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Press Releases

Friday, February 3, 2012

SU Celebrates Conclusion of its Highly Successful Campaign 2012

SALISBURY, MD---After six years, Salisbury University has concluded Campaign 2012, a highly successful fundraising initiative that exceeded its original goal by millions — thanks to community and campus supporters.

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In 2006, the Salisbury University Foundation, Inc. publicly announced the campaign at SU’s 80th Anniversary Gala. The initial target was $25 million. Unparalleled support led that total to be raised — twice.

On Friday, February 3, the University announced that the campaign surpassed its goal by nearly $15 million, concluding just inches from $40 million. The day ended with a festive celebration of “Taking Excellence to New Heights” in the Perdue Hall Atrium.

Dudley-Eshbach“Salisbury University has a history of doing more with less.  I believe that is one reason SU has been ranked a ‘Best Value’ nationally,” said President Janet Dudley-Eshbach.  “Since state support alone doesn’t allow us to provide the facilities, programs and scholarships which students need to be competitive in today’s economy, the University has turned to the private sector. As this successful campaign demonstrates, donors at all levels have been enthusiastic and generous.  They have profoundly shaped the future of this campus and community.  We are deeply grateful for their unprecedented outpouring of support for higher education at Salisbury University.”

The priorities of the campaign were based on the needs of the University, as articulated in its strategic and facilities master plans.

TETCOne of the most obvious goals was fundraising for academic programs and facilities, including the Teacher Education and Technology Center, which opened in 2008, and Perdue Hall, new last fall. Some $10.6 million was raised for these two high-tech and innovative buildings, which greatly enhance SU’s ability to provide excellent educational experiences for students. 

The campaign also supported other campus improvements and community outreach opportunities, such as the May Literacy Lab and the Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture.Perdue Hall

The top priority, however, was scholarship funding, including dollars for students and for faculty development and recognition. Historically, due to disparities in state funding and tuition, SU has had among the highest loan amounts and lowest scholarship dollars per student in the University System of Maryland. More than $13.8 million was raised, including specific scholarship endowments to help students pursue everything from nursing and mathematics/science education, to study abroad and political internships.

Henry HannaThe campaign also laid the groundwork for future projects:  enhancing library collections that will eventually be housed within a new academic commons; building support for nationally acclaimed Sea Gull athletics and a new stadium; and generating involvement with cultural offerings, which may ultimately lead to a fine and performing arts center.

“SU provides a great return on investment in terms of people and programs,” said Campaign Chair Henry Hanna. “Many have shown support of, appreciation for, and belief in this institution. Their generosity confirms that Salisbury University, with its superior graduates, is a tremendous asset to our region.”

SU’s Campaign Team has included: President Emeritus Norman Crawford; alumni Niel Carey, Bruce Cort, Rick Givens, Amy Tilghman Miller, Jim Perdue, Bruce Rogers, Michael Scarborough and Beth Sarbanes Sheller; and Ed Thomas and Dr. Irving Shen.

Charlie Capute“We asked the community to invest in ‘Taking Excellence to New Heights’ — and the response has been overwhelming,” said Foundation Board Chair Charlie Capute. “Salisbury University’s future is bright.”

Highlights of the campaign include a unique focus on planned giving and stewardship. SU’s President’s Club membership has doubled and Varsity Club giving has increased 300 percent. At over 16 percent last year, SU’s alumni giving rate also is the highest of USM institutions and double the national average of 8 percent.

Rosemary Thomas“I sincerely hope that the legacy of this campaign will be the continued growth of a culture of philanthropy that permeates this campus, this community and our alumni base,” said Dr. Rosemary M. Thomas, vice president of University Advancement and executive director of the SU Foundation. “The generosity of so many has made a significant impact on all that we do.”

In 2008, SU, with its successful team approach, was honored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education with a CASE-WealthEngine Award for Overall Improvement of superior fundraising programs. For more information about Campaign 2012, call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at

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