Is it true that you have to run around the Loop Road to get rid of the calories in one donut? I heard this when I was a freshman 20 years ago.
—Renate Smith ’98

The caloric reduction in running the 2.2 miles of Loop Road (officially known as Hilltop Circle) likely depends on your metabolism. (The inner loop is only 1.8 miles, by the way.) But we do know that the road itself was the result of careful planning by Albin O. Kuhn and the team that designed the university before it opened in September 1966.

Kuhn visited many universities before proposing a design for UMBC. “In essence, UMBC became a compilation of the positives and negatives that Kuhn experienced,” says Nichole Zang, a master’s student in UMBC’s historical studies program who also works in the Special Collections department in the university library, which is named after Kuhn.

Chancellor Albin O. Kuhn (left), supervises groundbreaking with early administrators Homer Schamp (middle), and Guy Chisolm (right). Kuhn’s design plans for UMBC culled the best things he saw at many universities across the country – and anticipated problems as well.
Chancellor Albin O. Kuhn (left), supervises groundbreaking with early administrators Homer Schamp (middle), and Guy Chisolm (right). Kuhn’s design plans for UMBC culled the best things he saw at many universities across the country – and anticipated problems as well.

Kuhn observed in a 1994 interview that his plan for UMBC aimed to compensate for “the mistakes of a campus like College Park.” The road’s circular design, with most of its academic buildings located in the center, and utility wires buried underground, would keep traffic running smoothly, and allow students to walk to classes rather than drive across a sprawling campus or cross busy roads. The loop would also connect seamlessly to major routes near UMBC, including I-95, the Baltimore Beltway, and Wilkens Avenue.

That vision and the loop road have sustained UMBC through its first 50 years – as well as giving members of the university community and neighboring residents a circle to walk, jog, or ride a bicycle to get rid of those calories.

— Julia Celtnieks ’13

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