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Press Releases

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

SU Mourns Passing of Former President Walter 'Doug' Smith

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University mourns the passing of Dr. Walter “Doug” Smith, who served as SU’s fourth president from 1968-1970.

While Smith’s time at SU was short, he is credited with moving the campus in a more progressive direction. According to faculty emerita Sylvia Bradley in her book Salisbury: From Normal School to University 1925-2001, he strengthened town-gown relations, which helped the University garner community support to remain open when a state study recommended it close shortly after his departure.

He also tried strategies new to the campus: To bolster enrollment, SU implemented its first widespread public relations campaign. He liberalized governance, with more faculty and student involvement. Committed to excellence in teaching, he also encouraged research and professional development.

Smith left Salisbury in 1970 to become the founding president of Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, serving until his retirement in 1983. He was 99 at the time of his passing. Smith was SU’s last surviving president emeritus.

A memorial service was held recently in Florence. Those wishing to leave remembrances may do so at

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