UMCP Foundation mourns the loss of Honorary Trustee David C. Driskell, Ph.D.

The University of Maryland College Park Foundation and its Board of Trustees mourns the loss of the late David Driskell, Ph.D. On April 2, Chair Paul Mandell shared the following message with members of the Board of Trustees. Other tributes from the university community include a message from President Wallace Loh and articles in Maryland Today and The Diamondback student newspaper.

Message from President Wallace Loh Read the article David C. Driskell, African American Art Pioneer, Dies at 88 on Maryland Today Read the article Longtime art professor David Driskell died of coronavirus, UMD announces on The Diamondback

Dear Trustees,

It is with great sadness that I share with you the news of David Driskell’s passing on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. While media announcements now circiling highlight Dr. Driskell’s impact in the world of African American art, I want to underscore a few of his contributions to the University of Maryland.

Dr. Driskell served on the UMCP Foundation Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2009. He subsequently was named an Honorary Trustee and has held this role continuously until his recent death. Dr. Driskell’s visible service also included his philanthropic commitment to the University of Maryland, most notably as the lead donor for the Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora. Additionally, he provided leadership to Maryland’s Great Expectations Campaign serving as the Chair of the Campaign Committee.

As a prominent alumnus, Dr. Driskell was the 2003 recipient of the Alumni Association Honorary Membership Award; the 1997 recipient of the President’s Medal; and was named Distinguished Professor in 1995 and Emeritus in 1999. Dr. Driskell earned his B.A. in Art from Howard University, his M.A. in Fine Arts from Catholic University of America, and in 2010 received an Honorary Humanities degree from Howard University.

Dr. Driskell will be missed by artists, scholars, family and friends, and by all of us on the Foundation Board of Trustees. Please join me in remembering Dr. Driskell and extending our condolences to his family and other loved ones as we all mourn the loss of a luminary within the Arts and Humanities.


Paul Mandell
Chair, Board of Trustees
University of Maryland College Park Foundation