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SU Music Program Named in Honor of Dr. Peter and Judy Jackson
From left: Salisbury University President Carolyn Ringer Lepre; Dr. Peter Jackson; Judy Jackson; SU Music, Theatre and Dance Department Co-Chair Colleen Clark; and Dr. Maarten Pereboom, Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts dean.

SU Music Program Named in Honor of Dr. Peter and Judy Jackson as Endowment Grows to $1.3 Million

SALISBURY, MD---December is seen by many as a season of giving.

That was especially true during this year’s Salisbury Symphony Orchestra (SSO) holiday concert. During a pre-concert reception, Salisbury University President Carolyn Ringer Lepre announced that long-time SU supporters Dr. Peter and Judy Jackson, had pledged their most generous gift yet to SU: an addition of $800,000 to their previous promise of $500,000 for music programs at the University. The new annual and charitable remainder trust funding brings their total endowment to $1.3 million.

The thunderous applause that followed doubled as a quasi-drumroll for a second announcement. In recognition of the Jacksons’ nearly two decades of support, the University’s music program will be named in their honor: the Peter and Judy Jackson Music Program.

“Peter and Judy Jackson have been friends of SU’s Music, Theatre and Dance Department and Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts for many years,” said Lepre. “This program rededication not only pays tribute to their longstanding commitment, but allows us to share their passion with others who are devoted to the arts on Delmarva.”

“With the Jacksons’ support, SU has built a music performance program distinctive among universities,” said Dr. Maarten Pereboom, dean of the Fulton School. “The Salisbury Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has flourished to become an impressive and inspiring example of university-community collaboration, while their chamber series has featured both regional musicians and world-class groups.

“They support our other ensembles, as well, including the chorales, and sponsor regular visits to Salisbury by such groups as the American Spiritual Ensemble. With their partnership, our Music, Theatre and Dance Department has established itself as a performing arts leader in Maryland and in the Mid-Atlantic.”

“The arts are very important to the Jackson family, especially as we all play instruments or sing or actively engage,” said Peter Jackson. “Even my dad, Dr. Roger Jackson, played viola in the Salisbury Symphony as it formed. We have taken immense pleasure in watching the Arts grow so well at Salisbury University, in the broader Salisbury community and along the Eastern Shore. We feel deeply honored by the naming of the Music Program and know that the performing arts will continue to grow and to flourish here.”

The Jacksons made SU history in 2003, when they turned a $100,000 gift to the SSO into a challenge grant that ultimately raised some $400,000 for the ensemble. Six years later, in 2009, they more than doubled their endowment, leaving at least $500,000 to the orchestra as part of a charitable remainder trust.

In 2011, they followed with a gift to create the Peter and Judy Jackson Chamber Music Series at SU, now in its 11th year. They also have been avid supporters of Delmarva Public Media, a three-station radio collaboration between SU and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and its predecessor, Delmarva Public Radio at SU.

In addition, they previously funded the Peter and Judy Jackson Music Scholarship for students in SU’s PRESTO performing arts outreach program, which provides music and theatre instruction for community members, predominately students from area K-12 schools.

This new endowment will continue to provide support to each of those programs over the next 10 years. Additional funds from the endowment will support other aspects of the Jackson Music Program, including scholarships, performances and faculty development.

In addition to providing financial backing for the arts at SU, the Jacksons have been participants in many of SU’s music programs. A retired technology executive, Peter Jackson has served on the boards of directors for the SSO and the Salisbury Chorale at SU. Judy Jackson also has served on the SSO board of directors and has sung as a member of the Salisbury Chorale.

Beyond SU, the Jacksons also are avid supporters of the arts and sciences throughout Wicomico County through such initiatives as the Peter and Judy Jackson Music Performance Fund, which has helped provide cultural performances in the area; Chesapeake Bay Farm, a 100-acre tree farm near Whitehaven, MD; and the Jackson Observatory, one of the 100 best-equipped observatories in the world, in Eden, MD.

Learn more about opportunities to Make Tomorrow Yours at the SU website.