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Graduating students lose a tradition with removal of UMBC sign

The UMBC sign that once greeted students when entering the campus has recently been removed as a part of UMBC’s new project to revamp the campus entrance. Along with the loss of the sign, students have also lost a tradition at UMBC in which graduating students would take pictures next to the sign in order to commemorate their time at UMBC.

Despite this drawback, UMBC took steps to ensure the success of the venture.

The Campus Entrance Project was initiated with the intention to improve the conditions at Hilltop Circle and UMBC Boulevard, as well as to enhance the appearance of the entranceway to UMBC. The continuous growth of UMBC attributed to an increase in vehicular and pedestrian traffic along this area. The new project was established to improve the safety of pedestrians traveling along this route, as well as improve traffic conditions.

This project called for the formation of New Campus Entrance Project Steering, Planning and Technical Committees which discussed how to appropriately go about this task.

These committees included representatives from the Student Government Association, Graduate Student Association, Student Affairs, Institutional Advancement, Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, bwtech@UMBC North and the Landscape and Stewardship Committee.

Presentations about the project were then shown to the Campus Community at semi-annual Facilities Management Construction Updates, the President’s Council and numerous neighborhood association meetings.

At the culmination of their discussions it was decided to remove the old UMBC sign and position a replacement sign in a different location.

Joseph Rexing, UMBC Architect and Director of Planning and Construction Services, said, “the existing deteriorated sign needed to be replaced. What is more, the new Campus Gateway project presented the ideal opportunity to create a new threshold for campus. The project and the sign celebrate what UMBC has accomplished in the last 50 years. This more monumental sign is reflective of the elevated stature of UMBC today.”

Rexing said the new location “was deemed ideal by the planning committees for it reinforces the sense of arrival at the front door of campus. The view of campus unfolds as the visitor travels along the boulevard culminating at the main arrival feature, the UMBC sign.”

Another motivation for the new sign stems from the modified UMBC wordmark. The removed sign features an outdated wordmark which conflicts with the new wordmark used by UMBC. Those involved in the planning of this project wanted a unified image of UMBC. Rexing said that, “consistent graphics across all forms of graphic presentation reinforces the UMBC Brand.”

However, not everyone is pleased with the sign’s disappearance.

In previous years students had taken pictures in front of the now-removed UMBC sign after graduation. Students graduating this May are disappointed they can longer partake in this tradition. One UMBC student, Carrie Cleveland, senior social work major, said, “I’m graduating and wanted a picture by the sign. It’s been what’s greeted me for the past four years.”

Some students feel the sign is a symbol of their time here at UMBC. When asked about the significance of taking photos at the UMBC sign Cleveland said, “That sign is very indicative of my time here at UMBC. It’s just the culmination of my experience here.”

The old UMBC sign may not gone for good, however, as it is reported to have been moved to storage.