University of Maryland, College Park incoming president Dr. Darryll Pines greeted students and faculty at an ice cream social on Valentine’s Day.
Pines joked, “I’m your Valentine gift,” and he thanked students who spent their Friday afternoon at the reception in a ballroom at the Stamp Student Union.
Pines has been the dean of the university’s engineering school for the last 11 years, and he is a popular figure among the school’s students.
“I hope to be holding a bunch of listening sessions to get your input about where you think our campus, our lovely campus, should be going,” Pines told the packed ballroom.
Pines takes over for outgoing president Dr. Wallace Loh, who is retiring.
Over ice cream, brownies and cookies, Pines introduced himself, shook hands and posed for selfies with students.
Some students said they may have come for the ice cream — made from the campus’ own dairy — but they stayed for the chance to learn more about Pines, whose role as president begins on July 1.
Daniela Nganjo, a freshman studying public health science, said she hoped to see “a lot more empathy and recognition for the black community. “That’s a big thing — and underrepresented groups on campus as a whole.”
Dominic Manzella, a freshman double-majoring in aerospace engineering and physics, said he was very excited to hear the news about Pines.
Manzella has relatives who graduated from the University of Maryland, including one relative who had Pines as an adviser.
Pines is “a really nice guy, humorous, too. (He has) a very good sense of humor and who very much cared about the students,” Manzella was informed.