“Harold and the University of Maryland were joined at the hip,” says Matthew Gruskin, nephew of the late Dr. Harold Cole. “He felt such closeness with the school.”
Born in Brooklyn in 1916, Harold Cole, an ever-enthusiastic Terp, explored all that UM had to offer. Harold played lacrosse, ran track, and joined Tau Epsilon Phi before graduating in 1937 with a BS in premed studies. Harold continued his education at Princeton and NYU Medical School before serving in WWII, where he rose to Major and received two bronze stars. Following the war Harold returned to New York City and ran a private practice in pediatrics. An expert in pediatric diabetes, he established a children’s diabetes clinic, while also working with developmentally disabled children in the Bronx.
Although he was focused on his rising career, Harold remained a devoted Terp. From 1968 to 1974 Harold proudly served as president of the New York City chapter of the University of Maryland Alumni Association. Harold also enjoyed sharing memories and stories about his days at Maryland: “He was a real fan, always talking about Maryland,” said his wife Carol. “He tried to recruit every high school student he met to get to Maryland,” laughed his niece, Laura Gruskin Stemmle.
Harold not only shared his passion for Maryland through stories and informal recruitment efforts, but he further decided to give back through philanthropy. Harold and Carol established a charitable gift annuity that would provide them with annual income and eventually support the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center. Harold also included the University of Maryland in his will, supporting the Alumni Association.
Harold Cole passed away in December 2009.
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