About #UMassDBelieves

#UMassDBelieves | National “This I Believe” Project

#UMassDBelieves was inspired by the 2004-2009 acclaimed National Public Radio (NPR) series “This I Believe,” which featured essays from diverse contributors, including novelist Amy Tan and boxing hero Muhammad Ali. We link to their essays  and recordings at the bottom of this page.

This I Believe engaged listeners in a discussion of the core beliefs that guide their daily lives. We heard from people of all walks of life — the very young and the very old, the famous and the previously unknown, Nobel laureates, teachers, prison inmates, students, politicians, farmers, poets, entrepreneurs, activists and executives.¹

#UMASSDBELIEVES | An Introduction to the college conversation

In college you will be writing more than you ever have before. You will write for classes both in and out of your major– not just in your English classes.  The writing tasks will be more complex, require thoughtful preparation and demand more critical thinking than your high school assignments.

Through writing, you will become a part of the UMD Community.

Knowing who YOU are coming in to your university education will inform many of the choices you make here, including your major, extra-curricular activities, time management, even your friendships. The #UMassDBelieves project is an opportunity to explore and examine the values and experiences that make you, you! Through writing, we invite you to develop a deeper awareness of what matters to you and to share those thoughts with our campus community.

  • Visit the Directions for Writing page when you’re ready to begin.
  • Check out the contributions by famous figures highlighted below.

Saying Thanks To My Ghosts | Amy Tan | April 26th, 2009

“Novelist Amy Tan hasn’t always believed in ghosts, but as a writer she’s had too many inspirations that she can’t fully explain. Now, Tan embraces her belief in ghosts and the messages of joy, love and peace they bring her.”

“I Am Still The Greatest” | Muhammad Ali | April 6th, 2009

Muhammad Ali

“To be the “Greatest of All Time,” boxing legend Muhammad Ali says you have to believe in yourself. It’s a lesson his parents taught him and it has helped him in fighting Parkinson’s disease.”


With thanks to NPR.org and Pat Boyd Photography

¹”Celebrating Four Years Of ‘This I Believe,'” 2017. Web. 2 May 2017.