Delaware State University

Delaware State University
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
Academic staff 436
Students 4,179[2]
Undergraduates 3,745
Postgraduates 333
Doctoral students 101
Location Dover, Delaware, USA
Campus Suburban
Former names -State College for Colored Students (founding–1947)
-Delaware State College (1947-1993)
Colors Cherry red      and Columbia blue     
Athletics National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I
Nickname Hornet
Affiliations Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Delaware State University (also referred to as DSU, DESU, or Del State), is an American historically black, public university located in Dover, Delaware, and there are two satellite campuses located in Wilmington, Delaware, and Georgetown, Delaware. With approximately 4,200 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 State College for Colored Students was established on May 15, 1891, by the Delaware General Assembly. It first awarded degrees in 1898. In 1944, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education awarded the college provisional accreditation. Three years later, the institution became Delaware State College by legislative action. Although its accreditation was revoked in 1949, it was regained in 1957. On July 1, 1993, the institution changed its name yet again, this time to Delaware State University.[3]

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.[4] 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, the capital of Delaware, 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.

The university also has two farm properties in the Kenton and Smyrna areas, and its Airway Science Program maintains it fleet of planes and base of operation at the Delaware Air Park in Cheswold.[5]


Wesley P. Webb 1891–1895
William C. Jason 1895–1923
Richard S. Grossley 1923–1942
Howard D. Gregg 1942–1949
Oscard J. Chapman 1950–1951
Jerome H. Holland 1953–1960
Luna I. Mishoe 1960–1987
William B. DeLauder 1987–2003
Allen L. Sessoms 2003–2008
Harry L. Williams 2010-Present

Harry Lee Williams became the 10th president of DSU on Jan. 10, 2010.[6] Maurice E. Thomasson served as acting president from 1949 to 1950 and from 1951 to 1953. Claibourne D. Smith served as acting president from September 2008 to November 2009.[7]

The business and affairs of the university are governed by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees has all the powers accorded it by Title 14, Chapter 65 of the Delaware Code.[8] The Board consists of 15 members whose appointment or election is provided for in the Delaware Code, and the governor of the state and the president of the university, both of whom shall be members of the board, ex officio, with the right to vote.[9]


The university consists of six colleges:[10]

  • 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

The university offers fifty-six undergraduate degrees, twenty-five graduate degrees, and five doctoral degrees (interdisciplinary applied mathematics and mathematical physics, applied chemistry, neuroscience and optics, and doctorate programs in education).[11] The university also offers several cooperative and dual degree programs.[12] 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, an Honors Curriculum, and a Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Honor's Program to increase the number of students in science interested in pursuing biomedical research and obtaining doctor of philosophy degrees in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, and biopsychology.

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.

Accreditations include the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Accreditation Council for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA), the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and Commission on Accreditation for Dietetic Education (CCDE). The university’s College of Business is nationally and internationally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).[13][14]

Unique programs

DSU's Aviation Program provides students with education and experience in preparation for careers in the aviation industry. Curricula in the program lead to a B.Sc. degree with concentrations in Aviation Management or Professional Pilot. Professional Pilot graduates will complete their Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements for Private Pilot, Instrument, Commercial, Multi-Engine and Certified Flight Instructor ratings while earning their Bachelor's Degree.[15]

Delaware State operates the only full-service, university-based flight school in the mid-Atlantic area. The Aviation program is approved by the State of Delaware Education Department for Veterans Flight Training.[16][17]


The institution has greatly increased its research endeavors over the past several years, as it has developed the research infrastructure needed to attract federal grants for projects in the following DSU Research Centers and in the sciences and mathematics: 1) Applied Mathematics Research Center, numerical analysis of partial differential equations, analytical methods in solid mechanics, wavelet analysis, NURBS methods of computer geometric design, nonlinear PDEs, topology; 2) 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)), optical science and laser physics (including Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy); 3) Center for Applied Optics for Space Science (CAOSS) (a National Aeronautics and Space Administration University Research Center (NASA-URC));[18] 4) additional physics, including mathematical physics, plasma physics, theoretical physics, fluid dynamics, high pressure materials, semiconductor materials and devices, geophysics; 4) Hydrogen storage and Fuel cell Chemistry Center, biochemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, synthetic chemistry, NMR spectroscopy, electrochemistry, phospholipases; 5) IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (NIH-INBRE), cell biology, microbiology, molecular mechanisms of neuronal function, neurobiology and behavior, nanobioscience, RNA sequencing; 6) biotechnology; 7) Delaware Center for Scientific and Applied Computation, computer science and bioinformatics, data mining and machine learning, combinatorics, spatial-temporal statistics, artificial neural networks); 8) neuroscience; and 9) environmental sciences; among others.[19][20]

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.[21]


DSU is placed among Tier 2 Regional Universities (North) in U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Colleges".[22]

The College of Business at DSU is one of the nation's most outstanding business schools, according to the Princeton Review. The Princeton Review and Random House have selected the college for their 2009 edition book to be recognized as one of "The 269 Best Business Schools" in the U.S. offering quality MBA programs. It was also listed in "The Best 301 Business Schools"-2010, "The Best 300 Business Schools"-2011 and "The Best 294 Business Schools"-2012 editions.[23][24]

Global connections

The university has over thirty formal international partnerships with institutions in countries including China, Cuba, Egypt, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland and the UK which facilitate research and conference collaborations as well as student exchanges.[25]

Student activities


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 NCAA Division I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) 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.

DSU and UD now compete for the First State Cup as part of the Route 1 Rivalry games during the regular season. The Hornets also lost the games played in 2009 and 2011.


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.[26] 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.[27]

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability References
Reggie Barnes 1988 Canadian Football League running back, various teams, 1990-1996
Clyde Bishop U.S. Ambassador to the Marshall Islands, since 2006
Clifford Brown trumpet virtuoso, composer, an influential and highly rated American jazz musician
George F. Budd president, St. Cloud State University, 1952-1965; president, Kansas State College of Pittsburg (since 1977, Pittsburg State University), 1965-1977
Ralph Wesley 2003 Public Address Announcer for the Washington Wizards[28]
Emanual Davis 1991 Former NBA player for the Atlanta Hawks, and Seattle Supersonics
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-In-Chief, The Source magazine
Walter Tullis National Football League wide receiver, Green Bay Packers
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, Currently a free agent
Shaheer McBride 2008 National Football League wide receiver, Currently a free agent, plays for UFL's Hartford Colonials


  1. ^ "Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware". Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  2. ^ "DSU Breaks its Enrollment Record for the 2nd Consecutive Year". Delaware State University. 2011. 
  3. ^ "Delaware State University History". Delaware State University. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  4. ^[dead link]The Associated Press (2007-09-21). "2 Students Shot at Delaware State". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  5. ^ "History". Delaware State University. 2009. 
  6. ^ "The Presidents of Delaware State University and the Highlights of their Tenures". Delaware State University. 2009. 
  7. ^ "History". Delaware State University. 2009. 
  8. ^ "CHAPTER 65. ORGANIZATION, ADMINISTRATION AND FUNCTIONS - Delaware State University". - the Online Delaware Code website. 
  9. ^ "Board of Trustees". Delaware State University. 2009. 
  10. ^ Retrieved 2007-09-25.[dead link]
  11. ^ "About DSU". Delaware State University. 2009. 
  12. ^ "DTCC Dual Admission Program". Delaware State University. 2009. 
  13. ^ "NCATE INSTITUTION REPORT OVERVIEW". Delaware State University. 2009. 
  14. ^ "Schools Accredited in Business". The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. 2011. 
  15. ^ "The Aviation Program". Delaware State University. 2009. 
  16. ^ "The Professional Pilot Program". Delaware State University. 2009. 
  17. ^ "Delaware Flight Schools - Delaware State University". Best Aviation. 2011. 
  18. ^ "DSU Receives $5 million NASA research grant | DSU". 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "PhD Program in Optics". Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  21. ^ "Office of the Associate Provost for Research". Delaware State University. 2009. 
  22. ^ "Delaware State University - Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. 2011. 
  23. ^ "Delaware State University College of Business - Rankings and Lists". The Princeton Review and Random House. 2011. 
  24. ^ "Princeton Review Names College of Business Among Top Business Schools". Delaware State University. 2011. 
  25. ^ "Faculty Research Abroad". Delaware State University. 2009. 
  26. ^ "Coach K Ties Smith for Most NCAA Tourney Wins". Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  27. ^ "USA Today Woman's Basketball". 2006-04-18. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  28. ^ "Delaware State Alum Ralph Wesley Named Washington Wizards’ P.A. Announcer". 

Additional references

External links

Coordinates: 39°11′10″N 75°32′33″W / 39.1861°N 75.5426°W / 39.1861; -75.5426

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