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“The achievements the Hesburgh Award celebrates are really those of my colleagues and students. It says that people around the country are recognizing what we are doing to use education to transform lives.”

President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

President Freeman Hrabowski Receives Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence

March 10, 2011 - President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, has been recognized with the 2011 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence. Developed to recognize leadership that reflects both commitment to higher education and contributions to the greater good, the Hesburgh Award is one of the most prestigious and respected awards in the higher education community.

The Hesburgh Award is named in honor of Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., nationally renowned educator and world humanitarian. Hrabowski was selected by an independent panel of judges based on his work to create an institutional model of inclusive excellence and increase the representation of minority students in science and engineering.

Hrabowski has served as president of UMBC since 1992. In 2008, he was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News and World Report, which in both 2009 and 2010 ranked UMBC the #1 “Up-and-Coming” university in the nation. In 2009, Time magazine named him one of America’s 10 Best College Presidents.

With Baltimore philanthropist Robert Meyerhoff, Hrabowski co-founded the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at UMBC in 1988 for minority students committed to pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering. Today, UMBC is among the nation’s leading institutions in producing African American graduates who go on to complete science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Ph.D.s and M.D./Ph.D.s. Hrabowski recently chaired a National Academies committee that has recommended strategies for increasing the number of minority scientists and engineers.

UMBC is committed to providing a distinctive undergraduate experience, providing students with learning communities and hands-on research and creative opportunities throughout the Baltimore-Washington region and beyond. For example, the University has redesigned first-year STEM courses, emphasizing group learning and technology, resulting in higher pass rates. Competitive awards in undergraduate research are offered across disciplines, and student work is celebrated during Undergraduate Research & Creative Achievement Day and in two undergraduate journals. UMBC’s NSF-funded PROMISE program provides support for graduate students in order to increase the graduate student population in STEM fields, while its NSF-supported ADVANCE program has been instrumental in helping to increase the number of women faculty in science and engineering.

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