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Lynn Adkins
Lynn Adkins

New Endowment Offers HOPE for Non-Traditional SU Students

By SU Public Relations

SALISBURY, MD---Two days before Lynn Adkins graduated high school, she received a job offer in the accounting department at Piedmont Airlines.

With full-time employment, she didn’t see an immediate need to pursue a degree. Within a couple years, however, she understood that to advance in her career, she needed more education. Through Piedmont’s tuition assistance program, she spent three and a half years working full-time while earning her A.A. in accounting from Wor-Wic Community College.

By the time she took her first class at SU in 1993, she was nearly six years older than most of the incoming class. When she completed her B.S. in accounting in 1997, she was almost a decade into her career while most of her classmates had yet to start theirs.

Ten years later, as the Salisbury University Foundation, Inc’s new accountant (and later director of operations and finance), she saw other non-traditional students facing many of the same challenges she did.

Now serving as SU’s associate vice president for administration and finance, she has taken a step toward providing more resources for that demographic by endowing the Honoring Outstanding Personal Effort (HOPE) Scholarship Award at SU.

The programmatic endowment will provide qualifying recipients with up to $500 per year during their junior and senior years. Funds may be used for any need, including tuition, books or fees.

“While being employed at the Foundation, I saw firsthand how much our programmatic and scholarship endowments benefit our student population,” said Adkins. “I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to start an endowment that could assist non-traditional students.”

She also wanted to ensure students had opportunities to pursue the same quality SU education she did.

“I had great mentors here,” she said. They included Dr. Kenneth Smith, chair of the Accounting and Legal Studies Department in SU’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, as well as Drs. Robert Garner and Robert Dombrowski, retired professors of accounting.

She credited Dombrowski with encouraging her to stay on track to continue her career in corporate accounting instead of switching to public accounting, as many of her classmates were doing at the time. (Their conversation on the subject, she noted, took place in SU’s now-demolished Caruthers Hall.)

“He really helped me forge the path for my future career,” she said. “He advised me of the multitude of opportunities in the corporate accounting world, and through his guidance, I was able to advance my career after graduation.”

That path ultimately led her back to SU.

“It really wasn’t until I was at the Foundation that I understood the impact of philanthropy and how it enhances a student’s experience,” she said.

Now, thanks to Adkins, more non-traditional students than ever before will feel those effects.

For more information on opportunities to assist SU students through endowments and awards, contact Amy Luppens, director of development, at 410-677-0084 or

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