May 2014


1st Lady's Tea for May 2014 Graduating Women -- Photos

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Dr. Robin Williams (center) takes a pose with some of the graduating women that attended her First Lady's Tea in the MLK Jr. Student Center.

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Dr. Robin Williams held the May Commencement Weekend 1st Lady Tea for about 50 graduating senior women in a May 9 event that was a rich mix of professional etiquette tips, gifts, food and fellowship in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center For images from the event, click on the below photo slide show:

The 2014 May Commencement -- Photo Slideshow and Article

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There were many expressions of estatic joy among graduates during the May 11 Commencement Ceremony.

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More than 550 graduates walked across the stage to celebrate the completion of their degrees during the May 11 Commencement Ceremony at Delaware State University’s Alumni Stadium.To see images from the 2014 May Commencement, click on the below photo slideshow, followed by more information about the graduation.Because DSU’s Finals Week just ended on Friday, May 9, the spring semester 2014 grades and the final graduation totals will not be finalized until the coming week.However, the projected total number of graduates – combining the December Commencement confirmed total with the May total – is well above the DSU record of 671 set during the 2012-2013 school year. There were 193 graduates during the Dec. 14 Commencement.The Commencement Ceremony, held outdoor at the University’s Alumni Stadium, was presided over by DSU President Harry L. Williams. Also in attendance were U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, DSU Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Claibourne Smith, as well as a number of other elected state officials.Dr. Williams presented Presidential Academic Excellence Awards to Noah Link of Dover, Del., and Roderick King of Wilmington, Del., who both earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics education and biological science, respectively, and maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout their undergraduate years.The DSU president also presented the 2014 Presidential Leadership Award to Clarence J. Banks, of Wilmington, who earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance and Banking. Mr. Banks was a senior resident  assistant, president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, part of the Student Advisory Council for the College of Business, a member of the Men’s Council, and a DSU peer mentor.The keynote speaker was Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., prominent legal theorist, civil rights attorney and author. He is also a Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.Both President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle were students of Professor Ogletree when they attended Harvard Law School. He has continued to be a close friend of the First Couple and a confidant for the chief executive on a number of issues.Dr. Ogletree told the assembled graduates that they should not forget the sacrifices of those who made their degrees possible. He added that just like those who fought to open the doors of education for all, today’s graduates will be confronted with societal challenges that will need to be addressed as well.“The class of 2014 needs to understand that it is not just about going out to get a job as you leave DSU, but it is also about doing something to make a difference,” the keynote speaker said.Dr. Williams presented Dr. Ogletree and Bythema Byrd Bagley – a longtime educator and supporter of DSU – with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees.

2014 Nurse Pinning Ceremony Celebrates its Graduates

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The 25 graduating nursing students are joined for a group shot by nursing faculty and administrators.

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Delvise Fogwe of Dover receives the Academic Excellence Award from Dr. Agnes Richardson. Delaware State University’s Department of Nursing held its annual Nurse Pinning Ceremony on May 10 celebrating its class of 2014 graduates. Charity Njeri receives the Clinical Excellence Award from Eunice Gwanmesia. Twenty-five nursing graduates received their official nursing pins and took their nursing oath – the Florence Nightingale Pledge – during the afternoon ceremony held in the Education and Humanities Theatre. Several nursing graduates were recognized with special awards: Delvise Fogwe of Dover, Del., received the Nursing Academic Excellence Award. Charity Njeri of Townsend, Del., received the Nursing Clinical Excellence Award. Juree Hopkins of Leonardtown, Md., received the Nursing Professional Growth Award. In addition, the graduating students honored Dr. Margaret Rose Agostino, assistant professor of nursing, who is retiring after six years as a DSU faculty member. The keynote speaker was Stella Chebe, a registered nurse in pediatrics and the president and founder of the Nkangwens Foundation, an organization that helps orphans and needy children in the country of Cameroon. Juree Hopkins receives the Professional Growth Award from Dr. Margaret Rose Agostino. The Department of Nursing – which is under the leadership of Dr. Sharon M. Mills-Wisneski , chair – comes under DSU’s College of Education, Health and Public Policy, which is led by Dr. Marshá Horton, interim dean. Dr. Margaret Rose Agostino is honored by the graduating students, represented by Kylishia Newton (l) and Morgan McKenzie (r)  

Detroit Alumni Donate $25,000 for Scholarship

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(L-r) Woodrow Hayward, class of 1964, DSU President Harry L. Williams, and Loretta Washington, class of 1978, hold a display check representing a donation of $25,000 by the Greater Detroit Michigan Alumni of DSU.

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The Greater Detroit Michigan Alumni of Delaware State University have donated $25,000 to the DSU Foundation. The donation establishes the Greater Detroit Michigan Alumni Scholarship, which will provide an annual $5,000 to full-time DSU students in need, with out-of-state students from Detroit given priority. Representing the Detroit alumni, Woodrow Hayward, class of 1964, and Loretta Washington, class of 1978, presented the check to DSU President Harry L. Williams on May 10. In addition to the efforts of Mr. Hayward, Ms. Washington and other Detroit-area DSU alumni,  the late Colene Pearson, Esq., class of 1971, is also credited for being a driving force in the creation of the fund.

DSU, Amir Mohammadi Recognized for Financing Innovation

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The Mishoe Science Center was one of a number of the buildings on campus that received energy upgrades made possible by a financing innovation that was brainchild of Dr. Amir Mohammadi, executive vice president and University treasurer. The innovation was recently recognized by the Obama Administration's Better Building Challenge as a financing solution for institutions.

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– The sustainability efforts and financial creativity of DSU and Dr. Amir Mohammadi, its executive vice president and University treasurer, were recently recognized by Obama Administration’s Better Building Challenge.     Dr. Amir Mohammadi   During the May 7-9 Better Building Challenge Summit in Washington, D.C., DSU was among seven entities recognized for “Sharing Innovative Solutions” to achieve energy reductions.   Specifically, DSU was recognized for coming up with an innovative way of mobilizing capital – the brainchild of Dr. Mohammadi – to finance energy upgrades on campus that will save the University millions of dollars in energy cost over the next 20 years.   In order to achieve its sustainability goals of reducing its energy consumption through energy technology upgrades, DSU had to first overcome the strict debt capacity limits. To accomplish that, r. Mohammadi developed a novel “on balance sheet, off-debt capacity approach, in which the University obtained permission from the state of Delaware to utilize previously restricted appropriations to create a revenue-neutral debt structure.   That enabled the University to access large-scale bond financing to support energy efficiency upgrades on campus. DSU worked with a variety of Delaware stakeholders – including the Office of the Governor, the State Senate Finance Committee, the Bond Council, State Office of Management and Budget, the state Department of Natural Resource and Environmental Control, the state’s Sustainable Energy Utility, as well as a number of financial advisors and external auditors – to make the new approach a practical reality.   As the result of this “on balance sheet, off-debt capacity” approach, DSU was able to obtain bond financing totaling $19.3 million, which paid for energy efficiency work. The energy upgrades has been validated by a Guaranteed Energy Saving Agreement (GESA) with Johnson Controls, the company that won the contract for the work. The agreement ensures that the University will realize the long-term energy savings as a result of the upgrades.   As a result of the GESA, DSU will experience at total of $24.6 million in savings over 20 years, with a net savings of $5.3 million as well as a 26% reduction in greenhouse gases.   According to the U.S. Department of Energy website, “DSU has pioneered a unique financing approach for state universities” that will enable to overcome similar debt capacity limitation challenges that are prevalent throughout the country for other institutions.   Dr. Mohammadi noted that without the novel financial approach, the university would not have obtained the necessary bond financing for the GESA energy upgrade work.   “The implementation of this approach was made possible by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and by State Sen. Harris B. McDowell III, who both through their leadership and support made this financing solution a reality,” Dr. Mohammadi said.   DSU shared the “Innovative Solutions” spotlight with six other honorees – the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the City of El Paso (Texas), the City of Gillette (Wy.), HEI Hotels & Resorts, Saint-Gobain Corp., and TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund).   The Better Business Challenge is a national leadership initiative launched by President Barack Obama in 2011 with the goal of making American commercial and industrial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. Beginning with about 60 university, corporate, community and industrial partners, DSU was one of the invited 10 higher education partners when the initiative was launched, and the only HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) that was included.

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