BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The man who helped turn the University of Maryland Baltimore County into a nationally renowned institution is saying goodbye. Dr. Freeman Hrabowski announced he’s retiring on Wednesday.

“After 30 years, it’s about time,” said Hrabowski.

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It’s a bittersweet moment for him.

“thank you for giving me this incredible opportunity,” said Hrabowski.

After three decades of serving as the president of UMBC, this will be his last year.

“UMBC is in my blood, in my wife’s blood. We are a part of UMBC andUMBC is in our DNA,” he added.

Known as one of the country’s longest-serving presidents, Hrabowski was a civil rights activist and educator who transformed UMBC into a powerhouse and model for producing minority scientists and engineers.

At just 12 years old, he was arrested for participating in a march alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with his roots deeply grounded in education and equality. His passion for UMBC was instrumental in getting billions of dollars in investments and international recognition.

“It’s been such an honor to watch and be a part of the evolution of this wonderful university,” Hrabowski said.

On Twitter, Governor Hogan called Hrabowski an inspiration who “has transformed higher education not only in Maryland but around the world.”

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“Universities want to know the UMBC story around the country from public to private. They want to say how did you do this? how were you able to create this buzz about an innovative university? “said Hrabowski.

Named one of the most 100 influential people of 2012 by time magazine, his laundry list of achievements falls short of what he’s proud of the most — his students.

“What a great story when an educator and a university can grow together and can leave each other saying we love you more than ever,” Hrabowski added.

He said his work is far from being over. Once this year concludes, he plans on working with other universities much as he did at UMBC. As for leaving Maryland, he said Maryland is home and he and his wife will always be here.

 

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Kelsey Kushner