The University of Maryland Athletics family is mourning the passing of lifelong fan and donor, Mary Gossett, who peacefully passed away Sept. 10.
A Terrapin Club donor for more than 45 years, Mary could be found alongside her husband, Barry, courtside at basketball games and at football games cheering on Terrapin student-athletes. Mary’s contributions to the Maryland Athletic Department are beyond measure and she will be deeply missed.
“A gracious presence and fervent supporter of our students, Mary’s passing brings great sadness to this campus and to the many lives she touched,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “The depth of her caring is captured in her and Barry’s support for the Incentive Awards Program for our talented students in need of financial aid and, more recently, in the creation of the Center for Academic and Personal Excellence for our student-athletes. We will miss Mary deeply. However, her memory and legacy will continue in the lives of so many UMD students, now and for generations to come.”
“We are overcome with sadness to learn of the passing of Mary Gossett,” said Director of Athletics Damon Evans. “Mary has been ingrained in the fabric of the University of Maryland and our athletic department for more than 45 years, bettering the lives of generations of student-athletes through her larger-than-life spirit and selfless generosity. While we will no longer stand witness to Mary cheering our student-athletes from the sidelines, her impact will be felt for years to come.”
This past April, the Gossetts donated a historic $21.25 million gift to Maryland Athletics to establish an innovative, three-part support model for the academic success of student-athletes. Their contributions established the Barry and Mary Gossett Center for Academic and Personal Excellence, which aims to ensure the development of Maryland’s student-athletes in both athletics and academics and was one of the largest gifts in school history.
“A woman like Mary Gossett doesn’t come along very often, and our Terrapin community is stronger for her generosity, passion and goodwill,” said Jackie Lewis, University of Maryland Vice President for University Relations. We are all missing Mary already, and our university sends love and support to Barry and her family. The Gossetts and the impact made on the state of Maryland inspires us all.”
“Words cannot express the lasting impact Mary Gossett had on the countless lives of Maryland student-athletes and the entire Terrapin community,” said Cheryl Harrison, Executive Director of the Terrapin Club. “Not only was Mary a relentless champion for our student-athletes, but also a genuine friend to our programs and staff. She cared deeply about the well-being of everyone she encountered and brought immeasurable joy to many. Mary will be greatly missed, but her spirit and legacy will live on forever.”
Mary and Barry Gossett have been members of the Terrapin Club since 1971, providing unwavering support for Maryland’s student-athletes. The pair regularly traveled to road events across an array of sports cheering on the Terrapins.
In 1998, the football team house adjoining the stadium was renamed the Gossett Football Team House. The football program operates under the roof of the team house, which includes the program’s locker room, weight room, film rooms, cafeteria, academic center and coaches offices.
The Gossetts have also been generous supporters of schools, colleges and programs across campus, including the A. James Clark School of Engineering, Robert H. Smith School of Business, Department of Physics, University Libraries, Jiménez-Porter Writers House and Omicron Delta Kappa honor society.
MARK TURGEON, MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH
“Mary was a special person who meant a great deal to our basketball program and student-athletes. She was always encouraging and supportive, whether it be from her seat on the baseline or at a special event. On a personal note, Mary was one of the first people Ann and I met when I accepted the job and she was very welcoming to my family and helpful during our transition. Mary’s commitment to our student-athletes is what makes Maryland such a special place. Her legacy will touch the lives of student-athletes for generations to come. She will be missed not only by our athletic department but by the entire campus community.”
BRENDA FRESE, WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COACH
“Mary’s limitless support for student-athletes and coaches in our Maryland family was felt by all. Her passion for helping our student-athletes set themselves up for success after graduation will live on. We are so grateful for our many years of memories with her.”
MISSY MEHARG, FIELD HOCKEY COACH
“Mary’s life story lives on through the opportunity to be a student-athlete at Maryland and reach great heights beyond graduation. As we stand together as one, we are grateful for the impact Mary has had on each and every student athlete and coach at Maryland.”
GARY WILLIAMS, FORMER MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH
“I’m incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Mary Gossett. Mary had a tremendous impact on the University of Maryland and the athletics program. I know Mary was a big basketball fan, and that she loved our basketball team. She sat right on the baseline near our bench, and was always there to help make sure the refs were ‘under control’. Mary was always there for our University, and her and Barry’s contributions to Maryland have made a difference in the lives of so many student-athletes.”
SCOTT MCBRIEN, FORMER MARYLAND QUARTERBACK
“It’s a sad day for the entire University of Maryland community. I was fortunate enough to have gotten to know Mary Gossett during my time at Maryland. I will always remember Mary as the First Lady of Maryland Football. When I picture Mary, I picture her passing out hugs and words of encouragement on road trips, in hotel lobby’s before games, wearing a gold turtle pinned to her red sweater. Mary defined Terp Pride! Terp student-athletes have been put in a position to succeed because of Mary’s support and dedication to the University of Maryland.”
KEVIN GLOVER, FORMER MARYLAND FOOTBALL PLAYER
“Mary Gossett was instrumental to the success and direction of our football program and the entire athletic department as a whole and she will be greatly missed. She was a sweet person who genuinely cared about student-athletes and became family to many of us. Her legacy will live on forever.”