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Press Releases

Wednesday, May 12, 1999

Commencement May 23; Wayne Gilchrest Speaker

SALISBURY, MD--Salisbury State University honors two of the region’s most public-spirited citizens at its 74th year commencement Sunday, May 23, at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.

Cambridge attorney Edward H. Nabb will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and Maryland State Delegate Norman H. Conway of the 38th District representing Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties will receive the Presidential Citation for Outstanding Citizenship.

"The names of Ed Nabb and Norm Conway have long been associated with service," said SSU President William C. Merwin. "Over the years they have shown a concern for preserving Eastern Shore traditions and way of life while building an even better future for children through education."

U.S. Congressman Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland’s First District, who is also a former educator, will deliver the commencement address.

"Ed Nabb is a man for all seasons," said Merwin. "His zest for life is memorable." He is one of only two Marylanders who are members of the UFOs, United Flying Octogenarians. He is famous throughout the region for his annual "holly run" to Tangier Island each Chirstmas, bringing evergreen to the islanders. He is the only person on Earth to have received all three of the world’s top power boating awards.

His enthusiasms extend to education. As president of the Nathan Foundation for a quarter century, he oversaw the awarding of more than $600,000 in scholarships--all to Salisbury State--to local young people, many of whom could not have afforded to go otherwise. He has been a devoted member of the SSU Foundation. And in 1998, he endowed the University’s Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture for a half-million dollars, ensuring its future.

"Norm Conway is a man of impeccable integrity and sagacity," said Merwin. An SSU alumnus, he has worked for over 30 years as a teacher, principal and supervisor in the Wicomico County school system. A member, then president of the Salisbury City Council from 1974-87, he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1987, where he currently serves as vice chair of the Appropriations Committee. He has earned the confidence of colleagues on both sides of the aisle, said Merwin. He also has earned a reputation as a champion of Eastern Shore issues.

Merwin praises Conway for his political acumen in guiding the University’s new science building proposal through a myriad of financial hurdles in Annapolis: Without Conway the building would have been "dead in a barrel," said Merwin.

"In the heat of battle he was saying to its adversaries, ‘We really need to have students in science and technology for the 21st century.’ He was proud to represent science and science teachers" and he did so with passion. "We can never ever forget the role Norm Conway played," said SSU’s president.

At graduation, 836 students are expected to receive bachelor’s degrees: 505 Bachelor of Science, 269 Bachelor of Arts, 61 Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, and one Bachelor of Fine Arts in art; 93 master’s degrees: 37 Master of Education, 33 Master of Business Administration, 19 Master of Arts and four Master of Science.

For the congressman, the day will be a family affair. His son, Joel, is receiving his bachelor’s in, appropriately enough, political science.

Tickets are required for the ceremonies. For more information call the SSU Public Relations Office at 410-543-6030.

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