My daily post theme for 2017 is on Colleges and Universities.
The plan for starting my blog back in 2014 was at the urging of fellow coaching colleagues to share posts on leadership and/or motivation. Somehow that idea got derailed and turned into daily posts on one theme for an entire year.
In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and for 2017 I will focus on “Colleges and Universities”.
I have been associated with colleges since I was 18 and I love them. I have coached/worked at four different universities and in my professional and personal travels visited 100’s more. Each college has something in its history that I want to share that to me make it unique or personal.
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Name of University: University of Maryland
Location: College Park MD
On my trip to Pennsylvania today I drove by an exit for the University of Maryland College Park.
On March 6, 1856, the forerunner of today’s University of Maryland (UMD) was chartered as the Maryland Agricultural College. Two years later, Charles Benedict Calvert, a future U.S. Congressman, purchased 420 acres of the Riverdale Plantation in College Park. Calvert founded the school later that year.
Photo below is of UMD campus.
The University has a rich history, famous landmarks, and many traditions. One of the interesting things about UMD is they have two very impressive statues on campus. One is of Jim Henson and the other is Testudo a gigantic Diamondback terrapin. Testudo is the Latin word for “tortoise”.
Pretty good story about Testudo the statue and the real tortoise. Apparently the UMD Senior Class of 1933 decided that a permanent turtle was needed. So they saved their money — they even held their senior prom on campus — to pay for a 300-pound heroic-size bronze statue. The statue was unveiled at the May 23, 1933, commencement.
Several alumni traveled to Rhode Island with a five-inch-long live turtle to be sculpted, super-size, by artist Aristide Cianfarani. The turtle returned returned safely to College Park — only to have two holes drilled through its shell. These were threaded with black and gold ribbons that were tied to a huge cloth. At a prearranged moment, the turtle crawled away from the statue, dragging the cloth and unveiling it to the appreciative applause of the assembled dignitaries.
If you look at photo below from 1933 you see the live Testado in front of the sculpture.
Testudo is the official mascot of UMD.