SALISBURY- Salisbury University officials last week announced the school will receive an $8 million gift for the construction of a new Academic Commons building, including a state-of-the-art library.
The Guerrieri Family Foundation last week announced the $8 million gift to Salisbury University (SU) for the construction of the Academic Commons complex including the new library. The gift is being made in the memory of Patricia R. Guerrieri, an SU alumna for whom the new complex will be named.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to honor our mother at the very place where she first met our father, on this campus, in a way that expresses our love for her and shares with those who did not know her what a truly amazing and gracious person she was,” said Foundation spokesman Michael Guerrieri.
At an estimated 234,000 square feet, the $115.8 million facility is the largest construction project ever undertaken at SU. Echoing the classic architecture of ancient Rome and Athens, the new complex is expected to become a gathering place for intellectual, social and cultural pursuits and will likely become the hub of campus life.
“The Guerrieri family has been a longtime friend of Salisbury University,” said President Janet Dudley-Eshbach. “I was fortunate to have met Patti and to have shared my dreams for the university with her. I think she would approve of the impact this new center of learning will have on our students, the university and on the greater community.”
Patti Guerrieri met her future husband, M. Alan Guerrieri, while an elementary education major at SU, then the Maryland State Teachers College. After their marriage, they continued to live in Salisbury and in Ocean City. Three of their children attended the Salisbury State Campus Elementary School, a laboratory for classroom teaching and innovation and the site of that former building will be the location of the new Academic Commons complex.
The latest gift by Guerrieri’s continues a long pattern of donations to the university by the local family. In 1990, the Guerrieri’s announced the gift of a $1 million scholarship fund, which, at the time, was the most generous endowment for scholarships in the history of the school. In 2000, a $500,000 gift from the foundation established the Guerrieri Research Fund for equipment and materials for students and faculty in the university’s Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology.