While the Department of Biology continues to increase the amount of external support received through grants and contracts, in many ways the future success of the department will depend increasingly on philanthropic contributions from alumni, friends, faculty and staff. Your support, either on a one-time or continuing basis, can make a difference and help ensure our students have an outstanding educational experience and are challenged and inspired by the very best faculty. Below are a few funds the Department of Biology wishes to highlight at this time.

Department of Biology Gift Fund

Donations to this fund support a wide range of departmental and educational activities, from helping to recruit new students and faculty to supporting graduate student research and travel.

Dr. William J. Higgins Endowed Professorship Fund

The Higgins Endowed Professorship Fund is the first endowed professorship in Biology and honors the legacy of Dr. William J. Higgins. During his nearly 45 years as a faculty member in the Department of Biology (formerly Zoology), Dr. Higgins guided countless students into successful careers through his teaching, advising, and mentoring. Scott Juntti joined the department in 2017 as the inaugural William J. Higgins Assistant Professor.

Dr. Eugenie Clark Scholarship Fund

Eugenie Clark, friends and associates established the Eugenie Clark Scholarship Fund in May 1992 to support students with impressive academic credentials who are interested in pursuing research careers in the biological sciences, with preference for students in organismic biology and marine biology. Dr. Clark was an ichthyologist and a professor at the University of Maryland from 1968 until her 1992 retirement. She was a pioneer in the field of scuba diving for research purposes and popularly known as the Shark Lady. She was honored with a U.S. postage stamp in 2022.

Dr. Devra Kleiman Memorial Graduate Endowment

Dr. Devra G. Kleiman was a pioneer in the emerging field of conservation biology and one of the foremost female biologists of her time. In order to honor Dr. Kleiman’s memory, her mother, Molly Kleiman, established through the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc. an endowed fund to support graduate students in the Department of Biology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The Quantitative Viral Dynamics (QVD) Research Fund

The Quantitative Viral Dynamics (QVD) Research Fund in Biology will be used to support the professional development of students and early career researchers working to understand how viruses impact human and environmental health. Funds will be used to support advanced training, networking events, as well as professional travel to conferences and peer institutions. Funds may also be used to support research activities in the field of Quantitative Viral Dynamics.


The Reid and Nancy Compton Maryland Promise Scholarship

Dr. Reid Compton joined the Department as a Lecturer in Biology in 1997, and he and his wife, Dr. Nancy Compton, established the Reid and Nancy Compton Maryland Promise Scholarship fund on the occasion of his retirement in 2024. In his 27 years at the University of Maryland, Dr. Compton served as the Director and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in Biology, as the Director of the College Park Scholar Life Sciences Program, and as the inaugural Director of the Biological Sciences Program. As a teacher and administrator, Dr. Compton touched the lives of many thousands of students, and the Reid and Nancy Compton Maryland Promise Scholarship will provide need-based scholarships to undergraduate students from underserved populations in the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. When you donate to the Reid and Nancy Compton Maryland Promise Scholarship, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar by the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation and the University of Maryland.

Giving Options

Online - Make your gift online.

Check - Please make your check payable to the “University of Maryland College Park Foundation" or "UMCP Foundation." In the notes/for section on the check, please write "Department of Biology." Mail your check to:

University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc.
4603 Calvert Road
College Park, MD 20740-3421

Stock - To make a gift using stock, please contact Cheri Meadows at 301.405.9624 (office), 240.353.6252 (cell) or

Pledge - Pledge support by calling 301.405.7749. We will send a confirmation letter and automatically enroll you in our pledge payment reminder system.

Payroll Deduction - (For UMD employees only) Visit to begin automated payroll deductions.

If you would like additional information, please contact the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences' Development Office.

Gifts in support of the University of Maryland are accepted and managed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization authorized by the Board of Regents, and are tax deductible as allowed by law. Please see your tax advisor for details. EIN: 52-2197313