Delaware State University awarded 480 diplomas during its spring 2013 Commencement ceremony held on May 19.
(L-r) Ashlen Kuhar and Samantha Bartley are the 2013 Presidential Academic Award recipients, as both maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout their undergraduate journey.
With the spring Commencement combined with the December Commencement – which had 197 graduates – the institution graduated a school-record 677 students during the 2012-2013 school year. That graduation total includes a school-record 526 bachelor degree candidates and a school-record 16 doctoral degree graduates.
Among DSU’s 2013 spring graduating class’ 480 degrees – 391 bachelor’s degrees, 78 master’s degrees and 11 doctoral degrees -- there were 151 honors students, which included 25 Summa Cum Laudes (3.75 GPA or above), 43 Magna Cum Laudes (3.5 to 3.74), 70 Cum Laudes (3.25 to 3.49) and 13 honorable mentions.
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, Gov. Jack Markell, DSU Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Claibourne Smith, as well as a number of state and local elected officials.
Dr. Williams presented Presidential Academic Excellence Awards to Samantha Bartley of Dover, Del., and Ashlen Kuhar of Mountaintop, Pa., who both earned bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout their undergraduate years.
Ms. Kuhar was also the youngest graduate in the undergraduate class of 2013 at age 20 years, 11 months and four days old.
Devon Sivels received the 2013 Presidential Leadership Award.
The DSU president also presented a Presidential Leadership Award to Devon O’Bryan Sivels, a resident of Lincoln, Del. who earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation. Mr. Sivels was the president of the University’s chapter of the United Way and was very active in community service.
Three graduating ROTC cadets were also commissioned as officers during the Commencement. Matthew A. Jones and Kaleh C. Simpson, both earning bachelor degrees in Aviation Management, were commissioned as 2nd lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force. Candice B. Streater, who earned a bachelor’s degree in movement science while going through the Army ROTC Program, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
During the DSU Commencement weekend, the University honored the 50th anniversary of the Class of 1963 during a reception on Saturday, May 18 in the Bank of America Building on campus. Eight 1963 graduates of then-Delaware State College returned to their alma mater this weekend, donned robes and took part in the Commencement ceremony.
The Commencement ceremony’s keynote speaker was Charles F. Bolden Jr., the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the first African American to serve in that top level post. He is also a retired major general in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Charles F. Bolden Jr., Administrator of NASA and the Commencement keynote speaker, charged the graduates to lead society to a better world.
In encouraging the class of spring 2013, Maj. Gen. Bolden told the graduates the same thing he and his wife have said to their children.
“Dream big dreams; do what you want to do. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do something or you don’t belong,” Maj. Gen. Bolden said. “Do you job and do it very well, and don’t let the opportunity to make a difference pass you by.”