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Office of the President, University of Maryland records

 Collection 0062-UA

The Office of the President was established in 1859 with the appointment, by the Board of Trustees, of Benjamin Hallowell as the first president of the Maryland Agricultural College. The records document the tenure of eleven presidents of the Maryland Agricultural College, Maryland State College of Agriculture, and the University of Maryland system. They are comprised of correspondence; publications; reports; minutes; invitations; legislation; legal and financial records; photographs; newspaper clippings; conference materials; class schedules; and committee files. The University of Maryland also holds a major unprocessed addendum to the records of the Office of the President, consisting of one series documenting the administration of Wilson H. Elkins. These files primarily include correspondence, reports, budgetary materials, minutes, committee files, photographs, maps, and blueprints. Among the topics covered are student life; facilities construction; relations with local, state, and national government; employment; academic departments and programs; and alumni. A preliminary inventory of these unprocessed materials has been prepared; requests to examine these records will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


  • 1868-1988
  • Majority of material found within 1910-1988

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

This collection contains restricted material, please check the series and folder listings for additional information.

Materials of a sensitive nature, such as those containing personally identifiable information, are restricted for 75 years or the life of the individual and may by screened and removed by special collections staff. Please speak with a staff member if you believe that materials have been unnecessarily removed.

Portions of this collection are unprocessed. This means that materials are in the same state we received them and have not been reviewed for content or condition. The collection may need to be screened prior to use. Please contact us before visiting the Special Collections reading room to view the unprocessed portions of the collection.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


966 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Records of the President's Office include documents from the tenures of Samuel Regester, Samuel Jones, Henry E. Alvord, Richard W. Silvester, Harry J. Patterson, Albert F. Woods, Raymond A. Pearson, Harry C. Byrd, Thomas B. Symons, Wilson H. Elkins, and John S. Toll. Dating from 1869 to 1988, materials from the President's Office include correspondence, minutes, reports, publications, legal documents, maps, notes, clippings, drawings, class schedules, photographs, and a scrapbook. The subject matter is extensive and wide-ranging; however, each president consistently dealt with administrative matters such as finances, personnel, capital improvements, curricula, and the university's various missions of education, agricultural improvements, and military training. Student issues such as admissions, student life, academic and behavioral discipline, job placement, sports, and commencement are well-documented. Also covered is the university's role in the community, including participation in legislation, local and national organizations, and national issues of the day.

Administrative History

From its founding in 1856 as the Maryland Agricultural College to the creation of the current system of thirteen campuses in 1988, numerous presidents oversaw the operation of the College Park campus. These men made policy and personnel decisions; directed building campaigns and the creation of new academic programs; raised funds; monitored student, faculty, and staff conduct and performance; lobbied the legislature; touted the university's academic and athletic accomplishments; and guided the campus to its place among major American research universities.

On March 6, 1856, the Maryland General Assembly chartered the Maryland Agricultural College (MAC). The MAC Board of Trustees announced the appointment of the first President, Benjamin Hallowell, on October 5, 1859, the day of the college's formal dedication and opening. Hallowell served for only one month, resigning for reasons of ill health. In the early years, the President set the admission policies and curriculum, established moral guidelines, hired the faculty, administered the budget, lobbied for funds, and frequently taught classes.

In 1916, the state took full control of the college and changed its name to the Maryland State College of Agriculture. After the college merged with the Baltimore professional schools in 1920, the name of the institution changed again to the University of Maryland. The president of the College Park campus simultaneously held the position of president of all of the University of Maryland campuses. The university grew rapidly, and many activities that had been carried out by the President's Office were delegated to the expanding administrative staff. Increasingly, the President's Office came to focus on establishing the mission and long-range goals of the university and raising the funds needed to accomplish those goals. In addition to negotiating with individual and corporate donors, the president also lobbied at both the state and federal level for appropriations for higher education.

Beginning in 1970, two administrative positions were created to perform the duties of what had been previously been handled by one administrative officer. The administrator of the College Park campus became known as the chancellor, and the administrator of what had become known as the University of Maryland System, now the University System of Maryland (USM), became known as the president.

As part of the reorganization of Maryland's higher education system, the President's Office was retitled the Chancellor's Office in July 1988, while the individual campus chancellors again became presidents.

Adminstrators, College Park Campus

Presidents of the Maryland Agricultural College

  1. Benjamin Hallowell, 1859 (1 month)
  2. Charles Benedict Calvert, Acting, 1859-1860
  3. John Work Scott, Elected but never served, 1860
  4. John M. Colby, 1860-1861
  5. Henry Onderdonk, 1861-1864
  6. Nicholas B. Worthington, Acting, 1864-1867
  7. George Washington Custis Lee, Elected but never served, 1867
  8. Charles L. C. Minor, 1867-1868
  9. Franklin Buchanan, 1868-1869
  10. Samuel Regester, 1869-1873
  11. Samuel Jones, 1873-1875
  12. William H. Parker, 1875-1882
  13. Augustine J. Smith, 1882-1887
  14. Allen Dodge, Acting, 1887-1888
  15. Henry E. Alvord, 1888-1892
  16. Richard W. Silvester, 1892-1912
  17. Thomas H. Spence, Acting, 1912-1913
  18. Harry J. Patterson, 1913-1916

Presidents of the Maryland State College of Agriculture

  1. Harry J. Patterson, 1916-1917
  2. Albert F. Woods, 1917-1920

Presidents of the University of Maryland

  1. Albert F. Woods, 1920-1926
  2. Raymond A. Pearson, 1926-1935
  3. Harry Clifton Byrd, 1935-1954
  4. Thomas B. Symons, Acting, 1954
  5. Wilson H. Elkins, 1954-1970

Chancellors of the University of Maryland, College Park

  1. Charles E. Bishop, 1970-1974
  2. John W. Dorsey, Acting, 1974-1975
  3. Robert L. Gluckstern, 1975-1982
  4. William E. Kirwan, Acting, 1982
  5. John B. Slaughter, 1982-1988

Presidents of the University of Maryland, College Park

  1. William E. Kirwan, 1988-1998
  2. Gregory L. Geoffrey, Acting, 1998
  3. Clayton Daniel Mote, Jr., 1998-2010
  4. Nariman Favardin, Acting, 2010
  5. Wallace D. Loh, 2010-

Administrators, multi-campus

Presidents of the University of Maryland

  1. Albert F. Woods, 1920-1926
  2. Raymond A. Pearson, 1926-1935
  3. Harry Clifton Byrd, 1935-1954
  4. Thomas B. Symons, Acting, 1954
  5. Wilson H. Elkins, 1954-1970

Presidents of the University of Maryland System

  1. Wilson H. Elkins, 1970-1978
  2. John S. Toll, 1978-1988

Chancellors of the University System of Maryland

  1. John S. Toll, 1988-1989
  2. James A. Norton, Acting, 1989-1990
  3. Donald N. Langenberg, 1990-2002
  4. William E. Kirwan, 2002-2015
  5. Robert L. Caret, 2015-Present

Biographies of Presidents and Chancellors (1859-1988)


The collection is organized as eleven series:

Series 1
Samuel Regester
Series 2
Samuel Jones
Series 3
Henry E. Alvord
Series 4
Richard W. Silvester
Series 5
Harry J. Patterson
Series 6
Albert F. Woods
Series 7
Raymond A. Pearson
Series 8
Harry C. Byrd
Series 9
Thomas B. Symons
Series 10
Wilson H. Elkins
Series 11
John S. Toll

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

This record group was established in 1975 when materials were transferred from the President's Office. Additional material was received from Leon Stout, archivist for Pennsylvania State University, in 1987 and the Chancellor's Office transferred additional files in 1994. Materials separated from various university archival record groups during processing were incorporated into the collection in January 2000.

Related Material

The Special Collections and University Archives of the University of Maryland Libraries houses the following presidents' personal papers: Charles Benedict Calvert (several items in the Maryland Manuscripts Collection), Albert F. and Bertha Gerneaux (Davis) Woods, Harry J. Patterson, , Wilson H. Elkins (unprocessed), Thomas B. Symons, and John S. Toll (unprocessed). The Papers of Sterling Byrd (unprocessed) also document the personal life and career of Harry Clifton Byrd.

Several presidents are listed as correspondents in the collections of William Amoss, Murray Vandiver, Richard D. White, Fletcher Pearre Veitch, Reginald Truitt, Walter F. Mulligan, Adele H. Stamp, Geary F. Eppley, and Susan Emolyn Harman. The Papers of the Thomas H. Osborn Family includes a letter, dated 1840, written by Bejanmin Hallowell. The Papers of Daniel Coit Gilman at the Eisenhower Library, Johns Hopkins University, contain two letters from President William H. Parker.

Large unprocessed portions of the Records of the President's Office exist from the tenures of Wilson H. Elkins, Charles E. Bishop, John W. Dorsey, Robert L. Gluckstern, John B. Slaughter, William E. Kirwan, and C. D. Mote, Jr. A preliminary inventory is available online for the>unprocessed Wilson H. Elkins portion. Please see the preliminary inventory section of this finding aid. Other preliminary inventories are available upon request in the Maryland Room, Hornbake Library. Portions of the records from the tenures of Charles E. Bishop, John W. Dorsey, Robert L. Glucksten, and John B. Slaughter have been semi-processed as the Records of the Chancellor's Office (UMCP). Materials concerning the various presidents may also be found in other University record groups, including the Board of Regents (processed and unprocessed portions). Files from unprocessed collections must be screened by University of Maryland staff before researchers can consult them.

Relevant publications include:

  1. George H. Callcott, The University of Maryland at College Park, A History (Baltimore: Noble House, 2005)
  2. George H. Callcott, A History of the University of Maryland (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1966)
  3. Wilson H. Elkins with George H. Callcott, Forty Years as a College President: Memoirs of Wilson Homer Elkins (College Park: University of Maryland, 1981)
  4. Benjamin Hallowell, Autobiography of Benjamin J. Hallowell: written at the request of his daughter, Caroline H. Miller, for his children and grandchildren in the seventy-sixth year of his age (Philadelphia: Friends' Book Association, 1884)
  5. Maryland: Reflections on 150 Years (Virginia Beach, VA: Donning Company Publishers, 2006)

Processing Information

Originally, the Records of the President's Office consisted of a single box, with folders arranged alphabetically by subject. When new material was acquired, the record group was restructured into eleven chronological series, one for each president represented in the records. A second accession of new material was incorporated into the existing series arrangement. Previous errors in dating and alphabetical order were corrected. Most folders contained distinct topics; loose materials and miscellaneous files were divided into existing files or given specific folder titles. Some folders containing like material were placed together by adding an additional heading.

Within the folders, materials were rearranged chronologically, acid-free photocopies replaced newsprint, and plastic clips were substituted for metal fasteners. Publications not related to the university or the files were discarded. University publications without accompanying material were transferred to the University Publications Collection. Photographs were separated and placed in the Photographic Collection and separation sheets placed in the files to note their removal. Oversize materials were flattened and placed in appropriate containers, with separation sheets inserted in their original place. The collection has been placed in acid-free folders and boxes.

The Guide to the Office of the President, University of Maryland Records
In Progress
Processed by Lisa Pruitt, February 1988.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742