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Press Releases

Monday, December 13, 2010

Scarborough, Church, Faculty to Be Honored at Winter Commencement

J. Michael Scarborough Doug Church Jamie Weaver
J. Michael Scarborough Doug Church Jamie Weaver


SALISBURY, MD---Each day, hundreds of drivers on Camden Avenue pass a building on Salisbury University’s campus with the sign “Scarborough Student Leadership Center.”

The brick structure, with its elegant Ionic columns, is one of the many accomplishments of SU alumnus J. Michael Scarborough. This month, the SU Alumni Association celebrates his contributions to the campus, the financial industry and even the world of wine. Scarborough receives the association’s Lifetime Achievement Award during SU’s 85th year Winter Commencement, 2 p.m. Saturday, December 18, at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.

Earning his B.S. in finance in 1976, Scarborough is one of the nation’s leading specialists on 401(k) plans, and a frequent speaker on CNBC and at national conferences. His firm, Scarborough Capital Management, Inc., is a pioneer in the 401(k) advice industry. His analysis and insights have been featured in publications including Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Money, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

Despite the frequent travel and long hours his job requires, Scarborough also finds time to operate Running Hare Vineyard in Prince Frederick, MD, with his wife, Barb. During its first two years, their wine has won four International Gold Medals—more than all other Maryland wineries combined.

At SU, Scarborough played wide receiver for the football team and was a founding member of the campus chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. From 2005-2007, he was the national president of the organization, which by then had become the largest men’s fraternity in the United States. During his tenure, it grew faster than any other time in its 150-year history. The fraternity presented him with its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, in 2008.

Since 1998, Scarborough has been a member of the SU Foundation board of directors. He also contributed funding to establish the student leadership center that bears his name. Upon its opening in 2001, it was the only such center of its kind in Maryland. He received an honorary doctorate from SU in 2005.

Also at Commencement, the alumni association presents local business owner Doug Church with its Young Alumni Award. Earning dual degrees in finance and management information systems from SU in 2003, Church founded TechSolutions to deliver IT support to small businesses in the Salisbury area in 2000 while still a student. The company merged with Web design firm Beacon Technologies in 2007 to form Vantage Point Solutions Group, with offices in Salisbury and Annapolis. After graduating from SU, Church also started Center City Investments, LLC, which has redeveloped several mixed-use properties in downtown Salisbury’s historic area.

A member of the SU Foundation board of directors, Church is also a Chesapeake Regional Tech Council committee member, Salisbury Central District Commission member, former Urban Salisbury board of directors member and a graduate of Shore Leadership.

“We have many successful alumni, and these awards are a way not only to congratulate them, but to thank them for giving back to the University and the community,” said Jayme Block, interim director of alumni relations and gift development. “We have seen Michael go from campus leader to highly sought-after international business consultant and watched Doug’s entrepreneurial spirit take him from starting a small business as a student to heading the large company he oversees today. That’s the kind of enthusiasm we like to instill in our students—and the kind we like to recognize when they become alumni.”

In addition to alumni, the association also honors four SU faculty at Commencement with the annual Faculty Appreciation Awards. This year’s recipients are Drs. Michael Garner of the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, Clara Small of the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts, Joseph Howard of the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology, and Joel Jenne of the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies.

The Commencement speaker is Jamie Weaver. An elementary education major from Moorestown, NJ, she cited her time studying abroad in Australia and New Zealand—an opportunity made possible through SU’s commitment to international education—as a life-changing experience.

“Experiencing different countries on my own from an educational perspective was truly unique,” she said. “It was so eye-opening to see how similar—yet different—these places are to the United States.”

Weaver was familiar with SU before touring the University in her senior year of high school. Upon visiting, however, she “just fell in love with the campus.” It turned out to be a good fit: “It made me into the professional I’m about to become,” she said. “It’s provided such a different life than I envisioned for myself.”

The soon-to-be fifth- and sixth-grade mathematics teacher thanked a number of SU education and mathematics faculty, including Drs. Tina Gorrow, Claudia Burgess, Keith Conners, Patty Dean, Ernie Bond, Brandy Terrill and Lee May.

She offered this advice to her fellow graduates: “We must remember life is about balance. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Smile and remember, don’t let life get in the way of living.”

Among undergraduates, 510 students receive the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts. Some 59 receive master’s degrees. For the first time, they will wear “GreenWeaver” caps and gowns—made from recycled plastic bottles—as a symbol of SU’s commitment to sustainability.

Admission to Commencement is by ticket only. A reception at the Civic Center follows. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at

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