DSU alumnus Matthew W. Horace, class of ’85, said he needed to figure out how to give back to his alma mater in meaningful way.
The 21-year veteran of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives took over as the Special Agent in Charge of its newly created Newark, N.J. Field Division in early 2008. After he received a briefing in that capacity on the fatal shooting of DSU students in 2007 in that city, Horace said he found “a cause worth pursuing.”
DSU Acting President Claibourne D. Smith and alumnus Matt Horace hold a display check representing the first installment of a newly established scholarship endowment.
The alumnus is establishing a $10,000 Horace Foundation Endowment to provide scholarships to DSU criminal justice majors in memory of three students – Terrance Aeriel, Dashon J.I. Harvey and Iofemi Hightower – who were shot execution-style in a Newark school playground just weeks before their were to begin their 2007 fall semesters at DSU. The students were simply enjoying each other’s company along with DSU student Natasha Aeriel when a gang accosted them in an apparent armed robbery and brutally shot them. Ms. Aeriel, Terrance’s sister, was wounded but miraculously survived the shooting.
“By all accounts, they were good kids with bright futures,” Mr. Horace said. “This endowment is being set up to help kids who are pursuing criminal justice degrees, and hopefully will help make it possible for such students to make a difference, or even possible to solve or prevent such crimes.”
Mr. Horace announced the endowment during the Oct. 23 DSU Alumni Association Legacy Banquet and Hall of Fame Inductions held at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino Rollins Center. The ATF special agent, who earned a 1985 BA in English from then-Delaware State College, was one of the DSUAA’s 2009 inductees for his achievements in government and law.
He was also a Hornet offensive lineman under then-Head Football Coach Joe Purzycki, who introduced Mr. Horace during the induction program.
In addition to his ATF career, Mr. Horace is also a certified leadership consultant for FranklinCovey and accomplished public and motivational speaker. He says DSU has been a significant factor in his success. “My professional development started at DSU,” he said. “It taught me something about making a difference.”
He said the Horace Foundation Endowed Scholarship is a way in which other alumni can make a difference as well. Mr. Horace said he hopes other alumni will be inspired to continue the endowment’s growth and thereby help more DSU criminal justice majors achieve their degree and professional aspirations.
“I think people want to give, but also want to know they are giving to a specific cause,” Mr. Horace said. “I am hopeful that there are alumni who will find this endowment a worthy cause.”
The stated mission of Horace Foundation Endowment for Criminal Justice Studies is to develop “educated, confident and caring leaders” who will share the values of law enforcement and contribute to the profession’s excellence.