Delaware State University: Wikis


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Delaware State University
Motto "Making our mark on the world" and "Go forth and serve"
Established May 15, 1891
Type Public, land grant, HBCU
Endowment US$20.8 million[1]
President Dr. Harry Lee Williams
Faculty 436
Undergraduates 3,400
Postgraduates 300
Location Dover, Delaware,
United States
Campus Suburban
Former names -State College for Colored Students (founding–1947)
-Delaware State College (1947-1993)
Colors Cherry red      and Columbia blue     
Nickname Hornet
Athletics National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I
Affiliations Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Delaware State University (also referred to as Del State or DSU), is an American historically black, public university located in Dover, Delaware, with two satellite campuses in Wilmington, Delaware, and Georgetown, Delaware. With approximately 3,700 students, it is the second-largest university in the state (behind the University of Delaware) and encompasses six colleges and a diverse population of undergraduate and advanced-degree students.



The institution was established as the State College for Colored Students, on May 15, 1891, by the Delaware General Assembly under the provisions of the Morrill Act of 1890 by which land-grant colleges for blacks came into existence in states maintaining separate educational facilities. Through the conservative and practical planning of a board of trustees appointed by Governor Robert J. Reynolds of Delaware, the college was launched upon its mission of education and public service on February 2, 1892.

Five courses of study leading to a bachelor's degree were offered: agricultural, chemical, classical, engineering, and scientific. A Preparatory Department was established in 1893 for students who were not qualified to pursue a major course of study upon entrance. A three-year normal course leading to a teacher's certificate was initiated in 1897. The college graduated its first class of degree candidates in May 1898. The normal course of study was extended to four years in 1911 and the bachelor of pedagogy degree was awarded to students on satisfactory completion of the curriculum.

In 1912, the courses of study were changed to academic, agricultural, mechanic arts, and domestic science. The bachelor of pedagogy degree was awarded on creditable completion of the academic curriculum. A certificate of graduation was granted on completion of the other courses of study.

In the 1916-1917 school year, the Preparatory Department was phased out, a Model Grade School was established, and a high-school diploma was granted on completion of a four-year course of study. In 1923, a Junior College Division was added. Four-year curricula in the arts and sciences, elementary education, home economics, agriculture, and industrial arts were established in 1932. The college graduated the first class of bachelor-degree candidates completing one of these courses of study in June 1934.

In 1944, the college received provisional accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

By legislative action, the name of the institution was changed to Delaware State College in 1947.

In November 1949, the association revoked the accreditation of the institution. This was a severe blow to the prestige of the college. Strenuous efforts were exerted to maintain the existence of the college and to make it an accredited four-year, land-grant institution. At the end of the 1951-1952 school year, the High School Division was discontinued. In April 1957, the college was fully accredited by the association. The association further reaffirmed the accreditation in 1962, 1972, 1982, 1987, 1992 and 1997. Concurrently, the university achieved and maintained accreditation of its teacher education programs by the Delaware State Board of Education.

Since 1957, the institution has grown in stature as a center for teaching, research, and public service. The purpose and object of the institution have broadened in keeping with changing times. While recognizing its historical heritage, the university provides higher education today for a diverse student population. Undergraduate studies are organized into three undergraduate schools and a college of arts and sciences with a total of nineteen academic departments, and offer a wide variety of programs leading to bachelors of arts, science and social-work degrees.

The undergraduate programs in aviation, chemistry, education, nursing and social work are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, American Chemical Society, National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the Council on Social Work Education, respectively. The Division of Graduate Studies offers programs leading to the master's degree in biology, business administration, chemistry, education, physics, social work, and historic preservation.

On July 1, 1993, Delaware Governor Tom Carper approved legislation renaming Delaware State College to Delaware State University.

In the twenty-first century, the university anticipates enrollment to increase to over five thousand students continuing a growth pattern which saw enrollment increase from seven students when it opened to a high of thirty-five hundred in 1995.[2]


September 21, 2007, campus shootings

On September 21, 2007, two university students were shot on campus near Memorial Hall around one a.m. Classes were canceled for the day. One student was hospitalized in stable condition, and another student was hospitalized with injuries that were considered serious, according to a news release on the university's web site.[3] The campus was "locked down" with students confined to their dormitories and traffic blocked at the campus gate, through Sunday, September 23. Classes resumed on September 24. On that day, a freshman student was arrested for attempted murder in connection with the incident, and was expelled from the university. The episode is significant because it marks the first test of a university's response to a campus shooting following the Virginia Tech shootings in April 2007. One of the students, a seventeen-year-old freshman, died.


The 400-acre (1.6 km2) main campus in Dover is an approximate two-hour motor drive from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; and Washington, D.C., and three hours from New York City, New York. There are satellite campuses in Wilmington and Georgetown.

The main campus in Dover contains thirty buildings, including:

  • Administration building
  • Alumni Stadium
  • The Bank of America Building
  • Delaware Hall
  • Loockerman Hall
  • The Mishoe Science Center
  • Price Building
  • Willam C. Jason Library
  • The Wellness and Recreation Center

There are seven campus residential halls: four for women, and three for men. There are also three apartment-style residence halls for upperclassmen. They include:

  • Medgar Evers Hall
  • University Courtyard apartments
  • University Village complex
  • Warren-Franklin Hall

Two dining halls serve the more than 1,500 on-campus students.

As a part of the Internet2 initiative, the university maintains several research computer laboratories including a high-performance computational cluster in its DESAC center. Almost every building has a computer lab and each student has a dedicated data port for internet access, their own phone, a campus email address, and cable television access in all residence hall rooms. Most campus buildings also offer wireless connectivity.


Wesley P. Webb 1891–1895
William C. Jason 1895–1923
Richard S. Grossley 1923–1942
Howard D. Gregg 1942–1949
Oscard J. Chapman 1949–1951
Jerome H. Holland 1953–1960
Luna I. Mishoe 1960–1987
William B. DeLauder 1987–2003
Allen L. Sessoms 2003—2008
Claibourne D. Smith 2008-2010

Harry L. Williams 2010-Present

The university president is selected by the board of trustees and is given the authority for actual control of the university, including day-to-day management. In practice, this responsibility is delegated by the president to other departments of the administration, to the faculty, or to the student body.

Allen L. Sessoms served as president from 2003 until he resigned in August 2008 to take a position in Washington D.C., effective September 1, 2008.[4]


The university consists of six colleges:[5]

  • College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology
  • College of Business
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Health and Public Policy
  • College of Education
  • College of Agriculture and Related Sciences

As of 2008, the university had approximately 3,700 total enrolled students, of which about 340 were graduate students.[citation needed] There are 168 faculty members in twenty academic departments. Of this number, 140 have doctorate degrees and forty have reached the academic rank of full professor.[citation needed]

The university offers fifty-four undergraduate degrees, twenty-three graduate degrees, and five doctoral degrees (interdisciplinary applied mathematics and mathematical physics, applied chemistry, neuroscience, optics, and doctorate programs in education). The school also offers several cooperative and dual degree programs. Students receive instruction in classes with a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio. About 83 percent of undergraduates receive scholarships, grants, loans or work-study income.[citation needed] It has an Honors Program and an Honors Curriculum and a Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program to increase the number of students in science and interested in obtaining doctor of philosphy degrees in biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology.

In addition to satisfying the requirements for the major or majors and any minor, all undergraduates are required to complete the General Education Program which includes: seven core courses, twelve foundation courses (across the curriculum), and the Senior Capstone Experience.

The graduating class of 2006 was the largest in the institution's history, consisting of over 500 seniors and graduate students.[6]

Global connections

The university has over twenty formal international partnerships with institutions in countries including China, Cuba, Egypt, France, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria and Serbia which facilitate student exchanges and research and conference collaborations.


The institution has greatly increased its research endeavors over the past five years, as it has developed the research infrastructure needed to attract federal grants for projects in the areas of mathematics (Applied Mathematics Research Center (AMRC), numerical analysis of partial differential equations, analytical methods in solid mechanics, wavelet analysis, NURBs methods of computer geometric design, nonlinear PDEs, topology); optical science and laser physics (The Center for Applied Optics, as well as The Center for Research and Education in Optical Sciences and Applications (CREOSA), a National Science Foundation-Center for Research Excellence (NSF-CREST)); mathematical physics; plasma physics; theoretical physics; fluid dynamics; high pressure materials; semiconductor materials and devices; geophysics; chemistry (Hydrogen storage and Fuel cell Center, RNA sequencing, organic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, synthetic chemistry, NMR spectroscopy, electrochemistry); biological sciences (Idea Network of biomedical research Excellence (NIH-INBRE), cell biology, microbiology, molecular mechanisms of neuronal function, neurobiology and behavior, nanobioscience, phospholipases); biotechnology; computer science and bioinformatics (Delaware Center for Scientific and Applied Computation (DeSAC), data mining and machine learning, combinatorics, spatial-temporal statistics, artificial neural networks); neuroscience; environmental sciences; among others.

Major grants are awarded through the U.S. Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other granting agencies.

Student activities


Athletics logo

The university fields teams, who are known as the Hornets, in:

The athletic programs participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA)'s Division I (I-AA for football). The Hornets compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference as full members since the conference was founded in 1970.

The university's Department of Intramural Sports provides a wide variety of quality recreational programs for students, faculty and staff.


The football team won the 2007 MEAC football championship with a win over Norfolk State University with a score of 28 to 21 in overtime giving them an automatic bid into the 2007 NCAA Division I FCS playoffs. During that tournament the Hornets lost to the University of Delaware with a score of 44-7 in the first round, the first-ever meeting between the two schools.


The university has both men's and women's basketball teams.

Its men's basketball team won the 2005 MEAC championship and earned a berth in the 2005 NCAA tournament. Playing as a sixteen-seed, the Hornets lost 57-46 in the opening round to one-seed Duke University.[7] The Hornets also have made back to back National Invitation Tournament appearances in 2006 and 2007.

The women's basketball team won the 2006 MEAC championship and earned a berth in the 2006 NCAA tournament. Playing as a fifteen-seed, the Lady Hornets kept the game close down by only three until nine minutes remained in the game, but lost 62-47 in the opening round to two-seed Vanderbilt University. [8]

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference
Reggie Barnes 1988 Canadian Football League running back, various teams, 1990-1996
Clyde Bishop U.S. Ambassador to the Marshall Islands, since 2006
George F. Budd president, St. Cloud State University, 1952-1965; president, Kansas State College of Pittsburg (since 1977, Pittsburg State University), 1965-1977
Wayne Gilchrest 1973 U.S. Representative for Maryland's 1st congressional district, 1990–2009
Jamaal Jackson 2003 National Football League offensive lineman, Philadelphia Eagles, since 2004
Maxine R. Lewis 1973 publicist, ABC television network
Quincy A. Lucas 2004 advocate against domestic violence; speaker, 2008 Democratic National Convention
Marlene Saunders 1967 2008 Delaware social worker of the year; also professor, scholar and historian
Harley F. Taylor 1929 housing developer and creator of oldest African-American housing development in Dover, Delaware
John Taylor 1986 National Football League wide receiver, San Francisco 49ers, 1987–1995
Bonsu Thompson editor-at-large, XXL magazine
David G. Turner 1986 executive, Bank of America, recognized by Fortune magazine in 2002 as one of the "50 most powerful black executives in America"
Robert London II 1998 National Football League sports agent
Darnerien McCants 2001 National Football League wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens
Shaheer McBride 2008 National Football League wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles
Philip B. Henry IV 1997 chief executive officer, Mahogany Communications LLC


Additional references

External links


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