UMBC and U.S. Navy celebrate partnership establishing Maryland’s first NROTC unit

On Monday, November 30, 2015, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy Dennis McGinn and U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski joined President Freeman Hrabowski for a ceremony to formally celebrate the establishment at UMBC of Maryland’s first Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program.

The program, which is part of the new Maryland NROTC consortium that includes the University of Maryland, College Park, provides an opportunity for students to earn a commission in the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps while completing their undergraduate degrees.

During the event, McGinn spoke highly of UMBC as an institution with exceptional leadership and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Through this collaboration, the U.S. Navy will attract individuals from diverse backgrounds and talents to become the leaders of the future, he said.

Hrabowski commended the longstanding relationship between UMBC and the Navy, which began two decades ago through initial conversations about the potential for partnership. Many UMBC graduates already work for the Navy, and many more will do so through this program, said Hrabowski.

The NROTC program is currently accepting applications and naval science courses are expected to begin in fall 2016.

Hrabowski attributed the university’s strong partnership with the Navy to Sen. Mikulski, whose support has been instrumental in the growth of UMBC and its impact on the community, the state and the nation.

“We quite simply would not be here today without the leadership and support of Sen. Mikulski. She has been an amazing champion for the country, for Maryland, and for the work we are doing at UMBC,” said Hrabowski.

Sen. Mikulski receives Distinguished Public Service Award
Sen. Mikulski receives Distinguished Public Service Award

A highlight of the event came when the Secretary of the Navy recognized Sen. Mikulski with the Distinguished Public Service Award for her exceptional leadership in service to Maryland and the United States. The award came just days after Sen. Mikulski accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House for accomplishments during her career as the longest serving woman in U.S. Congress.

Sen. Mikulski expressed her pride in witnessing the establishment of the NROTC at UMBC. By bringing the program to campus, she said, we open many new pathways for talented graduates from science, technology, and the arts to become the next leaders of our country.

“We are investing in the people of the future that will lead our Navy and our Marine Corps, and they will lead it with a tremendous background that starts right here [at UMBC],” said McGinn.

“There could be no better campus in the entire country to do this.”

Image: Senator Mikulski, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy Dennis McGinn, and President Freeman Hrabowski sign the ceremonial proclamation. Photo by Marlayna Demond’ 11 for UMBC.