Frederick Douglass Square

Dedicated in 2015, this garden prominently honors one of Maryland’s greatest native sons, Frederick Douglass, on Hornbake Plaza. Born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Douglass taught himself how to read and write, teaching others as well. He escaped from slavery and went on to become a powerful orator, a counselor to presidents, and a leader in the fight to end slavery and for equal rights among all men and women. This garden area pays homage to his legacy with a bronze statue of Douglass mid-speech and his words etched in stone pavers and cut into a steel wall. As Dr. Loh notes, we honor Douglass “as an enduring role model for social justice and the transformative power of education—values that are at the core of our institution's mission.”  

The garden beds are filled with native Maryland plants. Funding came from private gifts, UMD Foundation funds, and grants from the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and the Maryland Historical Trust.

In 2016, Floura Teeter Landscape Architects won the Merit Award for their design from the Maryland chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.