I am not a Terps fan. Not familiar with what a Terp is? It’s short for Terrapin, the University of Maryland, College Park’s turtle mascot. I’m not a Terps fan, but many people think I am. Why? Because people don’t seem to understand the concept of the public University System of Maryland. Some people (like the person who said the below quote) just need a little explaining, so hopefully, this blog post will clear some things up for you who thought incorrectly before.
“If you’re not a Terp, you didn’t go to a University of Maryland college.”
-A misunderstood friend of mine who shall be unnamed.
You see, I went to college at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (aka: UMBC). UMBC is a public university that is part of the University of Maryland schools. However, many people apparently do not understand this concept. Many times when I tell people the name of the school I attended, they think that UMBC is just another campus location of the University of Maryland school that most are the most familiar with; College Park. But this is not correct. College Park is its own school. UMBC and College Park share nothing, except for the fact that they are both public schools in Maryland and are part of the University of Maryland group.
UMBC is in fact, not the only other school in the University of Maryland System. There are actually 11 total schools in the System:
- Bowie State University
- Coppin State University
- Frostburg State University
- Salisbury University
- Towson University
- University of Baltimore^
- University of Maryland, Baltimore*^
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County*^
- University of Maryland, College Park* (the flagship campus)
- University of Maryland Eastern Shore*
- University of Maryland University College*
As you can see though, only the last five schools*, actually have the “University of Maryland” title in their name. More people need to realize that these are not satellite campuses, but they are in fact completely different schools. (Sure, we can make things even more complicated with Baltimore’s extremely confusing naming^ with University of Baltimore/UB, University of Maryland, Baltimore/UMB, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County/UMBC; but that’s for another day.) Each school is unique, and furthermore, each school has their own mascot; the Terp does not represent all of the University of Maryland schools.
So next time I tell someone I tell someone where I went to school, hopefully people won’t stop listening after the first few words. It’s University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Get it right. It’s not the Terps, it’s not on Route 1, it’s not in College Park. My school is also not the same as UB or UMB. UMBC is it’s own school, and don’t you forget it!