David L. ‘Dave’ Hollander, longtime UMBC registrar and environmental activist, dies

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David L. “Dave” Hollander, the former University of Maryland, Baltimore County, acting registrar who was active in environmental causes, died of cardiac arrest May 20 at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. The former longtime Windsor Hills resident was 82.

“Dave was a man of impeccable character who was always focused on the students,” said Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of UMBC from 1992 to 2002.

“He and his wife, Teri, who was assistant director of admissions, were major champions of students from all backgrounds,” he said. “He was a man who had a keen intellect and a great smile and as a resident of the city, he believed in those children and was especially proud of them.”

Francois Furstenberg, a Johns Hopkins University professor, is a cousin of Mr. Hollander’s.

“David was very obviously a gentle soul who came from a legacy of family activists. His father and grandfather, who had been active in civil rights. He was very active in a guarded way but was not flashy,” Mr. Furstenberg said.

“He lived his entire life in Windsor Hills and was committed to the neighborhood even as whites fled,” he said. “He was committed to the struggle and integrity of the neighborhood, as had been his father.”

David Lewis Hollander, son of Sidney Hollander Jr., a marketing researcher and activist, and Katharine Rawson Hollander, a University of Maryland social worker, was born and raised in Windsor Hills, where he spent the majority of his life.

He was a 1960 graduate of Baltimore City College where he played lacrosse, football and wrestled.

Mr. Hollander began his college studies in 1960 at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and left in 1963 to become an industrial therapy aide at what was then Spring Grove State Hospital in Baltimore.

From 1964 to 1965, he served as a military policeman with the Army in Brooklyn, New York, and returned to Earlham College to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science. He followed with a master’s in the same discipline from the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Mr. Hollander was assistant to the director of institutional research at what is now Baltimore City Community College from 1969 to 1973, and was also an instructor for a year at the college.

In 1974, he was appointed assistant to the dean at UMBC, a position he held for a decade until being named associate registrar in 1991.

From 1991 to 1994, he was registrar at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and then returned to UMBC in 2001 as a systems analyst.

He was the university’s acting registrar from 2003 to 2008, and until his retirement, in 2017, remained there as a consultant.

“He and Teri were a wonderful couple who were committed to the education of young people,” Mr. Hrabowski said. “He was the ultimate registrar because he cared so deeply about our students.”

He was active in Democratic politics and a member of the New Democratic Coalition, serving on its board.

Elected to the democratic State Central Committee, he worked in the campaigns of Ben Cardin, Paul Sarbanes, Barbara Mikulski and Kurt Schmoke.

Mr. Hollander held various positions with the Windsor Hills Association, Citizens Planning and Housing Association and the Maryland Conference on Social Welfare.

He was a co-founder of the Friends of Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park, which grew out of the movement that successfully halted expanding Interstate 70 through Leakin Park.

Gwynns Falls and Leakin Park held a special place in his heart because as a boy it had been his playground with family and friends.

“The only blemish in that idyllic setting was the Gwynn Falls itself,” he wrote in a 2001 remembrance published in Gwynns Falls Trail Advocates, a newsletter.

“One of the boy’s fathers, Mr. Albaugh, took us fishing in the Gwynns Falls a couple of times. We had great fun of course (hey, we were boys!), but it was hopeless. The stream was virtually an open sewer and its banks were lined with signs that warned of typhoid fever.”

Mr. Hollander, who was president of the organization several times, and members were able to work with the Parks & People Foundation and Maryland Save Our Streams which focused on the restoration of Gwynns Falls. That resulted in the first Gwynns Falls Watershed Conference in 1990.

The effort eventually resulted in a clean stream where Mr. Hollander enjoyed giving fly fishing demonstrations.

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“Thirty-five years after my last attempt, I caught fish — naturally reproducing smallmouth bass!” he wrote. “The point is that Gwynns Falls is alive and worthy of our continuing love and care.”

“Dave also had Gwynns Fall stocked annually with trout,” said Henry “Jack” Lattimore, secretary and gatehouse project manager for the Forest Park Action Council Inc.

“He devoted his life to improving the environment in and around Gwynns Falls and Leakin Park and the neighborhood,” he said. “He had a kind of whimsical approach to life and was always fun to be around.”

“He was a man of quite persistent commitment that maintains the city,” Mr. Furstenberg said. “He was one of those people who keep the city going but don’t get much attention.”

“Spearheading committees, he was a frequent presence at stream cleanups, trash pickups, volunteer activities, protests and marches,” his son, Abraham Edward Hollander, of Ellicott City, wrote in an email.

Mr. Hollander, who was living at Roland Park Place at his death, in addition to being a fisherman and naturalist, enjoyed gardening and photography.

Services are private.

In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife of 41 years, Theresa “Teri” Wong; a daughter, Clara Wong Hollander, of Halethorpe; a brother, Edward Sidney Hollander, of Washington; a sister, Carol Rawson Hollander, of Cross Keys; and two grandsons. An earlier marriage ended in divorce.