President Freeman Hrabowski’s powerful personal story is well known in the UMBC community. At the age of 12, seeking equal access to a quality education, he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his home state of Alabama. He and other Black children were then jailed for five days. He has held steadfast to commitment to educational equity in the years since. 

Under President Hrabowski’s leadership for nearly three decades, UMBC has grown into a national and global leader in undergraduate and graduate education, innovation, and social impact. He has also fostered UMBC’s unique campus culture of shared, collaborative leadership and community support.

On July 10, President Hrabowski was awarded a 2020 UCSF Medal, the University of California San Francisco’s highest honor. He was one of three national leaders recognized for a career advancing diversity and inclusion, specifically through mentorship programs that support underrepresented people in the sciences. For example, UMBC now produces more Black students who go on to complete M.D.-Ph.D. degrees than any other institution in the country, and UMBC is one of the top institutions for producing Black students who go on to complete Ph.D. degrees in any STEM fields.

Video produced by UCSF, with content contributed by Corey Jennings ’10.

“What we’ve been doing for decades now,” Hrabowski shares, “is identifying students from a range of backgrounds, of every race and different income levels, and saying, ‘We want to work with you to help you reach your goals, and reaching your goals should not be about simply surviving.’”

Thank you for all you do for the UMBC community, President Hrabowski! Congratulations.

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Header image: President Hrabowski celebrates the Meyerhoff Scholars Program’s 30th anniversary with philanthropist Robert Meyerhoff in May 2019. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11.

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