Alumni prepare to light the bonfire that was part of MindFest in 1995, with the newly constructed Library Tower is visible in the background.
In 1986, UMBC commissioned alumna Paulette Raye ‘87, philosophy, to create a bronze-cast model of the Retriever for the school’s 20th anniversary. Raye worked in a studio at Towson University, using a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Nitty Gritty as her model. The 500-pound, life-size statue was unveiled on December 7, 1987, outside of the Field House, now the plaza between the Administration Building and the Retriever Activities Center. Its name, True Grit,” is actually the name of Nitty Gritty’s father. In an interview with UMBC Magazine, Raye said that she wasn’t exactly sure why the mascot received that name [True Grit instead of Nitty Gritty] … other than it sounded bold and strong—like the [school’s] team.”
This edition of the newsletter asked alumni to be a believer in our Retriever” and make donations toward the commissioned statue of UMBC’s mascot.
The Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award was established in 1988 to honor an alumnus or alumna who had achieved national recognition in his or her field. The first award was presented to Dr. Winston Griner ‘74, biological sciences, for his innovations in home health care. After graduating from Meharry Medical College in Nashville in 1978, Griner remained in Tennessee and established a house-call only practice - the only physician listed by the Nashville Academy of Medicine to be doing so. While others insisted that his business was impractical and unsustainable, Griner was able to develop relationships with his patients and closely monitor and assist them in their recovery.
The UMBC Review was a popular alumni newsletter started in the 1980s to keep the community up-to-date on campus happenings and research. This issue shows the establishment of the first Presidential Research Professor, Robert K. Webb, History, and Presidential Teaching Professor, Jay Freyman, Ancient Studies; a public art project by the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority; an installation of "tandem mass spectrometers"; and the formation of the William C. and Gregory O. Faith Memorial Scholarship.
The original UMBC Magazine replaced the UMBC Review newsletter in Fall 1994. This iteration was only published a handful of times and ceased publication in 1998. The first edition of the alumni magazine as it is known today, also called UMBC Magazine, was published in Winter 2009 under the direction of Editor Richard Byrne '86, English. The magazine covers the accomplishments of faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and includes a popular column by President Freeman Hrabowski, “Up On the Roof,” a nod to Hrabowski’s overlook from the roof of the Administration Building. The magazine also includes Class Notes - updates, honorifics, and photographs submitted by UMBC alumni through Retriever Net, the alumni web portal at alumni.umbc.edu.