Wilson Homer Elkins

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Maryland Governor Theodore McKeldin (right) presents Elkins (left) a copy of his book at the opening ceremony of McKeldin Library in 1958.

Wilson Homer "Bull" Elkins (July 9, 1909 – March 17, 1994)[1] was an American educator and university administrator. He served as the president of the University of Maryland from 1954 to 1970, and then was president of the 5 campus University of Maryland System from 1970-1978. Elkins received an A.B. and an M.A. from the University of Texas in 1933, where he was also a star college football quarterback. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he completed a Ph.D. Elkins served as the president of San Angelo Junior College from 1938 to 1948. He left San Angelo to become president of Texas Western College in El Paso until beginning his tenure at the University of Maryland in 1954. At the University of Maryland, Elkins emphasized rigorous academic standards. In 1957, he created the "Academic Probation Plan," threatening 1,550 students—18 percent of the undergraduate enrollment—with expulsion because their grade point averages were lower than a C. University administration sent 14% of students home, but by 1964, 82% of freshmen came from the top half of their high school classes, and Phi Beta Kappa—which had turned down Maryland twice before—had established a chapter on campus.

Elkins supported the establishment of a faculty government and managed a major expansion and improvement of the physical plant, including the construction of the McKeldin Library and the Computer Science Center. Elkins resigned in 1978 at the state's mandatory retirement age of 70. The Elkins Building, constructed in 1979, is located in Adelphi, Maryland and houses the offices of the University of Maryland Central Administration.

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