The University of Maryland is celebrating our sesquicentennial birthday, 150 years after it was first chartered as the Maryland Agriculture College on March 6, 1856 in College Park, Maryland. A Charter Day Celebration is planned for the same date in 2006.

More information on this celebration and other sesquicentennial events can be found at, and includes facts and highlights about the university?s long and prestigious history:

In 1856, the University of Maryland resided on 420 acres with just three faculty members who taught three subjects to 34 students;

The institution now has about 220,000 alumni living throughout the Maryland and the U.S., and many countries around the world;

Maryland faculty has included six Pulitzer Prize winners, two Nobel Prize winners and scores of Fullbright scholars;

Formal Mechancical Engineering education began at Maryland in 1894 when the Secretary of Navy detailed Lt. John D. Ford, USN Engineer Corps, to organize a department of mechanical engineering in College Park.

? During Lt. Ford?s two-year tenure, the first building devoted to engineering was completed in 1895 and the first comprehensive four-year curriculum leading to a degree in mechanical engineering was established. This was the first approved curriculum in engineering at the College Park campus.

? Until the original mechanical engineering building was completed in 1895, mechanical engineering was a department in name only, as it had no facilities of its own for labs, shops, classrooms and offices.

The original mechanical engineering building was completed in 1895 and is now part of what is now Taliaferro Hall. The machinery in the department was run at the time by a steam engine donated by the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, constructed by the members of the graduating class of 1887 of the Baltimore Manual Training School.

? The first B.S. degree in mechanical engineering was awarded in 1898 to John Hanson Mitchell.

? Due to increasing enrollment and the need for more space, the College of Engineering moved its physical home in 1940 from Taliaferro Hall to Shoemaker Hall, now known as Patterson Hall. Engineering shared its space with the Mathematics and Physics departments at this time.

? In 1944 Maryland President Byrd persuaded pioneer airplane builder Glenn L. Martin, president of the Glenn L. Martin Company of Baltimore, to donate $2.5 Million to the College of Engineering for the construction of four engineering buildings. As a result of Martin?s gift, four buildings were designed and constructed with additional state funds for equipment. These buildings were the Engineering Classroom Building (now known as Glenn L. Martin Hall), Engineering Laboratories Building, Chemical Engineering Building and the Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel. The buildings were occupied in July 1949 and fully equipped by 1952.

? The first Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering was awarded in 1964.

? The M.S./Ph.D. program in Reliability Engineering was established in 1989. Jeong H. Kim received the first Ph.D. in reliability engineering 1991, and is a professor of practice in the Clark School of Engineering. Kim was later the primary donor for the construction of The Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, dedicated on September 19, 2005. In 2005, Kim was appointed president of Lucent's Bell Labs unit.

November 15, 2005

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