September 2009

DSU joins other universities in fight against global warming

  September 15, 2009 Delaware State University has joined a coalition of universities and colleges that have committed to take steps aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating all global warming emissions that come from their institutions. The DSU pledge came with the University’s Acting President Claibourne D. Smith signing of the American Colleges & Universities Presidents Climate Commitment, joining the leaders of 650 other institutions across the country. “DSU understands that global warming is one the greatest environmental challenges of our time,” Dr. Smith said. “Because human activities are responsible for the problem, it will now takes humans to work together to solve it. Serious actions are necessary to halt pollutants that are causing increased global warming, and DSU is committed to playing a vital part in this work.” Dr. Smith has established a “Going Green” Task Force which is creating a comprehensive action plan to move towards climate neutrality. The Task Force, chaired by Carolyn Curry, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, is working towards establishing green standards for DSU’s campuses. The Presidents Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality – not just a reduction – as its target. This undertaking by America’s colleges and universities is inspired by efforts like the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and other collective efforts by states and businesses. "Colleges and universities must lead the effort to reverse global warming for the health and well-being of current and future generations," said Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University and a founding member of the ACUPCC Leadership Circle. "On behalf of all the signatories, I welcome DSU’s Dr. Claibourne Smith to the commitment, we are honored and pleased to have him join us." The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate. Under the guidance and direction of the Leadership Circle of presidents, the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is being supported and implemented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Second Nature, and ecoAmerica. Learn more at:      

Music students represent DSU in Washington, D.C. and Germany

  September 18, 2009 A choir student and four brass musicians – all from Delaware State University – continued their musical development on the respective stages of Washington, D.C. and in Germany. James Henry DeShields represented DSU as he sang with the 2009 concert of the 105 Voices of History National Choir, which performed on Aug. 30 at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  James Henry DeShields (right) is all smiles after his performance. With him is Dr. Curtis Powell, DSU director of choral activities, who attended the concert in Washington, D.C.  in support of his student     The concert was the second annual performance of the 105 Voices of History National Choir, which combined 105 outstanding vocalists from historically black colleges and universities across the country to form a remarkable and powerful choir.  Mr. DeShields said it was a great opportunity for him to experience different singing styles. “I learned that singing should not only be a pastime, but should also express one’s inner passion and talent,” Mr. DeShields said. “Under the direction of four national conductors, we, the 105 Voices of History National Choir were introduced to different conducting styles and techniques.” The DSU Brass Quintet also had a memorable summer experience as one of the invited ensembles to attend and perform at the Lichtenberg Brass Festival at the renowned Haus Marteau Chamber Music Institute of Germany. The DSU musicians – Matthew Brown and Williams Pitts on trumpets, Antione Hughes on french horn, Shawn Walker on trombone and James Fair on tuba – were engaged in intensive daily music rehearsals with two other invited ensembles and individual musicians attending the festival. They also experienced the country’s hospitality while they stayed with German host families. (Seated l-r) Matthew Brown, Shawn Walker, James Fair, Antione Hughes and William Pitts take their DSU Brass Quintet musicianship to a new level under festival instructor Jim Thompson watchful eye and sensitive ear. The DSU Brass Quintet and the other two ensembles gave a pre-concert on Aug. 7 in downtown Hof, Germany to promote the festival concert the following evening. During the concert the DSU Quintet performed a stirring rendition of “Remember Me,” in which they not only played their instruments, but also sang a verse. “The concert took place on the ruins of a castle built on the highest spot in the center of the village,” said Dr. Patrick Hoffman, DSU assistant professor of music and the quintet’s director. “The weather all week had been perfect and continued into that night to create the perfect atmosphere for an open-air concert.” Matthew Brown said that it was an amazing experience that he would will never forget. “It really benefited us as a group to tour on the other side (of the world),” Mr. Brown said. “The whole taste of the musicians over there is very baroque and classical; and their mentality of musicianship is on a very different level.” Dr. Hoffman formed the DSU Brass Quintet during the 2008-2009 school year.