DSU President Harry Lee Williams and his wife Dr. Robin S. Williams received a warm reception from a group of Dover-area civic leaders at a Feb. 18 gathering at the Kirkwood Community Center and made clear their commitment to become an active part of the community and to “transform” the University into a premier institution.
The event began with a reception line in which the Williams got acquainted with each attendee one-on-one and learned about each one’s civic and professional roles in the community.
The emcee Dr. Donald A. Blakey – an alumnus of the University – then seated the DSU president and his wife in two large African-style wicker chairs, where they received a rhythmic welcome through a performance by Sankofa African Dance Company.
Reuben Salters (2nd from left), founder of the Inner City Cultural League, introduced Roxie Carter (l), president of the Central Delaware NAACP, to DSU new First Couple -- Dr. Robin S. Williams and Dr. Harry L. Williams.
Dr. Robin Williams – who is currently concluding her tenure as an associate dean at North Carolina Central University and will be soon joining her husband permanently at DSU – traveled from Durham, N.C. to join her husband at the event.
“I was going to be here at this gathering whether there was one person here or many, because I want to be a part of the community,” DSU’s new First Lady said.
President Williams then spoke to the group, sharing how as a couple he and his wife stayed on one accord concerning their professional aspirations and made it a priority to be mutually supportive of each other’s careers and achievements.
The President also shared the role that his faith played in pursuing the top post of the University, and how it has given him the strong belief that he has been placed at DSU for a purpose.
“We are going to transform DSU,” President Williams said. ”It’s going to be a university that will move to a whole new level.
The President told the gathering he has established a Blue Ribbon Commission to create a new vision for the University, and added that public forums will be held through the state to obtain the ideas and perspectives from community members concerning DSU’s future direction.
“It is important to create a vision, because if you have no vision, you perish,” Dr. Williams said. “We are going to set a vision that is going to set us on a course, and that will maintain and sustain our institution.”
President Williams said community’s support is vitally important.
“We need for you to talk about DSU in a positive way, because there are a lot of positive things happening on our campus,” the DSU president said. He added that DSU has survived for 119 years and because people in Delaware have believed in the institution.
I am delighted to be here, I am excited about the challenges we are going face,” Dr. Williams said. “I know we are going to win, I just know it.”
Among the attendees were Dover City Council members Rueben Salters and Sophia R. Russell, Bishop Thomas Holsey of the Institutional Church of God in Christ, Harold Stafford, president of the Inner City Cultural League, Rev. Rita Paige and her sister Dr. Wilma Mishoe, the daughters of former DSU President Luna I. Mishoe, Roxie Carter, president of the Central Delaware Branch of the NAACP, Marian Harris, founder and executive director of the House of Pride and many others