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DSU Announces 2016 Faculty Excellence Award Recipients

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Dr. Mukti Rana, chair of the Dept. of Physics, and Dr. Andrew Lloyd, associate professor of biology, are two of the recipients of the 2016 Faculty Excellence Award. They received the honor in the category of research and teaching, respectively. 

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Delaware State University recently honored three faculty members as its 2016 Faculty Excellence Award recipients. Honored were: Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching – Dr. Andrew D. Lloyd, associate professor of biological sciences. Dr. Lloyd has been heavily involved in curriculum development through his work as chair of the Department of Biology Curriculum Committee and as a member (and most recently chair) of the General Education Committee.  He has provided leadership for a comprehensive review of the biology undergraduate curriculum, which included developing two new courses for first-year biology students that emphasize active learning and multidisciplinary coordination. This has been implemented through a three-course learning community that weaves quantitative reasoning and language arts throughout the first-year coursework. In General Education, Dr. Lloyd has taken a leading role in instituting and expanding a comprehensive system of assessment of the program’s student learning objectives. In addition, since 2009, Dr. Lloyd been the principal investigator of federal grants totaling nearly $1 million as well as the co-PI on another $2.5 million in federal grants, all to support undergraduate education initiatives. He has demonstrated a strong commitment to student advisement, particularly in his role as a health professions advisor.   Faculty Excellence Award for Research – Dr. Mukti Rana, associate professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering. As a PI and co-PI between 2010 and 2015, Dr. Rana has obtained more than $12 million in grants for his laboratory and the DSU Optical Science Center for Applied Research, which has sustained his research program and supported his undergraduate and graduate students. He has served as advisor and mentor to one doctoral candidate, three graduate and 15 undergraduate students as well as three high school students. Dr. Rana has also established a student branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers at DSU. In addition, Dr. Rana has published seven refereed journal papers, seven refereed conference presentations, book chapters in three different books and provided support for student involvement in 12 poster and oral presentations. He has also served as an expert resource for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research.              Dr. Mazen Shahin   Faculty Excellence Award for Service – Dr. Mazen Shahin, professor of mathematics and director of the Alliance for Minority Participation at DSU. Under Dr. Shahin’s direction, more than $12.5 million in external funding has been obtained for the successful implementation of the following: the Bridge to the Doctorate program; Changing the Equation for Science and Mathematics Learning initiative; the Science and Mathematics Initiative for Learning Enrichment; The Philadelphia Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP) program, Phases V and IV; the Science and Technology Academy for Residence Scholars summer program for high school students; as well as international research experiences for AMP students in China.

DSU Band Director Randolph Johnson Annouces Retirement

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About 2,500 band members have performed under the direction of Randolph Johnson during his 20 years at DSU. More 60 of his former students are band directors throughout the country.

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Delaware State University has announced the retirement of Director of Bands Randolph J. Johnson, who has been the director of bands at DSU for a total of 20 years.  Mrs. Johnson has worked a total of 40 years as a music educator and has had two separate tenures at Delaware State University.  He was first hired as director of bands in 1990 and worked in that position until 2001.  He returned to the University in 2007 and will retire from his career as director of bands and a music educator at DSU. Randolph Johnson was known for his spirited enthusiasm as he directed the Approaching Storm Marching Band during football halftime performances. He is most proud of the academic achievements of the students in the band.  Throughout his 20-year career, the band has had a graduation rate of more than 70 percent.  Within the last year, two students recruited to the University by the band received the Presidential Academic Award at Commencement.  This award is presented to the senior with the highest GPA in the graduation class.  Under his leadership, the DSU Band has been an organization that promotes the education and citizenship of its members.  Mr. Johnson has more than 60 of his former students who are band directors throughout the country, including the states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana.  Many of his former students are doctors, judges, lawyers, teachers and some are even professional performing musicians. In addition the outstanding band performances at DSU’s Alumni Stadium, some of the highlights for the band during Mr. Johnson’s tenure are performing in the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Parade, as well as for NFL games, NBA games and NASCAR races.  The band has also had two performances in the London Parade in London, England, performed in Paris, France, and toured Europe, which included visiting the countries of The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Mr. Johnson is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a graduate of Southern University.  He began his professional career as a graduate assistant with the world famous Southern University Band in 1976.  Prior to his arrival at Delaware State University, he was a high school band director for 11 years in the states of Kansas, Mississippi and his home state of Louisiana. In 1988, Randolph received his first appointment as a university director of bands at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  He was also employed by Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as marching band director and jazz band director before his first tenure at DSU. After his departure from DSU in 2001, Mr. Johnson was appointed supervisor of music for a school district in the state of New York.  Prior to his return to the University in 2007, Randolph was employed by Alcorn State University as the Jazz Band director and the coordinator of Music Education for the Music Department.  During his years at Alcorn State University, all 12 of the Music Education majors who took the praxis exam passed and received certification as music teachers in the state of Mississippi. Combining those stints with his DSU tenures, Mr. Johnson has worked a total of 40 years as a music educator.     Mr. Johnson gives special thanks to his wife Diana for her continuous support.  She has allowed him to seek out his dream in being a college band director, a very demanding and time consuming occupation. Without an understanding spouse, success would not have been possible.  They have one child, a son named Kevin who lives in the Atlanta suburb of Snellville, Georgia, with his wife, Chandra. Randolph would like to thank the Administration of the University for giving him the opportunity to reach his goals.  Particular thanks go to DSU President Harry L. Williams and Associate Provost Dr. Bradley Skelcher for their support of the students and the band program.  Mr. Johnson gives a special thanks to all current and former band staff members.  Without their dedication and hard work, the band would not have been successful.  Randolph also thanks his brother, Mr. Roy J. Johnson, who arrived at Delaware State University with him in 1990 and served in the position of associate band director at DSU for four years.  He would also like to thank the DSU alumni and the community for their support.  But most of all he would like to thank the 2,500 band members who performed in the band during his 20 years at DSU.  These dedicated students helped to enrich the University and also enrich the life of Mr. Johnson.    Randolph plans to turn over his baton in August to the new director of bands at the University.     Randolph wants everyone to know that “The Hat” will be retired as well. The University will begin a national search immediately to fill the position of director of University Bands. 

DSU Appoints Dr. James Ammons as New Provost

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Dr. James H. Ammons' first day as the DSU provost and vice president of Academic Affairs will be July 18.

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Delaware State University today announced the appointment of Dr. James H. Ammons as its new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs after months of searching and days of campus interviews with various stakeholders.                         Dr. James H. Ammons Dr. Ammons – a native of Winter Haven, Fla. – is currently a professor of political science at Florida A&M University (FAMU), his alma mater. His career at FAMU spanned two separate tenures totaling 27 years as a tenured professor and executive administrator – including serving as that institution’s president from 2007-2012 and as its provost and vice president of Academic Affairs from 1995-2001. In between those FAMU tenures, Dr. Ammons was the chancellor at North Carolina Central University from 2001-2007. Dr. Ammons’ wealth of experience includes leading each institution’s strategic planning process and aligning those outcomes with academic excellence and quality programs.  A few highlights in Ammons’ career are the development of 22 new degree programs, increased enrollment and the re-establishment of the FAMU College of Law.  DSU President Harry L. Williams said the faculty, students, Search Committee, Board of Trustees and Administrative Council selected Ammons as their first choice in this search. “I’m excited about the opportunity to bring Ammons into the fold of DSU,” Dr. Williams said. “We are fortunate to have an individual of such great talents and academic experience.  I’m particularly enthusiastic that Ammons has the background and experience which will allow him to hit the ground running.”  Dr. Ammons said that he is excited about the opportunity to join the community of scholars at Delaware State University.  “It’s an honor to be a part of the academic excellence that is evident at DSU,” he said. “I have worked across the HBCU arena and I am impressed with the magnitude of innovation and student success that is displayed at Delaware State University.”  Dr. Ammons’ number one priority at Delaware State University is to continue to “move the needle” on retention, graduation and gainful employment at DSU. “Together, we will continue to strive to be a model HBCU and a model for higher educational institutions around the world,” the new provost said. He has a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Florida A&M, a Master of Science in Public Administration and a Ph.D. in Government, both from Florida State University. Dr. Ammons will replace Dr. Alton Thompson, who resigned from the University on March 4.  The new provost and vice president of Academic Affairs will begin his post at DSU on July 18th.   

DSU President in Sussex Co. -- Photo Slideshow

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Dr. Harry L. Williams gave a Sussex County gathering an update on the current successes at Delaware State University.

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DSU President Harry L. Williams took his “State of the University” address back on the road again, this time to Rehoboth Beach, Del., in Sussex County. Dr. Williams gave his address at a May 18 breakfast reception at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club, in which he shared the University’s highlights and challenges with a group of Sussex County elected officials,  business and community leaders, as well as others from Kent and New Castle counties. To view images from the event, click on the below photo slideshow link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157668523829386/show The reception was sponsored by EDiS.

DSU Graduates Featured in EOS Science Publication

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(L-r) Melissa Sims of Stony Brook University, and DSU graduates Adairé Heady, and Ashley Thompson, also MS graduates of the Stony Brook, examine one of NSLS’s beamlines. Beamlines are paths of accelerated particles, used in this case to study properties of crystal structures. Credit: Lars Ehm

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Delaware State University and two of its science graduates are highlighted in an article entitled “Creating Career Paths for African-Americans Students in Geosciences” in the online publication EOS Earth & Science News DSU graduates Ashley Thompson, who graduate in 2011 with a BS in Physics, and Adairé Heady, who graduated in 2010 with a BS in Physics with an Engineering emphasis, are highlighted for their subsequent graduate studies successes at Stony Brook University in New York. Ms. Thompson and Ms. Heady are featured in the article’s section “Program Successes.” To access the article, click on the below link: https://eos.org/project-updates/creating-career-paths-for-african-american-students-in-geosciences

DSU Drumline Performs at Dover's NASCAR Race

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The DSU Drumline – (l-r) Akeya Rainer, William Minter, Elizabeth Birney, Manuel Scott (behind on the bass drum), Damian Bluto, Alexander Baker and Darian Johnson – perform May 15 outside of the Monster Mile statue at Dover Downs prior to the Sunday afternoon NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

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The DSU Drumline also performed on May 14 at the dedication of the new Amphitheater at Akridge Scout Reservation near Dover. The DSU Drumline – a group of percussionists from Delaware State University’s Approaching Storm Marching Band – set the rhythm for race fans on Sunday, May 15 as the group performed prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Dover Downs. The DSU Drumline performed on the track as well as outside the stadium in front of the famed Monster Mile statue as a way of educating the visiting race fans about the 125th anniversary of DSU. In addition, the DSU Drumline also performed on May 14 at the invitation of the Del-Mar-Va Council of Boys Council to take part in the dedication of a new outdoor amphitheater at its Akridge Scout Reservation located just southeast of Dover.

Class of 1966 Reunion -- Photo Slideshow

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Class fo 1966: (l-r seated) Sandra Smithers, Betty Wright, Jeraldine Harmon, Sharon Drew, Alice Coleman; (l-r standing) Sylvester Anderson, Sandra Mills-Brown, Janice Miller, Elizabeth Mitchell, Gary Robinson, Lamar Turner, Shereatha Baines and Evelyn Hyland.

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Delaware State University’s 50th class reunion celebration brought back together 15 members of the Class of 1966 during Commencement weekend.  These classmates had great fellowship as they broke bread together and reminisced during a Friday, May 6 reception in their honor at the President’s Residence of Drs. Harry and Robin Williams.  The 50-year alumni returned to campus on May 7 to participate in the DSU’s 128th Commencement Ceremony. For images from the Class of 1966 events, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157668053926752/show During the Class of 1966 reception, Denise Young Smith, vice president of Worldwide Human Resources at Apple, also attended the event. Ms. Smith received an honorary doctorate from DSU during the Commencement Ceremony  

DSU, TheDream.US Announce Scholarship Partnership

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(L-r) Delaware Gov. Jack Markell,; Meghan Wallace, governor’s education policy advisor; Donald Graham; DSU President Harry L. Williams; Sadhana Singh, TheDreamUS scholar; state Rep. Joe Miro; state Rep. Paul Baumbach; and Jim Stewart, DSU Board of Trustees member.

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Delaware State University and TheDream.US have jointly announced a historic partnership that will implement a unique scholarship program for immigrant high school graduates who live in states that make a college education for them virtually impossible. TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship is the nation’s largest scholarship program for DREAMers – immigrant youth who came to the U.S. without documentation. The organization has partnered with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and their respective state universities – DSU and Eastern Connecticut State University – to provide scholarship recipients with admissions to institutions of higher education where they can enroll and fulfill their college aspirations. Students interested in the Opportunity Scholarship can apply at http://www.thedream.us. The co-founder of TheDream.US is Donald E. Graham, chairman of Graham Holding Company and former CEO and chairman of the Washington Post. Donald E. Graham expressed his appreciation to Gov. Jack Markell and DSU for partnering with him on his TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship Program. DSU President Harry L. Williams and Mr. Graham announced the scholarship partnership during a May 10 media event held at DSU. They were joined in the announcement by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell. “This partnership will add to Delaware State’s incredible legacy of creating new opportunities for students to get a great education and pursue their dreams,” Gov. Markell said. “I’m grateful to Don Graham, President Williams, and their teams for their hard work to make this program possible for the deserving scholarship recipients. These students will make Delaware State a stronger institution for everyone and I am thrilled that we are welcoming these talented young people to Delaware.” TheDream.US will offer 500 scholarships to DREAMers who live in states that either prohibit them from enrolling in their state universities or make it cost prohibitive by charging them out-of-state tuition. The scholarship recipients will then enroll in DSU, Eastern Connecticut State University or other universities that partner with TheDream.US. TheDream.US will also offer 100 scholarships to undocumented students who reside in Delaware and Connecticut. “Education is an American value; we should help every student who has worked hard to go to college,” said Mr. Graham. “TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship will help immigrant students fulfill their dreams of obtaining a college education so they can better the lives of their families, communities, and our nation. We are proud to be partnering with Delaware State University and Eastern Connecticut State University, with the incredible leadership of Gov. Jack Markell and Gov. Dannel Malloy, to give deserving students the opportunity for an affordable college education.” The partnership has been established at the same time that DSU is celebrating its 125th anniversary and is consistent with its historic mission, said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “This exciting partnership with TheDream.US falls right in line with Delaware State University’s mission of providing access and opportunity for diverse populations,” Dr. Williams said.  “In addition, this partnership will help the university stay on its current upward trend of growth and sustainability.” A number of other elected officials have expressed their support for TheDream.US’ scholarship initiative. U.S. Sen. Tom Carper notes that Delaware State University has a proud history of educating a diverse group of young leaders to succeed in the classroom and as outstanding citizens.  “Thanks to this partnership with TheDreamUS, even more students will now have the opportunity to be part of that legacy,” Sen. Carper said.  “If students excel in a U.S. high school, they deserve the opportunity to continue that success in college. Today’s announcement recognizes that an affordable college education is within reach at DSU, and undocumented students won't have to put their dreams on hold.” U.S. Sen. Chris Coons said that America was built on the notion that above all else, our success should reflect our willingness to work hard. He noted while outcomes can’t be guaranteed, everyone should get a fair shot to succeed. “That’s why I’m pleased to learn that TheDream.US will soon help more students attend Delaware State University by helping them overcome out-of-date laws that keep young people, who are here in the United States legally but aren’t American citizens, from accessing in-state tuition and other provisions that make education more affordable,” Sen. Coons said. “Every student deserves access to a good education, and for over a century, DSU has helped make high-quality college education a reality for generations of Delawareans willing to work hard and play by the rules. I’m confident this grant will help DSU continue to fulfill that commitment while maintaining the fundamental American promise that hard work begets opportunity.” U.S. Rep. John Carney noted that an education beyond high school has never been more important than it is in today’s changing economy.  He added that too many young people never get the chance to develop these skills because college is unaffordable or inaccessible to them.    “Delaware State University has a long history of helping first-generation college students access a quality, affordable education,” Rep. Carney said. “This partnership with TheDream.US builds on these efforts and will give DREAMers the chance to work toward a career that will provide a better way of life for themselves and their families.  I welcome these students to Delaware and wish them good luck in their studies.”   State Rep. Joe Miro, R-Pike Creek, said that the partnership between TheDream.US and Delaware State University to provide private funds is a step in the right direction.  “The important issue is that it will open the educational door to students without any cost to the taxpayers of Delaware,” Rep. Joe Miro said.  “This opportunity will help provide a bright and productive future for these individuals.” Addition comments in support of the scholarship included: State Rep. Sean Lynn “I offer my Congratulations to Dr. Williams and the team at Delaware State for entering into this tremendous partnership with TheDream.US.  “A college degree is the ticket to access in the middle class and the nation benefits when we are able to provide access to as many students as possible.  I look forward to welcoming more talented and ambitious students to Dover in the fall.” Rep. Lynn’s 31st Representative District encompasses Delaware State University’s Dover campus. State Sen. Margaret Rose Henry  “Delaware State University was founded to bring the glorious light of learning to those who for too long were shuttered from it. That’s what these scholarships will do for DREAMers and it’s wonderful to see the opportunity to attend college full-time extended to a group of young people who have so much to offer our state and country.”  State Sen. David Sokola “George Washington Carver once wrote ‘Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom. This exciting partnership from Delaware State University and TheDream.US will give these students access to those doors and lay the groundwork for them to achieve all of their dreams.” State Sen. Bryan Townsend “This announcement underscores America’s proudest traditions of inclusivity and immigration. My own wife, Lilianna, immigrated to the U.S. when she was young, had an opportunity to attend excellent universities, and is now an attorney.  These new scholarships will give hundreds of other young people similar opportunities to realize their dreams right here in Delaware.” State Sen. Bethany Hall-Long “As a college professor and mother of a college student, I know just how foundational higher education can be for young people. It is wonderful that through the philanthropy of private citizens, more young people who have shown a commitment to this nation will be able to better themselves by pursuing a college degree.”  State Rep. Andria Bennett “For many young Delawareans, obtaining a college education might seem like an unobtainable goal; an opportunity that just isn’t for them. It’s up to all of us to change that thinking and give Delaware students from all walks of life the confidence and the resources necessary to earn their degrees. This program brings us closer to that goal, and I commend Delaware State University and TheDREAM for their efforts.” State Rep. Helene Keeley “A college education is vital for young people to have the best opportunity to succeed in a global economy. Students who have college degrees earn more on average and have more doors opened for them. It’s unfortunate that several states have turned around and locked out DREAMers from accessing the very tools they need to be productive members of society. DREAMers are youths who through no fault of their own find themselves in a situation where they have lived here in America and simply want to be successful residents here. By opening college doors to them here in Delaware, we are offering a generation an opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. I’m proud that Delaware State University is partnering with TheDream.US to provide these scholarships and an education for young people. I’m looking forward to hearing about the success stories this program produces.” Rep. Keeley’s 3rd Representative District (Wilmington South) includes the Latin American Community Center.

DSU Announces No Tuition Increase for 2016-2017

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There will be no change in neither the in-state or out-of-state tuition rates for the 2016-2017 academic year. 

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The Delaware State University Board of Trustees recently approved the institution’s tuition and fee structure for the 2016-17 academic year. There will be no increase of in-state and out-of-state tuitions. The in-state tuition will remain unchanged at $3,755 and the out-of-state tuition will remain unchanged at $8,069 per semester.  The mandatory fees for all students – student activities, technology and student center complex – will remain unchanged as well. There will also be no additional increase to reside in the University’s traditional residential halls, which ranges between $3,488 and $3,745 per semester. There will be a modest 3% increase in the meal plan rates; which is contractually required to cover the increase in the Consumer Price Index “The University continues to work hard to keep its higher education experience affordable,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “As our students and their families look toward the 2016-2017 school year, they now have the comfort of knowing that their tuition costs will not increase.”

VP Biden Shares Thoughtful Wisdom at May Commencement

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Vice President Joe Biden told the graduates that it is important to balance career success with personal happiness. He said love for family, friends and colleagues fosters relationships and builds trust.

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Dr. Wilma Mishoe, DSU Board of Trustees member, enjoys a photo op with Vice President Joe Biden. Her father, Dr. Luna I. Mishoe, was the president of then-Delaware State College when Biden was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972. Delaware State University’s Class of 2016 endured some late rains during the May 7 Commencement Ceremony, but wearing quickly supplied ponchos, they still marched across the stage to signal the completion of their academic degrees. To see a photo slideshow of images from the ceremony, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157668011182946/show Held outdoors at Alumni Stadium, 554 undergraduates, 61 masters and 13 doctoral graduates took part in a historic ceremony as it featured the highest active elected official to ever speak at DSU – U.S. Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who is in the final year of his last term in that national elected office. Vice President Biden’s participation in the ceremony comes one week before the University will officially begin a yearlong celebration of its 125th anniversary as Delaware’s only historically black institution of higher education. To view the video of the entire Commencement Ceremony, click on the below link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH_qrRD5BX4 U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper introduced Biden as the commencement speaker, noting that graduates can learn a lot from the vice president. “He is the kind of leader he has been: humble, not haughty; has the heart of a servant, who knows his job is to serve, not be served; he has the courage to keep out of step with everyone else who is marching to the wrong tune,” Sen. Carper said. “He believes elected officials ought to build bridges to unite people, not build walls to divide them.  He believes leaders are purveyors of hope, that their job is to appeal to our better angels and to be aspirational.” In his address, Vice President Biden noted that like many students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, he was the first in his family of “modest means” to go to college. But he added that this current generation of graduates has significant advantages that his generation did not have. “You have the technology at your disposal; you’re better educated,” he said. “You’re the most talented, tolerant and technologically advanced generation in American history. You can be the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Robert L. Johnson or Ursula Burns. You are equipped now with the capacity to be what you dream of." However, Vice President Biden predicted that the Class of 2016 will be challenged to learn how to balance material success with happiness. “Successful people and happy people understand that the good life is about being personal, being engaged,” Vice President Biden said. “Being there for a friend or colleague when they’re injured in an accident, remembering to congratulate them on a marriage or a birth of a child, being available as they go through difficult loss and personal failure. It is about loving someone more than you love yourself. It just all seems to get down to being personable. That is the stuff that fosters relationships and breeds trust. It allows you to do the things you need to do in a complex world to get things done.” U.S. Sen. Chris Coons also spoke at the ceremony, noting that the Class of 2016 is a product of a university that excels in research and scholarship. “As you graduate and leave this campus today, don’t leave it in your rear view mirror, but hang it right in front of you as a star that guides you in the months and years to come,” Sen. Coons said. “Remember the faculty (members) who have taught you. Remember your fellow graduates who are part of the partnership on your journey and hold close the values that made your time here at DSU the foundation of your future success.” David Turner, chairman of the DSU Board of Trustees, noted that the latest DSU graduates have used a variety of bridges to cross over the diverse obstacles of life. Denise Young Smith (l), Apple vice president of Worldwide Human Resources, is awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by DSU President Harry L. Williams. “I challenge you – the historic Class of 2016 – to cross any obstacle, to be the captain of your own ship, (and) to come together, because together you are greater,” Mr. Turner said. “And when you do this, you have every right to expect nothing more than greatness.” During the commencement ceremony DSU President Harry L. Williams awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters to Denise Young Smith, vice president of Worldwide Human Resources for Apple. Ms. Young Smith noted that the Class of 2016 is yet another fruit of the 125-year legacy of DSU. “DSU – a stellar member of American HBCUs – you possess a special formula for success,” she said. “DSU, you are resilient, unafraid to take smart risks. You’re strategic and you recognize the great value of great talent and courageous leadership. You are innovative, global, thoughtful, tenacious, thoughtful, joyful, optimistic and purpose-driven. Protect these valued attributes as you embark on another 125 years of astounding success. ” In other Commencement highlights: Dr. Williams awarded a Presidential Academic Award to Shakirah A. Abdul-Rashid, who graduated with a cumulative 4.0 grade point average on the way to earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications in the concentration of Television, Radio and Film. Ms. Abdul-Rashid will continue working toward her aspiration to become a writer, director and producer in TV/Film by pursuing a Master of Fine Art at Savannah (Ga.) College of Art and Design. (L-r) Shakirah Abdul-Rashid, Presidential Academic Awardee, and Leslie Asanga Fogwe, Presidential Leadership Award recipient. Dr. Williams also awarded the Presidential Leadership Award to Leslie Asanga Fogwe, a native of Cameroon who has lived in the U.S. for the last four years. In addition to excelling as a 3.97 GPA honor student who completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in three years, he found time to serve as vice president of both the Men’s Council and Rotaract Club, as well as the treasurer of the Honor Students Association and as its Honors King during the Homecoming Coronation. He also donated his time as a volunteer at the Modern Maturity Center, Beebe Hospital, Kent General Hospital and Christiana Hospital. The oldest graduate of the May Class of 2016 is 72-year-old Tommie Moore. A resident of Smyrna, Del., she completed a Bachelor of Social Work. The May 2016 DSU Commencement’s youngest graduate is 20-year-old Zayna Allen of New Jersey, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications.

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