Freeman A. Hrabowski, III


University Maryland, Baltimore County

Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, has served as President of UMBC (The University of Maryland, Baltimore County) since May, 1992.  His research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. 

He serves as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academies, and universities and school systems nationally.  He also sits on several corporate and civic boards.  Examples include the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Constellation Energy Group, the France-Merrick Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation (Chair), McCormick & Company, Inc., and the Urban Institute.

Examples of recent awards or honors include election to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Philosophical Society; receiving the prestigious McGraw Prize in Education, the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, and the Columbia University Teachers College Medal for Distinguished Service; being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Marylander of the Year by the editors of the Baltimore Sun; and being listed among Fast Company magazine’s first “Fast 50 Champions of Innovation” in business and technology.  He also holds a number of honorary degrees, including most recently from Haverford College, Princeton University, Duke University, the University of Illinois, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Gallaudet University, Goucher College, the Medical University of South Carolina, and Binghamton University.

He has authored numerous articles and co-authored two books, Beating the Odds and Overcoming the Odds (Oxford University Press), focusing on parenting and high-achieving African American males and females in science.  Both books are used by universities, school systems, and community groups around the country.

A child-leader in the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Hrabowski was prominently featured in Spike Lee’s 1997 documentary, Four Little Girls, on the racially motivated bombing in 1963 of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.

Born in 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Hrabowski graduated at 19 from Hampton Institute with highest honors in mathematics.  At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he received his M.A. (mathematics) and four years later his Ph.D. (higher education administration/statistics) at age 24.