BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Many students, staff, and alumni at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County this weekend were shocked to see former First Lady Michelle Obama wearing a UMBC shirt on College Signing Day.“I was immediately shocked,” UMBC freshman Anna Jordan said. “We are definitely rising on a national level. We’re known for our diversity, our inclusive atmosphere.”

In the caption accompanying her Facebook video, she wrote: “To celebrate our eighth annual #CollegeSigningDay, I’m wearing a college shirt from UMBC, an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution in Baltimore County, Maryland.”

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Michelle Obama launched national College Signing Day in 2015 to promote education after high school.“We all were just so excited, but just so proud,” UMBC Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation Gina King said. “Sure, you can spin up so many marketing campaigns when you ‘create the narrative,’ but when it comes from an organic place from someone like Michelle Obama, you can’t put a price tag on that.”

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The 2022 U.S. News and World Report recently named UMBC as one of the most innovative universities in the nation and among the top universities for undergraduate teaching.The university bookstore director said the Michelle Obama posts are likely to credit for sales being much busier than usual over the weekend.“I spent the next couple of hours in a very giddy like, ‘What do we do with this?’” Erin McGonigle said. “It definitely spiked our sales a little bit. People are definitely excited.”College Bound Foundation Chair Alicia Wilson, a UMBC alumna, previously worked with members of Michelle Obama’s team on work in the Baltimore region. She had long hoped the former First Lady would wear UMBC gear for College Signing Day.“I think it says how wise Mrs. Obama is that she chose UMBC to lift up in this way, Wilson said. “There are people outside of Baltimore who recognize the greatness that is here. That should make us all have a sense of pride.”

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Paul Gessler