SALISBURY, MD---One of Salisbury University’s 2007 Marshall W. Moore Scholarship recipients is a Sierra Leone émigré who balanced the demands of 12 brothers and sisters with his passion for computers. Another’s love of children led her from daycare work to night school and study to become an elementary school teacher. A third volunteered with orphans and prisoners in a journey toward even more social service.
All five recipients are non-traditional SU students with demonstrated academic excellence and a desire to achieve. Each recently received the $1,000 scholarship, which was created by the SU Foundation to honor its longest serving founding member, Marshall Moore. In recognition of his unyielding dedication to the Foundation, Moore’s fellow board members financed the nearly $200,000 endowment for the scholarship when he retired in 2006.
“When I read the applications I was impressed by so many worthy candidates. The winners represent a strong group of applicants,” said Edward M. Thomas, chair of the Salisbury University Foundation, Inc. “I am proud that a scholarship for non-traditional students is meeting such a very real need.”
This year’s recipients are Mary Van Buskirk, Abdul Rahman Kabba, Nicole McGrath, Charles Davis and Jennifer Sweeten.
For the past seven years, Van Buskirk, a single mother, has operated a day care from her home and attended college at night. With a 4.0 GPA, she prepares to graduate this year and will seek a teaching position on the Eastern Shore, sharing her passion, hard work and sense of humor with her own students. “Mary will bring a great deal of knowledge and experience to her future classroom,” said Sara Elburn, one of her professors.
A local resident, Davis remembers working as a teenager at a strawberry plant adjacent to what was then Salisbury State University. After turning his life around and overcoming many hardships, he’s back at SU - this time as a student. He’s created a unique Interdisciplinary Studies major, combining interests in Psychology, Social Work and Sociology. Viewing his life as a “second chance”, the Urban Ministries volunteer hopes to help others as an addictions counselor, and possibly open an outreach center.
Since childhood, McGrath has wanted to become a pediatrician. That dream is now taking shape for the 22-year-old Baltimore native, who has tutored and worked at a restaurant to pay her way through college. A member of SU’s Medical Careers Society and the Alpha Omega Biology club, she hopes to attend medical school.
It was Kabba’s mother who inspired him to attend college, always encouraging him to take his studies seriously. After his family was forced to leave Africa, he had to adapt to the culture of U.S. high schools and became interested in computer networking. He is now a rising senior at SU studying information systems in the Perdue School of Business. “His work demonstrates that extra effort is the hallmark of a good student,” said Dr. Kathleen Wright, one of his professors.
A former secretary with only a high school diploma, Sweeten decided at age 41 to pursue an associate’s degree at Penn State University. Success there led her to SU where she has maintained a 4.0 GPA while earning a bachelor’s degree in social work. A former volunteer at orphanages in the United States and Dominican Republic, as well as with a prison transition program, she hopes to pursue her Master of Social Work at SU.
Every year, the Marshall W. Moore scholarship will be awarded to SU juniors and/or seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.0 GPA. Preference is given to non-traditional students with financial need. The $1,000 may be renewed for an additional year.
Moore and other area leaders and friends of the University established the Foundation in 1973. During his 33 years of service, Moore not only worked to help the fund-raising arm of the University grow to its current stature, but with his wife, Ruth, supported many campus organizations including the May Literacy Lab, Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art and Salisbury Symphony Orchestra. The Moore’s also supported SU scholarships and construction of the Alumni House in 1997.
In addition, Moore has served on the Alumni Association board of directors, Board of Visitors, Sea Gull Club, Ward Museum board of directors and SU Real Estate Foundation board of directors.
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.