Richard Byrne

Could you get UMBC President (and head Retriever) Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, to say “Woof! Woof! Woof!?”

Dan Bailey and Lee Boot, the visionaries behind the Imaging Research Center (IRC), did it early in UMBC’s 50th anniversary campaign.

Bailey is a professor of Visual Arts who recently retired as director of the IRC. Boot is an affiliate associate professor of visual arts who became the new director of the center this past fall. Together, they lent their talents to creating a video that challenged UMBC alumni, students, faculty, and staff to be one of the hundreds of Retrievers who would reach out to the more than 70,000 UMBC alumni and spread the word about the university’s anniversary.

When the two men got UMBC’s president in front of the camera last year, they asked him about one of the university’s call-and-response athletic cheers: “UM! BC! UM! BC! UM! BC! Woof! Woof! Woof!”

Bailey managed to get Hrabowski to say it. Just as a warm up. But the warm up made the cut, and ended up being one of the highlights of the video. And UMBC’s president has led the cheer often in the months that have followed.

The video also proved to be a success. UMBC found the hundreds of volunteers it needed to attract the thousands of alumni who have turned up at numerous events to celebrate UMBC’s 50th anniversary – especially the daylong celebration on September 17, 2016 that we chronicle in this commemorative issue of UMBC Magazine.

The IRC has been one of the key partners in the UMBC50 effort from beginning to end, from their work on a new campus storytelling portal Retriever Stories, through the video shoot, and even in dazzling time-lapse video work by Bailey to document the construction of the stage for the 50th anniversary celebration and the delightful mix of sounds from the UMBC Symphony. It is a sample of Bailey’s work that you see on the cover of this issue.

The IRC is one of the most-celebrated engines of research innovation on UMBC’s campus. Among its many projects are collaborations with renowned Baltimore political cartoonist Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher, (“US Democrazy”) and UMBC professor of history Anne Rubin (“Sherman’s March”). They have also created important (and deeply researched) three-dimensional digital windows into the history of early Baltimore and Washington, DC.

Their latest project is MUSE: Mapping UMBC’s Social Engagement – a visual mapping of UMBC’s engaged scholarship and service activity in the Baltimore area, built with a new IRC software called MapTu, which combines geographic mapping, concept diagramming, and media hosting.

Bailey and Boot were among the hundreds who answered the call to help tell UMBC’s story to thousands of alumni. This issue of the magazine shows the impact that the work of these hundreds had over the past few years of planning and preparation for the 50th anniversary celebration.

The reward? All the stories from UMBC alumni you will read in these pages about how, together, we built a university on a hilltop that shines brightly through our region, our state, and far beyond.

— Richard Byrne ’86

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