Celebration of Scholarships
T. B. Symons Memorial Need-Based Scholarship

Donor Statement

The T. B. Symons Scholarship was established in 1971 to honor the contributions of a great man to Maryland agriculture. The award is made annually to a student or students enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources on the basis of academic achievement and financial need.

Thomas Baddeley Symons was born on September 2, 1880, in Easton, Maryland. He was reared on a 240-acre farm in Talbot County and later attended the Maryland Agricultural College (M.A.C.) beginning an almost seventy-five year association with the University of Maryland. He received his undergraduate degree from M.A.C. in 1902 and earned his master's degree from the college two years later, after additional graduate work at Cornell and George Washington Universities. Symons received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the Maryland State College of Agriculture in 1918.

After receiving his master's degree, T.B. Symons worked as an assistant in entomology at M.A.C. and was appointed state entomologies, a position he held until 1914; during his tenure as state entomologies, Dr. Symons represented Maryland at the Jamestown Exposition, held in 1907 to commemorate Virginia's tri-centennial. In 1912 he was named dean of the School of Horticulture, and in 1914 he also became the first director of the Cooperative Extension Service. In 1937, Dr. Symons was appointed dean of the College of Agriculture while continuing as director of the extension service. He remained in both positions until his retirement from the university in 1950.

Dr. Symons was active in a number of agricultural organizations throughout his career. He helped organize the Maryland Horticultural Society and served as its secretary from 1903 to 1918. He also served as secretary of the Maryland Agricultural Society for six years. In addition, Symons was active in both the National and the Maryland State Grange, the State Soil Conservation Committee, and other national and local agricultural groups. After retiring from the university in 1950, Dr. Symons served as program director for agriculture for WBAL, a Baltimore radio station, and as director of public relations for the Suburban Trust Company.

In 1954, Thomas B. Symons returned to the University of Maryland at the request of the Board of Regents to serve as acting president, a position he held for nine months until the university completed its search for a new president. After his tenure as acting president, Dr. Symons resumed his work at the Suburban Trust Company and was appointed to the Board of Regents of the University and the state Board of Agriculture. In this position, he continued his ties to the University of Maryland and lent his vast knowledge of campus history to new university president Wilson H. Elkins.

Symons retired from the Suburban Trust Company in 1964. Three years later he was awarded the Abram Z. Gottwals Memorial Award, the University of Maryland's highest Alumni honor. Symons remained a member of the Board of Regents until shortly before his death in July 1970 at 89 years of age.

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