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Noble W. Prettyman, brother of deceased DSU alumnus John Anthony Prettyman, stands with DSU President Harry W. Williams by one of the display cabinets containing some of the historic items donated from the alumnus' collection. The selected items from the donated collection are currently on display on the 1st floor of the William C. Jason Library on campus.

  Valuable DSU Historic Items Donated to the University


Some valuable historic items of Delaware State University have been brought home to the institution by a family member of a deceased DSU alumni.

Prettyman, Hornet newspaper 300.jpgAmong the donated collection were Hornet newspapers from the 1950s and 60s.

Noble W. Prettyman,  the brother of DSU alumnus James Anthony Prettyman, class of 1969, has acted on behalf of his deceased brother and has returned many historical DSU-related items to his alma mater.

James A. Prettyman, who earned a B.S. in Business Administration passed away on April 25, 2010. Two years minus one day later on April 24, Noble Prettyman was honored with gratitude by DSU President Harry L. Williams and other administrators and staff at the William C. Jason Library, where he has returned the DSU items that had been a part of James’ collection.

The Jason Library is currently exhibiting some of the donated memorabilia in several display cabinets on the first floor.

A treasure trove of historic items – the memorabilia largely includes preserved items from the 1950s and 1960s. There are also items from the 1930s and items from the 1970s, 80s and 90s, reflecting a lifelong passion for collecting DSU memorabilia.

The collection includes photos, pennants,  printed event programs, academic catalogues, yearbooks, Hornet newspapers, newspaper articles, DSC/DSU t-shirts and sweatshirts, directories, sports material, and many other valuable items.

“My brother so dearly loved this college, and I thought it was the right thing to do,” Mr. Noble Prettyman said.

Noble described his brother James as one who loved young people and loved his college. “He got over 1,000 students from Rochester to come to Delaware State,” Noble said. “He helped them with their paperwork and if they had trouble paying for their book, he helped them with that too.”

The Prettyman family history at DSU goes back to the institution’s beginning in the late 1800s. His great uncle, John Boykins Aikens, was one of the first two graduates from the then-State College for Colored Students, receiving his diploma in 1898

During the event celebrating the donation of history items, Noble regaled the gathering with his account of the Prettyman family, called the “first professional black family in Milton, Delaware.” His grandfather was the first colored business man in the town of Milton as the owner and operator of an ice house. The business was taken over by Noble and James’ father James Aikens Prettyman who operated the business until 1970.