In 1922, the Maryland Legislature established a commission to determine a location for a two-year college to train elementary teachers on the state’s Eastern Shore. A site in Salisbury was selected and the Maryland State Normal School at Salisbury opened in September 1925.
The school’s two-year course of study was increased to three years in 1931 and to four years in 1934. In 1935, the Legislature authorized the college to grant Bachelor of Science degrees. The school was first accredited by the American Association of Teachers Colleges (later the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education) in 1942 and by the Middle States Association in 1956.
In 1950, the Student Government Association held a “Name the Mascot Contest” for the college. The winning entry— submitted by Lloyd Fry— was the Sea Gull, which remains the Salisbury University mascot to this day. Later, in the 1970s and 1980s, women athletes at the school adopted the nickname “She Gulls.”
Today, Salisbury University is a nationally accredited, four-year comprehensive university offering 56 distinct undergraduate and graduate degree programs within four endowed schools: the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology, the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts, the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, and the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies.
The school’s name and seal have changed several times throughout its history; visit the School Names page for an account of those changes. For information about buildings on campus, please visit the Physical Facilities Inventory.
There are two online exhibits created by former staff in the University Archives— a collections highlight of the Leland Starnes papers (Theater Director, 1972-1980) and an exploration of the school’s WWII contributions from the Anna Jones Cooper papers in STC: Serving Our Country.