SALISBURY, MD---The Salisbury University Foundation, Inc. recently welcomed two new board members and long-time SU supporters Dr. Peter Jackson and Peter Roskovich.
The Jackson family has a long involvement with SU. In 1986, Jackson’s father, the late Dr. Roger Jackson, was a founding member of the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra (SSO). One of Peter Jackson’s most memorable involvements with the University was conducting the SSO in 2001 after winning the opportunity during a silent auction fundraiser. He took his assignment seriously, rehearsing with orchestra musicians and receiving pointers from founding conductor Tom Elliot.
“It was one of the highlights of my life,” said Jackson.
He returned the favor two years later, announcing a donation and fundraising challenge of $100,000 for the SSO. Other orchestra supporters matched the Jacksons’ contribution, and the combined donation was matched by the Perdue-Kresge Program of the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore for a total $400,000 contribution. That money was part of $1.6 million raised through SU’s participation in the Perdue-Kresge effort.
Earning his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Duke University in 1967, Jackson established a career in the Internet and telephony fields. He began at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, NJ, where he conducted studies of multi-access computer and data communications network design, which led directly to the design of packet networks and the beginning of the Internet. Holding positions with a number of prestigious technology firms, he retired as senior vice president of technology and general manager of the Globalstar program at QUALCOMM, where he continued work in Internet, voice recognition and satellite technologies.
He is past chairman of the board of the Alberta Microelectronics Center and a founder and past president of the International Council for Computer Communication. He also has served as president of CME, a systems integration company specializing in home automation and advanced computer technologies.
At SU, he is a member of the boards of directors of the SSO and the Salisbury Chorale, in which his wife, Judy, performs. In the Salisbury area, he is president of Chesapeake Bay Farm, a 100-acre tree farm near Whitehaven, MD. He also is president of the Jackson Observatory in Eden, MD, one of the 100 best equipped observatories in the world. It is designed to foster education and encourage Eastern Shore youth to learn about science, astronomy and cosmology.
While vested in the sciences, Jackson also is a champion of the arts in Wicomico County. He plans to bring that support to the Foundation Board: “I would like to see a solid financial influence established for the arts at SU, as well as a solid building program.” He hopes to further the idea of building an arts center at the University that could serve the community as well as SU students.
“Dr. Jackson and his wife, Judy, have been most generous in their support of our cultural programs and had a tremendous impact on our Perdue-Kresge success related to the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra,” said Rosemary Thomas, executive director of the SU Foundation and vice president of advancement at SU. “The Jacksons’ return to the area is certainly a plus for us.”
Roskovich returns to serve his Alma Mater after earning his B.A. in communication arts with a minor in psychology from SU in 1988. While at SU, he excelled not only in the classroom, but on the athletic field, playing varsity lacrosse for four years and serving as team captain. He twice was named to the U.S. International Lacrosse Association’s Division III All-American team.
“I know if I hadn’t played at SU, I wouldn’t have the opportunities I do today,” he said, adding most of his earliest business networking came through SU and the lacrosse team.
Well known in the local business community today for his succession of food service enterprises, he received his training in the industry early on. Growing up, he worked with his father, who owned Pappy’s restaurant in Baltimore, as well as Oasis Lemonade at Harborplace. In 1989, Roskovich opened his first business, Rosko’s Reef, in Ocean City. In 1990, he moved the restaurant to Fruitland, re-naming it Rosko’s Grille. In 1993, the restaurant grew into Adam’s Ribs, which, along with Roskovich’s Black Diamond Catering and Craftservice, continues to serve the area today. For Adam’s, Roskovich partnered with two other SU alumni, Brian Toomey and Joe LeFavor.
Along with these enterprises, Roskovich has served the community in many capacities. In 1995, he became the youngest president of the Salisbury-Wicomico Lions Club. In 1999, he took office as the youngest president of the Fruitland Chamber of Commerce. He is chair of the food committee for the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Salisbury Festival. In addition, he is a member of St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Parish.
At SU, he hopes to continue that tradition of community service: “I hope to give back some of the experience I gained as a student at SU. I want to get involved, especially in athletics, and make it a special experience for the students.”
Of all his experiences at SU, Roskovich said one was particularly special for him. He met his wife, Linda, as a student at the University.
“Mr. Roskovich is somewhat of a Sea Gull sports legend and his support of SU athletics and our annual Foundation Golf Tournament have helped prepare us to move to the next level,” said Thomas. “He and his family are involved on the campus year-round through continuing education, enrichment and athletic camps.”
“We are very much looking forward to working with Peter Jackson and Pete Roskovich on the Foundation Board,” said Kim Nechay, assistant director of the Foundation and director of development at SU. “They both bring a wealth of knowledge and community involvement to the Board.”
The Salisbury University Foundation, Inc. was created in 1973 to accumulate funds by gift and investment and to foster, encourage and enrich the activities, educational programs, athletics and scholarships of SU.
Currently, the Foundation manages more than $32 million in assets for the benefit of SU. Each of the institution's four schools is permanently endowed, a rarity in public higher education. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu. "