Longtime University President and STEM Advocate Dr. Freeman Hrabowski Honored for His Transformative Leadership
13 Sep 2022
Longtime University President and APB Speaker Dr. Freeman Hrabowski was recently honored for his three decades of work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) with a feature story in The New York Times.
Hrabowski retired in June after 30 years on campus. He became president of the school in 1992. During his tenure, he “transformed a one-time commuter school into the country’s strongest pipeline of Black graduates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM),” The Times wrote. UMBC became a model for other schools with such notable institutions as The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of California, Berkeley copying its Meyerhoff Scholars Program.
While at the university, Dr. Freeman chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the 2011 report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. He was named in 2012 by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. His 2013 TED talk highlights the “Four Pillars of College Success in Science.”
TIME magazine named him one of America’s 10 Best College Presidents in 2009, and one of the“100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2012. In 2011, he received both the TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence and the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Academic Leadership Award, recognized by many as the nation’s highest award among higher education leaders. Also in 2011, he was named one of seven Top American Leaders by The Washington Post and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. In 2012, he received the Heinz Award for his contributions to improving the “Human Condition” and was among the inaugural inductees into the U.S. News & World Report STEM Solutions Leadership Hall of Fame.
More recently, he received the American Council on Education's Lifetime Achievement Award (2018), was named a recipient of the University of California, Berkeley's Clark Kerr Award (2019), and was awarded the University of California, San Francisco’s UCSF Medal (2020).
“There are many ways to think about influence, and some of them are more glittery than others,” Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, told The Times. “Freeman has actually reached into all of our hearts and asked us to remember what education is for. He has been the moral compass for all of us, and that makes him the most influential leader of higher education in our generation.”