The University of Maryland’s women’s studies department will now be named after Harriet Tubman, university President Darryll J. Pines announced in an email to the campus community. Dr. Pines became president of the university on July 1.
This is the first time that an academic department at the University of Maryland will be named after someone honorifically, according to Dr. Pines. The women’s studies department is the only one in the country that offers a Black women’s studies minor.
“Historically, Black women have played a brave and critical role in social justice,” Dr. Pines wrote. “Harriet Tubman’s life and her dedication to freedom and equality speaks directly to the department’s mission, now and in the years ahead.”
Harriett Tubman was born into slavery in Maryland. After escaping to the North, she made numerous returns to the South to lead dozens of slaves to freedom. During the Civil War, she served a spy, scout, and nurse for the Union Army. After the Civil War, Tubman settled in Central New York. She died in 1913.