SALISBURY, MD--It was a night when the number 80 was on everyone’s lips, if not before their eyes. The logo for the black-tie gala in the Commons celebrating Salisbury University’s 80th anniversary greeted guests on a large video screen, in their programs, even on the chocolate wafer with dessert.
The number 8, traditionally associated with success, achievement and new beginnings, seemed apt. The festive evening marked both the ending of celebrations of the University’s 80th anniversary year and the official beginning of a multimillion-dollar fund-raising campaign by its administration and the Salisbury University Foundation. Here the 80 which got the biggest “Wow!” was an accountant’s dream: In the first two years of its silent phase the campaign has raised “more than 80 percent of our $25 million goal,” said Chairman Henry Hanna, “80 percent to honor our 80th anniversary!”
“At 80, Salisbury University is still a very young institution,” SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach told several hundred supporters. “Because of its youth, we can still see and appreciate the work of those who came before. Each generation has endowed this University with unquestioned loyalty and enthusiasm, always hopeful about its future. For all that we have accomplished today—our national championships, our national rankings, our national distinction—we are still defined by our aspirations and our possibilities.”
Monies raised through the campaign will turn many of those aspirations into realities. Goals will benefit student scholarship endowments ($10 million), the new Teacher Education and Technology Complex (TETC) which begins construction this fall ($4 million), matching funds for a new home for the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business ($4 million), library enhancements ($2 million), fine arts ($2 million), Sea Gull athletics—including new facilities for varsity teams ($2 million), and campus enhancements and outreach ($1 million).
Major donations to the campaign during the silent phase include $8 million from the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation to help fund construction of the Perdue School building; an anonymous $7 million planned gift for scholarship funding; $2 million from alumnus Audrey Christopher to create the Christopher Scholars Program; real estate valued at $1.3 million from Sam Brown and Bill Church; a $700,000 planned gift from alumna Carol Powers and her husband Jim to benefit the TETC; $500,000 from the estate of long time theatre patron Bobbi Biron, for whom SU’s theatre program is named; a special planned gift and annual contribution arrangement valued at more than $200,000 from Sea Gull parents David and Wanda Hooper ; $200,000 from the family of Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton, long time supporters of SU, to benefit scholarships for Worcester County students; and a $100,000 annuity from alumna Jeanne Bulleit to benefit TETC programs.
Hanna, a prominent area Realtor and past president of the SU Foundation, chairs a campaign team which includes past SU President Norman Crawford; alumni Niel Carey, Rick Givens, Amy Tilghman Miller and Beth Sarbanes Sheller; SU Foundation board members Ed Thomas and Dr. Irving Shen; and members of the SU administration.
Titled “Taking Excellence to New Heights,” Campaign 2012 is based upon the needs of the institution articulated in its recent Facilities Master Plan and Institutional Strategic Plan studies. A cross-section of University faculty, staff, students and alumni participated in these studies.
Hanna hinted that the campaign, which has had such a remarkable start, might raise its projections beyond $25 million.
Dudley-Eshbach told the well-wishers, “I would ask everyone to take a minute and dream of what we could become. Tonight, we begin our pursuit of that dream.”For more information on SU’s Campaign 2012 call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu/campaign.