Thank you to all of our FY2016 donors!

Our books have officially closed for the 2015-16 fiscal year, and the numbers are in. We are excited to share the incredible impact that you and our other donors have made this year.


Individual gifts may be small, but together they add up to something very important: the opportunity to live, learn and grow as a member of the UMBC community.

For all that you have done to make our first 50 years possible, thank you. We are all looking forward to the next 50!

You can give year-round to the causes closest to you at our GiveCorps site!

Did You Know?

Your gift is worth much more than you think.


UMBC is a great place to get an education, make friends, and build your future — but many alumni don’t realize how many donors made their experience possible. Although most of our donations support student scholarships, we also raise funds for programs to build on-campus community, help students connect with employers, and extend learning beyond the classroom to include real-world research and exploration.

When you give back, you fund all the things that have made UMBC known for exceptional undergraduate education and research after just 50 years.

Another thing most alumni don’t realize is that our reputation depends on you. The percentage of alumni who give back each year contributes to our national ranking, meaning that when you make a donation of any size, you’re helping to strengthen the value of your degree.

Most importantly, as a donor, you can feel confident that 100% of your gift goes straight to the program, department, or group you choose. You can support whatever means the most to you, while also supporting the university that means so much to all of us.

Make your gift of any size today. It’s an easy way to make a big difference.

A Small Gift Goes a Long Way!

When you think about spending ten bucks a month, you might think about going to the movies, buying lunch, or a quick trip to the grocery store. You probably don’t think about changing someone’s life– but that’s what you could be doing with a simple monthly gift to UMBC. It’s easy to set up a recurring gift and make a lasting difference without lifting a finger.


$10 a month can buy two lattes…or give the gift of education to a student in need. Any donation, no matter the size, helps us achieve our student scholarship goals. 

Give today!

“What An Unbelievable Place This Is:” Linehan Reception Celebrates UMBC’s Commitment to the Arts

When we think of art, we tend to think of finished pieces: paintings in galleries, dances and plays performed to a sold-out crowd, freshly pressed full-length records and live symphonies. But the reality is that art is so much more than final product. It’s what we can’t see — the equipment, the time, the relentless pursuit of creativity, and donors like you — that makes it possible.

At the end of each academic year, we celebrate the hard work and creative achievements of some of UMBC’s most talented student artists at the Linehan Artist Scholars Reception. This year, guests at the reception were able to take in a student showcase in the Performing Arts and Humanities Building’s Dance Cube, a massive glass structure overlooking Hilltop Circle.

Since 1999, the Linehan program, established with a generous gift from Earl and Darielle Linehan and currently headed by Doug Hamby, associate professor of dance, has been advancing UMBC’s reputation as a center for the arts as well as STEM, and the PAHB is a centerpiece of that effort. Much like any fine work of art, the building took several years of planning and multiple phases of construction before the finished product could be shown, inhabited, and practiced in. The past several Linehan receptions have been held here: achievement within achievement.

According to Scott Casper, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the Linehan program prides itself on being not just a scholarship, but a community. Students live together on the Visual and Performing Arts floor in Harbor Hall, and have several opportunities a year to visit museums and performances in Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia. Students at the reception related their experiences within the Linehan program (among them: seeing the Paris Opera Ballet perform Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes and visiting the Museum of Modern Art).

This year’s showcase featured a variety of student art from across disciplines. On the visual arts side, Adan Rodriguez ’17 assembled a short video presentation, compiling various works from design, animation, and film students, as well as their commentary on their work, their influences, and what art means to them.

Art, says animation major Justyna Kurbiel ’18, is “a sharing of ideas,” but it also takes a lot more work than people realize.

“They never really know what’s just outside the frame,” she says plainly, before the camera pans back from her face, revealing microphones, monitors, and the screen behind her.

Ryan Bailey ’16, dance, choreographed and performed a piece set, intermittently, to Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “September” and long periods of frenetic, movement-filled silence. Chanel Whitehead ’17 performed Romani Lachrymose, an original and deeply melancholy composition by Samuel Winnie ’16, music, on cello, with Winnie accompanying her on a laptop and synthesizer.

Ally Kocerhan ’16, theatre and gender and women’s studies, who, at the time of the reception, was facing a choice between the California Institute of the Arts and New York University for graduate school, directed Jessie Gilson ’17 in a scene from Christopher Durang’s Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You. Gilson’s character, Diane, an ex-Catholic, tells the story of the loss and trauma that destroyed her faith to one of the nuns who taught her in school.

The performance moved Earl Linehan, who told Gilson, “I’m a Catholic [and I get it]…I could hear Sister Madeline talking to me.”

“What an unbelievable place this is,” Linehan told the crowd. “I choke up every time.”

Julia Celtnieks ’13; photos by Marlayna Demond ’11

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


“Because We Can”: Endowed Scholarship Luncheon Celebrates Philanthropy at UMBC

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As UMBC heads into its 50th year, we’ve been looking back on our tales of grit and moments of greatness. What better time to do that than the Endowed Scholarship Luncheon, a yearly event where donors meet the students who’ve benefited from their contributions? Throughout this spring’s luncheon, speakers stressed the importance of investing in young people, and how education can bring forth greatness from humble beginnings.

Sylvia Brown came from such beginnings in rural Virginia, and said that she wouldn’t have been able to get where she is today – teacher, administrator, philanthropist – without the help of caring parents and teachers in her youth. She’s since dedicated much of her life to ensuring access and opportunities for young people across the Baltimore area. She and her husband Eddie Brown were some of the first donors to invest in the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, and they have provided abundant support to UMBC over the years.

Mrs. Brown spoke of the importance of giving, and said that it fills her with gratitude to see a beneficiary of her gifts turn around to help someone else. As she looked around the room at students sitting with the donors who funded their scholarships, she said, “I think it’s been working.”

Jackie Hrabowski, former faculty member at UMBC, current board member at T. Rowe Price, and wife of UMBC President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, also cited key influences from her childhood on her choice to give back. Her parents were known in their community for their generosity, and she remembered asking her father, as a teenager, why their family had to be the ones to help out all the time.

Her father answered, quite simply, “Because we can.”

The people who have established scholarship funds for UMBC students have done so not out of obligation, but because they could, because they wanted to invest in the success of future generations. Scholarship recipients, in turn, have a habit of paying it forward.

Awardees use their gifts not only to put themselves through school, but to give back to the institution and the community. One such beneficiary is Parker James ’16, health administration and policy, who, as a France-Merrick Fellow and Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar, co-created Students for a Healthy Baltimore, an organization that places undergraduate volunteers at health clinics throughout the city. He says these opportunities have affirmed his commitment to removing barriers to health care access for the underprivileged.

As Vice President of Institutional Advancement Greg Simmons ’04, M.P.P. public policy, put it, stories like these matter, and the establishment of endowed scholarships demonstrates the university’s commitment to elevation. Dr. Hrabowski agreed, citing UMBC’s contribution to the growth of the middle class and to the next generation of leaders.

As Dr. Hrabowski said, if we can do all this in 50 years, imagine where we’re headed next.

— Julia Celtnieks ’13

Give our students a hand, and pay it forward by making a gift today. For more photos from the event, head to Flickr.

Scholarship Q&A: Cindy Alms ’17, Biological Sciences

As the academic year draws to a close, we thought we might take the time to introduce you to some of our Alumni Association Scholarship recipients. Today, we hear from Cindy Alms ’17, biological sciences.

cynthiaName: Cindy Alms

Major/Minor: Biological Sciences/Mathematics

Grad Year: 2017

Extracurriculars: Cross country and track team, Couple and Family Relationships Lab, RAC staff member, Peer Advisor in the Office of Academic and Pre-professional Advising, Scribe at Baltimore Washington Medical Center, SUCCESS Peer Volunteer

Why did you decide to attend UMBC? UMBC is a strong STEM school and I love how students really care about their academic work. I value a quality education, and there are so many other ways to become involved and gain experience on campus.

What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here? The most amazing discovery [I’ve made] is the amount of opportunities to get experience and be involved, as well as the amount of people willing to help you reach your goals. I have made close relationships with professors and staff on campus who genuinely want to […] see their students succeed.

What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC? My involvement on campus. I feel like I have met so many people and made so many connections from my time here. Some of the relationships are going to last for the rest of my life.

What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship? I cannot begin to explain the gratitude I feel for the people who provided my scholarship. I am very lucky to be a recipient and I will continue to work hard at UMBC.

What do you hope to do after graduation? I am hoping to go to medical school to get a doctorate in medicine.

Give to UMBC today to support scholarships for students like Cindy.


Scholarship Q&A: Joelle Cusic ’16

As the academic year draws to a close, we thought we might take the time to introduce you to some of our Alumni Association Scholarship recipients. Today, we hear from Joelle Cusic ’16, biochemistry and molecular biology.

Name: Joelle CusicIMG_0253

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Grad Year: 2016

Extracurriculars: Shock Trauma volunteer at UMMC, URA scholar, Woolie, hospital lab volunteer, violin

Why did you decide to attend UMBC? I decided to attend UMBC because I felt that I would receive a strong science education with the opportunity to do research, which would provide me with a strong foundation upon which I can build when I enter medical school.

What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here? The most amazing discovery I’ve made so far as a student at UMBC is that I can achieve my goals and far exceed my own expectations. I’m still amazed that I’m a Biochem major. There is always room to improve and grow and looking back over the last few years here, I have seen just how far I’ve come as an individual and as a student.

What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC? If there is anything I’m most happy about accomplishing, it is that I have had the opportunity to expand my own mind through research while helping other through being a teaching assistant.

What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship? I would say thank you for helping me pursue my dream of becoming a medical doctor. Your gift has helped me immensely as I finish out my last year of undergrad and my parents and I are truly grateful. Your gift has allowed me to take another step closer to reaching my goal.

What do you hope to do after graduation? Once I graduate with my bachelor of science in biochemistry and molecular biology in May 2016, I will be applying to medical school in the hopes of matriculating in fall 2017. During my year off, I plan to find a position in a local hospital and perhaps a research internship. I am also in the midst of applying for a spot in a six-month medical missions trip, which is based in New Zealand and will run from January to June of 2017, that will serve the islands of the South Pacific. However, my ultimate goal is to become an oncologist, which I believe would allow me to be able to have the opportunity to treat patients and promote health wellness and prevention within the community while also opening the door for me to do research on genetic diseases.

Help students like Joelle pursue their educational goals by making a gift today.


Scholarship Q&A: Sarah Bach ’16, Biological Sciences

As the academic year draws to a close, we thought we might take the time to introduce you to some of our Alumni Association Scholarship recipients. Let’s hear from Sarah Bach ’16, biological sciences, who received an Alumni Legacy Scholarship for the 2015-16 academic year.

HeadshotName: Sarah Bach

Major: Biological Sciences

Grad Year: 2016

Extracurriculars: Global Brigades Dental Program, Pre-Dental Society

Why did you decide to attend UMBC? I chose UMBC because of its strong STEM program. I was also impressed by the amount of undergraduate opportunities in research. At many other schools that I toured, research was limited to graduate students. My dad also attended UMBC!

What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here? Joining a club or campus organization can really shape your undergrad experience and help you discover where your passion lies!

What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC? During my time at UMBC I have changed so much as a person. The diversity at this school has allowed me to broaden my understanding of other cultures [,and the] opportunities I’ve had here have helped me grow into a more mature and well-rounded individual.

What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship? Thank you! There is so much value in education and I am so glad you have chosen to support mine!

What do you hope to do after graduation? I just got accepted at [the] University of [Maryland] dental school, so for the next four years I’ll be working towards my dream!

Help students like Sarah pursue their dreams by making a gift today.

Scholarship Q&A: Michael Wallace Karugu ’15, Information Systems, and M.S. ’17, Cybersecurity

As the academic year draws to a close, we thought we might take the time to introduce you to some of our Alumni Association Scholarship recipients. Today, we hear from Michael Wallace Karugu ’15, information systems, who is currently working toward a master’s degree in cybersecurity here at UMBC.

IMG_20150713_135034Name: Michael Wallace Karugu

Major: Information Systems (current master’s student in Cybersecurity)

Grad Year: 2015, 2017

Extracurriculars: Soccer and billiards

Why did you decide to attend UMBC? UMBC is a renowned institution offering recognized STEM programs. I wanted to experience the learning environment and opportunities offered by UMBC. Furthermore, since I was a transfer student, UMBC was ready to accommodate the credits that I wanted to transfer.

What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here? The faculty, staff and students at UMBC are very friendly and always willing to assist. This friendly environment promotes a healthy learning environment.

What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC? I am currently the student manager of the Desktop Student Support section in DoIT. Having started as a regular student employee here two years ago, I feel this is my most proud accomplishment during my time at UMBC.

What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship? I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart for supporting me financially. This assistance enabled me to focus more on my studies as compared to stressing about how I would meet my school related costs. This assistance goes a long way in nurturing deserving students.

What do you hope to do after graduation? I graduated from my undergraduate program in fall 2015 and I am now pursuing a master’s program in cybersecurity here at UMBC. I plan on graduating in the Spring of 2017. After earning my master’s degree, I will pursue employment from the private sector as a cybersecurity specialist, and in future I plan on establishing a cybersecurity consultancy firm.

Students like Michael rely on the financial support of our donors. Please consider making a contribution today.

Scholarship Q&A: Grace Kim ’16, English

As the academic year draws to a close, we thought we might take the time to introduce you to some of our Alumni Association Scholarship recipients. Today, we hear from Grace Kim ’16, English.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 2.13.28 PMName: Grace Kim

Major/Minor: English/Dance

Grad Year: 2016

Extracurriculars: Member of Major Definition and Reading Tutor at Arundel Elementary/Middle School

Why did you decide to attend UMBC? I fell in love with the “homey” feel of the campus. Right away, I knew I could see myself making a second home here.

What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here? I’ve discovered that I have the ability to make goals happen if I put my mind to it.

What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC? I am proud that I’ve made my parents proud. Their support has been a huge factor in my success at UMBC.

What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship? Simply, thank you. This scholarship has allowed me to focus on my studies and not on the financial aspect. Thank you so much for your contribution to my successful college career.

What do you hope to do after graduation? I hope to attend Towson University for their Master of Arts in Teaching program for Early Childhood Education.

Please consider making a gift today to help students like Grace pursue their goals.