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Parents of McDaniel College alumnus donate $500K

Photo of Robin and Sarah Salomon
July 24, 2017

The parents of a McDaniel College alumnus have given a $500,000 donation to the college.

Robert “Robin” Salomon, III, a current member of the McDaniel Board of Trustees and a former parent visitor to the board, and his wife, Sarah, both of Bethesda, Md., have made the gift in support of experiential learning opportunities for students and faculty, including undergraduate summer research, as well as the Student Academic Support Services (SASS) office, which provides assistance to all McDaniel students with documented disabilities. Their son, Ryan, graduated from McDaniel in May 2016.

The bulk of the gift is earmarked for experiential learning opportunities, including need-based scholarships for undergraduate summer research of $2,500 each for up to 10 students (up to $25,000 each summer), and Experience Awards of $500 each for up to 50 students annually (up to $25,000 each year) to help defray the cost of unpaid experiential learning opportunities. Funds also support faculty in further enhancing the quality of mentorship and advising provided to students in addition to developing new experiential learning components within courses and majors.

“The Salomon gift is incredibly impactful for the McDaniel community as we move toward guaranteeing affordable, high quality experiential learning opportunities for each of our undergraduate students,” McDaniel Provost Julia Jasken said. “This award will enable us to better support such high-impact learning experiences such as study abroad, internships, community engagement, undergraduate summer student-faculty research and service learning.”

The donation also goes toward assisting students with documented disabilities receiving services through McDaniel’s Student Academic Support Services (SASS) office, specifically freshmen and transfer students enrolled in the McDaniel Step Ahead program and students with financial need who are eligible for the Academic Skills Program (ASP).

McDaniel Step Ahead, facilitated by SASS, assists incoming freshmen and transfer students with documented disabilities acclimate to college. Step Ahead students move on campus early and participate in a five-day program of workshops and other activities that help establish both a college routine and a support network on campus. 

In addition, two $2,500 scholarships are to be awarded each year to students with financial need who are eligible for the ASP. This fee-based service provides one-on-one support to students with documented disabilities in academics, time management, organizational skills and self-advocacy techniques.

Robin Salomon is president of Skyline, LLC, a property developer offering affordable housing in New York City and in ten states. He served as the first president of the Siena School Foundation, where he volunteered to build support to fund scholarships for families whose children with language-based learning disabilities could benefit from the educational opportunities provided by this private high school in Silver Spring, Md. He was also a board member and treasurer for Glen Echo Park Partnership for the Arts and Culture; is past chair and continues as a board member of the Pyramid Atlantic, a Maryland-based nonprofit that empowers artists and educates youth in the process of papermaking, printmaking, book arts and digital media, and secretary and interim chair of Community Bridges, a Maryland-based non-profit providing services to at risk girls grades 3-12. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Kenyon College.

A native Washingtonian, Sarah Salomon is a fine art photographer. She worked as a freelance photographer for 20 years before taking time off to raise a family. She has delved into the artistic side of photography, notably motion blur photographs, and has exhibited her work throughout the Washington, D.C., area. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor’s degree in art history, she is also an avid gardener and holds a certificate in floral design from Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa.

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