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Friday, February 6, 2004

Conway Receives Hargreaves Distinguished Legislator Award

SALISBURY, MD---Valentine's Day came early for Eastern Shore Delegate Norman Conway when friends from the Maryland General Assembly and Salisbury University, led by President Janet Dudley-Eshbach, honored the House Appropriations Committee Chairman at recent ceremonies there.

The Appropriations Committee Room, packed with well-wishers, was warmed by colorful balloons and cheers as SU's Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE) presented Conway with its third annual John R. Hargreaves Distinguished Legislative Fellow Award. The 17-year veteran of the House was visibly moved by the kind words and standing ovations. Among the well-wishers was the Appropriations Vice Chairman and SU alumnus, Delegate Talmadge Branch. "Norm Conway is a man of impeccable integrity and sagacity.... Norm, we are grateful for the model of your life and the spirit of community it engenders," said SU's president. In recounting his career as an educator and public servant, she noted his history of building coalitions and consensus while maintaining principles.

Quoting former Salisbury Mayor Paul Martin: "Norm always voted his conscience." In brief remarks Conway praised the mentors in his life including Martin and urged students to set goals and pursue them. He will return later in the spring to SU, his Alma Mater, where he will give a lecture and be saluted at a dinner in his honor. The life-long educator and public servant is deeply respected by his colleagues. "Norman is viewed by everyone--I mean everyone--as being a man of integrity, hard work, dedication," said Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch when he characterized his newly chosen chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee.

At the recent ceremony, Dr. Harry Basehart, co-director of PACE concurred. "Our award goes to a state legislator who has rendered outstanding service and can serve as a model for our young students," he said. "Norm Conway's whole life has been devoted to the public good: as an educator, a city councilman and a member of the Maryland legislature." Conway, an alumnus of SU, is known as a tireless advocate on behalf of education, playing an influential role on the Thornton Commission on equitable school funding which set new recommendations for adequate school funding levels. Locally, he was instrumental in the construction of SU's recent $37 million Henson Science Hall. In the legislature, he is known as an engaging, fair-minded and hard working member of that body.

Even Republican opponents praise him as a fair and civil colleague. When first told of the award, Conway was typically humble: "Salisbury University has honored me already." "That is true," said Dr. Francis Kane, PACE co-director, "but this award recognizes him for his work in the Maryland legislature and for his life of public service. We want our students to have someone in politics whom they can admire and emulate." The Hargreaves Distinguished Legislative Fellow Program is a distinctive program in the University System of Maryland that provides an opportunity for a renowned member of the Maryland General Assembly to engage SU students in civic education. Previous recipients include Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and Delegate Howard (Pete) Rawlings. Funding is made possible by the John R. Hargreaves Memorial Fund. Hargreaves was a member of the Maryland General Assembly from Caroline County. Upon his death, the fund was established in his name on the Eastern Shore campus.


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