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Press Releases

Friday, September 18, 2015

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Celebrates Gallery Building Donation to SU

Ribbon cutting

SALISBURY, MD---The Salisbury Arts & Entertainment District Committee’s 3rd Friday provided a festive setting for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception with Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach and donors Palmer Gillis and Tony Gilkerson, celebrating their gift of The Gallery Building and Annex to the SU Foundation, Inc. Enthusiastic supporters applauded this major step in the University’s growing downtown presence.

The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents that morning unanimously approved acceptance of the donation of the West Main Street building, one of downtown Salisbury’s signature structures, valued at some $4.4 million.

“I join with President Dudley-Eshbach in expressing my gratitude to the donors for this generous gift that will enrich not only Salisbury University, but the greater Salisbury community,” said USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret.

“Salisbury University is a pillar of this community,” said Gillis. “It is critical for the City of Salisbury and downtown revitalization efforts that the University have a presence and footprint on Main Street. We want students, faculty, staff and other University visitors to know they are welcome in the very heart of our community there.

“SU and downtown Salisbury have been keys to the city’s historical prosperity, and both will continue to be instrumental in Salisbury’s future. There’s no better use of our building than expanding the University’s presence in one of the city’s fastest growing areas.”

“We are delighted that Palmer and Tony Gilkerson have decided to entrust the Salisbury University Foundation with the stewardship of this historical building,” said Dudley-Eshbach. “We have seen exciting things happen in downtown Salisbury in recent years, and we are happy to have the opportunity to play a larger role in the revitalization of our city.”

Opened in 1930, the Gallery Building for many years was home to Salisbury’s branch of the F.W. Woolworth Co. Gillis and Gilkerson renovated the then-vacant structure upon purchasing it in 1992. Located within the city’s historic district, enterprise zone, and arts and entertainment district, the four-story, 60,000-square foot building includes retail, office and residential areas.

Current tenants include the non-profit Art Institute & Gallery, as well as congressional offices and Maya Bella’s Pizzeria. The SU Foundation will honor all existing lease arrangements.

Potential SU uses for the building include enhancing cultural and extra-curricular education offerings, providing support for young entrepreneurs, and developing engagement opportunities for retirees, volunteers and other community members. There are no plans to locate University housing downtown.

“As the transfer process continues, a working group at SU will begin to develop framework for the use and function of the building that supports the needs of the University and encourages downtown revitalization, investment and growth,” said T. Greg Prince, SU vice president of university advancement and external affairs, and executive director of the SU Foundation.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website at

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