Happy Thanksgiving, Tigers!

thanksgivingAs a university we have a lot to be grateful for: high-quality faculty and staff, top-notch public safety services and national notice as one of the best public institutions in our region and for our success in supporting veteran and active-duty students.

But at the core of what we do, and for whom we are very grateful, are our excellent students. We remain committed to providing a collaborative, interdisciplinary and inter-professional atmosphere, excellence in teaching, leadership development, civic engagement, and applied and sponsored research opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

To the entire University community, alumni, and friends, TU wishes you and your families a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Note: Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Towson University dorms will close at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 25 and re-open at noon on Sunday, November 29. Classes will resume on Monday, November 30.

Will you take the Towson Plunge?

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Towson University is teaming up with the Special Olympics Maryland an “unbearably” fun time hosting a true Maryland tradition: a polar plunge on Dec. 5 on the lawn in front of the TowsonTown Garage starting at 11 a.m.

To be eligible to dive, participants must have $50 in pledges or donations. All money will go to support the athletes who train and compete in Special Olympics Maryland throughout the year.

Each participant will receive a plunge long sleeve t-shirt. They will also receive a concession voucher for the Towson’s men’s basketball game post-plunge.

As their donations increase, participants will receive the following:

  • $500 – a plunge fleece
  • $1,000 – a plunge sports bag
  • $2,500 – a Columbia jacket
  • $5,000 – a tablet.

The plunge is open to Towson University faculty, staff and students and the entire community. Participants can plunge as an individual or as a group.

To register to participate or for more information about the event, please visit the Towson University Polar Bear Plunge homepage.

Veterans Center ready to “Stuff-a-Bus” for charity


It’s the holiday season and the Towson University Veterans Center is ready to give to those in need with its annual “Stuff-a-Bus” toy and food drive.

For the seventh year the Towson University community will try to fill a school bus adorned with holiday decorations with unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items to donate to charity. All efforts will support Toys for Tots and the Maryland Food Bank.

This is the fourth year that Veterans Center has led the campaign, and Coordinator of Veterans Services Patrick Young said the drive keeps getting better.

“The event has gotten bigger and bigger every year,” Young said. “Last year was our biggest year since the Veterans Center became involved. We have a more coordinated effort this year, so we’re expecting big things this year.

Members of the Veterans Center staff and numerous volunteers stand in front of the "Stuff-a-Bus" bus on Monday evening. The lighting of the bus signifies the beginning of the "Stuff-a-Bus" event.

Members of the Veterans Center staff and numerous volunteers stand in front of the “Stuff-a-Bus” bus on Monday evening. The lighting of the bus signifies the beginning of the “Stuff-a-Bus” event, which lasts from Nov. 30 until Dec. 13.

“This gives the campus something they can rally around and be able to make a large donation to some wonderful organizations.”

Other departments on campus who helped out with the “Stuff-a-Bus” drive included: Student Activities, Housing and Residence Life, Event and Conference Services and more.

The event began on Nov. 16 with the wrapping of the donation boxes that are located around campus  and officially kicked off on Nov. 23 with the lighting of the bus, which is located on Osler Drive. Donations can be made starting Monday Nov. 30 with the drive ending on Dec. 13.

Donations can be dropped off where you see wrapped boxes at more than 50 donation points across campus, including many of the academic buildings. The main donation location is at the Veterans Center, in room 107 of the Psychology Building.

Donations can also be dropped off during the following special events and locations:

  • The “Stuff-A-Bus” on Osler Drive will be accepting donations Nov. 30 through Dec. 13. Volunteers will be there from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • The President’s Holiday Celebration, Thursday, Dec. 10, 4-6 p.m., at the University Union Potomac Lounge.
  • The Toys for Tots Benefit Concert featuring the Ken Ebo Jazz Orchestra, Sunday, Dec. 13, 7-9:30 p.m., at the Harold J. Kaplan Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts building

Those who are interested in volunteering or taking part in the festivities can get more information by emailing bhaight@towson.edu or calling the Veterans Center at 410-704-2992.

Celebrating 50 Years of PAGS and Dr. Henry Chen

Henry Chen giving a lecture

Professor Henry Chen gave a special lecture on the history of the PAGS department.

Towson University’s 150th anniversary is big news, but did you know the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences (PAGS) is turning 50 this year?

To celebrate the anniversary, the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics held a special seminar lecture by Henry Chen, Ph.D., on Friday, Nov. 20 in the Lecture Hall.

Chen, who arrived at Towson in 1965 – the same year the department was created – has been a professor at FCSM for 44 years. Chen is a veritable gold mine of facts, figures, names and dates and extremely passionate about what he sees as the unique character and history of TU and the PAGS department in particular.

He spoke to a crowd of about 50 for almost an hour, cracking jokes and taking questions at the end. Chen did a quick survey of Towson’s overall history before spending the bulk of his time profiling the “original five” professors – Lewis Cox, Edward Rubendall, Bill Pelham, John Bareham and Bob Dahl. Near the end of his talk, he also told the story of the time the University System of Maryland nearly cut TU’s physics and chemistry programs as well as lessons the college has learned over the years.

His talk was recorded and his remarks will be written and illustrated to be stored in the TU archives.

This Tiger works on the wild side at The Maryland Zoo

TU freshman Sara Borowy received the Teen Volunteer of the Year award from the Maryland Zoo.

TU freshman Sara Borowy received the Teen Volunteer of the Year award from the Maryland Zoo.

TU freshman Sara Borowy has spent her last three summers with an unlikely group of friends—a penguin, a tortoise and a crocodile. Borowy met her companions as a volunteer at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, where she assists at the zoo or travels offsite with its mobile education unit.

Borowy received the 2015 Teen Volunteer of the Year award for her dedication to the organization. Staff members from various departments nominated Borowy to recognize her work as an education junior interpreter, a junior keeper and an animal handler.

“What made me feel really good is knowing that the people who I have been helping out really appreciate what I’m doing,” the biology major says. “Working with them for so long, you really start to build a connection with everyone.”

Most of Borowy’s work is with the Animal Embassy, the zoo’s travelling collection of about 60 animals that visit schools, events and daycare centers to teach children about animals.

Borowy has known she wanted to work with animals and the environment since childhood, an interest which helped her choose biology as a major.

One of her most memorable moments was when she was able to share her love of animals with a young girl who approached her with questions.

“After our long talk and exploration of different animals and ideas, this child was so enthused and inspired,” Borowy recalls. “She exclaimed to her mom that she now wanted to save the animals and work with animals when she grows up.”