31 Mar Kevin Plank to Deliver Maryland’s Commencement Address
The University of Maryland today announced that UMD alumnus and Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank will deliver the spring commencement address on May 18, 2016. Plank will address thousands of graduates, family, and friends during the ceremony at the XFINITY Center.
“We are incredibly pleased to welcome Kevin Plank back to campus as our commencement speaker this spring,” says Mary Ann Rankin, UMD’s senior vice president and provost. “Plank embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that we strive to instill in all UMD students, and will offer a great deal of inspiration to our graduates.”
In the sweltering Mid-Atlantic summer heat of 1995, Kevin Plank helped lead his teammates through grueling two-a-day workouts as special teams captain for the University of Maryland football program. Tired of changing his sweat-soaked cotton T-shirts over and over again throughout the day, he was inspired to create a better kind of T-shirt—one that could wick sweat and keep athletes cool, dry, and light.
Upon graduating from Maryland in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Plank started to turn his idea into a reality and as a result, began redefining the way athletes dress. He went on a mission to find the perfect fabric—performance synthetics—and combined it with an athlete’s perfect fit—compression. What started out as one tight shirt ultimately led to the launch of Under Armour as the high performance answer to the sweat-drenched cotton dilemma.
As he and Under Armour celebrate 20 years of outfitting athletes with the world’s most innovative performance apparel, footwear, and equipment, Plank now oversees a global company of 14,000 employees with total revenues of nearly $4 Billion. Under Armour performance products are sold worldwide and are worn by athletes at all levels on playing fields everywhere. Additionally, the Under Armour Connected Fitness platform powers the world’s largest digital health and fitness community through a suite of applications: UA Record, MapMyFitness, Endomondo, and MyFitnessPal. True to his vision, Plank and Under Armour are committed to empowering athletes everywhere, and they are just getting started.
The University of Maryland is the state’s flagship university and one of the nation’s preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 37,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 250 academic programs. Its faculty includes three Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 47 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The institution has a $1.8 billion operating budget and secures $500 million annually in external research funding. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit www.umd.edu.