The community of Salisbury University, which dropped the "State" from its name in 2001, takes pride in its growing national reputation. College guides from the Princeton Review to U.S. News & World Report are touting this college near the Wicomico River as among the nation's best. In its 2000 report, Kiplinger's named SU one of the 100 best buys in public higher education.
The landscaped, 140-acre campus on Maryland's Eastern Shore has about 6,000 undergraduates who come from 33 countries.
SU comprises four smaller schools of liberal arts, business, science and technology, and education and professional studies. Pre-professional programs are offered in 11 disciplines, including osteopathic medicine, optometry, podiatric medicine and veterinary medicine. Among the more unusual majors offered are international studies and conflict analysis and dispute resolution; minors include gerontology, business professional writing and dance.
Master's programs are available in education, nursing, social work, business administration, applied health physiology, history and English. The majority of graduate students are enrolled in the university's evening division.On a recent national business knowledge test, students at SU's Franklin P. Perdue School of Business scored well enough to place SU in the top 20 percent of schools in the country.
The university was founded in 1925 as a school for the professional preparation of teachers and it has not deviated from its original mission. In 2001, 25 percent of the Maryland Teacher of the Year Awards were given to Salisbury University graduates, according to the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
Visitors to the campus include author Toni Morrison, Chris Matthews of CNBC's "Hardball," and children's advocate and author Jonathan Kozol. Student diversity is celebrated each spring with a weeklong Multicultural Festival.
Campus facilities include Fulton Hall, an arts center with fully equipped darkrooms, music practice rooms and a black box theater; and Henson Hall, a state-of-the-art, 145,000-square-foot science complex. And the Commons dining hall has won student's praise for its selection of food, including tacos, pasta, salads, pizza, stir fry, fried foods and even rotisserie-style meals.
Campus location is another major asset. SU is a few miles from both the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, is close to parks, movie theaters, restaurants and shopping malls, and is just two hours from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The campus is even home to the Salisbury University Arboretum.
Campus recreation programs include a full range of competitive men's and women's sports, 30 intramural events, 20 sports clubs and a fitness center. The NCAA Division III Sea Gulls play in the following conferences: Capital Athletic Conference, Atlantic Central Football Conference and Eastern College Athletic Conference.
Housing options include a substance-free floor, a quiet-oriented dorm and an international community residence. With a long waiting list for on-campus housing, 68 percent of students opt to live off campus.
It's clear that SU has done more than change its name in the past few years. It has become a place where students want to live and learn. And the word is out.