My fellow Terrapins,
Today, we honor four Maryland trailblazers, and I couldn’t be prouder to share this news with you.
I am happy to announce a major step forward in plans I outlined on the first day of my presidency. The University System of Maryland Board of Regents has approved our proposal to name our newest campus residence halls after four individuals who paved the way for the rich diversity and culture that defines our campus today: Mr. Hiram Whittle, the first African American male to be admitted to our university in 1951; Ms. Elaine Johnson Coates, the first African American female to graduate with a degree in education in 1959; Mr. Pyon Su, the first Korean student to receive a degree from any American college or university; and Mr. Chunjen Constant Chen, the first Chinese student to enroll at the Maryland Agricultural College.
Nearly all of our residence halls are named for counties, and this marks the first time since 1914 that a residence hall will be named for a person. The Johnson-Whittle and Pyon-Chen Halls will honor these pioneers and their invaluable contributions to Maryland.
I am thankful to Mr. Whittle, Ms. Johnson Coates and the Pyon and Chen families for their acceptance of this recognition.