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Friday, November 30, 2007

Young Alumna, Legislators Awarded at 82nd Year Winter Commencement

Norman Conway J. Lowell Stoltzfus Casey Baynes Donovan Boyle
Norman Conway Lowell Stoltzfus Casey Baynes Donovan Boyle

SALISBURY, MD---Two of Maryland’s most respected legislators and an SU alumnus whose foundation is changing the world for children with terminal illnesses are honored during Salisbury University’s 82nd year Winter Commencement 2 p.m. Saturday, December 15, at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.

Delegate Norman Conway (’65) receives the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Maryland Senator J. Lowell Stoltzfus receives the Service to Society Award (’73). Casey Cares Foundation founder Casey Baynes (’96) is bestowed the Young Alumna Award. They join some 437 students who receive 49 master’s and 388 bachelor’s degrees, including Commencement speaker Donovan Boyle, whose time growing up in South Africa and serving in the U.S. military gives him a unique perspective on the benefits of education.

A lifelong resident of Salisbury, Conway received his B.S. in elementary education in 1965 and his M.Ed. in 1970. He has served as a teacher and administrator in the Wicomico County school system for 37 years. His wife, Jan, also an education graduate of SU, is principal at Glen Avenue Elementary School.
Conway has always believed in two very important values: first, family and friends are the most important things in the world, and second, giving back to one’s community helps ensure that community will remain vibrant.

His commitment to public service began at an early age. He was elected to the Salisbury City Council in 1974, where he served for 13 years, the last five as president. He won a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates in 1986, where he is still serving the residents of the Lower Eastern Shore.

In the Maryland legislature, Conway has served on two of the most important commissions in the state: The Larson Commission, which made major recommendations for the University System of Maryland, and the Thornton Commission, which recommended major changes in state school funding on the basis of equity and adequacy for all public schools in the state. He holds senior leadership positions on two House committees with critical importance to the Eastern Shore and to SU: chair of the Capital Budget Sub-Committee and the powerful Appropriations Committee. These positions led directly to Conway’s selection as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Spending Affordability—the committee of delegates and senators charged with setting the spending limit for the state budget.

His reputation for responsibility and fairness earned him the chairmanship of the Eastern Shore Delegation from 1997-2002 and as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Conway also has served 43 years with the Salisbury Fire Department. As a result of that service he has been inducted into the Halls of Fame of both the Delmarva Firemen’s Historical Foundation and the Maryland State Firemen’s Association.

Born in Pottstown, PA, and receiving his B.A. in English and sociology in 1973, Stoltzfus represents District 38 comprising of Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester counties.  A member of the Maryland Senate since 1992, he serves on the Budget and Taxation Committee, Chesapeake Bay Commission, Tri-County Council for the Lower Shore, and Aquaculture Advisory Committee.  He also served six years as Minority Leader and four years as the Senate Minority Whip.

His previous positions with the State of Maryland include serving as a member of the House of Delegates and on committees including the Maryland Tourism Development Board, Commission to Save the Lighthouses, Special Committee to Study Issues Related to Class-Size Reduction, Study Panel to Review Economic Development Financing Programs, Task Force on Tobacco Crop Conversion, Governor’s Task Force on Eastern Shore Economic Development, Joint Audit Committee, Forum for Rural Maryland and Area Agency on Aging.

A plant nursery proprietor and former public school teacher and private school principal, he is a member of the Somerset County Farm Bureau, Rehobeth Ruritan Club and Holly Grove Mennonite Church.

The inaugural Young Alumna Award is presented to Casey Baynes. Taking classes at Harford Community College, Baynes had obtained her Associate of Arts degree by the time she graduated high school.  In 1996, she earned a B.A. degree from SU and in 1998, at age 21, became Towson University’s youngest master’s degree recipient.

In 2000, beginning with five families, she founded the Casey Cares Foundation.  While raising three children under the age of 6, she has provided programs for critically ill children and their families in six states throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The foundation is dedicated to providing uplifting and heartwarming programs to enhance the lives of critically ill children and their families. It continues to receive accolades from families and hospitals alike.

Boyle, a conflict analysis and dispute resolution major, saw the horror apartheid first-hand before moving with his parents from South Africa to the United States at age 10. “Education was difficult, not only to attend, but also to find,” he said. “I lived in a country that had boundaries separated by the color of your skin. Anything beyond that seemed almost unimportant.”

Now on the cusp of earning his bachelor’s degree, he plans to become a lawyer. He credited several SU faculty with his success in the classroom, including Drs. Diane Illig and Charles Cipolla in the Sociology Department. While at SU, Boyle volunteered with the American Red Cross during Hurricane Katrina and was a discussant in the University’s philosophy book discussion program at Eastern Correctional Institution. He offered the following advice for his fellow graduates: “I hope that they realize this is just the beginning. There’s much more for us to do.”

Among undergraduates, 222 students receive the Bachelor of Science, 175 the Bachelor of Arts, 17 the Bachelor of Fine Arts and four the Bachelor of Social Work. Graduate degrees include Master of Education—20; Master of Arts—15; Master of Business Administration—eight; Master of Science—three; and Master of Social Work—three.

Admission to commencement is by ticket only. A reception at the Civic Center follows the ceremony. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.



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