Frank Perdue Retires From SU Foundation Board
SALISBURY, MD---Surrounded by friends and family, Frank Perdue said farewell to the Salisbury University Foundation Board recently, retiring after six years of service with kind words for the campus and community that have been his home. "I've had a great life filled with great opportunity. I appreciate Salisbury. I've never wanted to live anywhere else," he said, quietly thanking the Board and University officials as they honored his work.
"I am always going to have a special place in my heart for Frank Perdue. The leadership gift provided by the Perdue family has helped make Salisbury University what it is today," said SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach. Perdue was presented with an award for service and is also being honored at this year's winter Commencement.
"Having Jim, Frank and Mitzi Perdue as supporters is extraordinary. I don't think any university or foundation could have a better group of people associated with it," said Henry Hanna, chairman of the SU Foundation.
In 1986, Frank Perdue endowed the School of Business for $ 2.4 million. In gratitude, the University named the school in his honor. This was the first multimillion- dollar gift for the campus, but his vote of confidence led to other major bequests by Eastern Shore business leaders. In a little over a decade all of the University's four schools were endowed, a rarity among public institutions nationwide.
In 1994 Perdue gave the Business School another million dollars after it earned accreditation from AACSB International for both its undergraduate and graduate programs. Only one-quarter of the business schools in the country have such accreditation.
The momentum the various endowments provided in funding scholarships for students and research and professional development for faculty created the seedbed for the University's growth in academic stature. Among its peers, SU is today ranked one of the best public universities in the North in national guidebooks such as the 2004 U.S. News & World Report. Longtime observers of the institution credit Perdue's initial financial commitment as critical to current successes.
Besides serving on the Salisbury University Foundation board of directors, Perdue and his wife have been frequent visitors to campus and have hosted Perdue Scholars (students awarded academic scholarships funded by his endowment) in their home.
At the time of his second gift, Perdue said, "When we began this process eight years ago, we could only dream that we would have come so far so fast...I am proud to have my name associated with this fine school."
The Perdue name will continue to be associated with the School, the University and the Foundation. At the same meeting the Foundation Board announced the appointment of Jim Perdue, chairman of Perdue Farms, Inc. and Frank Perdue's son, as its newest board member.
Jim Perdue, who holds a doctorate from the University of Washington in Seattle, also has an M.B.A. from SU's Franklin P. Perdue School of Business.