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Transformational investment in UMD

Dear University of Maryland community,

I am pleased to announce an historic investment to build the future of the state's flagship university and contribute to the future of the State of Maryland.

It will transform access to, and the affordability of, a UMD education. These are core values of our land-grant heritage, and we must invest in our students for they are the future leaders of our society. It will endow faculty chairs and build state-of-the-art facilities to strengthen the excellence of our education, research, and innovation.

The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation has made an investment of nearly $220,000,000 in our future. Building Together: An Investment for Maryland is by far the largest we have ever received, and one of the largest ever to a U.S. public university.

"Building Together" -- a private/public partnership -- will provide need-based scholarships to outstanding students in all fields of study. Through a matching program that engages the philanthropic community, it aims to generate a $100,000,000 fund for need-based scholarships.

This investment will also endow more than a dozen chairs for distinguished faculty and establish post-doctoral fellowships. It will make possible new facilities, such as hubs for multi-disciplinary collaboration and innovation, where research is translated into solutions and entrepreneurial applications.

The impact of this investment will extend well beyond the campus. It will empower a new generation of leaders to solve the great challenges of our era, spark innovation, and enhance quality of life and economic vitality in the state and the nation.

All this will honor our late benefactor and alumnus A. James Clark by creating new paths of opportunity, much as he experienced nearly 70 years ago as a UMD engineering student. Bright and ambitious, but from a background of modest means, he sometimes had to hitchhike to campus because he could not afford bus fare for his daily commute. A scholarship made his education possible. And he never forgot the impact that this scholarship had on his life.

Mr. Clark went on to build one of the nation's most successful construction companies. Over the years, he and his wife Alice B. Clark, invested in the futures of thousands of bright engineering students with financial need. They also invested in our School of Engineering, which bears his name. Their vision and legacy lives on today in the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. With these investments, the story of Mr. Clark’s life now comes to full circle.

On behalf of the UMD community, present and future, I want to express our profound gratitude for the visionary and transformative investment of the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation's board chair, Courtney Clark Pastrick; board president and CEO Joe Del Guercio ; board members Robert Flanagan and Lawrence Nussdorf ; and especially Mrs. Alice B. Clark.

For their support of, and participation in, today's celebration of this "Investment for Maryland," I want to thank Governor Larry Hogan, Senate President Mike Miller, and House Speaker Mike Busch. 

And thank you to Dean Darryll Pines of the A. James Clark School of Engineering, Provost Mary Ann Rankin, and the great staff of University Relations for their extraordinary commitment to this project.

Together, we will honor Mr. Clark’s legacy by building the future for UMD students and faculty, as well as for the people of Maryland, for generations to come.


Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland