Founded in 1898, Frostburg State University (FSU) is a comprehensive, largely residential, regional university. It is the only four-year institution of the University System of Maryland (USM) west of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, thereby serving as the premier educational and cultural center for western Maryland. In addition to offering an excellent academic program, the University continues to be an integral component of regional economic development initiatives. It is also nationally recognized for its programs in community service and leadership, thus providing real-life experiences for students in virtually every discipline offered. As a result, FSU holds the distinction of being one of the USM institutions most fully woven into the fabric of the surrounding region.