It was a Monday 150 years in the making as Towson University officially kicked off the celebration of its 150th anniversary. Even a torrential downpour couldn’t dampen the spirits as the commemoration began with a bang…and a few rolls of thunder.
The skies opened up just minutes before the ribbon was set to be cut on the Legacy Walk, a brick walkway that spans from West Village into the academic district of campus and features the five historic seals of the university—from its early days as the State Normal School to today—inlaid in the brick. The walk is meant to be a kind of timeline from the university’s past to its present and beyond. It was envisioned by Ray Lorion, the outgoing dean of the College of Education—the first program ever offered at the university.
When the sudden storm forced everyone into the Potomac Lounge at the University Union, 150th anniversary co-chairs Gerry Gaeng and Myrna Cardin maintained their enthusiasm that shone as brightly as the Towson gold accents in their respective outfits. Their remarks were followed by Interim President Timothy J. L. Chandler, who quipped at the podium as he looked up from his notes, “Now it says here that I’m supposed to cut the ribbon. But instead of doing that, how about one big hoot?”
And yes, Chandler joined in on the cheer that filled the room.
After that, the skies had cleared enough for everyone to enjoy the party set up at the walkway between the Union and the bridge from Hawkins Hall to the Psychology Building. Food, games, prizes and, of course, t-shirts—emblazoned with the 150th anniversary logo designed by alumnus David Calkins—kept students smiling between finals. Live music from Chuck Conjar and Larry Dernetz, better known as the campus printing guys, added to the fun and festive ambiance, where current and former elected officials joined the students, faculty and staff in the celebration.
The anniversary celebration, which uses the social media hashtag #TU150, will continue throughout the year into next spring’s commencements.