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Press Releases

Friday, May 11, 2001

"Teacher of the Year Commencement Speaker"  

SALISBURY, MD---Julia Nelson Harper, Delaware’s Teacher of the Year and Salisbury State University alumnae delivers the featured address at spring commencement, which begins at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 26, in the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center. The ceremony is the last to feature the University’s 13 year-old name. 

Prominent businessman and SSU philanthropist, Samuel W. Seidel receives an honorary doctorate of humane letters. A prominent civic leader and staunch university benefactor, Seidel, along with his wife, Marilyn, endowed SSU's School of Education and Professional Studies in 1997. 

Caitlin Gordon, a communication arts major, delivers the student commencement address.

Harper ‘90 has taught eighth grade at Delmar Middle and High School in Delmar, DE, for nine years. In July she was named the state’s Teacher of the Year and has traveled to the White House and throughout the region promoting education. She is currently a nominee for Disney Teacher of the Year.

Harper recently took a year off from her job to accompany her husband, Dale, to Bosnia-Herzegovina where she taught English to the region’s children and led several drives for school supplies.

She also is a member of some 14 professional organizations including the Delaware Association of English Teachers and Phi Kappa Delta and serves as a mentor for new teachers in the Delmar School District. She also has established herself as a leader in her school system and received more than 23 awards and commendations for her efforts.

While at SSU, Harper was a cheerleader for the University’s basketball and football teams. She was the cheerleading team’s captain for three years and won four academic Athlete Awards. She also coached the varsity and junior varsity cheerleading squad at Delmar.

May 2001 graduates include 1,011 students--928 undergraduates and 83 graduates. The University is awarding 551 Bachelors of Science; 311 Bachelors of Arts; two Bachelors of Fine Arts; 64 Bachelors of Arts in Social Work; 21 Master of Arts; 25 Masters of Business Administration; 30 Masters of Education and seven Masters of Science.

Admission is by ticket only. For information call 410-543-6030 or visit the University's Web site at

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