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Our History

Our History

The University of Maryland’s proud past stretches back to 1856 when the tiny Maryland Agricultural College was carved from part of Charles Benedict Calvert’s plantation along a dirt road now called U.S. Route 1.

But its Alumni Association was formed with another campus, the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, around 1892.

In 1948 the association was reorganized to encompass the College Park campus and the five professional schools located in Baltimore. Over the next several years, the university Alumni Association grew to include alumni memberships from other state institutions, including the Eastern Shore Campus, the Baltimore County Campus, and the University of Maryland University College.

In the 1970s, the leadership of the association realized it had a worldwide constituency and decided it would be more appropriate to change its name to reflect its international members, thus creating the University of Maryland Alumni Association-International.

In College Park, the University of Maryland Alumni Association formed a separate 501(c)(3) organization in 1989. Back then, the association occupied just one room at the Rossborough Inn. Today, we operate from the state-of-the-art Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center, serving 414,000 alums in Maryland and around the world—we've come a long way!

Learn more about the history and mission of the University of Maryland.

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The Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center at night

The Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center

The Riggs Alumni Center, as it is commonly referred, was designed by architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen '51, '93 and has been the home for alumni on campus since 2007.