrance to the north side of Hornbake Library contains two plaques, one marking the library's construction, the other featuring a short biography of R. Lee Hornbake, for whom the building is named, and a quote from his writings.
  • A plaque near the entrance to the Memorial Chapel marks the building's dedication on October 12, 1952, to the memory of members of the UMD community who were killed in service to their country.
  • Plaques inside the doors leading to the main sanctuary in Memorial Chapel honor John Lennox for 24 years of devoted service to the Chapel and to the university and commemorate Elizabeth Platz's ordination. Chaplain Platz was the first woman to be ordained in the Lutheran Church in North America.
  • A plaque located near the fountain in front of Kirwan Hall marks the gift of the Class of 1996 to restore this campus feature.
  • Tydings Hall contains two plaques. One, outside the main doors on the south side of the building, contains a short biography of Millard E. Tydings, the UMD alumnus for whom the building was named on November 15, 1969.  The other, located inside the doors on the first floor on the north side of the building, acknowledges the support provided by Joseph D. Tydings and the Tydings family to create the Millard E. Tydings Memorial Lobby.
  • Memorial plaque and tree outside the Gossett Football Team House honor the memory of Jordan McNair, the football player who died in 2018 after suffering heat stroke during a practice session.

Pocomoke Building — Dedicated on April 28, 1946. The building was previously called the Fire Service Extension Building. It was renamed for the Pocomoke River and served as a firehouse from 1946 to 1994.  The building has served as the headquarters for the University of Maryland Police Department since 2014.

Potomac Building — Constructed in 1955; named for the Potomac River. Razed in 2019 to make way for the IDEA Factory.

Power Memorial vs. DeMatha — Two of the most celebrated high school men's basketball teams played a landmark game in Cole Field House on January 30, 1965. The DeMatha Catholic High School Stags, from nearby Hyattsville, MD, took on the Power Memorial Academy squad from New York City, led by Lew Alcindor (later Karem Abdul Jabbar) with Power Memorial's 71-game winning streak on the line. In this rematch of two powerhouses, DeMatha prevailed, 46-43, ending the longest win streak ever in college basketball in front of a sell-out crowd.

Prange, Gordon W. — A University of Maryland professor famous for his works Tora! Tora! Tora! and At Dawn We Slept on World War II history. The Gordon W. Prange Collection on the Allied Occupation of Japan, 1945-1949, a unit of the UMD Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives, is named in his honor.

Preinkert Field House — The cornerstone was laid June 8, 1931, and the building was dedicated December 1, 1931. Named for Alma H. Preinkert, Registrar, 1919-1954, by action of the Board of Regents on March 12, 1954. Major Howard W. Cutler of Montgomery County, Maryland, designed the field house. The pool was added in 1951 but was decommissioned in the 1990s.

Premio Cervantes Prize — Emeritus Professor Jose Emilio Pacheco received the Premio Cervantes Pacheco's body of work as a poet, fiction writer, essayist, critic, translator, editor, and intellectual.

President Barack Obama speaking at Ritchie Coliseum on July 22, 2011.

President of the United States — Several U.S. Presidents have visited the University of Maryland campus in College Park:

  • The first president to visit campus was Dwight D. Eisenhower; he delivered an address opening the White House Conference on Children and Youth on March 27, 1960, in the Cole Student Activities Building.
  • Six years later, Lyndon Johnson paid a surprise visit to campus when he decided at the last moment to address the Conference of State Committees on Criminal Administration meeting in the Center for Adult Education (now known as the Inn and Conference Center) on October 15, 1966.
  • Gerald Ford was inducted into the university's M Club as an honorary member on December 5, 1975; however, he did not attend the ceremony, and astronaut Gerald P. Carr accepted the award on the President's behalf.
  • William J. Clinton visited campus in 1993 to celebrate the accomplishments of the Summer of Service program, attending a conference in the Stamp Student Union's Colony Ballroom, and again in 1999, when he encouraged an audience in Ritchie Coliseum to advocate for more support for the AmeriCorps program. Clinton originally visited the university as a young delegate to the American Legion-sponsored Boys Nation in 1963; it was during this trip that he had the opportunity to meet John F. Kennedy in the Rose Garden at the White House, an experience that inspired his desire to make a difference in people's lives by becoming president of the United States.
  • Jimmy Carter gave the Second Annual Sadat Lecture for Peace on October 25, 1998, in the Stamp Student Union's Grand Ballroom.
  • President Barack Obama has visited the campus five times. Most recently he and his family attended the men’s basketball game vs. Oregon State University on November 17, 2013. As a U.S. Senator, he visited campus twice, first to campaign for senatorial candidate Ben Cardin in 2006 and again during his own 2008 presidential campaign. In 2009, President Obama spoke to a rally in support of his health care reform proposal on September 17, 2009, in the Xfinity Center, and he participated in a Town Hall meeting in Ritchie Coliseum on July 22, 2011.

President John F. Kennedy also visited campus twice, but only as a U.S. Senator.

Presidential Candidates — Three Terps have undertaken campaigns for the U.S. presidency, alumni Carly Fiorina, MBA 1980, former chief executive of Hewlett Packard, in 2016 and Eric Swalwell, Class of 2003, U.S. Congressman from California, in 2019, as well as former Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy faculty member Jerome Segal, in 2019. Segal was a candidate from the Bread and Roses independent party, which he formed in 2018.

Presidential Children — Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton, visited campus on February 10, 2008, during her mother Hillary's presidential campaign.

Presidential Debates — Fred A. Kahn, Class of 1960, was an early proponent of national presidential debates. In August 1956, Mr. Kahn sent a letter to UMD President Wilson H. Elkins in which he proposed to have the U.S. presidential candidates from both political parties together on the same platform to answer questions from a panel of college students. Kahn also sent letters to the chairmen of the Democratic and Republican parties, Maryland Governor Theodore McKeldin, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Mrs. Roosevelt responded to Kahn that she "felt this might be something that would arose the interest of young people all over the country" and that she thought "it would be a gesture not only to all those at the University of Maryland but to young people in this group all over the country." Mrs. Roosevelt also sent a letter regarding Kahn's proposal to James Finnegan, Adlai Stevenson's campaign manager, endorsing Kahn's proposal. The precise impact of Kahn's proposal on the Kennedy-Nixon debates during the 1960 presidential campaign is unclear, but his ideas did receive national press exposure.

Presidents — The current president of the University of Maryland is Dr. Darryll J. Pines, who succeeded Dr. Wallace D. Loh on July 1, 2020. For information on past presidents and chancellors of the College Park campus and the University System of Maryland, visit the past presidents page provided by the Office of the President. Two UMD alumni have served their alma mater as president: Harry Clifton Byrd, Class of 1908, president from 1935 to 1954, and Thomas B. Symons, Class of 1902, who succeeded Byrd as acting president for nine months in 1953.

Prince Frederick Hall — Dormitory on South Campus named for Prince Frederick, Maryland, the county seat of Calvert County. Opened in 2014.

Prince George's Hall — Dormitory constructed in 1944; named for Prince George's County, Maryland. Designed by Edwin Wilson Booth.

Products — Several commodities have been marketed under the University of Maryland or Terrapin names, including Terrapin Cola, introduced by the University Food Service in March 1967, and Maryland cigarettes, marketed circa 1952. The Terp Bar, a creation from the Dairy, invaded campus in May 1940. The clean-up committee of the Women's League offered a reward to every student who collected fifteen Terp Bar sticks from the grounds in an effort to remove litter from campus.

Public Health, School of — Founded in 2006, replacing the former College of Health and Human Performance. For more information, visit the School of Public Health website.

Public Policy, School of — Founded in 1981 as the School of Public Affairs. Visit the School of Public Policy website for more information.

Publications, Student — University of Maryland students have produced a wide variety of student publications beginning with the small-format newspaper The College Times in the 1880s. A number of these publications today appear online, e.g. The Diamondback, the Mitzpeh, and the Black Explosion. Older issues of major student newspapers have been digitized and are accessible in the UMD Student Newspapers database.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Franklin, University of Maryland faculty, May 1985.

Pulitzer Prize Winners — Numerous university of Maryland faculty and alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes. Visit our Pulitzer Prize page to find the full list.

Pyon-Chen Hall—dormitory named for Pyon Su, Maryland Agricultural College Class of 1891, the first Korean to receive a degree from any American college or university, and Chunjen Constant Chen, M.S. in Agriculture, 1920, the first Chinese student at the University of Maryland. Opened in fall 2021.