October 2009

DSUAA to Host Legacy Banquet, Hall of Fame Inductions

  The Delaware State University Alumni Association will hold its annual Legacy Banquet and Hall of Fame Inductions on the evening of Friday, Oct. 23 at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino Rollins Center in Dover. The black-tie affair – annually held during DSU Homecoming Week – will begin with cocktails from 6-7 p.m., dinner at 7:15 p.m. followed by the DSUAA induction and awards program. This year’s inductees, selected in specific areas of achievement, will include: Mrs. Delores N. Handy, class of ’46, for the arts. A teacher in Delaware for 38 years that included stints at William C. Jason, Middletown, and Bridgeville high schools, Mrs. Handy has served as treasurer for the Sussex County Chapter of the DSUAA. She has served as the president of the United Methodist Woman’s Organization, a member of her church choir and church treasurer. Mr. William H. Davis, Sr., class of ’51, for business and industry. A WWII vet, Mr. Davis returned from the war to earn his degree in education and went on to teach at William C. Jason and Sussex Central high schools as well as teach and serve as the chair in the Mathematics Department at Delaware Technical & Community College in Georgetown. He is the owner and operator of about 1,000 acres of farmland in Delaware and Missouri. Mr. Kent B. Amos, class of ’70, for community service. After excelling in the corporate world, Mr. Amos dedicated his life to mentoring youths. He founded the Community Academy Public Charter School, became an outspoken advocate for the charter schools and has served as the president of the D.C. Public Charter Association. Over the past 20 years, he has gained national attention for opening his heart and home to about 90 children from the nation’s capital and across the nation.  Mr. Major T. Hairston, Jr., class of ’63, for education. A former captain of the DSC basketball and baseball teams, Mr. Hairston distinguished himself for 35 years as a teacher and administrator. The recipient of numerous honors that recognize his leadership in education and community service, Mr. Hairston has been honored with DSU’s Distinguished Alumni Award and inducted in the DSU Athletic Hall of Fame. Mr. Matthew W. Horace, class of  ’85, for government/law. In his 21st year with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Mr. Horace is the Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Field Division in Newark, N.J. He is also a certified leadership consultant for FranklinCovey, an accomplished public and motivational speaker, an advisory board member for the Department of Homeland Security, and was an offensive lineman for the Hornet football team. Dr. Oliver M. “Jerry” Harmon, class of ’62, for medicine/science. He is the first DSC graduate to become a licensed dentist. After serving in the U.S. Air Force as a dental intern/captain, he later became a founding partner of Landover Dental Association in Largo. Md., taught as an assistant professor at Howard University’s School of Dentistry and trained general dentistry interns at Prince George’s Community Hospital. Dr. Harmon is very active with his church and in community service programs to help the homeless. Dr. J. Scott King, class of ’67, the Rebecca Cooper Brockington Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. With the exception of his years away pursuing his master and doctoral degrees Dr. King never left his alma mater. A 32-year DSU faculty member, he served as chairperson of the English and Foreign Language Department, held leadership positions – including president – of the Faculty Senate, as vice president of the AAUP, and was an advisor for student organizations such as the SGA and the Senior Class. Mr. William “Bill” W. Collick, former Hornet head football coach, 1985-1996, and DSU athletics director, 1995-2000, honorary alumnus award. For 12 years, Coach Collick guided the Hornet football team to an 81-48 record, making him the all time coaching leader in wins. He has been inducted in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame and the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame. He is being recognized as an honorary alumnus inductee. There will also be Special Service Awards present to: Mrs. Dorothy Brady Cooper, class of ’63 Mr. William Stevenson, class of  ’41 (posthumous)  Mrs. Courtney White Stevenson, class of ’44 Mrs. Loila Tilghman Thomas, class of ’50 Mrs. Bertha Allen Turner, class of ’47 Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased at the Office of Alumni Relations, room 200 in the Thomasson Building on campus or by calling the office at (302) 857-6050. The proceeds from the event will go toward the Endowed Alumni Legacy Scholarship. For more information, contact Albert S. Weal at (757) 461-1274, ext. 16 or by email at mastercook3@cox.net or weala@gabrobins.com. More information can be obtained from the Alumni Relations office at the above phone number.  

Jazz artist, Donald Byrd named Artist in Residence



DSU Acting President Claibourne Smith holds a display check with Dr. Donald Byrd, the University's newly named distinguished artist-in-residence, after the jazz musician's announcement that he has established a $10,000 scholarship endowment to benefit music students.

  September 04, 2009 Delaware State University announced today that internationally renowned jazz musician Dr. Donaldson T.L. Byrd – commonly known in the jazz world as Donald Byrd – has been named as a distinguished artist-in-residence at the institution. As a distinguished artist-in-residence, Dr. Byrd will conduct master classes and give lectures, conduct fundraising on behalf of DSU, participate in performances when appropriate and serve as an ambassador for DSU. “We are inspired by the fact that Dr. Donald Byrd is a legend who represents for the young people all that they work and strive for,” said DSU Acting President Claibourne Smith. “We are honored to have such a legendary person with his artistry and thirst for excellence.” Dr. Byrd served as a distinguished artist-in-residence at DSU from 1996 to 2001. After pursuing other projects elsewhere, the legendary jazz musician has decided to return to DSU. As an expression of his renewed commitment to the University, the famed musician has established a $10,000 endowed scholarship fund in his name that will benefit music students at DSU. In announcing the endowment, Dr. Byrd drew a parallel between his life and the life of famed jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown, an influential 1950s musician who attended DSU (then-Delaware State College). “Like my father I never drank or smoked…. Clifford Brown didn’t drink or smoke,” Dr. Byrd said. “This school is outstanding, and here I am just trying to follow in (Brown’s) footsteps.” Dr. Byrd, a professional jazz musician since the 1950s, became known as one of the top trumpeters of the jazz “hard-bop” genre as he performed with musicians such as John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock and Thelonious Monk. Ironically at one point in the 1950s, Dr. Byrd actually replaced Clifford Brown in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers band. In the 1970s, Dr. Byrd began to record jazz fusion that combined jazz with funk, soul and R&B. While teaching music at Howard University in 1974, Dr. Byrd formed a jazz fusion group that consisted of his best students and called them the Blackbyrds. The group produced the 1972 album Black Byrd, which became Blue Notes Records’ highest-ever selling album. In the 1990s, Dr. Byrd jazz fusion explorations expanded to the hip-hop genre. Dr. Byrd has recorded 38 jazz albums and performed on countless other musicians’ recording projects. In 2002, the National Endowment for the Arts recognized Dr. Byrd as one of its NEA Jazz Masters. As an educator, Dr. Byrd has developed a “Music + Math = Art” education program that he has introduced to youth across the country. A native of Detroit, Mich., Dr. Byrd is an alumnus of Wayne State University and the Manhattan School of Music. In 1982 he earned a Ed.D from Columbia Teachers College of New York City.