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DSU Interfaith Council Students Attend Washington D.C. Conference

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(L-r) Clinton Williams, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan,  James Smith, Ashton Haynes, Lennea Davis, Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and DSU Chaplain Rev. Pamela Adams.

 

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Four DSU Interfaith Campus Ministry Council students joined DSU Chaplain Pamela N. Adams to attend the 3rd Annual President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge National Gathering at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.   The students heard from experts in the field and met top governmental officials who share a commitment to interfaith engagement.    “Our Interfaith Campus Ministry Council students that attended definitely represented DSU in a very positive light, and were approached repeatedly to speak with administrators from other universities because of their poise,” said Chaplain Adams.    Among the officials in attendance, the students were able to meet U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Wendy Spencer, the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

DSU's Michelle Fisher Named as a Delaware Black Achiever

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DSU and family supporters celebrate Michelle Fisher's Black Achiever honor -- (l-r) Stacey Downing, associate vice president of Student Affair; Kemal Atkins, vice president of Student Affairs; Estelle Harding (Ms. Fisher's mother); Ms. Fisher, director of Student Health Services (with her award); Sharon Addison and Mariah Williams (Ms. Fisher's sister and granddaughter, respectively); Gloria Minus, retired Health Services office manager; and Paula Duffy, director of Student Judicial Affairs.

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10/25/13 Actor Hill Harper and Michelle Fisher meet during the VIP reception that preceded the Black Achievers Ceremony in Wilmington.   Michelle Fisher, director of the DSU Student Health Services, has been named among Delaware’s 2013 Black Achievers in Business and Industry, an annual awards ceremony held by the Walnut Street YMCA in Wilmington, Del.   Ms. Fisher was presented her Black Achiever award by Hill Harper, actor/author/role model activist, who was the keynote speaker for the Oct. 24 event. She was among 17 honorees selected this year.   The fall of 2013 has been a season of honors for Ms. Fisher. In September, she received two DSU honors – the Student Affairs Vice President’s Choice Award and the Inspire Excellence Award.   Kemal Atkins, DSU vice president for Student Affairs, called Ms. Fisher a consummate professional who through her excellence and work ethics, leads by example.   "Under Ms. Fisher's leadership, DSU has a Student Heath Service Center that would rival health services provided at institutions twice our size," said Mr. Atkins. "She works hard to keep our students informed on health issues, promote wellness on campus, and to address any medical issues that arise at the University. She also has diligently worked to ensure that students are knowledgeable about the current health insurance laws -- known commonly as part of Obamacare -- and how it impacts them.   Ms. Fisher began at DSU in 1999 as a nurse practitioner and was elevated to her current director of Student Health Services post in 2005. She has a BS in nursing from Adelphi University and a MS in nursing from Wilmington University.  She is currently working on her doctorate at Wilmington University.   Among her community involvement pursuits, Ms. Fisher has served on board of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, has conducted HIV awareness activities with different local organizations, has participated in the American Heart Association Heart Walk, is an active member and former board member of the American College Health Association, and serves as an active member of her church, the New Life Family Worship Center of Camden, Del.  

DSU Presents Student Production "Steel Magnolias" Nov. 2-3

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The actresses of the DSU production of "Steel Magnolias": (l-r) Dana Matthews, Candace Victory, Jasmin Walker, Brandi Hydleburg, Tiffany Trawick and Shakira Abdul Rashid.

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10/25/13 The actresses of the DSU production of "Steel Magnolias" form a human magnolia.   Delaware State University will present a student production of “Steel Magnolias” in three performances on Nov. 2-3 in the DSU Education and Humanities Theater on campus.   There will be a performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, and two performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3. The comedy-drama play is free and open to the public.   The play, written by Robert Harling, stars the following students: Dana Matthews (freshman English education major) as Truvy, Candace Victory (junior nursing major) as Annelle, Shakira Abdul Rashid (sophomore mass communications major) as Ms. Clairee, Jasmin Walker (freshman business major) as Shelby, Brandy Hydleburg (senior integrated studies major) as M’lynn, and Tiffany Tradwick (senior psychology major) as Ms. Ouiser.   Directed by the Rev. Dr. Shirlyn Henry Brown, an adjunct professor in the Department of English and Foreign Languages, she describes the comedy-drama as a “dazzling, entertaining show.”   “The characters are six distinctive women in the South who are known to be as strong as steel, but as gentle as sweet magnolias,” Dr. Brown said. “These women have a bond of friendship and sisterhood that can’t be broken and always meet in the town beauty salon. Together the ladies share their joy and pain in support of one another.”

DSU Chemistry Dept. Receives $326,138 Federal Research Grant

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Dr. Daniela Radu, assistant professor of chemistry, is the principal investigator of the solar research grant. The funding will expand the DSU research portfolio to include solar energy research and will support work designed to develop a sustainable ultra-thin iron-based material for high efficiency solar devices.

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10/23/13   Delaware State University has been awarded a grant that is further expanding the University’s research portfolio into the area of solar energy. Dr. Daniela Radu, principal investigator of the Department of Energy research grant, show the nanoparticle ink used to coat the solar cell substrates that is being developed.   DSU’s Department of Chemistry has been awarded a U.S. Department of Energy $326,139 research grant to launch the first-ever solar research and education program at DSU. The principal investigator of the grant is Dr. Daniela Radu, assistant professor of chemistry.   The proposal received tremendous support both internally at DSU and externally by U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (DESCA), an organization that has the strongest impact in Delaware's renewable energy from sustainable resources.   The grant will fund the establishment of a new solar classroom course, as well as initiate a solar research program that will begin with the development of a novel ultra-thin-film photovoltaic technology using iron-based solution and nano-precursor absorber layers in solar devices.   The solar-related course will prepare participating students toward considering employment in industrial and research-related solar applications. Two graduate students assigned to this project will be fully prepared to obtain employment in the solar-energy arena.   The research will involve the fabrication of sustainable ultra-thin iron-based material for high-efficiency solar devices. Sustainable, low-cost materials such as iron sulfide derivatives could address environmental and economic concerns raised by other thin film materials. Iron-based materials are believed to be a viable alternative due to their sustainable nature and small amount of material involved in the devices. The solar cell substrate being developed by Dr. Radu.   Dr. Radu said that solar energy represents a major pillar of sustainable energy production and as solar power becomes more cost-effective, it has the potential to fulfill a larger share of growing U.S. energy needs.   “The expansion in solar energy usage will drive a growing need for more workers – manufacturing workers to make solar panels, construction workers to build power plants, solar photovoltaic installers to install solar panels, and more,” Dr. Radu said. “In this context, providing solar-related education to students from underrepresented groups is aligned with this job opportunities growth and with the need of having a diversified workforce in solar-related jobs.”   Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology and vice president of research, innovation and economic development, said the grant award demonstrates clearly that the Department of Chemistry and DSU’s newly formed Renewable Energy Research and Education Center – an interdisciplinary center that combines faculty from the departments of Physics and Engineering and Chemistry – are on the right track.    “Dr. Radu has done a tremendous job in securing this grant in a very competitive environment,” Dr. Melikechi said. “Our plan to achieve national prominence in research and education in renewable energy is now effectively launched.”   Dr. Eric Kmiec, chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry, said Dr. Radu’s grant writing success is to be commended.   “This grant is at the top  of grant hierarchy and reflects the new momentum and attitude in the department. DOE has made just two awards in this competition and DSU is the only HBCU that has been selected for an award; University of Texas at San Antonio being the other awardee,” Dr. Kmiec said. “These types of awards provide solid support for undergraduate and graduate students  seeking to do research in credible lab settings.”   Dr. Kmiec added that the grant project is consistent with the department’s new scientific emphasis on sustainable chemistry, which is aligned with the University Provost’s  sustainability initiative  and the public/private partnership with the Delaware Sustainable Chemical Alliance. “The academic and research fruits of this grant will contribute to the expected robust expansion of that emphasis and alliance,”  he said.   Rebecca Fox-Lykens, the director of DSU’s Center for Teaching and Learning, has assisted Dr. Radu in the development of the solar course, and notes that the work the grant is funding is consistent with the University’s Strategic Plan.   “The grant will allow DSU to be innovative in its approach to explore alternative energy sources and the course Dr. Radu is developing will help students become aware of the opportunities in green jobs,” Dr. Fox-Lykens said.   Dr. Radu noted that the University of Delaware also played a role in helping the University launch this research.   “As we are moving toward building the necessary infrastructure, Dr. Robert Birkmire, director of UD’s Institute of Energy Conversion, along with his colleague, Dr. Kevin Dobson, has graciously made it possible for DSU to access some equipment and characterization tools at UD that are needed to achieve our prototype,” Dr. Radu said.

Gov. Markell Meets with Education Majors on Teacher Preparation

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Delaware Gov. Jack Markell share his vision for teacher preparedness with education majors during an Oct. 22 meeting in the MLK Jr. Student Center.

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10/22/13 Gov. Jack Markell challenged the DSU education majors to aim high, work exceptionally hard and become teachers in Delaware. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell met Oct. 22 with about 150 education majors to share the state’s direction with its new teacher preparedness requirements and emphasis their importance for the state and especially for young elementary and high school students. In his address in the MLK Jr. Student Center, Gov. Markell noted that a recent state report done in collaboration with Harvard University showed that only three out of 10 Delaware students make it from ninth grade to their second year of college. He further noted that 65% of the jobs in Delaware will require college graduates by 2025. “We can’t sugarcoat the challenges we face,” he said. Gov. Markell said that the research clearly shows that teacher quality is the most important school-related factor in a student’s academic success.   Toward ensuring that success, Gov. Markell told DSU’s education majors that the state wants to make a deal with them. “We are asking you to work exceptionally hard, to meet higher standards than ever and to become a teacher in Delaware,” he said. “We need you to aim high. You will be evaluated more rigorously than those who sat in these seats before you.” Gov. Jack Markell (far right) poses with student members of the DSEA/NEA Student Association. (L-r) Nefertiti Washington, Devon Conventry, Diogenin Matos, Jessica Brower, Justine Jenkins, Renee Horne, Raykeem Ward, Jasmine Manley, Davon Lewis and Rayshaun Ward.   Earlier this year, Gov. Markell signed Senate Bill 51 that established a more rigorous standard for teacher preparations in the state. "It raises the requirements for what it takes to teach in Delaware," he said. Among the new requirements, all teacher preparation programs will be required to conduct regular reviews of candidates, followed by exit assessments. All new educators must then pass a state performance assessment in addition to a written exam to ensure that they understand and can apply the content they will teach. Gov. Markell told the DSU education majors that if they make the commitment to qualify for and pursue a teaching jobs in Delaware’s schools, they will find that the state is determined to provide the resources and other support they will need to have a successful and fulfilling career.   The governor noted the following state education initiatives that are either already underway or being worked toward:   The state has recently launched www.joindelawareschools.org as a one-stop easy-to-use resource to find and learn more about education jobs throughout the state. The governor said his administration is committed to reworking the teacher pay structure, which  would include raising starting salaries and rewarding educators who provide leadership to their peers, as well as those who teach high-need students or hard-to-staff subject areas such as math and science. The state has established “professional learning communities” to provide interactive opportunities for educators to learn from each other. Gov. Markell gave the DSU education majors an opportunity to ask questions. He fields a question from Aqsa Siddiqi. “This is an exciting time to be involved in education in Delaware,” Gov. Markell said. “I am realistic about the challenges we face, but also extremely optimistic that we will continue to see great progress.” He added that to make that progress a reality, the state needs high-quality students like the education majors at DSU to stay and teach in the First State. The governor ended the meeting by fielding a number of questions from the education majors.

GIMPA Group from Ghana Visits DSU

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The Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) receives a cooking demonstration from Donna Pinkett Brown, a registered dietitian/nutritionist with the DSU Cooperative Extension.

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10/22/13 The Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration receives a tour of the College of Business' kitchen incubator.   DSU has once again hosted a group of students from the Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA)   The Ghanaian students visited DSU and sites in Wilmington on Oct. 16-22. On the DSU campus, the group spent time with officials of the University’s Delaware Center for Enterprise Development learning about business marketing and receiving demonstrations in the Food Business Incubator Center in the Bank of America Building.   The group also paid a visit to the city of Wilmington’s Economic Development Office and toured the commercial  Wilmington Riverfront area.   DSU and GIMPA have been engaged in international collaboration for several years, with DSU hosting students from GIMPA on study tours as well as DSU faculty and administrators being hosted by GIMPA during trips to Ghana. The GIMPA group pause for a photo during the first-day reception DSU held for them.          

Filmmaker Lee Daniels Tells His Story at DSU

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Dr. Dolores Finger Wright, associate professor of sociology, gets some love from Lee Daniels follow his Oct. 17 guest speaking engagement in the Education and Humanities Theater on campus.

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Filmmaker Lee Daniels kept it “real” at DSU Education & Humanities Theater on Oct. 17 The director of the critically acclaimed and box office hit Lee Daniel’s The Butler was the guest speaker as part of the DSU Office of Student Affairs’ Make Your Mark Speakers Series. Mr. Daniel shared with the well-attended gathering his life story from his youth to his successful career in the film industry. For images of Mr. Daniels’ visit, click on the below photo slideshow, followed by more information on the event. At the end of the article, there is also a link to a video clip of a DSU Inside Perspective interview of the filmmaker. To see an interview on DSU Inside Perspective, click on the following DSU YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozItw74Dsf4 Mr. Daniels began by noting that he did not finish college, and told the students in attendance that they are blessed. “You should enjoy your tenure here at Delaware State University,” he said. The Philadelphia native noted that he became involved in the film industry at a time before black directors began to have some success. “There weren’t any mentors, no Spike Lee yet, no blacks working behind the scene,” Mr. Daniels said. “Survival instincts took me from early college to Hollywood.” While he began by directing small theatre ensembles in Baldwin Hills, Ca., he also took a job as a receptionist for a nursing agency. Then with a keen sense of opportunity, Mr. Daniels started his own nursing agency. “I stole five of their clients and took all the black girls (nurses) with me,” he said, to the humor of the gathering. After making what he said “an enormous amount of money” he sold his business and refocused his efforts on the film industry. He went to work as a casting director and an actors’ agent, contributing to the casting of films such as Prince’s Purple Rain and Under the Cherry Moon. Lee Daniels gave a frank account of his life and career at a well-attended gathering in the E&H Theater on campus. “I learned from the ground up what it was like to be on the (filming) set,” Mr. Daniels said. “That was my school.” He was later hired by Warner Brothers to be its head of minority talent, a post that brought him in contact with a lot of talented black actors. He was later inspired by the Broadway show “Dreamgirls,” which inspired him to launch his own casting agency. However, he said, there was still not an abundance of significant acting jobs for African American performers. “Then I got the idea for (the 2001 film) Monster’s Ball and produced it,” Mr. Daniels said. He added that there were many who predicted that the film would not do well. “I am very proud of the fact that Halle Berry was the first black woman to win the Academy Award (for Best Actress),” he said. He eluded to his past drug problem, he noted that night Ms. Berry received the Award, he could not attend the celebration party afterward because he was at home “with his crack pipe.” He said his responsibility to raise his adopted children prompted him to give up drugs for good soon thereafter. “I thought I was saving them, and they ended up saving me,” said the filmmaker, who noted that he has been drug-free from illegal substances for 17 years. Mr. Daniel detail there rest of his filmography journey: The Woodsman, a 2004 film he produced about a pedophile trying to assimilate back into society after serving a jail sentence; Shadowboxer (2005), his first directorial effort; Tennessee (2008), which he produced starring singer Mariah Carey; Precious (2009), which he directed and produced and resulted in a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Mo’Nique; The Paperboy (2012); as well as The Butler. “When Halle Berry won the Oscar, I thought it doesn’t get any better than this,” Mr. Daniels said. “But God said, ‘no Negro, it does’ .” As he shared his life story, he quite frankly talked about his gay sexual orientation and the challenges it has caused for him. At the end of his presentation, he took numerous questions from the audience and gave some advice to those who aspire to make it in the film industry, noting toughness is required. “It is a cutthroat business,” Mr. Daniels said. Watch a video interview with Mr. Daniels on a segment of DSU Inside Perspective.  

DSU's Pi Eta of Kappa Alpha Psi wins National Chapter of the Year.

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Brandon Allen, Pi Eta president, and Calvin Carter, advisor, accept the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity's Edward G. Irvin Undergraduate Chapter of the Year Award at the fraternity's national gathering in Houston, Tx.

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The Pi Eta Chapter (Delaware State University) of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., has been honored as the Edward G. Irvin Undergraduate Chapter of the Year Award recipient by the national Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.   The Edward G. Irvin Undergraduate Chapter of the Year Award is the highest Grand Chapter award available to undergraduate chapters for outstanding achievement in the community and at their respective university. Pi Eta was able to win this award among 700-plus chapters in the fraternity. Pi Eta has not only represented Kappa Alpha Psi very well in their achievements, but also Delaware State University. It is the first time in the chapter's history that it has won that national honor.   The award was presented to the Pi Eta Chapter at the national fraternity’s 81st Grand Chapter Meeting on Aug. 6-11 in Houston, Texas. 2013.

AKAs Win DSU's 2013 Divine 9 Challenge

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Tha ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha celebrate their Divine 9 Challenge victory on the field during halftime of the Oct. 12 Homecoming game.

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10/14/13 The Ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., celebrate their victory on the Alumni Stadium football field during the halftime of the Homecoming game.   The Divine Nine Challenge has recognized the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Inc., as the 2013 Most Divine Among the Nine at Delaware State University.   The ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha raised $1,720 during the online challenge with a thrilling late push.   DSU’s Divine 9 Challenge engages fraternities and sororities in a competition to raise scholarship dollars for DSU students.  The online giving challenge took place from Oct. 4-12.   In addition to being recognized during the Oct. 12 Homecoming football game, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority will also be honored for their winning effort during the Dec. 14 President’s Scholarship Ball and as well as in future publications.   Omega Psi Phi and Delta Sigma Theta finished second and third, respectively, in the Divine 9 Challenge. The total amount raise was $3,715.

DSU Dedicates "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve" Arch on Campus

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Three DSU students -- (l-r) Christina Gomez, her brother Nicholas Gomez, and Ashley Rumph -- stand outside of the new arch in front of Loockerman Hall that bears the campus expectation of them -- "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve."

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10/14/13 (L-r) Dr. Gladys Motley, former DSU vice president of Student Affairs; DSU President Harry L. Williams, and alumni couple Dolores and Donald Blakey, stand at the unveiled arch bearing the words Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve. Delaware State University has brought back a once prominent motto that greeted all who entered the front gate of the institution from the 1950s to the 1990s. While the current “Making Our Mark on the World” continues to be a guiding motto of expectation, the University has also brought back another motto that guided students for more than 40 years – “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve.” That latter motto has been reincarnated in a 10-foot high black iron arch installed at the front entrance of the gate that surrounds historic Loockerman Hall. DSU President Harry L. Williams led an Oct. 11 dedication ceremony at the historic building for the new physical manifestation of restored motto. “We have chosen to install it outside Loockerman Hall because this building was the main place on a very fledgling campus where early students “entered to learn” ---it served as the Main College Building for this institution’s first 37 years of existence,” Dr. Williams said, “The unveiling of the famous words at the entrance of this historic building establishes a landmark that will be just as meaningful to our present and future DSU students as it was to many of DSU’s alumni in the latter half of the 1900s.” The restored motto was first established 1952 when the late Felmon Motley, a 1948 graduate of then-Delaware State College, constructed a sign for the front entrance of the campus which stated “May All Who Enter Here, Enter to Learn and Go Forth to Serve.” DSU President Harry L. Williams stands at the arch with DSU alumnus Samuel Guy, who made the current administration aware of the beloved motto. Dr. Gladys Motley, the widow of Mr. Motley, and the former longtime vice president of Student Affairs at DSU, shared with the dedication gathering the story of her late husband’s work in making the sign and his dedication in staying actively connected to his alma mater. “Felmon loved Delaware State, and Delaware State loved Felmon,” Dr. Motley said. The motto was a part of the front gate of the campus for 45 years; however, the sign was removed when the University launched a project in 1997 to eliminate the two one-way streets that formerly stretched from the main gate to the center of the campus and replace them with the current pedestrian mall. When the project was completed in 1997, the sign was never restored. Many alumni never forgot the motto; however, without the physical sign bearing its words incoming students from that point on never knew it existed. DSU alumnus Dr. Donald A. Blakey said it was invigorating to see the University bring back the motto, and noted that both mottos complement each other well. “Students come to DSU be educated and then they are expected to go out and serve,” said Dr. Blakey, class of 1958. “While they are doing that, they are making their mark on the world in a positive way.” Leonard Hudson, a 1971 graduate of DSC who went on use his BS in Business Administration to work for AT&T and Verizon, said the motto encouraged him to continue to serve his alma mater. “I had a strong motivation to send students to Delaware State,” Mr. Hudson said. “I believe the motto had a strong impact on a lot of people that went to school here in those years.” Wilmington attorney Samuel L. Guy, who graduated from DSC in 1981, is credited for being a catalyst in bringing that motto to the attention of the current administration about a year ago. “Everyday students were reminded of it; when their parents brought them back to school, they saw what was expected of their sons and daughters here at Delaware State,” Mr. Guy said. “And it was all because there was a physical manifestation of the motto there.” In addition to the dedication of the arch, a new historical item was also unveiled to the gathering at Loockerman Hall. Earlier this year while doing research at the Kent County Record of Deeds, Carlos Holmes, DSU director of News Services, was able to unearth a copy of the original 1891 deed that legally documents the purchase of first 95¼ acres by the Board of Trustees of the then-State College for Colored Students from Catharine McKaine, a widow, for the establishment of the College. The three-page deed – which reflects that the original property was purchased for $4,400 – now hangs in the entrance foyer of Loockerman Hall. About 50 people attended the Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve arch dedication ceremony at Loockerman Hall. While the dedication program was held inside the historic building due to the rain, many of the attendees posed for a picture outside in front of the arch, rainy conditions notwithstanding (see below).   Many of the Arch Dedication Ceremony attendees braved the pelting rain for a photo opp in front of the new arch.    

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