M Book — The university has, at various times, published a student handbook, which for many years was known as the “M Book.” This publication included messages from campus administrators, the constitution and bylaws of the student government, rules of behavior, academic calendars, and songs and cheers, among many other items of information that students needed at their fingertips. All incoming freshman received these books to help orient them to campus. Digitized versions of the student handbooks are available on the University Archives website.
M Club — An organization of varsity athletic letterwinners founded in April 1923 by eight men including Dr. H. C. Byrd and seven others representing the current varsity sports. The M Club was instrumental in organizing the University's first Homecoming Day. See also Letterwinner, first female.
M Club, Women's — Founded on May 26, 1926, and opened to any woman who had received a letter in either of the major women's sports at the University of Maryland at the time: basketball and rifle. By 1934, hockey, soccer, baseball, volleyball, tennis, tenniquoits (ring tennis), riding, and archery had been added.
"M" traffic circle — The traffic circle on Campus Drive at Regents Drive with flowers in the shape of a letter "M". The "M" is planted twice a year, once in the fall with pansies and again in the spring with annuals, usually vodka begonias. The "M" created in 1976 by the Department of Physical Plant to commemorate the bicentennial of the founding of the United States. An earlier version of the "M" circle sat near the Barracks on Morrill Quad.
MacArthur Fellows — Liz Lerman (Class of 1970) founder of the Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, MD, and a talented dancer, choreographer, and teacher of dance, received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002. Also selected for a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002 was alumna Karen Hesse (Class of 1975). Ms. Hesse is the author of numerous books for children and young adults and has won many prestigious national awards for her writing. In 1989, Ellendea Profter Teasley (Class of 1966), received a fellowship in recognition of her work as an author, publisher, and translator of Russian literature into English. Another University of Maryland MacArthur Fellow was Peter Miller, an assistant professor of history specializing in early modern intellectual European history; he received his grant in the summer of 1998, shortly before he arrived on campus. In 2004, alumna Naomi Ehrich Leonard (Ph.D., 1994) received a fellowship to support her work on submarines which gather information on environmental conditions beneath the ocean's surface. Two years later, alumnus Kenneth Catania (Class of 1989, B.S. in Zoology) received a MacArthur award to further his research on star-nosed moles and the evolution of mammalian brains. In 2007, Geography professor Ruth DeFries was recognized with a MacArthur award for her work using satellite images of the earth's surface to map the impact human society has on climate and biodiversity. In 2010, David Simon (Class of 1983), an author, screenwriter, and producer best known for his contributions to the HBO show, The Wire, was named a MacArthur Fellow for his new television project, Treme, based in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Selected in 2013, atomic physicist Ana Maria Rey (Ph.D. 2004) was honored for her her work in optical lattice clocks; she also contributed to the construction of the most accurate atomic clock ever built. MacArthur Fellows receive grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to support their continued and enhanced creative work and to establish their optimal working and living conditions.
Madrigal Singers — University of Maryland choral group created Rose Marie Grentzer in 1958. The group attained international recognition in 1964 when the singers visited 11 countries on a 14-week tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The Madrigal Singers disbanded in the mid-1970s.
Marshall, Thurgood — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall will be forever linked to the University of Maryland through the Murray v. Pearson case in the 1930s that led to the integration of the university's law school in Baltimore. Marshall was part of a team of lawyers who represented Donald G. Murray in his efforts to gain admission to the school, which was ultimately successful. Oddly enough Murray was the lawyer who represented Hiram Whittle in his suit to force integration of the College Park campus nearly 20 years later. More information on Murray v. Pearson at the university's First Year Book website.
Martin, Glenn L. Wind Tunnel Building — Constructed in 1949; named for Glenn L. Martin, aircraft pioneer. Martin became the first person to take motion pictures from the air when he flew Mary Pickford in the silent film A Girl of Yesterday in 1915. He is also credited with developing the first automatic parachute.
Maryland Chorus — The Maryland Chorus was created in 1967 for a special performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. It was comprised of members of the university community as well as residents of College Park and the surrounding communities, helping to strengthen ties between the campus and its neighbors. In 2001, the Chorus completed a 20-year project with the Maryland Handel Festival, performing all of Handel's English oratorios in chronological order of composition and in their original form. The group ended its 40-year history with a concert featuring Bach's Cantata No. 106 and two works by Fauré, "Pavane" and "Requieum," on May 10, 2009.
Maryland Day — An annual university event held each year in April, starting in 1999, Maryland Day includes over 400 free events across campus, in addition to demonstrations, exhibitions, performances and food. The event serves as an open house for the community as well as prospective and accepted students, with many academic departments holding special events and orientations.
Maryland State Hall of Fame — Many former Terps are now members of the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame; the most recent inductees are women's basketball player Tara Heiss, a former Olympian and member of the Terps' squads from 1975 to 1978 and former Terp golfer and golf coach Fred Funk. Other Maryland alumni who have been inducted include Renaldo Nehemiah, Harvey Alperstein, Benny Alperstein, Dick Bielski, Jack Scarbath, James Kappler, Tommy Mont, Gene Shue, Bill Guckeyson, Al Heagy, Burt Shipley, Charlie Keller, Curley Byrd, Joseph Deckman, Rodney Breedlove, Norwood Sothoron, Ernie Fischer, Fred Linkous, Buck Herzog, Ron Swoboda, Vic Willis, James H. Belt, Deane Beman, and Louis "Bosey" Berger.
Maryland Women's Basketball Under the Shell — Reality-based 13-episode TV series produced by former Terp football star Jess Atkinson. The show, which debuted on January 9, 2005, on Comcast SportsNet, follows head Maryland Women's basketball coach Brenda Frese and her team from day one of training camp to the last game of the 2004-2005 season. Available to view online.
Mascot — Diamondback terrapin nicknamed "Testudo" who is immortalized in a bronze statue, given by the Class of 1933, in front of McKeldin Library. There are now five more statues of Testudo on campus: two in Byrd Stadium, one at the Comcast Center, one in the Stamp Student Union, and one at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center. Selection of the terrapin as the mascot was originally approved by Harry Clifton Byrd and was made official by the Maryland General Assembly in 1994. The university's athletic teams are known as the Terrapins or Terps, for short. See also Testudo and "Fear the Turtle" .
Master's degrees — The first master's degrees given by the University of Maryland after the establishment of the Graduate School in 1919 were awarded to Chunjen Constant Chen and Clarence Bobo Nickels in 1920. Both men received the Master of Science degrees. The first master's degrees granted by the Maryland Agricultural College were awarded in 1874. The first master's degree awarded to a female student was to Alma H. Preinkert who received her M.A. in 1923. See also Graduate Studies.
Mathematics, Department of — The Department of Mathematics can trace its origins to the earliest days of the Maryland Agricultural College. When the college opened its doors to students in October 1859, one of the first three members of the faculty was H.D. Gough, professor of the exact sciences, including mathematics, pure and mixed; surveying, mensuration, engineering and construction, mechanics and astronomy. For more information on the history of the Department of Mathematics, see the department history and photo archive.
May Day — Spring festival established by Dean of Women Adele Stamp in 1923. Co-eds performed elaborate pageants and dances and crowned a queen and her court. The yearbook traditionally made its first appearance ach year at May Day as well, and rising seniors were tapped for membership in the women's Mortar Board honorary society. The last official May Day was held in 1961.
McKeldin Library — Constructed in 1958; designed by Henry Powell Hopkins & Allan Burton; named for Theodore R. McKeldin, Governor of Maryland, 1951-1959. In 2005, there were 1,205,099 books plus 47,967 bound serials in McKeldin Library. The total number of volumes in the UMD Libraries is 3,016,940.
McKeldin Mall — From building face to building face, the Mall included approximately 709,104 square feet or 16.28 acres. The distance from the front doors of McKeldin Library is 1, 343 feet. From the front doors of Symons Hall to the front doors of Marie Mount, the Mall spans 528 feet, narrowing as you near the western end, covering only 483 feet from the front doors of Jimenez Hall to the front doors of the Journalism Building. The mall originally continued to Anne Arundel Hall and was considered to be the largest academic mall in the country. The Mall was renovated in 1990 when the current configuration of sidewalks and fountain was put into place.
McKeldin Mall fountain — 16 feet by 250 feet fountain honoring members of the campus chapter of the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society. Each fountain tier represents one of the leadership qualities found in ODK members. Engravings around the fountain include quotations from Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr., the symbol of ODK, and a listing of fraternity members from the university; this installation also features a plaque honoring donors who contributed to the building of the fountain.
Medal, University — Since May 2000, given to the graduating senior "who best exemplifies academic distinction, extraordinary character, and extracurricular contributions to the campus or public communities." See the list of University Medal recipients for more information.
Microbiology Building — Built in 1932, originally as the home of the United States Bureau of Mines. The federal government transferred ownership of the building to the university in 1968, and it was renamed the Microbiology Building in 1980.
Midnight Madness — Charles "Lefty" Driesell, Maryland's men's basketball coach from 1969 to 1986, is generally credited with coining the term "Midnight Madness," a now annual event commemorating the first day of practice for the college basketball season. The first Midnight Madness occurred on October 15, 1971, at 12:03 a.m., with the men's basketball team heading out for a run surrounded by 3,000 fans. Midnight Madness has become a highly anticipated, highly charged annual event, often featuring fireworks, a laser light show, and the return of alumni players. Widely covered by the local and national press, the University of Maryland's Midnight Madness celebration has even served as a broadcasting site for Dick Vitale, the world-famous college basketball television broadcaster. Maryland first televised Midnight Madness on October 15, 2004. The broadcast featured Johnny Holliday, Chris Knoche, Tim Strachan, and Chick Hernandez.
Mighty Sound of Maryland — Current name for the university's marching band, which was originally organized in 1908 by L. G. Smith, the college bugler. The first Cadet Band consisted of four cornets, two clarinets, three alto horns, a baritone horn, two bass horns, three trombones, a snare and bass drum, and cymbals. During the 2010 season, the band consisted of over 250 members, including brass, woodwinds, drumline, silks, and dancers. Following every home football victory, the band marches back to the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center with their hats on backwards.
Mitchell Building — Constructed in 1958; designed by Ted Englehardt and named for Clarence Mitchell, Jr., in 1988. The building features a dedication plaque honoring Mitchell and an oil portrait of the civil rights leader, which was a gift of the Black Faculty and Staff Association. The Mitchell Building was originally called North Administration or Administration Annex.
Morrill Hall — Constructed in 1898; named for U. S. Senator Justin S. Morrill of Vermont, the father of the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862. Morrill Hall is the oldest building on campus whose facade has remained virtually unchanged.
Morrill Land Grant Act — In 1864, the state of Maryland had 2 senators and 5 representatives in the U. S. Congress. Thus, according to the formula, Maryland would have received 210,000 acres under the act.
Motto, formal — The University of Maryland does not have a formal motto. The Calvert family motto, "Fatti Maschii, Parole Femine" which, loosely translated, means "Manly deeds, womanly words," did appear on some versions of the university's seal prior to 1998, when the current seal that contains the globe in all four colors of the Maryland state flag, was adopted.
Motto, informal — In 1988, the university adopted the informal motto "I'd Rather Be Studying," a phrase which has been translated into more than 30 languages and plastered on bumper stickers, posters, T-shirts, hats, pencils, and other campus gear. The motto is based on the fictional story of Sara Bellum, a student at the university who allegedly died from lack of study. "I'd Rather Be Studying" were the last words that Sara recorded on her final mid-term exam.
"Fear the Turtle" became a popular informal athletic motto with the men's basketball team's trip to the 2001 NCAA Final Four.
Movies — Portions of the movie St. Elmo's Fire, directed by Joel Schumacher, were filmed on campus in October 1984, and alumnus Redge Mahaffey also used the campus as a setting in his 1995 production Life 101. The 2007 production National Treasure: Book of Secrets, directed by Jon Turteltaub, used McKeldin Mall and the Special Events Room in McKeldin Library as filming locations.
Multi-Ethnic Student Education, Office of — Originally created in July 1972 as the Office of Minority Student Affairs. In July 1973, the name was changed to Office of Minority Student Education, and in September 1973, the office was assigned to the Division for Academic Affairs. It became the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education (OMSE) in July 1992. OMSE provides outreach, academic programs and support to multi-ethnic undergraduates in an effort to increase matriculation, retention, and graduation rates for this population of students.
Muppets — Internationally-known fanciful characters created by alumnus Jim Henson. Henson first created the Muppets while still a student at the University of Maryland. The word "Muppets" is a combination of "puppet" and "marionnette".