University of Maryland President Darryll Pines highlighted the university’s initiatives as part of the Fearlessly Forward strategic plan during his annual State of the Campus address on Wednesday.
Pines listed the measures the university has enacted through the plan’s four pillars, which are advancing the common good, reimagining learning, taking on humanity’s grand challenges and investing in people and communities.
During the address, the university president announced the finalists for the university’s Grand Challenges Grants Program, including a program designed to increase literacy rates in the state, a program to mitigate climate change and a research initiative that aims to improve trust in democratic institutions, such as elections and the media.
This university plans to distribute $30 million to fund these research projects.
Pines also celebrated the achievements of university faculty including having more than 60 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and five Nobel Prize winners.
“These are metrics of true excellence,” Pines said.
Pines also underscored visits by distinguished guests such as the Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla — whom Pines spoke to last month — and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
“[Raimondo] had never visited the University of Maryland and she walked away super impressed,” Pines said. “This is going to lead to great opportunities for our faculties in science and engineering and other areas.”
Faculty at this university received a 13.5 percent cumulative cost of living adjustment — an initiative Pines applauded during his address. The effort was spearheaded by Provost Jennifer King Rice, Pines said.
The university president also spotlighted the Terrapin Commitment, an annual $20 million investment in need-based scholarships that was announced Oct. 24.
Some high school students have already been accepted into the Incentive Awards Program, which awards need-based scholarships to select graduating high school students from Baltimore City, Charles County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. The University Senate played a video at the address of university faculty congratulating students on their acceptances.
“This really means the world to me,” one student in the video said.
The new program will fully cover tuition and fees for Pell Grant-eligible students at this university who have unmet financial need.
“This program will open new pathways for promising Maryland students,” Pines said.