Dear fellow Terrapins,
Earlier today, students, faculty and staff from two universities, along with esteemed guests, joined together to officially open a plaza dedicated to the life and legacy of Lt. Richard Collins III. The creation of Lt. Richard Collins III Plaza represents an important milestone in a journey that began almost exactly five years ago.
In May 2017, Lt. Collins, a student at Bowie State University, was killed in a crime of hate by a University of Maryland student. Since that tragic day, we have worked with Dawn and Richard Collins, Richard's parents, to ensure that his name will be forever remembered and to dedicate ourselves to social justice and the eradication of hate in all of its forms.
In a fitting tribute to Lt. Collins, social justice champions, community advocates, Bowie State President Breaux, an Army official, Congressman Anthony Brown and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer joined us and the Collins family to commemorate our new campus landmark. Many spoke on how we must use this moment to inspire progress.
Our campus has a tradition of honoring civil rights heroes: Benjamin Banneker. Frederick Douglass. Harriet Tubman. Parren J. Mitchell. Today, along with the spaces, statues, halls and programs that bear their names, we are adding a new name that will spark the inspiration needed to fight for social justice: Lt. Richard W. Collins III. This is a name—a legacy—that will mean something to every person who sets foot on our campus.