Launching dreamsGAMBIER, Ohio (January 17, 2008) Freeman A. Hrabowski III, who transformed a little-known commuter school into a university admired nationwide for launching minority students into science careers, will speak at Kenyon this month as part of the College's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.
Hrabowski, the president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), will give a lecture on Wednesday, January 30, at 7:00 pm in Rosse Hall.
"Hrabowski talks like a preacher, thinks like a scholar, has boundless energy," said an article in the Washington Post last year. It noted that UMBC, where a third of the approximately 12,000 students are the first in their families to go to college, is "a national leader in graduating minority science students who go on to earn doctorates and medical degrees." Since becoming the university's president in 1992, Hrabowski has fostered a "nerdy-is-cool" culture on campus, including a chess team that has won the Pan-American Intercollegiate Championship six times.
An African-American child who grew up in segregated
Hrabowski, whose name goes back to a Polish plantation owner, helped create UMBC's Meyerhoff Scholarship program, which encourages talented students to pursue graduate work in the sciences, mathematics, computer science, and engineering. Initially targeting African-American students, the program is now open to all high-achieving high school seniors who are interested in the advancement of minorities in the sciences and related fields.
The recipient of many awards, Hrabowski has co-authored two books: Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males (1998), and Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Young Women (2001), both published by Oxford University Press.