Scarborough to Receive Honorary Degree at Commencement
SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University pays tribute to benefactor and alumnus J. Michael Scarborough with an honorary doctorate of public service during the University’s 79th year spring commencement. Some 1,162 students graduate in two ceremonies Saturday, May 21, at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center. Scarborough is honored during the 10 a.m. ceremony for students graduating from the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business and the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies. Students in the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts and the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology graduate at 2 p.m. Scarborough today is president and CEO of the Annapolis-based Scarborough Group, which is nationally known in the field of 401(k) financial planning. The company manages some $2 billion in retirement assets for thousands of clients across the country. A member of SU’s Class of 1976, he was a founding member of the University’s chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and the University’s football team. He played split end, transforming himself into the blocker the Sea Gulls needed to finish their first season with a 7-2 record. The Gulls held the best collegiate record in the state that year and were ranked ninth nationally. Despite a busy corporate schedule, Scarborough has returned to serve his Alma Mater as a member of the SU Foundation board of directors and an economics lecturer for the Perdue School. His interest in SU’s Greek life led him to present the founding gift for the $1 million Scarborough Student Leadership Center in 2001. The first of its kind in Maryland and possibly the nation, the center serves as a leadership development base for Greek societies, both honorary and social. Joining Scarborough at the morning ceremony is John Heath of Madison, CT, who delivers the student commencement address. His speech focuses on the importance of academic inquiry, learning and activism. He talks about using college as an opportunity for growth and change. “Can you recall how you had to shed your high school-era big man or big woman on campus persona to become immersed in an environment not at all like you imagined?” he asks his fellow graduates of their early days at SU. “Today is the last day that you will be big men and women on campus. You must once again step foot into the murky mire of awkward times and leave here in search of your individual path.” Heath, who earns degrees in information systems and business management and French, has experienced many changes during his time at SU. He described studying international business in Grenoble, France, as the experience of a lifetime. Most recently, he experienced another life-changing event, becoming a father. A member of the Phi Kappa Phi international honor, Beta Gamma Sigma business honor, Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership and Phi Eta Sigma freshman honor societies, he also graduates with Bellavance Honors. He earned the Khazeh Family Distinguished Senior Award and was named an Outstanding Senior in International Business. In the afternoon, biology major Janel Keener of Bishopville, MD, delivers the commencement address. A licensed officer in the U.S. Merchant Marines, she uses her experiences from the science lab to glass blowing class and the SU Sailing Team to exemplify the importance of “Learn, Live, Lead.” “By taking on new challenges, we consciously decide to learn and we begin to live,” she said. “Learning is not sitting idly in class copying notes and memorizing those sometimes tedious and soon forgotten facts. Learning is gaining knowledge and experience and applying these skills in our everyday life trials and tribulations.” A member of the Phi Kappa Phi international honor, Tri-Beta biology honor, Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership and Phi Eta Sigma freshman honor societies, she also graduates with Bellavance Honors. While at SU, she received a Henson School undergraduate research grant to study leukemia. Among undergraduates, 600 students receive the Bachelor of Science, 378 the Bachelor of Arts, 62 the Bachelor of Social Work and eight the Bachelor of Fine Arts. Graduate degrees include Master of Social Work—29; Master of Business Administration—28; Master of Education—28; Master of Arts—11; and Master of Science—eight. Admission to commencement is by ticket only. A reception follows each ceremony in the Fireside Lounge of the Guerrieri University Center. The receptions do not require tickets. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.