The founders of College Park Scholars stand in front of Cumberland Hall for its 1994 ribbon cutting ceremony.

From left: Nancy Shapiro, the first executive director of Scholars; Dan Fallon, then-provost; William "Brit" Kirwan (center), then-president of the University of Maryland; and Robert Hampton (far right), then–dean of Undergraduate Studies, lead the 1994 Cumberland Hall ribbon cutting, ushering in the first year of College Park Scholars.

A Timeline of #ScholarsAt25

College Park Scholars was created with the goal of transforming the student experience at the University of Maryland. The idea: a program that combined elements of both student affairs and academic affairs, where students not only lived together but also attended class together as part of a predetermined curriculum.

In fall 1994, the first class of Scholars students arrived in College Park to give life to that idea.

As Scholars turns 25 this year, the following timeline tracks key moments in the program’s history:

Students standing up and cheering

Students cheer at Scholars Convocation during the first week of classes in August 2019. At Convocation, Scholars students and alumni provided wise counsel to these first-year students on succeeding in college. PHOTO: Lisa Helfert

Student Advice: How to Succeed in College

First-year Scholars students have a lot to absorb in their first couple of weeks at the University of Maryland (UMD): rooming with someone who may be a stranger, navigating a large campus, understanding the expectations of their professors, making new friends.

At Scholars Convocation during the first week of classes, these new college students received advice from Scholars students before them on how they can make the most of their time on campus. Here we share the hard-won wisdom of those students—as well as the advice of other Scholars students and alumni.


Alison Burns in front of a high school

Broadcast journalist Alison Burns will be taking on the position of interim program director of the Media, Self and Society Scholars program while Director Kalyani Chadha is on leave.

Journalist Alison Burns Appointed Interim Director of Media, Self and Society Scholars

Broadcast journalist Alison Burns has been appointed interim director of College Park Scholars’ Media, Self and Society program. She takes over from Kalyani Chadha, who will be on leave during the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 academic years. Burns’ appointment was made by the University of Maryland (UMD) Philip Merrill College of Journalism, which sponsors the Media, Self and Society Scholars program.