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Thomas H. Spence

Thomas H. Spence (1867-1937), a professor of languages, served as acting president from 1912 to 1913. During his brief tenure, the college constructed a temporary dining hall and auditorium, and the President’s House was converted into a dormitory.

According to an account in the 1909 Reveille yearbook, Spence was born in 1867 near Snow Hill, Md. He attended Maupin's University School in Ellicott City and the Johns Hopkins University before he became the principal of the Stockton Academy in Worcester County.

Spence was elected chair of languages at the Maryland Agricultural College in 1892 and later became a member of the Board of Trustees, vice president of the college, acting registrar and dean of the School of Liberal Arts, among other positions. He served on a number of faculty committees, including Examinations, Schedules, Collegiate Routine, Library, Commencement and Class Day. He also played a role in organizing the college's first fraternity, Gamma Pi, which later became Sigma Nu.

Spence became dean emeritus in 1924 but continued teaching languages and philosophy until his retirement in 1934, after 42 years of service to the university.

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The University of Maryland is the flagship campus of the state’s higher educational system and a top-ranked public research institution. We are a diverse community of 38,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 352,000 alumni, all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., we discover and share new knowledge every day through our renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And we are committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation’s first “Do Good” campus. 

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The University of Maryland is one of the world’s premier research institutions. With our strategic location and scores of partnerships with government and businesses, UMD conducts groundbreaking research on some of the biggest challenges facing our global community, including cybersecurity and terrorism, bioengineering, public health equity, food safety and climate change. We strive to discover new knowledge and put it to work through innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing economic development and transforming lives. 

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At the University of Maryland, the arts, the humanities and the sciences intersect to address important societal issues and shed new light on the human experience. Our vibrant campus arts community collaborates with local and national cultural organizations such as the Phillips Collection, Kennedy Center and Folger Shakespeare Library. Student and faculty artists, designers, historians, writers and performers are exploring new media, presenting new perspectives, investigating new techniques and engaging new audiences.

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