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University of Maryland Venues Earn National Recognition

Unique Venues awards UMD in two categories for the second consecutive year.


Joseph E. Criscuoli , 301-314-7884


The University of Maryland has been selected as the best venue for youth/sports groups and the best venue for unique or locally sourced catering in 2017 by Unique Venues. With the announcement of these two awards, the university’s Conferences & Visitor Services has now garnered five total Best of awards for their work.

For the second consecutive year, the university received recognition in the youth/sports groups category by offering unparalleled options for these groups, including a suburban location near the nation’s capital with two-layer security and over 8,000 beds, plus two dining halls where younger attendees can convene together and countless activities to partake in.

“Our ropes challenge course, rock climbing wall, ice cream socials, and TerpZone facility are ‘must-do’ add-ons for any youth program,” said Joseph E. Criscuoli, Marketing, Sales, Publications & Outreach Coordinator for Conferences & Visitor Services. “Camps run by Big Ten Conference coaches combine with college immersion, special studies, and STEAM programs to create a thriving campus year round.”

Success in the unique or locally sourced catering category is due in large part to the culinary team on campus, which creates fresh, unique dishes with restaurant caliber quality provided campus wide. Many of the ingredients come directly from Terp Farm, a joint product of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Office of Sustainability and Department of Dining Services, to make local produce accessible for university catering, restaurants and dining halls.

“New guests are frequently surprised at the cuisine and service offered on our campus because they don't expect university food service to operate at this level,” said W. Bartram Hipple, Assistant Director for Communications with the Department of Dining Services. “Guests are looking for locally-sourced foods, recyclable or compostable supplies, and menus that feature a local theme. We are proud to serve the university community in this way.”

Unique Venues recognizes standout campuses, conference & business centers, sports arenas, historical & cultural venues, and other special event venues that consistently ensure a one-of-a-kind experience for guests. More than 55,000 planners that regularly use Unique Venues’ services to connect to non-traditional spaces voted in 22 total categories to select 2017’s best of the best.

UMD was also honored as the best venue for youth/sports groups and best suburban/rural venue in 2016 and the most easily accessible venue in 2015. View the University of Maryland’s full Unique Venues profile here.

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