Solomon, founding director of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism at the college, has worked with the Povich family for more than a decade to make the center a national leader in sports journalism education.
Solomon will retire after the spring 2020 semester. The new chair will assume directorship of the Povich Center, named for legendary Washington Post sports writer and columnist Shirley Povich.
“George Solomon is part of the Povich family,” said Maury Povich, the television host and son of Shirley Povich. “As sports editor of The Washington Post, he kept my father vibrant and writing columns for the last 20 years of his life, his last column written the day before he died at 92.
“George is the crown jewel of the Povich Center and he is so deserving of this honor.”
The Povich family has agreed to contribute $1 million toward the endowed chair position if Merrill College first raises $500,000 from alumni and friends. The college has set a goal of raising $100,000 on March 6, the university’s annual Giving Day.
Endowed chairs at universities are typically donor-funded faculty positions. The prestige and dedicated revenue source created by this endowed position will help ensure Merrill College is able to recruit and retain the highest quality candidate to continue Solomon’s tradition of excellence.
“George has been a reliable mentor to an extraordinary number of our students. His guidance and legendary rolodex have kick-started many successful journalism careers,” said Lucy A. Dalglish, dean of the Merrill College. “It’s hard to imagine another professional eventually filling George’s seat, but this endowed chair will make sure his example is followed for years to come.”
Under Solomon’s leadership, the center serves Merrill College students and professional journalists, as well as the university and greater community through its panels, workshops, research and analysis.
The Povich Center, founded in 2011, serves as a launching pad for University of Maryland students to learn, actively participate in and develop the skills necessary to meet the challenges that face the next generation of sports journalists.
Solomon was assistant managing editor for sports at The Washington Post from June 1975 to June 2003. He began working at the Post in June 1972, joining the sports staff as a reporter covering the Redskins, the National Football League and college sports. He came to Merrill College in 2003.
“I am thrilled and humbled by this thoughtful gesture by the Povich family and Merrill College,” Solomon said. “It has been my pleasure to serve our students, college and the University of Maryland.”
To donate, visit go.umd.edu/SolomonChair on March 6.