When David W. ’85 and Cynthia LeCompte ’84 Salisbury P’15 contemplated retiring in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, they fondly remembered walking down a winding country road just five miles from the Gettysburg College campus and seeing a charming, vacant house, later known to be filled with prints of College buildings and wavy glass windows from the latest Glatfelter Hall renovation. A large portion of the Confederate troops retreated down this road after the Battle of Gettysburg. It radiated a sense of history, community, and nostalgia unattainable anywhere else, adding a unique proposition for the Salisburys—renovate this home formerly owned by fellow alumnus David Scott ’83 and remain forever connected to the College, where five generations of their family have attended.
“Retirement for us was not to be insulated in a rural setting,” said the Salisburys, who bought the house in 2017 and moved into it in 2019. “We wanted access to an academic institution that had great programs that we could participate in as alums and as residents.”
Today, the former Polytek Development Corp. colleagues are active and engaged members of the Gettysburg Network and Gettysburg community. David, a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, is the president of the board of directors for the Land Conservancy of Adams County and has helped preserve more than 12,000 acres of land in Adams County. Cynthia has continually assisted with the Giving Spree for the Adams County Community Foundation, raising more than $3 million in donations for local nonprofits in just the last year alone. Together, the chemistry majors and Benefactors Circle members return to campus on numerous occasions for chemistry lectures, Eisenhower Institute programs, and Majestic Theater productions.
“Being alumni really adds value,” they said, seeing themselves as lifelong learners. “We believe that if you can give back, then you should give back. That has become a core premise of how we’re going to live our lives moving forward. We want to do that with organizations that truly make an impact on people’s lives. That includes institutions like Gettysburg College, where students are in formative years.”
For the Salisburys, the Majestic Theater and other opportunities through the Gettysburg Network are major connectors between the College and the community, as they offer growth, sustainability, and “a more experiential learning environment.”
“We really care about growing that bridge between the College and the community,” they said. “The College is going through a strategic planning process and curriculum review. President Bob [Iuliano] has done a great job. He has big ambitions, he’s a deep thinker, and he’s a good listener. We know we’re in a really good place to see all this come together.”
Learn more about our strategic planning process at www.gettysburg.edu/plan.
Photo by Abbey Frisco