Karel Petraitis lives and breathes Terp Nation. Residing in College Park makes it easy for Karel to take advantage of her football and basketball season tickets, and both the men’s and women’s basketball teams can count on Karel to be at home games.  

As the president of the Prince George’s County Terps Alumni Network, Karel leads a network of more than 26,000 alumni who stay engaged through a multitude of activities. She helps plan many events throughout the year, including the network’s spring wine tasting event, scheduled for April 8 at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center.

But Karel’s support of Maryland doesn’t stop there­—she is currently a volunteer/member of at least eight campus organizations. Karel is a member of Rebounders and Fast Breakers (basketball support groups), makes gift baskets for field hockey and helps with auctions for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. You can find her presenting Damonte Dodd ’17 with his scrapbook this year, one of her many activities with the Fast Breakers.  

For years, Karel has called College Park home and her parents immersed her in the university culture from a young age.

It was a given, then, that Karel wanted to stay local and pursue a speech and drama degree at Maryland. She still uses what she learned at Maryland every day in her career as a lawyer. “It gave me confidence to argue a case, to think on my feet. For that I am very grateful.”

Her advice to young alumni is simple – get involved. “You meet people who become your friends for a lifetime. And it is a great feeling to give back to your school.”

“The University of Maryland is my family. It’s important to be involved in volunteer activities,” says Karel. “Not everyone can write a check, but most people have the ability to do some volunteer activity that helps the university and students.”