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About the Fund

UMBC challenges convention in higher education. We believe that ground-breaking research and a relentless focus on undergraduate success can go hand-in-hand. We encourage our faculty, staff and students to work outside traditional structures. As a result, UMBC has become a powerhouse in higher education and has gained a national reputation as one of the country’s most innovative universities.

Today, we’re continuing to re-imagine what it means to be a leading public university — and the newly-launched Hrabowski Fund for Innovation is a key vehicle for that work. The fund currently invests in faculty initiatives that fuel creativity and enterprise; challenge students to take an active role in their education; and transform classrooms into laboratories of the mind.

The inaugural grants, starting in spring 2013, were given to faculty who proposed novel ways to approach teaching and learning, with a particular focus on helping more students from all backgrounds to not only persist, but to excel.

The inaugural projects range from The Math Gym, which will get students into “math shape” with conditioning coaches and personal trainers, to The Wisdom Institute, where students of all ages will learn not just what it means to be educated, but what it means to be wise.

The Hrabowski Fund for Innovation began with substantial grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Heinz Awards. Since then, the Innovation Fund has benefited from tremendous support from alumni and friends, the local community and businesses, and state and national leaders. That support stands as a testament to the work we’ve already done and as a vote of confidence for the national model we’re continuing to build.