Quirky stories are fun, but usually not enough to win powerful media coverage or attract attention from legislators and other key stakeholders. But University of Maryland, Baltimore County, proved that piece of conventional wisdom wrong by tying its own quirky story to a fundamental element of its identity. The school prides itself on being a place where it's "cool to be smart," says Charlie Melichar in UMBC's News & Information department. Hence, when the chess club - that's right, the chess club - scores a major win, it is celebrated in the same way other universities celebrate major football or basketball wins. The team is lauded with pep rallies, a band, and, naturally, cheerleaders.
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