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Press Releases

Monday, May 8, 2006

Salisbury University Bids Farewell to 16 Spring Retirees

SALISBURY, MD---Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. – William Butler Yeats

At the end of this semester, Salisbury University says farewell to 14 retiring faculty and staff who helped light that fire for thousands of students throughout the years. Together, they represent more than 363 years of combined service.

They are: Dr. Calvin Thomas, Geography and Geosciences Department, 35 years; Dr. Tony Whall – English Department, Bellavance Honors Program director, 34 years; Dr. Chapman McGrew, Geography and Geosciences Department, 31 years; Beverly Horner, Financial Aid, 30 years; Dr. Carolyn Bowden, Education Department, 27 years; Dr. Ted Wieberg, Respiratory Therapy and Biological Sciences departments, 24 years; Joseph Collins, Facilities Services, 23 years; Linda DiGiovanna, Publications, 23 years; Elaine Bolden, Financial Services, 22 years; Libby Collins, Philosophy Department, 18 years; Donna Test, Conference Planning, 17 years; Melanie Stefursky, Public Relations, 16 years; Ray Kellam, Classroom Technology Services, eight years; and Harold Schriver, Education Department, eight years.

SU also bid farewell to two staff members during the spring semester: Cpl. Carolyn Huston, University Police, 20 years; and Bernard Ware, Physical Plant, 27 years.

Thomas served as chair of the Geography and Geosciences Department for 17 years from 1985-2002. He has seen the department triple in growth during his three and a half decades at SU and enjoys hearing from geography alumni. Dr. Tom Jones, dean of the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology, lauded Thomas and fellow retiree McGrew on their years of service: “When I came to Salisbury State College in 1977, I quickly came to know Drs. Thomas and McGrew as quality faculty dedicated to their students and their discipline. Nearly 30 years later, now in their last year at SU, they have continued to serve their students and department in the best traditions of our faculty.” Following his retirement, Thomas plans to spend more time with his family, travel and read.

Since 1972, Whall has served as a faculty member in the English Department. In 1981, he became director of the Bellavance Honors Program. “Even when classes were less than scintillating (maybe especially then), I was challenged and stimulated by the students whose company I have been grateful to be part of these many years,” he said. “I leave the University grateful also that I do so at a time when the teaching ranks are being replenished by so many and so talented a cadre of young faculty.” Dr. Timothy O’Rourke, dean of the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts, praised Whall’s vision at SU: “Tony Whall is a scholar of immense range and depth and a challenging and engaging teacher, wholly committed to the intellectual and personal development of our students. With the Honors Program and many other contributions, he leaves a remarkable and lasting legacy.”

Joining the Geography and Geosciences Department right out of graduate school at Penn State in 1975, McGrew has witnessed three decades of change at SU. In 1993, he wrote the critically acclaimed textbook An Introduction to Statistical Problem Solving in Geography, reprinted in 2000. “I am proudest, however, that I was able to be a part of an excellent department,” he said. “We have an alumni network with literally hundreds of professionals in planning departments, government agencies, consulting firms, other private businesses and other colleges and universities. That is indeed a collective legacy to be proud of.”

Horner, director of Financial Aid, joined SU’s staff in 1976 after earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University. She accepted her current position the next year, becoming only the second financial aid director in the University’s history. In the past three decades, she has been appointed to many local and state committees, including the Maryland State Scholarship Board, College Board and Direct Loan Task Force. She also is past president of the SU Alumni Association. “I have a terrific team in the Financial Aid Office,” she said. “I grew up at SU and have many memories. Leaving is bittersweet.” Following her retirement, she plans to become more active in community projects, including the Pets on Wheels program.

Bowden has been a pioneer at SU, creating the bachelor’s degree program in early childhood education and the dual degree program in early childhood and elementary education. She was a member of the first off-campus team to develop and implement the Algonquin New Student Orientation Experience and pioneered Web-based courses at SU. She also founded Tomorrow’s Educators Assisting Children (TEACH), a program allowing freshmen to gain teaching experience in self-esteem at Fruitland Primary School, and Chesapeake Students Abroad and Interacting and Learning (SAIL), an annual week-long freshman orientation program allowing them to live aboard large sailboats. Throughout her 27 years at SU, she has helped the campus make strides in diversity and tolerance, as well. She has earned the Outstanding Faculty Award and Alumni Association Faculty Appreciation Award. “She has made an impact at SU that will be long remembered,” said Dr. Dennis Pataniczek, dean of the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies. Following her retirement, she plans to sail, play golf and volunteer in the community.

Serving SU since 1982, Wiberg founded the University’s respiratory therapy major and oversaw students in that area for more than two decades. In the early 1980s pulmonologist Rodney Layton, M.D., approached SU about the need for a degreed degreed program in respiratory therapy for the region. Under Wiberg’s guidance, the University graduated its first class in respiratory therapy in 1985. “Dr. Wiberg pioneered our four-year Respiratory Therapy Program that has grown and has reached national recognition and acclaim,” said Jones. “Even more significant is that so many students will remember Dr. Wiberg so much more for his excellent teaching and his devotion to their well being and their future careers.”

Collins began working in Facilities Services in 1982 and spent most of his career at SU as a supervisor. “He was known for developing good relationships with his staff,” said Shirley Pinkett, assistant director of Facilities Services. “He treated everyone with respect and never raised his voice. He was always quick to point out anything that was wrong, but he did it in a good way. He will be missed, and we wish him a lot of good fishing days!”

DiGiovanna came to SU in 1982, working at Blackwell Library. She later moved to the Publications Office. “Linda has brought her creativity and attention to detail to many publications for the University—including this SU News you are holding!” said Sue Eagle, publications director. “She has helped produce everything from your business cards to a certificate you might have received. We'll miss her—and her knowledge of SU's history.”

Bolden, transactions supervisor in the Financial Services Office, said she has seen many changes during her time at SU and will leave the University with good memories. “I'm ready to linger over my coffee in the morning and stay up as late as I want at night without a worry in the world about what time it is,” she said. Following her retirement, she plans to spend time with her grandchildren, garden, participate in craft projects and travel.

Starting at SU in 1987, Collins worked for several areas including Institutional Advancement, the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, the Social Work Department and the Modern Languages Department before finding her home as administrative assistant in the Philosophy Department. Dr. Jerry Miller, senior professor of philosophy, said she would be greatly missed: “Ms. Libby, as our students call her, has been, for years, a wonderful and enlivening presence in the Philosophy House. Her thoughtfulness, gracious receptivity and generosity have made the house more like a home than a group of offices. The many students she befriended and who deeply appreciated her spirit will be sorry to hear she will no longer be there to welcome them. We in the department hope we will be able to maintain the spirit she has done so much to create.”

Test, the University’s facilities reservations manager, was able to further her education during her time at SU and has enjoyed working with nearly all aspects of the community—students, faculty and staff—during her career. She also served on the Staff Senate and represented SU on the Council of University System Schools. “Donna has worked tirelessly to provide the very best customer service to everyone on campus scheduling space and services for all types of programs,” said Ed Vickers, director of Conference Planning. “Donna will be missed by all.” Following her retirement, Test plans to travel, spend more time with her family, read, and escape Maryland’s winters in Arizona.

Starting as executive administrative assistant in the Office of Research and Development in 1989 and later moving to the Public Relations Office, Stefursky said she was honored to work closely with President Thom Bellavance and serve some of the University’s founding benefactors, including the late Charles Fulton and Sam Seidel, “both quiet leaders of the community whose generosity taught me much.” She also has enjoyed her continuing friendships at SU. She served two terms on the Staff Senate, including the Executive Committee. “Melanie's knowledge, energy, humor, candor and joie de vivre will be missed,” said Richard Culver, director of media relations. “She has worked hard to make the University look good, first at the SU Foundation and then in the Public Relations Office.  She brings a can-do spirit to all projects and is an expert events planner—a true professional. Melanie is very engaged in community work and I anticipate our community will much benefit from her talent, time and commitment following retirement.” Following her retirement, she plans to spend more time with her family and continue her volunteer activities with the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Hospice, as well as garden and paint.

For Kellam, working as a technician for SU’s Classroom Technology Services Office gave him the opportunity for a second career after retiring from the E.I. DuPont Co. after 33 years. During his time at SU, he saw technology advance from filmstrips and 16-millimeter movies to computers and smart classrooms. He helped establish more than 100 of the latter throughout campus. “Ray is known around campus for fixing the unfixable on the older equipment,” said Lucy Hearn, technology services manager. “If he could not fix it then it could not be fixed. He provided a level of customer service to the campus that will be hard to replace.” Following his retirement, Kellam plans to spend more time with his family and travel.

Schriver, who came to SU full time in the late 1990s, has been an integral part of the Seidel School, serving as director of field experiences. He retires after 45 years in education. According to Pataniczek, “Schriver took on mission impossible when coming to SU—the task of placing 1,200 students a year in field settings for pre-student teaching placements plus another 260 intern placements every year. He accomplished a daunting task year after year. He has been able to call almost every school in the region and say, ‘We need a placement’ and be met with success.  His congenial nature and dedication will be sorely missed, and his large shoes will be hard to fill.” The students he has helped at SU and beyond agree: “Two years ago a non-traditional student appeared in my office in early September explaining who she was and that I taught her social studies in Prince George's County in 1964, and it was my influence that got her into teaching,” Schriver said. “Even though it was 40 years later, it was still pretty cool!”

An SU alumna, Huston returned to her Alma Mater in 1986, serving two decades before retiring as a corporal with the University Police. “Carolyn was a standout on the softball team while a student. She continued to keep her work and study ethic when she joined the SU Police Department,” said Lt. Robert Brown. “She is a fast learner and had to only be told or shown a task once and she could master it. As an officer she was at the top of her class at the Police Academy and a expert shot with a firearm. Carolyn was always ready to do whatever was needed to assist the department or a fellow officer no matter the effort required. I consider it a privilege to have worked both alongside her and later as one of her supervisors.”

Serving SU since 1978, Ware was a part of SU’s Physical Plant for more than a quarter century, retiring as a structural trades chief. “Bernie worked faithfully in supporting the facility needs of the students living in the residence halls for over 28 years,” said Kevin Mann, Physical Plant director. “He has held multiple positions in Physical Plant and his experience and knowledge of the campus will be missed." For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at "

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