July 1 is 20th Anniversary of Del State Achieving University Status


July 1 marks the 20th anniversary of the renaming of Delaware State College to Delaware State University.

(L-r) Then-state Rep. Nancy Wagner, the late state Sen. Herman Holloway, Vermell DeLauder and the DSU President William B. DeLauder flank then-Gov. Thomas R. Carper as his signs the legislation on July 1, 1993 renaming the institution as Delaware State University.

With then-DSU President William B. DeLauder and his wife Vermell, then-state Rep. Nancy Wagner and the late state Sen. Herman Holloway present, then-Gov. Thomas R. Carper signed the legislation into law that made the institution a full-fledged University on July 1, 1993.

The milestone took place in the institution’s 102th year of existence, a tremendous accomplishment primarily attributed to the presidencies of Dr. Jerome Holland (1953-1960), Dr. Luna I. Mishoe (1960-1987) and Dr. Williams B. DeLauder (1987-2003), who guided the institution from its challenging years of the early 1950s to becoming prominent state university.

Now in its 122nd year, DSU is now ranked 13th among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, according to the annual survey by U.S. News and World Report. Currently the University offers 52 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and five doctoral degree programs.

The University’s research portfolio continues to soar in the areas of optics, neuroscience, chemistry, natural resources programs, agriculture and other disciplines as well. Optics and Neuroscience faculty have attracted more than $25 million in grants in the last three years.

Twenty years ago, DSU’s enrollment was 3,301. By the fall 2012, the student population DSU had grown to 4,425.

The institution was established in 1891 as the State College for Colored Students; the state legislature changed its name to Delaware State College in 1947.