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Press Releases

Friday, February 17, 2017

In Memoriam: Dr. K. Nelson Butler (1939-2017)

Dr. K. Nelson Butler
Dr. K. Nelson Butler
Dr. Butler came from a generation of faculty and administrators at Salisbury University whose dedication and openness to new ideas and programs helped lay the foundation for today’s modern campus.   A guiding principal of his work was: Would it benefit the students?  Would it help others?  He was a man of multiple interests: An athlete with a distinguished background in physical education, he was also a supporter of the arts. He helped to build partnerships between SU and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; ultimately the campuses won the nationally prestigious Hesburgh Award for their collaboration.  He actively supported programs that touched the lives of young and old, from the YMCA to the Eastern Shore Senior Games.

He played key roles in the life of the University as the founding dean of the School of Professional Studies and later Vice President of Academic Affairs, a position he held from 1986-1995.  This was a period of remarkable growth for SU, with the endowment of three schools and the opening of several buildings including the Guerrieri University Center and Fulton Hall.

He was Interim President of the University in 1995-96 during the illness and death of Dr. Thom Bellavance, whom he had served faithfully.  Nelson was always willing to go where needed, whether supervising physical education majors in a school setting, or courting donors as the Interim Vice President of Advancement.  The depth of his commitment to one institution is a hallmark of the man and his generation.  We at Salisbury University, and in the community, are grateful recipients of his legacy.

A Celebration of Life is 7 p.m. Friday, March 3, at Bounds Funeral Home. The family asks you to share your favorite stories of Dr. Butler. Friends and family may visit from 6-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Coastal Hospice, PO Box 1733, Salisbury, MD 21802.

Janet Dudley-Eshbach, Ph.D.
Salisbury University

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