Commemorating Adele H. Stamp through the Stamp Student Union
The Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland, College Park is a place where students and faculty can go to grab a bite to eat, hang out with friends, bowl, and partake in many other activities throughout the day. The building serves as an important reminder to students that it is just as important to set time aside to have fun and wind down as it is to study. Considered by many students as the most popular building on campus, the Adele H. Stamp Student Union commemorates Adele Hagner Stamp, who was the Dean of Women at the University of
Maryland from 19221960. Although her professional title was Dean of Women, this building celebrates the many other hats that Stamp wore, such as educator, organizer, community leader, counselor and friend. Stamp’s contributions to the university and to student life are acknowledged on a daily basis through naming the Student Union after her, and through the emergence of the building on the landscape as well as its many other features.
Before me, my father attended the University of Maryland. We would visit frequently in preparation of my attending the university, and he would always reminisce about him and his friends playing pool in TerpZone, relaxing in the lounge chairs around the building, and dining at
Adele’s, a formal dining restaurant located inside Stamp. I had been exposed to the building early on, so I knew the general features and activities of the building. For this assignment, I was tasked to analyze the building and delve into the history and past of Adele H. Stamp, something I had never thought to look into before. Needless to say, every time I enter Stamp now I do not
just see a popular student activities building; I am in acknowledgement of everything that Stamp has done for the student body. The building is physically sound, with large whitestone pillars at the main entrance with banners hanging from them, notifying students and visitors of upcoming campus events. The upkeep of the building, in regards to everything from the top of Stamp all the way down to its redbrick walkway, is maintained with a strong attention to detail. Below I have added a picture of the interior and the exterior of the Stamp building, to exemplify its upkeep. The maintenance of this building and the efforts that are taken to ensure the building’s physical wellbeing shows that there is an importance to it; an importance that keeps the building from gradually being sifted out of history, as mentioned in Carol Mattingly’s essay “Women’s
Temple, Women’s Fountains: The Erasure of Public Memory”. The importance of Stamp’s physical upkeep can be seen through Mattingly’s notion that “important things are upkept...if tradition and sentiment for such memorials is not strong enough to protect them after the power of the originators has diminished, they are gradually sifted from the landscape, as others more powerful lay claim to the space” (Mattingly, 142). Through Mattingly’s statement, the upkeep of
the Stamp Student Union indicates that Stamp was not only an important figure when the building was named after her, but that her memory is still relevant today.
Stamp is located in the middle of the Cole Field House and the Nyumburu International
Center. It is a place of high accessibility, with bus stops, parking lots, and walkways surrounding the building. Outside of the building, there are chairs and tables set up with umbrellas to provide shade for those sunny days where kids opt to sit outside. There is also a little garden area right outside with a marble bench which is extremely inviting in the spring, summer, and early fall seasons of the year. The high level of accessibility to the building illustrates that this building is wellmaintained and is made inviting for the purpose of promoting Stamp’s memory and her work in creating a