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Debra Bailey, left, receives her 50-year Service Award from SU President Carolyn Ringer Lepre.
Debra Bailey, left, receives her 50-year Service Award from SU President Carolyn Ringer Lepre.

Debra Bailey Tops SU Service Award Recipients at 50 Years

SALISBURY, MD---When Debra Bailey began working at then-Salisbury State College in 1972, the campus had just opened its first co-ed residence hall, students got their news from a school paper called the Informer, and the inaugural Sea Gull football team was drawing excitement from local sports fans.

More than a half-century later, she was celebrated among the longest-serving employees in Salisbury University history during the institution’s annual Service Awards ceremony.

The Physical Plant program management specialist, who has served under six SU Presidents and three acting and interim Presidents, starting with Dr. Norman Crawford, received a special plaque marking her 50 years at SU as of 2022.

“While it is difficult to name one specific memorable event during my 50 years at SU, the things I remember most are the friendships that have been cultivated over the years,” she said.

“There are many dedicated, hardworking employees I have worked with who have made the University what it is today, and those who I have worked with the closest will always have a special place in my heart.”

During the ceremony, SU recognized some 199 faculty and staff with more than 2,500 years of service to the University and the State of Maryland. Also honored, for the first time, were 40 adjunct faculty, who have served SU for more than 600 semesters combined.

“Our employees are dedicated to our University—and this commitment does not go unrecognized,” said SU President Carolyn Ringer Lepre in a message to this year’s honorees. “Since arriving at SU, I have heard again and again how our people are everything. I am so appreciative of what our faculty and staff do each day. Our institution and our students’ lives are better because of your hard work and efforts.”

After Debra Bailey, the employee recognized for the longest service was Edwin Townsend (Physical Plant), with 45 years.

Honored for 35 years of service were Sydney Geesaman (Richard A. Henson Medical Simulation Center), Melinda Khazeh (Alumni Relations), Dr. David Rieck (Chemistry) and Wayne Shelton (Facilities Planning and Capital Projects).

Recognized for 30 years of service were Wendy Hamilton (Information Technology), Dr. Steven Hetzler (Mathematics), William Humphreys (University Dining Services), Terry Jones (Physical Plant), Bernard Livingston (Physical Plant), Glen Phillips (Physical Plant), James Tull (Information Technology) and Dr. Jeanne Whitney (History).

Employees recognized for 30 and 35 years of service received plaques during an in-person ceremony and were invited to share their reminiscences in the awards program. Some 187 additional faculty and staff were recognized remotely for five to 25 years of service.

Carl Cottingham (Management) was the adjunct faculty member honored for the longest service, with at least 65 semesters, followed by Susan Zimmer (Music, Theatre and Dance) with at least 50 semesters, and Adriana Bonsteel (Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies) with at least 35 semesters.

Some 37 additional adjuncts were honored for service of at least 10 to 30 semesters.

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