Founder to address Wor-Wic graduates in college’s 40th year
May 11, 2015

Robert W. Cook, one of the founders of Wor-Wic Community College, will address the 2015 graduates at commencement on Wednesday, May 13, at 7 p.m., at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury.

Cook has a long history with Wor-Wic. As director of the Greater Salisbury Committee (GSC) in the early 1970s, Cook made presentations to many civic and community groups to gain support for the creation of the college. Over the years, he has led or participated in all of Wor-Wic’s major fundraising campaigns, served as a member of the board of trustees and worked as special assistant to the president for development. His portrait hangs in the founder’s gallery in Brunkhorst Hall on campus.

As director of the GSC for almost 25 years, Cook was instrumental in the founding of many other local organizations, such as the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Delmarva Water Transport Committee, Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore and Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development Inc. He served in leadership positions for many other organizations, including the Boy Scouts and the Northeastern Economic Development Association, where he was president, the Maryland State Council on Vocational Technical Education and the Maryland Small Business Advisory Council, which he chaired, and the Richard A. Henson Foundation, where he served as president and trustee.

In addition to his leadership roles in the community, Cook is equally known for his fundraising expertise. In addition to Wor-Wic, he has participated in or led campaigns for many local causes, including the Boy Scouts, the Community Foundation, Lower Shore Enterprises, the Salisbury Zoo and the YMCA.

His recognitions include the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts in 1978, the Salisbury Neighborhood Housing Service Award in 2014 and the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce Humanitarian Award in 2015.

Cook is an economist. He attended Allegheny (Pa.) College and did his graduate work at the University of Tennessee. He joined the Army as an aviation cadet in 1943 and was later commissioned as an infantry second lieutenant. He received numerous awards during his 25-year military career, including a Soldiers Medal for heroism, an Army Commendation Medal and a Parachutist Badge. He is a retired colonel.