After 164 years, Darryll Pines becomes University of Maryland’s first African-American president

Mohammed Awal Feb 17, 2020 at 08:30am

February 17, 2020 at 08:30 am | Success Story

Mohammed Awal

Mohammed Awal

February 17, 2020 at 08:30 am | Success Story

Image Credit: Yahoo

Darryll Pines has been appointed as the president of the University of Maryland.

The appointment by the University’s Board of Regents makes Pines, the school’s first African-American president in its 164 years of existence. 

Pines, who has been with the University for 25 years is currently the dean of its school of engineering until his appointment as president comes into effect on July 1.

Dr. Wallace Loh, the outgoing president, reports WJLA will remain in office through June before retiring. 

“It is an honor to take on the leadership role at the University of Maryland, College Park—clearly one of our nation’s finest Research I universities—and one that I know and love so well,” Pines said of his appointment.

“As professor and dean of engineering, I am well acquainted with and have long admired the outstanding faculty, the executive leadership, and the passionate and civically engaged alumni and students who make Maryland such a special place,” he added.

Born on August 28, 1964, in Oakland, California, Pines is an aerospace and mechanical engineer. He received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. 

He then went on to receive advanced degrees in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his M.S. degree in 1988 and his Ph.D. degree in 1992, according to TheHistoryMakers.

After working with the Chevron Corporation and Space Tethers, Inc. and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)’s Advanced Technology Program, where he helped in designing the sensor technology of Clementine-1 spacecraft, Pines in 1995 joined the faculty of the University of Maryland (UMD) as an assistant professor.

According to TheHistoryMakers, Pines became the director of UMD’s Sloan Scholars Program in 1996 and the director of the GEM Program in 1999. He has also served as chair of the Engineering Council, director of the NASA CUIP Program and director of the SAMPEX flight experiment. 

In 2006, Pines became chair of UMD’s Department of Aerospace Engineering, where under his leadership, the department was ranked eighth overall among United States universities.

Three years later, he was named dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the Nariman Farvardin Professor of Engineering. 

Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) described the choice of Pines as the President of the UMD as “outstanding.”

“I join in congratulating Dean Darryll Pines on his selection to serve as the next President of the University of Maryland. He is an outstanding choice.

“His extensive experience serving as the Dean of the Clark School of Engineering has undoubtedly prepared him for this new role.

“While there was previously an African American Chancellor of the University, which served the same functional role as President, I am proud to see him make history as the first African American President of the University,” said Hoyer in a statement.

Loh said Pines will be “a great president of #UMD as he leads the flagship university forward.”

Pines is a fellow of the Institute of Physics, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

He has received the NACME Alumni Circle Award and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

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