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Dave Rommel honorary doctorate presentation
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Dave Rommel received an honorary doctorate from Salisbury University during SU's annual Spring Commencement. Pictured, from left: SU President Carolyn Ringer Lepre; Rommel; Dr. Christy Weer, dean of SU's Franklin P. Perdue School of Business; and Jason Curtin, SU vice president of advancement and executive director of the Salisbury University Foundation, Inc.

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist Dave Rommel Receives SU Honorary Doctorate

By SU Public Relations

SALISBURY, MD---Growing up in Salisbury, Dave Rommel attended elementary school at what was then Salisbury State College.

Nearly six decades later, he joined graduates from that institution — now Salisbury University — during its 2024 Spring Commencement for another educational experience, receiving an honorary Doctor of Public Service from SU President Carolyn Ringer Lepre.

“Dave Rommel has been a leader in the greater Salisbury community and beyond for many years,” said Lepre. “As a successful entrepreneur, he not only provides jobs and services for many, but also serves as a role model for our students with aspirations to start businesses of their own.

“In the community, he has devoted his time and talents to institutions including the SU Foundation, Inc.; TidalHealth; the Apprenticeship and Training Committee of the Eastern Shore of Maryland; and the Richard A. Henson Family YMCA, to name just a few. Dave’s dedication to the people of the Delmarva Peninsula is admirable, and we are proud to recognize him as a member of the SU community.”

Rommel began his career in business in 1976, joining his father’s Rommel Electric Company. Today, that and multiple other businesses — including Rommel Construction, Rommel Infrastructure, Rommel Harley-Davidson, Rommel’s Ace Hardware and The Farfield Company (an electrical/mechanical contractor) — fall under the umbrella of the Rommel Companies, for which he serves as owner and CEO.

SU has been a constant in his life since an early age. His mother graduated from the University in 1944, fostering familiar ties. In addition to his time at the campus demonstration (elementary) school, he also spent much of his youth playing and practicing on the University’s basketball courts.

In 2017, with his wife, Patsy (a former SU student), he announced a $5.5 million gift to publicly launch “We Are SU: The Campaign for Salisbury University,” the largest such initiative in campus history, which he also chaired.

Some $500,000 of that gift was earmarked to help the University provide a space for student entrepreneurs in downtown Salisbury, dedicated as the Dave and Patsy Rommel Center for Entrepreneurship at SU Downtown in 2021.

Rommel has long been an advocate of student entrepreneurship, serving as a judge for the University’s annual Entrepreneurship Competition and a board member of its Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Shore Hatchery program. Both are under the auspices of SU’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, whose Executive Advisory Council honored him with its annual leadership award in 2018.

Joining him at this year’s Commencement were some 1,274 members of SU’s Class of 2024 who received their bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees during three ceremonies.

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