Delaware State University


Delaware State University
Delaware State University seal.svg
Former names
  • Delaware College for Colored Students (1891–1893)
  • State College for Colored Students (1893–1947)
  • Delaware State College (1947–1993)
Motto in English
Enter to Learn, Go Forth and Serve
TypePublic, Land Grant, HBCU
EstablishedMay 15, 1891 (1891-05-15)
EndowmentUS$28.7 million[1]
PresidentTony Allen
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
ColorsColumbia blue and Red
Sporting affiliations
Delaware State University logo.svg

Delaware State University (DSU or Del State) is a public historically black university in Dover, Delaware. DSU also has two satellite campuses, one in Wilmington and one in Georgetown. The university encompasses four colleges and a diverse population of undergraduate and advanced-degree students. Delaware State University is a Carnegie Classification R2 research university. In July of 2020, it was announced that Delaware State University to officially acquire Wesley College.[3][4][5]


The Delaware College for Colored Students was established on May 15, 1891, by the Delaware General Assembly.[6] The name was changed to the State College for Colored Students by state legislative action in 1893 to eliminate confusion with Delaware College, which was attended by whites in Newark, Del.[7] It first awarded degrees in 1898. In 1945, 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 Although its accreditation was revoked in 1949, it was regained in 1957.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.[8]

Delaware State University is one of the only historically black colleges and universities to have a no-smoking policy. In 2015 the university began phasing out smoking on campus by restricting it to four designated areas and providing educational resources on smoking cessation tools and programs. In August 2015 it implemented a completely tobacco-free policy. In 2017, the university received the ACAS Health Leadership Award in recognition of its efforts. The award was jointly presented by the Public Health Service Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health, the Truth Initiative, Arizonans Concerned About Smoking and the Arizona NAACP.[9]


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

The main campus in Dover contains thirty buildings, including:

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

  • Harriet Tubman Hall
  • Jenkins Hall
  • 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.

DSU is one of 148 schools in the country to receive Tree Campus USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation.[11] The university owns two farms near Kenton and Smyrna, and has an Airway Science Program based at Delaware Air Park in Cheswold.[12]


Name Term Notes
Wesley P. Webb 1891–1895
William C. Jason 1895–1923
Richard S. Grossley 1923–1942
Howard D. Gregg 1942–1949
Maurice E. Thomasson 1949-1950,
(Acting president,
Oscar J. Chapman 1950–1951
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 (Acting president)
Harry L. Williams 2010–2017
Wilma Mishoe Jan. 1, 2018–June 30, 2018
July 1, 2018–Dec. 2019
(Acting president)
(Permanent president)
Tony Allen Feb. 2020–present

Dr. Wilma Mishoe became the 11th president of Delaware State University on July 1, 2018, after serving the previous six months as the interim president. As the daughter of the institution's seventh president Dr. Luna I. Mishoe, she is the first woman to serve as a permanent president in the history of Delaware State University. She previously served from 2015-2018 as a member of the University's Board of Trustees; in July 2018 she was elected as the Board's chairperson, the first woman to be elected to that top Board office in the institution's history.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15]


The university consists of four colleges:[16]

  • College of Agriculture, Science & Technology
  • College of Humanities, Education & Social Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Health & Behavioral Sciences

The university offers 42 undergraduate degrees, 21 graduate degrees, and five doctoral degrees (interdisciplinary applied mathematics and mathematical physics, applied chemistry, neuroscience and optics, and educational leadership).[17] The university also offers several cooperative and dual degree programs.[18] 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 a traditional Honors Program and a Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Honors 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 American Chemical Society (ACS), the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the Accreditation Council for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA), the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetic Education (CCDE).[19][20] The university's College of Business is accredited nationally and internationally by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).[21]

Aviation program

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.[22]

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.[23][24]


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));[25] 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.[26][27]

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.[28]


University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[29] 293-381
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[30] 303

DSU is ranked 13th among the Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the U.S. News & World Report (2020).[31] In 2018, the College of Business at DSU was named to the Princeton Review's Best Business Schools for the tenth consecutive year (2009-2018).[32]

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.[33]

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 (FCS 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.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Reggie Barnes 1988 Canadian Football League running back, various teams, 1990–1996
Clyde Bishop U.S. Ambassador to the Marshall Islands, 2006–2009
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
Robin Christiansen mayor of Dover since 2014, city councilman from 1983 to 2001, and council president and vice mayor from 1990 to 2001 [34]
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, 2003-2010
Maxine R. Lewis 1973 publicist, ABC television network
Robert London 1998 National Football League sports agent
Shaheer McBride 2008 National Football League wide receiver
Darnerien McCants 2001 National Football League wide receiver
Marlene Saunders 1967 2008 Delaware social worker of the year; also professor, scholar and historian
Sam Shepherd 1975 represented Venezuela in basketball at the 1992 Summer Olympics [35][36]
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"
Ralph Wesley 2003 public address announcer for the Washington Wizards [37]
Kailyn Lowry 2017 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom 2
SZA 2012 R&B singer


  1. ^ "Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware". Retrieved 2011-09-19.
  2. ^ "New Enrollment Record at DSU". Delaware State University. 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
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  6. ^ "Chapter 119".
  7. ^ "Chapter 635".
  8. ^ "Delaware State University History". Delaware State University. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  9. ^ "DSU one of few smoke-free HBCUs". delawareonline. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  10. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  11. ^ "Tree Campus USA Schools". Arbor Day Foundation. 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  12. ^ "History". Delaware State University. 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-09-11. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  13. ^ "The Presidents of Delaware State University and the Highlights of their Tenures". Delaware State University. 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  14. ^ "Chapter 65. Organization, Administration and Functions – Delaware State University". – the Online Delaware Code website. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  15. ^ "Board of Trustees". Delaware State University. 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  16. ^ "Provost/Academic Affairs". Delaware State University. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  17. ^ "About DSU". Delaware State University. 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-01-21. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  18. ^ "DTCC Dual Admission Program". Delaware State University. 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  19. ^ "NCATE Institution Report Overview". Delaware State University. 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-10-08. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  20. ^ "Graduate Catalog - Accreditations and Institutional Memberships" (PDF). Delaware State University. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  21. ^ "Schools Accredited in Business". The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  22. ^ "The Aviation Program". Delaware State University. 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  23. ^ "The Professional Pilot Program". Delaware State University. 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  24. ^ "Delaware Flight Schools – Delaware State University". Best Aviation. 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  25. ^ "DSU Receives $5 million NASA research grant". Delaware State University. 2009-09-30. Archived from the original on 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
  26. ^ "Delaware State University Receives $5M Grant From NASA for Optics Sciences Research" (Press release). 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  27. ^ "PhD Program in Optics". Delaware State University. Archived from the original on 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
  28. ^ "Office of the Associate Provost for Research". Delaware State University. 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-01-04. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  29. ^ "Best Colleges 2020: National University Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  30. ^ "2019 Rankings -- Masters Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  31. ^ "Delaware State University Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  32. ^ "Delaware State University - College of Business". The Princeton Review and Random House. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  33. ^ "Faculty Research Abroad". Delaware State University. 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  34. ^ "Mayor". City of Dover, Delaware. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  35. ^ Pucin, Diane (1992-07-03). "Venezuelans Bring Some Of Their Own Magic To The Fray". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
  36. ^ "Sam Shepherd bio, stats, and results". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  37. ^ "Delaware State Alum Ralph Wesley Named Washington Wizards' P.A. Announcer". HBCU Digest. September 17, 2010. Archived from the original on September 19, 2010.

Further reading

  • "Delaware State University Accreditation (History)". Delaware State University. 2005. Archived from the original on February 6, 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-22.

External links

  • Official website Edit this at Wikidata
  • Delaware State Athletics website

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