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Press Releases

Friday, February 24, 2006

Nathan Foundation Reaffirms Commitment to SU Students

SALISBURY, MD---The Nathan Foundation recently re-affirmed its financial commitment to Dorchester County students attending Salisbury University, continuing a 34-year-old tradition of scholarship.

Since 1962, the foundation has offered some $900,000 in financial assistance to more than 100 SU students from Dorchester. With the recent donation, the foundation increased that amount to some $950,000. The University is the foundation’s largest beneficiary.

“We are fortunate that the Nathan Foundation has given so selflessly to allow Dorchester residents to earn their degrees at SU,” said Kim Nechay, director of development at the University and assistant director of the SU Foundation, Inc. “We applaud them for continuing this tradition for more than three decades and for their support of the quality education Salisbury provides.”

The foundation is the legacy of the Nathan family, whose patriarch, Meyer Nathan, moved to Dorchester County circa 1870. After working as a peddler for a little more than a decade, he opened the first Nathan Furniture Store on High Street in Cambridge in 1881. Following his death in 1911, his son, Milford, took over the business, franchising eight stores throughout the Delmarva Peninsula.

Known for his business acumen, Milford Nathan also was involved in the community. For many years, he was chairman of the board for the Cambridge Hospital. He was an active Mason, chairman of the board for the Farmers and Merchants National Bank and an active civic leader in Dorchester County.

Upon his death in 1953, his will established the terms for the creation of the Nathan Foundation as a charitable organization, his final act of community goodwill. The foundation was enacted in 1960 following the death of Milford’s wife, Estelle, who left the bulk of her estate to the foundation. The first donations from the Nathan Foundation were made in 1961. The Nathans’ tradition of giving was reaffirmed in 1983, when upon her death, Milford’s sister, Bertha, left most of her estate to the foundation, as well.

In addition to SU, the Nathan Foundation annually supports institutions throughout Dorchester County, including the YMCA; Salvation Army; Glassgow tennis courts in Cambridge; the skipjack Nathan of Dorchester; Chesapeake College and the former Wor-Wic Community College Nursing Program, formerly located at the Eastern Shore Hospital Center in Cambridge. Annually, one-third of the foundation’s contributions go to programs for Dorchester’s less fortunate population, one-third toward education and one-third toward programs to benefit the overall community. Since 1961, its charitable gifts have totaled more than $3.5 million.

For more information on Salisbury University call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at "

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