courtesy Towson University
Published March 02, 2018
Maybe it’s the beautiful collegiate setting with large lawns, paved paths and towering trees. Maybe it’s the youthful energy and young vibe from student life.
But above all, meeting and conference planners “are drawn to a university just because it’s a place of learning,” said Lesley Staffeldt, director of conference planning and facilities for Salisbury University.
These Maryland colleges and universities offer meeting planners one-stop shops for meeting facilities, food and beverage service and help with speakers and activities.
The city of Salisbury sits only 30 miles inland from Maryland’s popular Ocean City. Salisbury University’s proximity to the Atlantic shore is a draw for planners and attendees who want to turn a conference or business meeting into a vacation — but the school has plenty more to offer.
“Our campus is absolutely gorgeous,” Staffeldt said. The entire campus is a national arboretum, and the school has invested more than $350 million in new and updated campus facilities over the past few years, “so we have new spaces to show off.”
The university’s newer Guerrieri Academic Commons building has an event space on the fourth floor overlooking the hub of the campus and offering views of the city. The 5,300-square-foot Assembly Hall has an entire wall of glass and an adjoining outdoor terrace for groups of about 400.
The Commons Building and the Guerrieri Student Union are the most-used venues for meetings. The 5,500-square-foot Dorchester Room in the Commons Building can seat 350 for meals and has floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The student union has several conference and function rooms, the largest of which can seat 250 for meals.
Built in 1925, Holloway Hall is the oldest building on campus, and its 711-seat auditorium has been modernized with its original architectural features maintained.
In 2016, Salisbury also wrapped up a major redesign and expansion of its 5,000-seat Sea Gull Stadium. The stadium now has suites that work well for small retreats of up to 15 people.