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Board of Trustees Chairman David Turner '86 ready to help DSU 'become the model for HBCUs'

Dr. Claibourne Smith, left, passes the Board of Trustees chairman’s gavel to his successor, David Turner ’86. Story: Dr. Smith steps down as board chair; Turner succeeds him Delaware State University Board of Trustees member David Turner has established himself as a leader in the financial industry showing banks and corporations how to use data, analytics and information technology to make informed decisions and guide them to greater success. Now as the board’s newly elected chairman, Turner will oversee the governance of the University’s data-based decision-making transformation that is expected to propel the institution to unprecedented heights and serve as the model for success for other historically black colleges and universities. And DSU will get the benefit of Turner’s expertise in data management — without also receiving the same expensive bill for his services. On Jan. 15, Turner became the first DSU alumnus to be elected as chairman of the Board of Trustees, succeeding Dr. Claibourne Smith. The former chair said that Turner has proven himself as the board’s Finance Committee chair and as the Executive Committee’s vice chair. “He is a natural to take on the post as chair,” said Smith. “As a dedicated alumnus, he will take us places we have never been before.” Turner, who graduated from then-Delaware State College in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science, is evidence of the possibilities for building upon personal success. While at DSC, Turner obtained an internship with AT&T, which grew into a position with the company that he held while completing his undergraduate degree. It was the heady days of computer science, before personal computers became standard home operating equipment. AT&T trained Turner in the latest computer technology of the time, and he in turn used that experience as a DSC student worker to help the college maintain its computer systems. While receiving a wealth of hands-on experience, Turner recalled that he was well-prepared academically by the instruction of Dr. Arthur Bragg, then-chair of the DSU Math Department, and Harry Washington, another math instructor. He added that he and other students were inspired by the example of then-President Luna I. Mishoe. After graduating from DSC, Turner would go on to work for AT&T for 14 years, beginning first by successfully completing the company’s accelerated management development program. That led to a middle management post in which he was based on Wall Street in New York City, supervising 32 people and making $40,000 a year. “What I was doing directly related to the hands-on experience I got at DSC,” he said. “That why it’s important that our students walk out with a lot more hands-on experiences.” Based in an office in the World Trade Center, Turner led an AT&T team that installed and maintained new computer and telecommunication systems for Merrill Lynch. However, having developed good communication skills, Turner realized he could use his technical knowledge to become a computer salesman and make far more money. Once the sales commissions came rolling in, he never looked back longingly for the technician’s life. Turner — who progressed up to the post of vice president of Business Services and eBusiness — proved himself many times over in 14 years at AT&T, and eventually the company could not keep up with what he was worth. Gateway Inc. approached Turner with an offer that made him a vice president of consumer marketing, doubled his salary and moved him to San Diego, “my all-time favorite place I have lived,” he said. By this time, Turner had earned a Master of Science in Management Information Systems from Fairleigh Dickerson University and completed a Master of Business Administration program at Dartmouth College. During his 2000-2003 years with Gateway, national recognition began coming his way. In 2002, Turner was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America.” His alma mater also honored him with the DSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003. A family issue, however, took precedent over the prosperity he enjoyed with Gateway. His brother Rodney Maye on the East Coast was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer with only a limited time to live. “I only had one brother, and Gateway did not have anything for me on this side of the country,” Turner said. “I started to search for something on the East Coast.” MBNA jumped at his availability and hired him as the senior vice president of eBusiness and Internet Operations. When the company became Bank of America, Turner also underwent an executive transformation, ultimately becoming the senior vice president of enterprise data and analytics executive. “I was the chief data officer,” Turner said. “It was the first time in the country that such a position had been done successfully.” Meanwhile, the recognitions continued. U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology Magazine lauded Turner as one of the “50 Most Important Blacks in Technology” in 2005 and 2006. In 2008, he returned to his alma mater to become a member of the Board of Trustees (appointed by then-Gov. Ruth Ann Minner). Turner realized in learning how to make data and analytics work to transform underachieving banks into highly successful ones, he had knowledge and experience that he could offer other banks. He left Bank of America in 2009 and started his own consulting firm in which he sold his expertise in enterprise data transformations to other financial institutions and corporations. One of those entities, IBM, was so impressed with what Turner had to offer, the company persuaded him to become a part of the organization. Through his work with IBM, Turner has become an industry leader for his expertise in analytics, leading IBM’s Business Administration Organization Practice for financial services clients. Now with what he knows about the value of relying on solid data management and analytics, instead of intuition and “gut feeling,” he has made it a priority to make DSU a beneficiary of his expertise and knowledge. ‘A big mission’ As DSU currently undertakes its own transformation to focus its decision-making on solid data, Turner says there is a lot at stake for DSU and for other Historically Black Colleges and Universities. “This institution needs to be here for our kids. That is our primary job,” said Turner. “That’s why (decision-making) needs to be data-based. Once you start seeing the data, we are going to start making very different decisions based on data, not the headlines.” As the University is earnestly undergoing its data management and analytics transformation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has taken great interest in DSU as one of the nine HBCUs it is closely looking at in a search for solutions to the challenges that face such black institutions. At a late 2014 Board of Trustees retreat, Turner shared the following as proof of the importance of HBCUs, noting that they are responsible for producing: -- 22% of current bachelor’s degrees earned by blacks -- 40% of all black congressmen -- 12.5% of all black CEOs -- 40% of all black engineers -- 50% of black professors at non-HBCUs -- 50% of black lawyers -- 80% of black judges Turner said he is not sure he would have had the success he has experienced if he had first gone to a non-HBCU. “I started here at DSC, where I got confidence. I learned who I was and what I was capable of,” he said. “Men who looked like me, believed in me.” While Delaware State’s success in transforming itself is important, Turner said that should not be the end of the story. “This is the BIG idea. DSU has the opportunity to become the model for HBCUs,” he said. “We are going to build a model for sustainability and run DSU that way. And then we are going to help our brethren, to make our (HBCU) system sustainable for our young people.” Turner said in taking on the responsibility of board chairman, he is still young and has the energy to take on such a transformation challenge to help set the stage for HBCUs for the next 100 years. “That is a big mission and an important one,” Turner said. “It’s important that (HBCUs) are here long after we are gone.” -- Story and photos by Carlos Holmes

Douglas Gibson '50 carves a niche in a unique art form

  Douglas Gibson, shown in his Milford, Del., home studio, has received numerous honors for his waterfowl carvings, including being named the 2000 Artist of the Year by the Delaware Chapter of Ducks Unlimited for his contributions to wildlife conservation. About five years ago he took the Blue Ribbon honor when he exhibited his works at the Smithsonian Institution’s River and Wildlife exhibition. Douglas A. Gibson, age 91, has long since retired as a public school educator, but he still presses on as an artist. Gibson, who graduated from then-Delaware State College in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Education, has for many years been a renowned duck decoy carver. Even at his advanced age, he teaches duck carving classes, while still producing and selling his waterfowl works. As a practitioner of the North American folk art that dates back to the mid-1800s, Gibson has established a reputation for the feather details in his work that he painstakingly etches into each duck he carves at his studio next to his home in Milford, Del. A frequent participant in folk art shows in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond — such as the Nov. 14-16 Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Md. — Gibson notes that his uniqueness at such events extends beyond his duck carving artistry. “I have never seen another African-American decoy carver in my whole career,” he said. A native of Trappe, Md., Gibson attended Robert Russo Molton High School, where he was taught by a then-future DSU legend — Dr. Richard Wynder. Gibson would go on to enter the U.S. Navy and serve in Hawaii during World War II. Following his Navy stint, in 1946 he would be among the veterans who would triple the enrollment population of DSC after World War II. He noted that in those years the college was short on funds and struggled as an institution. “The college was not equipped to be a top school at the time.” However, Gibson said, the school had some outstanding faculty such as Edwin Edmond, assistant professor of social studies, as well as a math professor who later became one of the longest serving and prolific presidents in DSU history — Luna I. Mishoe. Gibson recalled that Mishoe taught math in his military uniform, as he himself had just left the military as well. “You couldn’t play around with his classes,” Gibson said. “If you got a ‘C’ in his class, you could probably get an ‘A’ in other classes you took.” After completing his DSC degree and subsequently taking a brief teaching post in Maryland, Gibson became part of a historic group of African-Americans who were permitted to enroll in the University of Delaware as a result of the nationally precedent-setting 1950 Delaware Court of Chancery ruling that required the institution to admit blacks. He would go on to earn a master’s degree in School Administration from UD and enjoy an industrial arts teaching career spanning 38 years — 17 years at the segregated Benjamin Banneker Middle School in Milford, followed by 21 years as an instructor at Delaware Technical & Community College. He also made a life for himself in Milford, where he built his home — an 83-foot brick rancher — for he and his wife Dorothy, who was also a 1951 graduate of DSC. Their marriage produced two children, Dawne and Darrald. Mrs. Gibson passed away in 2004 and Dawne, a journalist who wrote for Time, Ebony and Essence magazines, died in 2012. Waterfowl carving beginnings Gibson said he was first exposed to the decoys as a boy, watching his father use crude tools to make his own decoys for his hunting activities. Gibson said he got started carving duck decoys at Del Tech circa 1970. “I was teaching engineering full time at Del Tech, and they wanted me to teach a class at night,” he said. “So instead of driving home after the day classes only to have to drive back that night, I stayed there and started developing decoys.” In addition to being an educator and artist, in the mid-1990s Gibson became the second-ever African-American to serve as a Milford city councilman, an elected post he held for two terms. He retired in 1988 from teaching and concluded his stint in politics before the turn of the century, but his active passion for his art has never wavered. Over the last 40-plus years, Gibson estimates he has produced more than 2,000 works. Gibson’s carvings include all duck species, but most frequently he does black mallards and brown mallards. The selling price for his decorative decoys average between $200-$500. His most expensive work — the white swan — has been sold for $1,700. Some of Gibson’s carved waterfowl decoy collection will eventually be in the possession of DSU. He recently completed bequest paperwork that directs some of his remaining collection be donated to the University. Gibson said he continues to be a productive artist because he stays healthy. “I don’t put anything in my body that I think is going to hurt me,” he said. “A doctor who examined me recently said I am going to live to be 100.” He said the downside to his nine decades of longevity is that he has outlived most of his contemporaries. “But it is a wonderful state to know that you’ve lived this long,” Gibson said. – Story and photo by Carlos Holmes

Maggy François has built a multifaceted fashion industry career

  In 2000, Maggy François launched her self-titled event planning company, through which she produces fashion shows. She is also a 16-year educator, currently teaching fashion design/industry at West Potomac Academy in Alexandria, Va. Maggy François seems to have a knack for finding her original aspirations detoured onto other roads that lead to successful destinies. She began her higher education at Wesley College in Dover with the desire to earn a nursing degree, believing she would then join a convent in her native Brooklyn, N.Y., to become a nun/nurse. She instead discovered that the fashion industry was the career path for her, and also that there was a nearby black college where she would feel more comfortable and which would prepare her well for that field. After earning a Home Economics degree that focused on Clothing, Textiles and Merchandising (with a minor in Marketing), François’ goal was to become a personal buyer in fashion. The 1994 Delaware State University graduate instead found a diverse profession niche of producing fashion shows, planning events and teaching fashion design. Her previous plans notwithstanding, she has made a name for herself through her self-titled Maggy François event planning company. She has produced fashion shows up and down the East Coast for CW/DC 50tv Fashion, the Beauty & Lifestyle Expo, the Ethiopian Bridal Expo, the Black Fashion Designers Association and the Smithsonian Institution Folklife Festival, just to name a few. She has also produced events for the Tigerlily Foundation, Baby Bash & Bling, DJ Neekola, Tia Mowry, Washington’s Urban Inspirational Radio Station Heaven 1580, Kenneth E. Flanagan Boutique and many others. François is also a 16-year educator, currently teaching fashion design/industry at West Potomac Academy in Alexandria, Va. The road to those career endeavors began in 1991 when she transferred from Wesley to then-Delaware State College. “I didn’t even know Del State was there until a girlfriend took me to a party at the college,” François said. “I went over there and saw my people there. I called my dad up and told him that I wanted to go to Del State.” She said while Wesley had a fashion marketing program, she found DSC was far more comprehensive in addressing her newfound fashion industry aspirations. “Del State offered more. I studied Clothing, Textiles and Merchandising with a minor in Marketing, which is everything in a basket,” she said. “I had great exposure with that major at Del State.” While she credits Rebecca Walsh — her instructor in her major focus area — for preparing her exceptionally well, she also gives an appreciative nod to someone outside that academic discipline — Del State band director Randolph Johnson, who helped her get into DSC. She said Johnson met her, found out she could dance and saw that she could help him revive the then-defunct DSC Dance Team. “He made me the captain of the team and got me some scholarship money,” François said. “I loved being on the team. Mr. Johnson stands out because he gave me the opportunity.” She was captain of the DSC/DSU Dancing Dolls all three years she was at the University. Getting her start As part of her preparation for the fashion industry, François and her classmates produced a number of fashion shows on campus. She also interned at Simon’s Bridal Salon in downtown Dover, which gave her great experience in the wedding industry. Following her graduation, she was persuaded by a girlfriend to move to Maryland, where she began her career as a merchandising and shop director for Limited Brands. “Meanwhile, I had some people ask me to plan their weddings, and I actually ended up doing a lot of other weddings for people from Del State,” François said, adding that her eyes began to open concerning business possibilities of event planning. Somewhere along the line, she met the right person whose reference resulted in her getting the job of producing a late 1990s Congressional Black Caucus Spouses’ Fashion Show. “I had never planned a big event like that, but decided that I am going to act like I’ve done it,” François said. “It was a gala fashion show/dinner, and I had to do everything from the tasting, to the décor, to the lighting, to the music. I was still new to event planning and hadn’t started my business yet. But that laid the foundation for me to get my clients after that.” She worked with the Black Caucus for several years on that event, which she said was a “real confidence builder.” “I met with so many people —the who’s who of Capitol Hill — and I learned from them,” she said. “I learned how to have tough skin, and that helped me with my industry and people I have to deal with now.” In 2000 she launched her Maggy François company, and she has been on an event planning/fashion show-producing roll ever since. François said a large part of her success has been her ability to work with many different people. “In the events world, you have to learn how to dance with everyone,” she said, “because everyone has their own personality and you have to mesh with everyone to make the event work.” François also found her knowledge in the fashion industry could fill a public school need. She has been a fashion design teacher for the last 12 years at the West Potomac Academy. “Kids come to me their junior and senior years, and I teach them about the fashion industry and help them develop their portfolio,” she said. “They come in wanting to be a fashion designer, but after being in my class two years, I might have one student a year that ends up doing fashion design. My job is to teach them the whole industry.” To ensure her students are exposed to the breadth of fashion world work possibilities, François takes them to New York City where they meet designers, fashion magazine writers, as well as people like herself who excel behind the scenes in making fashion shows happen. “This is a $500 billion business and there is a diversity of careers within it,” she said. In addition to imparting her knowledge and expertise professionally, François gives of herself from her personal side. A breast cancer survivor, François said the early stage diagnosis and the support of her fiancé, family and friends were critical as she went through her treatment and minor surgery. In 2013, she received the Courage Award from the Tigerlily Foundation in recognition of her example in confronting her cancer with courage and the support she gives to others battling the disease. François notes that “if you look and feel good inside and out, it will help you recover gracefully.” -- Story and photo by Carlos Holmes

Carol BoNey '73 helps products achieve their perfect flavor

Carol BoNey shows off a photo of her time as a member of the Approaching Storm Marching Band on campus in the early 1970s. The palate and taste buds of alumna Carol BoNey are so critical to her livelihood, it’s surprising that she has not taken out an insurance policy on them. When BoNey first enrolled in 1969 in then-Delaware State College’s Home Economics degree program, her aspiration was to become a teacher. Then she was introduced to a valuable internship opportunity at General Foods in Dover. Fast forward 40-plus years later, and she is now a senior sensory scientist for International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., where many of the new beverage flavor solutions have to pass through her discerning palate and taste knowledge. Companies seeking specific flavor solutions for their beverage products contract IFF to achieve the wanted results. IFF might be asked to come up with a new flavor for a product or with a particular flavor that would cost a company less to produce. “Carol has a caseload of 30 products, about $25 million worth of business on her plate,” said Dawn Messina, director of Sensory and Consumer Insight at IFF’s North America Division in Dayton, N.J. “The data she turns around and the insights she provides, Carol does with her own unique style. Her knowledge and experience can’t be replicated.” BoNey said product development is not something understood well by the everyday consumer. “A product that is being developed goes through a number or stops, and the last place is in sensory science,” BoNey said. BoNey marshals together a team of “flavorists” that will pull apart the attributes of a product. She takes charge of the testing and the data collection, and using her experience she crafts the right research approach to properly address the proposed product issue before her. “She is well known in the industry,” Messina said. “She is respected and she is a role model.” Positive change in career direction Her unique vocation is exponentially a far cry away from the original aspiration she brought with her to DSC as a freshman in 1969. The native of Hertford, N.C., simply wanted to earn a Home Economics degree and become a teacher. “But one day Jethro Williams (then-Admissions director) called me to his office to tell me that General Foods had a scholarship, but that it would require me to change my Home Economics emphasis to Food and Nutrition,” BoNey said. It was at that point her career direction changed for good. The General Foods scholarship also led her to an internship with the company at its Dover facility. Upon her 1973 graduation, she began working full time for the company in the food development area, remaining with General Foods until 1989 (when the company was bought out by Kraft). “I got to work on Jell-O, Jell-O Pudding Pops, Stove Top Stuffing and Good Seasons Salad Dressing,” BoNey said. “I also had to go to New York City to make up the Jell-O for the commercial with Bill Cosby. I got to meet him.” Her life was also moving in a definite family direction as well, beginning with her introduction at DSC to her future husband Dwight BoNey Sr., who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 1972. Mr. BoNey also represents some Del State football history, as he became the first kicking specialist in Hornet history. Prior to him, CIAA teams (the league Del State played in at the time) always went for the 2-point conversion instead of kicking an extra point; punting and kickoff were done by other position players. Dwight Sr. and Carol’s union produced Dwight Jr., a 2003 DSU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Primary Education. He currently teaches at William Henry Middle School in Dover. BoNey also has two brothers who graduated from DSC — Edwin Milo Burke ’74 (deceased) and Don Burke ’75, both accounting majors. While the elder BoNey would go on to teach in the Appoquinimink School District, his wife’s growing expertise in food and nutrition continued to be in demand. She was part of her department’s expansion that caused it to outgrow its section at the Dover General Foods facility, prompting it to be relocated to Cranbury, N.J., and as a result making the BoNey family residents of New Jersey. After the 1989 Kraft buyout of General Foods, she worked one year for Presco Food Seasonings in Flemington, N.J. She took a job with Best Foods in northern New Jersey, where she first began working in sensory science. She worked for Best Foods until 2003, when it was bought out by Unilever. The new owner of the company brought her back as a sensory scientist consultant for two years, and then hired her to be its full-time principal sensory scientist. Because Unilever honored the retirement policy of Best Foods, BoNey was able to retire in 2007. But she wasn’t ready to quit working. “I never stopped looking for a job close to home, and I was able to land a job with IFF,” she said. “I retired on a Friday in 2007 and went to work on the next Monday for IFF.” It is not lost on BoNey that she has a unique job. “A lot of people don’t know about the profession of sensory scientist,” she said. “My job is always in demand.” BoNey said Del State deserves a lot credit for her success. She points to instructors such as Courtney Stevens, who was the head of the Home Economics Department at DSC, and Ora Bunch, who taught food nutrition, as both having great impact on her. She also noted that Williams went beyond his traditional Office of Admissions duties to ensure she was taken care of at DSC. Because of her gratitude, BoNey regularly gives back to DSU by funding a scholarship she has established in the name of her late brother, Edwin Burke. “I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for DSU,” BoNey said. -- Story and photo by Carlos Holmes

DSUAA Legacy Hall of Fame Nominee Supplemental Instructions

Delaware State University Alumni Hall of Fame  Supplemental Instructions for Posthumous Nominations An active alumnus/na or chapter of the Delaware State University Alumni Association or the national association executive board must submit nominations.  Nominations are limited to (1) nominee per category, per nominator (a total of eight nominations).  The maximum number of inductees selected from any one individual or chapter is limited to two (2) per year.  An alumnus/na may be nominated posthumously following the eligibility criteria listed below.  These candidates will be reviewed with all other nominees in a given category. Eligibility  Nominee must be a graduate or a former student of Delaware State University Nominee must have been a financial member of the association and/or affiliate chapter prior to his/her death. Nominee must have made a significant contribution to the growth and development of his/her chapter, the alumni association, or to Delaware State University in general during his/her lifetime. Nominee must be a ten (10) year alumnus/na of Delaware State University at the time the nomination is made.  If non-graduate, the nominee’s freshman class must have graduated at least ten years prior to the nominations.  Nominee must have demonstrated, during his/her lifetime, a history of making significant contributions to his/her field. Nomination forms must contain the name, address, and phone number of a family member to be notified should candidate be selected for induction into the Alumni Hall of Fame.  

Tim Pierpont

Tim Pierpont Graduate student and PhD candidate, Cornell University Biology, 2007   DSU: What made you decide to major in your field of study? TIM: Actually, I couldn’t decide between art or biology when I was registering, so I had taken the freshmen classes required for both. I was amazed how much we already knew about the most fundamental processes of life. Through the first semester I became pretty enthralled with learning more about it and I started to realize that the subject is inescapably relevant to me personally as well as every other living organism on the planet. I decided I wanted to keep learning more and while I’m still amazed about how much has been discovered in the field, I’m now excited about how much more there is left unknown.   DSU: What was your experience like as a student at DSU? What memories do you have from your time on campus? TIM: I was a commuter, so most of my experiences at DSU were in the science building. Near the end of my degree, it felt like half of the Biology department was part of an extended family, both faculty and students. I made several good friends that I still try to stay in contact with. I also met some interesting people outside my field when I took Japanese for my language elective, including a few computer science majors who screened Japanese animation on the third floor of the science center and a music major who was part of a pretty good rock band. I’m sure I missed out on getting to know a lot of other really interesting people at DSU, but happy to have gotten to know all the ones I did. DSU really is as diverse as you would expect.   DSU: How were you involved as a student on campus? TIM: I participated as a supplemental instructor (or a teaching assistant) for both basic math and general biology. I also helped out as staff for the Delaware Brain Bee, which DSU hosted the last two years I was there. It was a pretty cool neuroscience-based open house and competition between some really smart Delaware high school students. I’m not sure if teaching is in my future, but it was rewarding to share what I knew with others at DSU.                DSU: What advice would you have for a student majoring in your field? TIM: Take your research experiences seriously and do your best to figure out what you’re actually trying to learn from your experiments, don’t just have some general idea. Take advantage of more than one research experience, and also presenting that research. Try hard to prepare and deliver a good presentation; even if it’s just for the practice, you’ll get better every time and it’s important to be decent at it. I’ve seen amazing data presented poorly and it can really change how your work is evaluated and interpreted by others. Obviously, grades can be important in this field; don’t let yourself earn too many bad ones, take them as serious as you need to for your goals. Finally, make sure you enjoy what you’re doing (most of the time). It is challenging work and very easy to lose motivation if you never find the fun in doing it.  

Yesenia Rosado

Yesenia Rosado  RN at Delaware Hospice, RN at Kent General Hospital Nursing, 2014   DSU: Why did you originally decide to come to DSU? YESENIA: DSU was not my first choice but it ended up being the best choice for me. I initially came to DSU because of the scholarships I was awarded through both academic and extracurricular activities. Financially, it was the best decision for me coming from a family with a single parent, and being a first generation college student I didn't want to be buried in debt. In the end I got an experience that I never expected! DSU: What was your experience like as a student at DSU? What memories do you have from your time on campus? YESENIA: The nursing major required time, hard work and dedication. And I knew I came to DSU to graduate in four years, so I made the necessary sacrifices to be able to achieve my overall goal. Some of the best memories that I have had at DSU have been due to the programs and events that were hosted by the many different organizations on campus. DSU: How were you involved as a student on campus? YESENIA: When I first arrived at DSU, I became involved by being the most school-spirited freshman. When I become a part of a community, I become the biggest cheerleader for that organization or community – and DSU was no different. I tried to become involved in the Student Government Association by running for freshman class president; I didn't win, but it was OK. I was involved in the Latino Student Association and later became a finer woman of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Through my sorority membership we hosted programs, fundraisers, attended community service events and outreach. I also became involved in the Student Nurses Association and became a mentor with connecting generations at Central Middle School and Dover High School. DSU: What advice would you have for a student majoring in nursing? YESENIA: Nursing is a very tough and demanding major which requires dedication and hard work. I would advise the incoming class of nursing majors to study hard, know when to have fun and make the necessary sacrifices now so that you can live later. Never become discouraged … once you make it through, being a nurse will be the most life-fulfilling job you have ever had.  

Alumni Affinity Groups


Get involved and learn more about how your participation in Alumni Affinity Groups can benefit you, DSU and its students

You’re Invited... New Alumni Affinity Groups offer a chance to get involved The Office of Alumni Relations at Delaware State University is pleased to launch Alumni Affinity Groups. What are Alumni Affinity Groups? Affinity Groups are communities of DSU alumni who have common interests based on values, experiences and professions. The groups will aim to connect alumni with the University, with each other and with their respective degree programs/career fields in each of DSU's five colleges, providing unique opportunities to: Foster a strong sense of community; Facilitate alumni and student engagement; Create a culture of philanthropy; Encourage professional and career networking; Promote information and resource exchange; and Connect with alumni in the fields of social work, business, education, mass communications, agriculture or natural resources, a STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics)-related field and more! We need your help to launch this new initiative!  What Does Your Involvement Mean? Alumni continuously say they find their connection to others within the DSU community to be one of the most valuable experiences of all. At DSU, we have seen firsthand the amazing things that can be accomplished when alumni pull together and use their ingenuity for the greater good. Get involved and learn more about how your participation in Alumni Affinity Groups can benefit you, DSU and its students.    

Join us for a meet and greet reception during Homecoming.

Friday October 17, 2014
3:30 to 4:30 pm
Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center, 2nd floor lobby

We hope to see you there!

If you have questions before the event, you may call the Office of Alumni Relations at 302.857.6050 or email

Alumni Welcome Home Breakfast

Alumni Welcome Home Breakfast

Please join us and fellowship with our alumni and their families at the newly renovated Conrad Hall

The DSU Office of Alumni Relations in partnership with former DSU Board of Trustees member and alumnus Norman Oliver invites you to the Alumni Welcome Home Breakfast for a pre-Homecoming game celebration.

Remarks by DSU President Dr. Harry L. Williams

Two ways to purchase tickets:

Alumni & Friends Homecoming Art Festival

Alumni & Friends Homecoming Art FestivalFriday October 17, 20144:30 pm to 6:30 pmMartin Luther King Student Center, Parlors A-CWe are excited to announce our first Alumni & Friends Homecoming Art Festival. On display will be artwork from our DSU alumni and friends! Join us for this FREE event featuring music and a wine and cheese reception. Interested in exhibiting your art and/or crafts? Register online. There is a $25 setup fee which will be donated to the DSU Foundation to support student scholarships.Want to attend the event? RSVP online. Help celebrate the arts at Delaware State University!