Hrabowski smiles as crowd and those on stage clap

Provost Philip Rous shared an emotional moment with the UMBC community yesterday as he took to the stage at the university’s Fall Opening Meeting, just a day after UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski announced he will retire in June 2022. He shared a message he’s been hearing from across Retriever Nation, one of gratitude and hope.

Each of us holds in our hands the legacy of Freeman’s leadership and that of all members of our community who have built it into what it is today. But as Freeman often says, ‘success is never final,’ so that legacy is not static, it’s dynamic,” Rous told the group. 

“It’s forward-looking and it belongs to all of us,” he said, noting that our community’s strong foundation of shared values will allow us to continue the “important work of building and advancing this remarkable university to even greater heights.”

As Retriever Nation awaits the start of the search for UMBC’s sixth president, Hrabowski thanked the community for their support and encouraged them to think about how to carry on the important mission and values of this community.

“Here is my message—this is the house that love has built,” said Hrabowski, following a huge standing ovation in the RAC. “We show the world that we can transform lives through education.”

President Hrabowski films the crowd during a warm standing ovation at Thursday’s Fall Opening Meeting. The meeting was held in the RAC and online and adhered to strict safety protocols.

Messages of congratulations and gratitude from alumni, legislators, and other friends of UMBC have poured in since the announcement went live Wednesday afternoon. Here are a few of our favorites.

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Learn more about the presidential transition process at president.umbc.edu.

Story by Jenny O’Grady and Randianne Leyshon ’09. Photos by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC Magazine.

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