Every day, The Diamondback’s photo desk does its best to visually document our community. This means covering all the news — the spine-chilling, inspiring and, sometimes, ridiculous.

Throughout the spring semester, students continued to grapple with remote learning. On Feb. 20, the University of Maryland announced all classes would shift online for a week to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Students were asked to sequester in place.

April saw the national rollout of the vaccine, when all Marylanders over the age of 16 became eligible and the University Health Center offered vaccine appointments to members of the university community. Spring commencement brought a glimmer of hope as graduates, with two guests each, spread out on the turf of Maryland Stadium. 

But winter commencement wasn't so lucky. Even after a semester of in-person classes and a bustling campus, the omicron variant surged.

2021 had its share of protests. After eight people were gunned down at three spas in Atlanta, students and community members turned out on McKeldin Mall to remember and honor those killed. In front of the new city hall, local leaders and residents protested the county council’s last-minute changes to a redistricting map that would dramatically change how College Park is represented.

At the Slut Walk, hundreds of students blasted the university’s handling of sexual assault on campus. The question of Guilford Woods sparked heat that led to a pause on its development, and the University System of Maryland Board of Regents recommended a $15 minimum wage for union-represented workers across the system after a campaign by workers’ rights organizations of this university.

A year in College Park would not be complete without construction. The College Park Metro station closed temporarily, the Jones-Hill House was unveiled after years of construction, renovations began on the Commons Shop and the College Park City Hall celebrated its grand opening.

The year witnessed great transformations within University of Maryland athletics. Maryland volleyball beat No. 2 Wisconsin, the biggest win in program history. The Terps went on to have their best season since 2010.

On Feb. 14, Maryland women’s basketball head coach Brenda Frese secured her 500th win, making her the program’s all-time wins leader. Frese, who would become the Associated Press’ National Coach of the Year and the first woman inducted into the Washington Metro Basketball Hall of Fame, also led the Terps to their fifth Big Ten Tournament title.

Field hockey head coach Missy Meharg also broke records, notching her 600th win on Oct. 17. On Nov. 23, Maryland field hockey reached the Final Four after missing the NCAA tournament last year.

In April, a few fans filed back into the stands over a year after sports were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. By the fall, venues were at full capacity. 

Shortly after, Maryland men’s basketball head coach Mark Turgeon signed a three-year contract extension. But the agreement only lasted eight months, when Turgeon suddenly stepped down from coaching on the heels of back-to-back losses, leaving assistant coach Danny Manning to take the reins.

We also saw a record-breaking football program this season. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa set the record for single-season passing yards and sent the Terps to a bowl game for the first time since 2016.

This year, I went through over 14,000 photos taken by our staff photographers. Below are my top picks for each month of the year. These photos not only represent the top news events that affected the greater College Park community but also the best of our visual work.

I am proud to present my third, last and hopefully best edition yet of The Diamondback’s Year in Pictures.

—  Julia Nikhinson, photo editor


The year started with two decisions that felt personal to many on campus: former University of Maryland student Sean Urbanski was sentenced to life in prison for the 2017 murder of 1st Lt. Richard Collins III, and Maryland’s Board of Public Works approved the payment of a $3.5 million settlement from the university to the family of Jordan McNair, a Maryland football player that died of heatstroke after a team workout in 2018. 

Construction continued on new North Campus dorms, one of which would be later dedicated as Pyon-Chen Hall, the first dorm at this university named after people since 1914. 

On Jan. 6, the Capitol riot not only shocked the nation and world, but also the local community. The day after, Maryland and Iowa men’s basketball knelt in protest before tipoff.

Construction workers scale a new North Campus residence hall on Jan. 25, 2021. The new dorms were named Whittle-Johnson and Pyon-Chen Halls to commemorate former students at this university. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)
Maryland men's basketball was greeted by empty stands during its loss to No. 14 Wisconsin on Jan. 28, 2021. Cardboard cutouts were the only fans for the remainder of the 2020-21 basketball season. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)


On Feb. 1, fresh snow blanketed the campus, inviting students with the promise of snowball fights, snowmen and sledding. 

February also saw its fair share of fires, with one HVAC fire destroying the beloved campus staple Today’s Hair and another fire igniting a pile of trash by Fraternity Row.

But, as more students returned to campus in the spring semester, COVID-19 once again reared its ugly head, prompting a sequester in place and the closing of Eppley Recreation Center for a week. Other parts of campus were also impacted by pandemic restrictions, with the 251 North dining hall implementing limited hours.

In the midst of the white snow and a gloomy pandemic, we also saw some color. The Stu, a Greenbelt photo studio, opened its doors Feb. 6, offering five color-coordinated rooms for both selfie-connoisseurs and professional photographers.

The inside of Today’s Hair after firefighters extinguished the fire. Multiple fire departments responded to a commercial building fire on Lehigh Road on Feb. 3, 2021. (Freddy Wolfe/The Diamondback)
Mileija Yancy, Ashlie Payne and Aeesha Kamara in The Stu's Pink Dollhouse room on Feb. 6, 2021. A five-room Greenbelt photo studio catering to both local creatives and photo-minded consumers, The Stu held its first round of bookings in early February. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
Maryland’s Ayana Akli during her singles match against Ohio State’s Irina Cantos Siemers on Feb. 19, 2021. Akli won the match 6-4, 6-3. Maryland tennis fell 5-2 to Ohio State in its home opener. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
Logan Wisnauskas celebrates with a teammate during Maryland men’s lacrosse’s 20-9 win over Michigan on Feb. 20, 2021 (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)
Reese McClure competes during Maryland gymnastics' meet with Penn State on Feb. 5, 2021. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)
Maryland gymnastics' Sanya Glauber celebrates during the Big Five meet on Feb. 26, 2021. Glauber had not competed for the Terps in over a month — she had suffered falls in her only two appearances for Maryland this season and was recovering from an injury. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)


A year after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, University of Maryland community members were slowly starting to get vaccinated, with mass vaccination sites opening across the state.

On March 8, Colin Byrd, the mayor of Greenbelt and a former University of Maryland student, announced that he will be challenging Sen. Chris Van Hollen for one of Maryland’s seats in the U.S. Senate in 2022.

March also brought the first home track and field meet in two years, with the Terps hosting the Maryland Invitational. 

Of course, March would not be complete without basketball. 

Mid-month, we journeyed to Indianapolis to cover Maryland men’s and women’s basketball competing in the Big Ten tournaments. 

In Indy, former sports editor David Suggs and assistant photo editor Joe Ryan took a deep dive into how Indianapolis’ Black music scene was ramping up for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. 

As the NCAA women’s basketball tournament got underway in San Antonio, Texas, Maryland women’s basketball players took to social media to call out organizers. 

Just a few days prior, photos of less-than-mediocre facilities flooded social media. While the men’s facilities in Indianapolis had full weight rooms, the women got a single rack of dumbbells and some yoga mats. The disparities continued through food, goodie bags and covid testing.

(Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
Minorka Miranda throws up a serve during her doubles match on March 12, 2021. Maryland women's tennis lost 2-5 to Michigan State. (Collin Riviello/The Diamondback)
Matt Orlando celebrates with the team after scoring a run during Maryland baseball’s first game against Rutgers on March 13, 2021. The Terps lost 9-3. (Collin Riviello/The Diamondback)


When a group of six demonstrators armed with signs that read “Jesus or Hellfire” and “feminists are whores,” set up camp outside of McKeldin Library, students came together in protest. The demonstrators yelled at students, especially those who were women, Muslim, Jewish or part of the LGBTQ+ community. Students ridiculed their rhetoric, with one even throwing a dildo at the demonstrators.

Prince George's County Public Schools buses' received cameras, attached to the stop-arms, that will capture video of cars trying to pass the buses and other traffic violations. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
Tori Barretta carries the ball during Maryland women's lacrosse's 14-12 win over Rutgers on April 8, 2021. (Collin Riviello/The Diamondback)
A sheep peers through a fence on the campus farm on April 15, 2021. ANSC245: Sheep Management, colloquially known as “Lamb Watch,” teaches animal sciences majors to be shepherds. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)

Logan Wisnauskas celebrates a goal for Maryland men’s lacrosse in its 14-13 win over rival Johns Hopkins on April 24, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)


On May 31, fans cheered on Maryland’s men’s lacrosse as they took on Virginia in the national championship game in Connecticut. The Terps ended their perfect season with a 17-16 loss.

A person picks up their tree from the College Park Airport on May 1, 2021. The Prince George’s County parks and recreation department gave out 500 trees to the local community to better the environment and support their conservation commitment. (Freddy Wolfe/The Diamondback)
A woman prays before receiving the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine at the Shop Spa barbershop in Hyattsville, Md. on May 17, 2021. About 35 people were vaccinated at the barbershop as part of a partnership between the University of Maryland’s Center for Health Equity and Luminis Health. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
Graduates and their guests spread at the University of Maryland’s outdoor spring commencement at Maryland Stadium on May 21, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
(Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)


After years of construction, Maryland football debuted the Jones-Hill House on June 4, named after the first Black football and men’s basketball athletes to attend the University of Maryland. The facility features three practice fields, specialized team rooms, three pools, state-of-the-art workout technology, a barbershop and a turtle-shaped pizza oven.

A player stretches before doing sprints on the indoor practice field in Jones-Hill House. Maryland football premiered its new state-of-the-art facility on June 4, 2021, including areas for everything from practice and training to billiards and haircuts. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)


The February fire that forced Today’s Hair to close caused approximately $60,000 worth of damages to affected businesses. More than five months later in July, Today’s Hair was still closed, as owners Pola and Sokha Kry worked to get it ready for a reopening by the start of the school year.

Lucy Taylor poses on the University of Maryland's fraternity row. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)


In August, University of Maryland students finally made their return to campus, bustling from class to class after a year of virtual learning.

Defensive back Glendon Miller catches a ball during practice on Aug. 17, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/The Hill)
In an unorthodox groundbreaking, Janice Reutt-Robey, professor and chair of the chemistry and biochemistry department, performs a liquid nitrogen chemistry experiment to make a small explosion at the ceremony for the new chemistry building on Aug. 24, 2021. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)
Students return to the University of Maryland campus for the first day of school on Aug. 30, 2021. (Kurt Leinemann/The Diamondback)


After years of student activism, the university installed menstrual product dispensers in 25 buildings for the fall semester. 

The Diamondback also took a look back at the lasting damage inflicted by a tornado that tore through campus twenty years ago on Sept. 24. The storm whipped 200 mph winds, destroying apartments and roughly 300 cars, leaving two dead.

September also brought with it a striped saga that would end up lasting months, captivating not only local audiences, but also the nation. Five zebras escaped a private farm in Upper Marlboro and were only caught on Dec. 15. Unfortunately, one of them died. 

Sports also kicked off, with fans filling the stands at Maryland Stadium. Volleyball and field hockey also found explosive starts to what would become successful seasons. 

As the month came to a close, students took to McKeldin Mall for the first in-person First Look Fair since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hari Kannan in Hornbake Library's Career Center on Sept. 1, 2021. Kannan is part of the pilot TerpsEXCEED program at this university, which opens opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to get a full-time college experience. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)
American flags stand on McKeldin Mall on Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. (Autumn Hengen/The Diamondback)
Madeline Shanahan, a sophomore at this university, was sick on Sept. 13, 2021. The pandemic has changed how students respond to the flu or common cold. (Freddy Wolfe/The Diamondback)
Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) at CASA’s “Welcome Back Congress” march in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 21, 2021. (Freddy Wolfe/The Diamondback)

Michaela Jones pitches during Maryland softball’s 5-1 victory over George Mason on Sept. 24, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Maryland volleyball celebrates following its 3-2 victory over No. 2 Wisconsin, the biggest win in program history, on Sept. 24, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Hope Rose hurdles over a defender’s stick during Maryland field hockey’s 4-0 win over American on Sept. 26, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

William Kulvik gets taken down and looks for a foul during Maryland men’s soccer’s 0-0 draw with Rutgers on Sept. 28, 2021. (Collin Riviello/The Diamondback)
Gymkana performs at the First Look Fair on McKeldin Mall on Sept. 29, 2021. Gymkana is a program within the School of Public Health that teaches gymnastics and healthy, drug-free living. (Freddy Wolfe/The Diamondback)
Middle blocker Rainelle Jones kneels during the national anthem before Maryland's 3-2 loss to No. 14 Penn State on Sept. 29, 2021. A spectator yelled at Jones to “stand up, you piece of trash” while kneeling during the national anthem before a match with Nebraska in November. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
Rayne Wright shoots the ball during Maryland field hockey's 3-1 loss to Northwestern on Sept. 30, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)


Following sexual assault allegations against a Pi Kappa Alpha affiliate, the university’s Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life placed a cease and desist on the fraternity, in addition to suspending their recognition on campus.

In late October, Insomnia Cookies reopened in College Park, bringing both the smell of freshly baked cookies and a new menu with it. Unfortunately, Bagel Place, a College Park staple, closed its doors on Oct. 29 due to leasing disputes.

That same week, the university’s theatre, dance and performance studies school put on Little Women: The Broadway Musical in the Kay Theatre, marking a return to in-person theatre.

A member of Ohio State’s ROTC holds a folded American flag during Maryland football's 66-17 loss to the Buckeyes on Oct. 9, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Odyn with his friend Remy at the campus farm on Oct. 13, 2021. Odyn had to quarantine for two weeks upon his arrival to the campus farm, a standard procedure. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Protesters march toward the Main Administration building during the Save Guilford Woods protest on McKeldin Mall on Oct. 15, 2021. Guilford Woods is a 40-acre tree cover on the south part of the university’s campus. A proposed development — called the Western Gateway — would take up nine acres of the land to build affordable graduate student housing, in addition to townhomes, according to project plans. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)
Zach McKay climbs up the climbing wall behind Eppley Recreation Center on Oct. 15, 2021. RecWell is providing affinity spaces during the fall semester for individuals who identify as part of the disability community to use the climbing wall and bouldering areas. (Autumn Hengen/The Diamondback)
Firefighters respond to a call at Queen Anne’s Hall on Oct. 21, 2021. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)
A University of Maryland student rides his bike along McKeldin Mall on Oct. 21, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
Carlos Carriere sprints past Micah McFadden en route to a touchdown during Maryland football's 38-35 win over Indiana on Oct. 30, 2021. (Cam Andrews/The Diamondback)


As the fall sports season began wrapping up in November, some Maryland sports teams saw success while others were met with failure.

Maryland men’s soccer lost 1-0 to Long Island and were bounced from NCAA tourney and Maryland football found itself going bowling for the first time since 2016 with a 40-16 win over Rutgers. And, after missing the NCAA tournament last year, Maryland field hockey reached the Final Four.

The City of College Park also stayed busy. On Nov. 8, hundreds of College Park residents cast their ballots in the city’s council and mayoral elections. Diamondback photographers and reporters were at the polls all day to document the election.

At a ground blessing ceremony on Nov, 1. — the first day of Native American Indigenous Heritage Month — the university announced the dining hall will be named Yahentamitsi (Yah-hen-tuh-meet-c), which means “a place to go to eat” in the Algonquian language spoken by the Piscataway Conoy Tribe. The new dining hall will honor the Piscataway Tribe, making it the first campus building to honor Native American heritage. (Autumn Hengen/The Diamondback)
Emma Sampson, a sophomore microbiology major, shows their homemade yogurt on Oct. 20, 2021. The University of Maryland’s agriculture and natural resources college has developed and launched a new fermentation science major this fall. (Freddy Wolfe/The Diamondback)
Surrounded by fall foliage, a student walks past Xfinity Center on Nov. 4, 2021. (Julia Nikhnison/The Diamondback)
The city of Greenbelt will create a 21-member commission to study the feasibility of reparations for the city’s Black and Native American residents. Greenbelt Mayor Colin Byrd proposed the referendum. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Fatts Russell celebrates a basket during Maryland men’s basketball’s 89-40 exhibition win over Fayetteville State on Nov. 5, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Brayan Padilla hangs his head after hitting the post on a penalty kick, leading to Northwestern's upset of Maryland men's soccer in the Big Ten quarterfinals on Nov. 7, 2021. (Cam Andrews/The Diamondback)
Residents from across College Park voted in the city council and mayoral elections at the College Park Community Center on Nov. 8, 2021. (Joe Ryan and Autumn Hengen/The Diamondback)
University of Maryland President Darryll Pines delivers the State of the Campus address in front of the university senate on Nov. 10, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
Members of the University of Maryland's Marine Corps program stand at attention in front of the Memorial Chapel on Veterans Day. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
The Fill-a-Bus Food Drive filled a bus outside of Stamp Student Union on Nov. 12, 2021. Over 500 volunteers from the University of Maryland and the greater College Park area gathered to help beautify the community as part of the 10th Good Neighbor Day celebration. (Taneen Momeni/The Diamondback)
Anna Castaldo raises her arm in celebration after scoring a goal during Maryland field hockey's 2-1 win over Syracuse in the NCAA tournament on Nov. 14, 2021. (Cam Andrews/The Diamondback)
Niklas Neumann laments Maryland men's soccer's 1-0 loss to Long Island in the NCAA tournament on Nov. 18, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)


December capped off a tumultuous year. 

On Dec. 1, during Maryland men’s basketball's loss to Virginia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, fans honored a Maryland basketball legend: Len Bias. Bias, who was the second pick of the first round of the 1986 NBA draft, died of an overdose just two days later.

Maryland men’s basketball head coach Mark Turgeon suddenly resigned two days after the game. Two weeks later, winter commencement was canceled and the campus saw record COVID-19 cases.

On Dec. 29, Maryland football took on Virginia Tech in the Pinstripe Bowl, played at Yankee Stadium in New York. In their first bowl appearance since 2016, the Terps bashed the Hokies 50-14, smashing several records along the way.

James and Lonise Bias, parents of former Maryland men's basketball player Len Bias, wave to the crowd during a recognition of Bias' induction to the college basketball Hall of Fame on Dec. 1, 2021. (Cam Andrews/The Diamondback)
University of Maryland’s theater, dance and performance studies school put on an experimental dance series on Dec. 3, 2021. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
Zach Schrader's hand is raised after a 6-4 decision in sudden death against Duke during Maryland wrestling's 23-17 win over the Blue Devils on Dec. 4, 2021. The Terps’ wins over Drexel and Duke were their first in almost two years. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
The new City Council chambers. Local leaders and community members gathered on Dec. 14, 2021 to celebrate the grand opening of College Park’s approximately $51 million city hall. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)
Testudo overflows with finals offerings on Dec. 15, 2021. (Kurt Leinemann/The Diamondback)
A dry Christmas tree succumbs to flames during the Department of Fire Protection Engineering’s annual Christmas tree fire safety demonstration on Dec. 16, 2021. The live fire experiments illustrated the importance of maintaining a well-watered Christmas tree during the holiday season, comparing the differences between a hydrated tree catching fire and a dry tree catching fire. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)
(Julia Nikhinson and Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)

Edited by Joe Ryan, Assistant photo editor

Photos by The Diamondback's staff photographers

Website design by Julia Nikhinson

CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, a previous version of a photo caption in this story misspelled Zach McKay's name. This caption has been updated.