Alumni and friends established the Kirwan Faculty Research Scholarship and Undergraduate Education Prize in May 1998 to recognize extraordinary scholarship by faculty members and another award to recognize members of the university community who have made extraordinary contributions to undergraduate education. This fund honors William Kirwan and his wife, Patricia H. Kirwan, for their dedicated service and to recognize two areas of great importance to them -- faculty scholarship and quality undergraduate education. Kirwan started at the University of Maryland, College Park as an assistant professor in the mathematics department, before going on to become a department chair, provost and ultimately university president. He helped lay the framework for the University System of Maryland in 1988 and was named university president in 1989. Kirwan also served as chancellor of USM from 2002 to 2014.
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