40 Under/Over 40
Delaware State University’s (DSU) 40 u/o 40 Club recognizes successful graduates who have demonstrated a high level of excellence in their professional career as well as a commitment to serving his or her community. Recognition in DSU’s 40 u/o 40 Club will give the University the ability to celebrate the accomplishments of some of our most distinguished alumni while sharing their stories with the broader alumni community and beyond. Based upon the Core Values of DSU, the 40 u/o 40 Club focuses on building a culture for philanthropy while recognizing the importance of alumni outreach.
40 Under/Over 40 Club
Dr. Donald ’58 and Delores Blakey ’62
Dr. Donald Blakey’s educational journey at then-Delaware State College began after a chance meeting led to a scholarship offer in Physical Education. At DSC, Blakey met his wife, Delores, on campus in his sophomore year and went on to graduate with a degree in Health and Physical Education in 1958. Delores completed her studies in Elementary Education in 1962. Following graduation, Blakey was the head baseball coach and an assistant football coach on campus. While working at DSC, he was also a commercial pilot and flew a 16-passenger Piper Navajo five days a week from Cheswold, DE, to White Plains, NY, as a daily commuter flight for General Foods and ILC Management. Blakey left DSC in 1959 and became the assistant principal at Caesar Rodney High School; he was later the assistant principal of Caesar Rodney Junior High and the Caesar Rodney School District’s supervisor of transportation. He was elected a Kent County Levy Court commissioner and in 2006 became a member of the State of Delaware House of Representatives representing the 34th District. Longtime supporters of their alma mater, today the Blakeys have three children, Donna, Denver and Dusty, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, and still live in the Dover area.
Halvin Blocksom ‘61
Halvin Blocksom is one of four siblings to receive degrees from then-Delaware State College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1961. His journey to a longtime career in education began in Seaford, DE, where he and his wife, Pauline, were raised and attended the Frederick Douglass School and William C. Jason High School. It was from the faculty and staff at William C. Jason that the Blocksoms first learned the joy and values of living, learning and giving back. These messages only strengthened during Halvin’s time at Delaware State. He went on to earn a master’s degree in Education and Counseling at Wilmington College and spent the next 42 years in public education. Now retired, he and his wife do what they can to serve their church. Blocksom also is a member of a public charter school board.
The Honorable Stephanie T. Bolden ’69
In 2010, Stephanie T. Bolden, a longtime Wilmington resident, was elected to the Delaware House of Representatives to represent District 2. As the longest-serving African-American woman to hold elected office in Delaware, Bolden has an impressive and distinguished record of public service. She served five terms on the Wilmington City Council, which led to her election as the first female president pro-tempore for the council. Under her leadership, the 2nd District improved and grew in key areas including housing, business development, civic leadership, education and scholarship. She also played an integral role in helping to improve the quality of life for seniors, implementing the Senior Thanksgiving Day initiative. Through partnerships with local businesses, she helped provide holiday meals for hundreds of seniors across the state. As District 2 state representative, she remains committed to championing the growth and improvement of public safety, public health, education and youth development. Bolden completed her post-secondary education at Delaware State University and graduate work at Boston College, where she obtained a master’s degree in Education. Her strong belief in education led her to devote more than 30 years as an educator in both public schools and institutions of higher education. Additionally, she founded the Burton-Phelan Memorial Scholarship program for matriculating students.
Latisha Bracy ’04
Latisha Bracy is a seasoned government and community relations professional with close to two decades of experience in the public and private sector. She has worked in campaign and governmental offices for U.S. Senators Carper, Biden and Kaufman and until recently served as outreach/projects director for U.S. Sen. Chris Coons. She is now campaign manager for Lisa Blunt Rochester, Delaware’s Democratic candidate for Congress. Bracy has been actively serving her community through her role on the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League Board of Directors, as a member of United Way of Delaware’s Women Leadership Council and as a member of the President’s Leadership Council for Delaware College of Art and Design. She is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Delaware. A Delaware native, Bracy received her undergraduate degree in Public Relations from Delaware State University and holds master’s degrees in Public Administration and Human Resource Management from Wilmington University. She is currently completing her doctorate in education.
Ned W. Brown Jr. ’71
Alumnus Ned W. Brown Jr. transferred to then-Delaware State College as a student in 1959. After leaving DSC for a time to serve in the U.S. Army, he returned to the College and earned his degree in 1971. Following his graduation, Brown worked as a Community School coordinator and taught math at P.S. DuPont in Wilmington, DE. He served as assistant principal at Mount Pleasant and Concord High schools and later as principal of Concord High and Springer Middle schools. As president of the New Castle County Chapter of the DSU Alumni Association, Brown helped to grow the chapter’s Scholarship Luncheon. His efforts assisted in increasing the number of scholarships given, which made an impact on youth in the New Castle County area and enabled more students to attend DSU. Brown also participates in the New Castle chapter’s “Summer Send-off” program for students attending DSU in the fall, where each student participant receives a $100 book scholarship. Brown is a member of the Delaware Afro American Hall of Fame, one of the original members of the Gateway Lions Club in Wilmington, where he served as “King Lion,” a past board member of the Delaware Lions Foundation, and he has also served on a New Castle County housing board.
LeFeisha D. (Williamson) Cannon ’03
n, a native of Greenwood, DE, graduated from Delaware State University Magna Cum Laude with dual degrees in Accounting and Business Administration in 2003. Cannon has enjoyed a 13-year career with the State of Delaware as an accountant II and a public utilities analyst prior to being named associate controller in April 2013. Since then, she has served as assistant vice president of Student Accounts and most recently was named University controller, where she provides leadership to a team of 30 in the areas of General Accounting, Accounts Payable, Fixed Assets, Central Receiving, Restricted Funds Accounting, Student Accounts, Collections and the Cashier’s Office. In addition, Cannon owns Cannon Consulting and Business Solutions, where she provides business, graphic design, writing and accounting services to over 125 individual and small business tax clients. In 2010, she earned her MBA from Wilmington University and is scheduled to sit for the CPA exam this winter. Cannon is active in her church,
Power In Praise Ministries Inc. in Harrington and Wilmington, DE, where she and her husband, Bishop C.D. Cannon Sr. are committed to fostering positive change in the lives of others. She and her husband have two sons, Carlos Jr. and Avonte.
Ernest “Sammy” Congo ’67
Ernest “Sammy” Congo, a native of Newark, DE, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from then-Delaware State College in 1967 and from American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Services in 1974. The following year, he and his wife, Cherie, opened the Congo Funeral Home at 201 N. Gray Ave., Wilmington. They later bought and improved a second funeral home at 24th and Market Streets, Wilmington. From this beginning business venture, Congo fulfilled his lifelong dream of entrepreneurship and developed several business enterprises during the 1970s and 1980s. These included Congo Shuttle Service, Congo Flower Shop, Dawn memorial, C & C Services, Christina River Club, Petrucon Construction Company and Maxcon Incorporated. He is considered one of Delaware’s most successful entrepreneurs. Congo is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, the New Castle County Chapter of the DSU Alumni Association, the New Castle County Economic Development Council, the Charles Robinson Scholarship Fund, the United Negro College Fund, several funeral directors associations, and many other organizations. He is the father of Kim Congo Tucker and Ernest “Trippi” Congo II and has eight grandchildren and three great-granddaughters.
Ernest M. “Trippi” Congo II ‘98
Ernest “Trippi” Congo II is a native of Wilmington, DE. He graduated from Delaware State University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Following in the footsteps of his father and mother, he graduated from American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service, Inc., in New York City in 1999. After passing his national boards, he moved into the role of running the family funeral business. Congo has been recognized by The News Journal for his “Student of the Week” youth motivational program that rewards students for doing well in school. It airs on “The Congo Hour” on Comcast Channel 28. He is a past board member of Delaware Adolescent Program Inc. (DAPI), which supports and educates pregnant teens and their families, and Beautiful Gate Outreach Center. His current memberships include Delaware Kenyan Association, The Monday Club, The National Funeral Directors Association and The National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association. Congo has a proven track record of working in the community over the years. He sponsors Community Clean-ups for inner city youth in various neighborhoods, and each year he coordinates Congo’s Annual Labor Day Cookout for Seniors. Congo is married to Lakeya J. Congo and is the father of Ernest Maxwell Congo III and Morgan Sammi Congo.
Greg Coverdale ’99
Greg Coverdale of Wilmington is currently the chief executive officer of Real Estate, LLC, an investment company started in 2015. He previously served for five years as a Certified Financial Planner™, co-founder and managing principal of Civitas Partners, LLC, a financial planning firm, and as a senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch for eight years. In 2010, Coverdale was appointed by Gov. Jack Markell and confirmed by the Senate to the Delaware State Board of Education, joining six other board members to help ensure that children in Delaware’s public schools receive a quality education. He also has the privilege to serve on the Finance Committee for the National Association of State Boards of Education along with four other members across the country. Coverdale has been a trustee on such nonprofit boards as the Delaware Nature Society, the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts and the Brandywine YMCA. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1999 and an MBA with a concentration in Finance in 2015, both from Delaware State University. Coverdale has two children, Benjamin, 11, and Anna, 8, and is engaged to Crystal Bishop, who has two daughters, Olivia, 14, and Brooke, 9.
Dr. Corrie L. Davis ’98
Dr. Corrie L. Davis is the director of Collaborative Graduate Programs and an associate professor of Educational Research at Kennesaw State University. After serving as Miss DSU her senior year (1997-98), she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Delaware State University with a degree in Elementary Education. She then accepted a fellowship and earned a master’s degree in Special Education from West Virginia University. Davis taught fourth grade for six years. She went on to earn a PhD from Georgia State University in Educational Policy Studies with a concentration in Research, Measurement and Statistics. Davis has served as an evaluator for many local, state, national and federally funded research projects. She has traveled nationally and internationally to speak about educational research and has received several awards based on her advocacy for students and faculty in higher education. Her research interests include emergent qualitative methods, black feminist research, black male achievement and culturally relevant pedagogy. Her current study explores black middle school males and their perceptions of identity and race in a suburban context. In addition to a full professional life, Davis is also raising two smart and resilient black sons.
Robert G. Draine Sr. ’60
Robert G. Draine Sr. graduated from then-Delaware State College with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in 1960 and from John Hopkins University in 1972 with a Master of Liberal Arts. His teaching career began in 1960 in Cambridge, MD, where he met and married Luvenia I. Moaney in 1962. He was employed by the Baltimore Public Schools from 1962–1998, where he was a teacher and administrator at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute for 28 years. He retired from Patterson High School, where he was principal of The Arts & Humanities Academy and also served as interim principal in 1998. At Patterson, he was trained to schedule students in the five academies of the high school through a partnership with John Hopkins University. Upon retirement, he started Draine’s Academy Scheduling Service and scheduled students into academies at two Baltimore City high schools. Returning to Millsboro, DE, in 1999, Draine became involved with the community, local politics and the DSU Alumni Association. He was elected as vice president
of the Sussex County Chapter DSUAA in 2004 and president in 2008, completing his term in 2016. While president, he started the Holiday Dinner-Dance, the Fish Fry and the Remembering Rosedale events, which support scholarships for graduating Sussex County high school seniors accepted to DSU.
Dr. Martin A. Drew ’65 and Sharon Dixon-Drew ’66
Dr. Martin A. Drew and his family have a multi-generational relationship with Delaware State University. Since receiving his undergraduate degree in Elementary English from then-Delaware State College in 1965, he has witnessed 14 additional family members earn degrees from DSU. Drew went on to earn two master’s degrees and then an EdD from Nova Southeastern University. He retired in 1995 from the New York City Board of Education as a junior high school principal and has served as an associate adjunct professor of English at DSU for the past decade. He also formerly was an English teacher in Brooklyn, NY, an assistant principal in New York City, a principal in Queens, NY, a professor of education at Fordham University and a professor of education at Lincoln University. Drew is also the author of three books: The Chronology of African American Families of Southeastern Sussex County, Del.; The History of the Blackwater Colored School in Clarksville, Del.; and The History of the Drew Family – A Family Reunion. A graduate of the DSC Class of 1966, Sharon Dixon-Drew retired after 35 years of service as a teacher with the New York City Board of Education. The couple in 2016 celebrated their 50th anniversary.
Steven Ewing ’83
Upon his 1983 graduation from then-Delaware State College, Steven Ewing entered the automobile business in 1983 and has been the owner of several dealerships throughout his 33 years in the industry. Presently, he is the president and owner of Wade Ford Inc. in Smyrna, GA. Ewing and his wife of 23 years, Terri Ewing, have two children, Halle and Stephen Ewing. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and was on the Delaware State football team. Ewing credits his learning at DSC for making his accomplishments possible. In 2016, he was named Black Enterprise Magazine Dealer of the Year. He has also been recognized as one of the Top 10 Ford Volume Dealers in the U.S., and he received the President’s Award in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. He was Number 2 in the Atlanta Region YTD for Ford & Ford Credit Commercial business and Number 1 in E Series sales commercial in the Atlanta Region. From 2002-2014, he received multiple national minority dealer top profit awards. Ewing is also very involved in the community by giving and assisting within educational fields and districts such as Clark Atlanta University, the Campbell High School Athletics Program, the Fulton County Board of Education (Teacher of the Year), Atlanta’s Young Generation
Movement (Stopping Community Violence), and Atlanta Mission; Ending Homelessness.
Schlonn Hawkins ’10
Schlonn Hawkins is a public relations professional with more than 10 years specializing in publicity, media training, community relations and strategic planning. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications — Public Relations from Delaware State University. Hawkins is an expert in audience engagement and believes that an engaged audience will undeniably impact your bottom line. Currently, Schlonn is one of the directors in the Marketing and Communications department at United Way of Delaware. She is responsible for using technology to creatively shape the story that resonates the importance of the organization’s work to individuals. Previously, Hawkins was the leader of External Affairs at YWCA Delaware, where she managed the internal and external communication exertions for this statewide nonprofit organization. Her expertise has carried over from previous opportunities in public relations with significant nonprofits throughout the tri-state area. In her spare time, Schlonn serves on the Board of Directors of
Delaware Futures. She also is a certified musical theatre professional (graduate of AMDA, New York, N.Y.) and uses her training to instruct dance at a local dance studio.
Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard ’65
Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard serves as the executive director of the Boston Lawyers Group (BLG) and Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity and as president of her own consulting firm, Vision 21 Inc. For nearly 30 years, she has been invested as a civic leader in creating pathways for the inclusion of people of color to access professional opportunities. Among Hebsgaard’s career stops: she served as the director of Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis’ Executive Search Program and later as the internal organization director for his presidential campaign; she was also the executive director of Opportunities in Boston, an organization designed to attract young professionals of color to that city. She was also previously vice president of customer service for Cellular One, director of programs for the New Jersey Commissioner of Institutions and Agencies; deputy director of the New Brunswick (NJ) Urban League; director of organizational development for Opportunities in Industrialization Center of America; as well as human resources
director for Marriott. She was the founding president of the Boston Chapter of the Coalition of 100 Black Women. She graduated from then-Delaware State College in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and earned a Master of Social Work from Temple University.
Drs. Berlin ’67 and Reba ’49 Hollingsworth
Dr. Reba R. Hollingsworth attended Delaware State College Laboratory High School on campus from 1943 to 1945, graduating as salutatorian. She went on to enroll at DSC, graduating in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics. Dr. Berlin Hollingsworth earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1967. Both were the first in their families to graduate from college and earn master’s degrees and PhDs. A teacher/counselor for 35 years, Dr. Reba was also a counselor/coordinator for overseas study tours and an adjunct professor at La Verne University, Wilmington College and DSU. A retired visiting teacher, Dr. Berlin was the first manager of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center at DSC, was principal/coordinator for European-American Study Tours and conducted Parent and Teacher Effectiveness Training workshops with his wife. Dr. Reba served as president and Dr. Berlin as vice president of the Delaware State Association of Parliamentarians, and both participated in standardizing the National Counselor Certification Test. Dr. Reba is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Dover Alumnae Chapter and Dr. Berlin is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. In support of student success, the couple established an endowed scholarship at the DSU Foundation.
Matthew W. Horace ’85
Matthew W. Horace is a CNN law enforcement and security analyst, contributor to the Wall Street Journal and an internationally recognized law enforcement, homeland security and leadership expert. He is a 28-year veteran of federal, state and local law enforcement, ascending to the Senior Executive Service (SES) rank in the United States Department of Justice, where he managed local, regional, national and international investigations. He is also an accomplished and energizing motivational speaker, trainer, lecturer and leadership consultant, as well as an adjunct professor at Farleigh Dickinson University. Horace is an advisory board member for the New York-based Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation (FEHSF), immediate past president of the 100 Black Men of New Jersey, former president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) NNJ, and a consultant for the Hetty Group, a social impact advisory practice. In 2009, he founded the Horace Foundation Endowment for Criminal Justice Studies at DSU. In 2016, Horace coauthored THE CALL, an anthology of short stories written by black men aimed to inspire Character, Accountability, Love and Leadership in young men as they enter adulthood. His second book, Coptics, The Optics of Policing In the Digital Age, is scheduled to be released in 2017. Horace is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.
Dr. Jamar H. Jeffers ’02 ’03
Dr. Jamar Jeffers is a native of Wilmington, DE, currently residing in Atlanta, GA. He has over 13 years of experience in sales, marketing, fundraising and new business development and currently serves as the vice president of development for the 100 Black Men of America. Jeffers was previously the director of development for Breakthrough Atlanta at The Lovett School and has served as membership director with the Georgia Center for Nonprofits. He also has 13 years of teaching in higher education, serving on the faculty in the School of Business at American Intercontinental University (Atlanta Campus) and currently with Strayer University Online and Herzing University Online instructing classes in marketing, management and international business. Jeffers holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration degree in Management, both from Delaware State University, and a Doctor of Business Administration degree with a dual concentration in International Business and Marketing. Jeffers is very active in the community as a member of the Delaware State University Alumni Association, Atlanta Urban League, Commerce Club “Commerce Society,” Association of Fundraising Professionals and National Black MBA Association Atlanta Chapter. He is also a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated initiated into the Dover Alumni Chapter in 2002.
Chris Joyner ’76
Christopher Joyner transferred to then-Delaware State College in 1973 on a full music scholarship, participating in the marching and concert bands. Joyner pledged Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship Inc. in his first semester at Delaware State. He served as Hornet Chapter president and president of the Council of Independent Organizations. Joyner graduated in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. His first job was with Automatic Switch Company in Florham Park, NJ, as a credit analyst. During this time, he was an active member of the New Jersey Graduate Chapter. He then moved to the Washington, DC, area and was employed by GAB Business Services as a field claims adjuster. Five years later, he relocated to Wilmington, DE, where he opened a State Farm insurance agency in 1983. Joyner was only the second African-American agent in the state. He was a founding member of the Groove Phi Groove Wilmington Graduate Chapter and served as its first president. He also was assistant regional director in the North Atlantic Region and graduate representative to the Executive Board of Directors. After his 1999-2003 term as national president, he serves on the Executive Board of Directors as past national president and is its vice chairman. His latest project is the organization of the Delaware State Alumni Chapter. Joyner married his college sweetheart Yolanda Renee Bryant, and they have three children, Shanisa, James and Andrew.
The Honorable Rochelle S. Knapp ’04
The Honorable Rochelle S. Knapp is a State of Delaware Justice of the Peace Court judge appointed by Gov. Jack Markell in May 2013. Currently assigned in Sussex County, she also happens to be the youngest in the state. When she’s not on the bench, Knapp is actively involved with her family and community. She is an active member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., Delta Tau Sigma Chapter in Dover, DE. In her spare time she likes to spend time with her family and Sorors; participate in various community service initiatives; eat out; travel and shop. She believes that having a strong faith and relationship with God creates the foundation necessary to maintain a balanced life: mind, body and soul. Her family and Sorors are her strongest supporters and motivators. She believes that these relationships have substantially contributed to the woman she has become today. She hopes that her presence on the bench will help effectuate the change and influence necessary to establish a better relationship between the public and the courts, so to allow people to gain a better understanding of the system and its processes and to renew their faith and confidence in our country’s legal system.
Dr. Emmanuel Lalande ’05
Dr. Emmanuel Lalande, a native of Brooklyn, NY, is the vice president/dean of Student Success at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, MO. Lalande’s responsibilities include providing leadership for the Division of Student Affairs in the areas of Enrollment Management, Student Conduct, Greek Life, Student Engagement, Residential Life, Campus Public Safety, Counseling and Prevention Services, Student Health Services, Food Services, and the Bookstore, as well as creating and assessing operational efforts and systems to ensure the effective implementation, maintenance and progress of retention and data initiatives and efforts to enhance persistence, retention and success of students toward graduation and beyond. Lalande has 10-plus years of higher education experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, both from Delaware State University, and a Doctorate of Education degree with a concentration in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Lalande previously served as assistant dean/director of Student Involvement at Bethune-Cookman University, director of Student Activities at Washington College in Chestertown, MD, and director of Student Leadership & Activities and assistant to the vice president of Student Affairs at DSU.
James F. ’62 and Mary Jane Marshall ’75
James F. “Frank” and Mary Jane Marshall, natives of West Virginia, met at Bluefield State College in the Mountaineer State, where they began their post-secondary education. After moving to Delaware, the couple completed their degrees at then-Delaware State College. Frank received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 1962. A United States Air Force veteran, he had a 35-year career at Dover Air Force Base, where he became the real property officer for the entire base. A member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity Fraternity Inc., Frank was a driving force in the establishment of Dover’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Breakfast. He was elected to the Capital School Board in 1972 and served as its president from 1978-1979. Mary obtained a degree in Sociology in 1975 and was recognized as Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges for her student accomplishments from 1974–75. In addition to maintaining the Marshall home, she worked for a time with the Delaware Human Relations Commission and also ran the family-owned businesses, M & M’s Custom Upholstery, and Antiques, Arts and Collectibles. Life members of the DSU Alumni Association and longtime supporters of their alma mater, the Marshalls in 1985 also became charter members of the reactivated DSC Athletic Booster Club. They are most proud of their children, Penny, James Jr., Bruce and Kevin; and adopted daughter Alexis Jordan.
Darnerien McCants ’01
NFL veteran Darnerien McCants distinguished himself as a renaissance man. A fifth round draft pick to the Washington
Redskins, he would find his most successful season in 2003 leading the team with 6 touchdown receptions. As a student-athlete, during his final Hornet season in 2000, he had 36 receptions, 692 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns (including one kick-off return touchdown). His 18 reception touchdowns set touchdown records for DSU and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). As a result of his outstanding senior year performance, McCants was also a Division I-AA All-American by the Sports Network Division, the Associated Press and the Sheridan Broadcast Network, and he also was a 2000 All-MEAC First Team member. Overall, he ranks third in DSU history in touchdown catches (26) and sixth in receiving yards (1,622) and eighth in receptions (83). McCants earned his Bachelor of Science degree in General Art with a minor
in education. As a multimedia artist, his works incorporate computer imagery, oil paint, photography, acrylic and other mediums. He has sold over 100 of his own artwork creations as well as completed two R&B albums, My 1st 7 and A Piece of Me. McCants currently resides in the Washington DC metro area, where his passion for the game continues as a coach. His day to day business is personal training, which includes sports performance training for all age groups.
MiLL RE founder Jermain Miller, who attended DSU from 1998-1999, has carved his way to being one of the top real estate professionals in New York City because of a dedication to white glove client service and turnkey elegance. His journey into the world of New York real estate began as a young boy dazzled by the tall buildings and skyscrapers. However, his rise in real estate would have to wait. Miller became homeless in his twenties after a failed marriage. He could only get seasonal retail work which was not enough to pay the bills. His unwavering spirit and determination is what kept him going. His best friend encouraged him to take the real estate exam and offered to pay the $250. After Miller passed the exam, he walked into a firm and closed his first rental the first few days. Years later, Miller has fulfilled the first stage of his dream opening his own real estate firm. MiLL RE is an extension of his esteemed reputation built over years in New York City. Whether it’s finding the accomplished professional’s first apartment, comfortably relocating a growing family, or identifying an elegant luxury apartment for a couple ready to enjoy all the city has to offer, Miller relentlessly uses his dedication, time and extensive market research to get clients what they want.
Isaiah Nathaniel ’04
Isaiah Nathaniel is a successful entrepreneur, film producer and director who is the owner and CEO of Calcom Technologies, a premier informational technology company based out of Philadelphia which provides traditional IT services including web/graphic design, social media and disaster recovery services to the small business sector. He is also the owner and CEO of MadOptics Productions, a film production company that focuses on films, sports and photography. In recent years, Nathaniel received national press as the executive producer, writer and director of 16th and Philly, a documentary film released in 2014. Nathaniel earned a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems at Delaware State University, where he also was a four-year letterman for the men’s basketball team. His hobbies and interests include basketball, which he still plays, reading and chess. He is a big advocate for bringing the next generation along and proudly boasts that he is a product of his “failures.”
Norman Oliver ’85
An entrepreneur and business owner, Norman “Stormin” Oliver has also been active in the governmental scene, serving as an elected official and political advisor. Oliver graduated from then-Delaware State College in 1985 with a degree in Social Work. He became well-known throughout the state for the founding of “Stormin’s Classic Basketball Summer League” that grew from 54 participants to over 2,000. It was an opportunity for young men to participate in organized sports and learn the many important lessons of sportsmanship and team play. In 1992, Oliver was elected to Wilmington City Council, where he served until 2004. His leadership abilities and know-how led him to be elected as Chair of Wilmington’s Democratic Party, and Oliver has been part of Delaware’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention. He owns three businesses, Nor Enterprises Inc., providing educational consulting services; Rock Solid Construction Company; formerly City Pizza and City Tavern; as well as a nonprofit organization, Our Youth, Inc., which embraces area youth in their natural neighborhood setting in south Wilmington. He has served on the DSU Board of Trustees and Sterling Bank and is active in the Wilmington Rotary Club, the Monday Club and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
Inc. A resident of Middletown, DE, he was married to the late Margaret M. Oliver and has two children.
Jerome Pinkett ’61
Jerome Pinkett would not only graduate from then-Delaware State College in 1961 with a Business Education degree, but he would also make his mark as a Hornet football halfback and the captain of the DSC baseball team. He later would be inducted into both the DSU Athletic Hall of Fame and the Delaware Afro-American Hall of Fame. Pinkett went on to earn a Master of Business Administration (Personnel Services) from Glassboro State University in New Jersey. During his career, he was a teacher at several Delaware high schools and a 25-year guidance counselor at P.S. DuPont High School before his retirement. He has five children, including a son who graduated from DSU and three others who attended. Across several generations, many Pinkett family members have fulfilled their educational aspirations at DSU.
Maurice Pritchett ’65
Maurice Pritchett retired in 2008 from the Christiana School District. He went on to start his own business, Pritchett M. Associates, which trains principals, teachers and students and provides workshops and programs for various school districts. A graduate of the Class of 1965, Pritchett’s most memorable experience at Delaware State was being recruited by Coach Bennie George on a basketball scholarship. He made team captain of the basketball team and was selected to the Hall of Fame.
John Ridgeway ’75
John Ridgeway is currently the corporate manager of Toyota Financial Services’ Eastern Territory Service Center, based in Owings Mills, Md. Prior to arriving at Toyota in 2006, he spent two years as a senior vice president of Customer Service and Support for Bank of America. He also previously held director posts for Sears, Roebuck and Co. Sworn in as a member of his alma mater’s Board of Trustees in summer 2016, Ridgeway brings a wealth of corporate experience to the board. In 2014, he was honored as DSU’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Ridgeway is a lifetime member of the DSU Alumni Association, a member of the DSUAA Alumni Legacy Hall of Fame and has been recognized by the New Castle County (DE) Chapter of the DSUAA. He has served on DSU’s Business Advisory Council for the
College of Business and previously was its chair. He is an inducted member of the DSU College of Business Hall of Fame. A member of Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship, Inc. Ridgeway chairs the organization’s philanthropic arm, the Groove Fund. He also holds memberships in—and has been recognized by—several other professional organizations, including the Union Masonic Lodge #21, Boys & Girls Club of Baltimore, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and the Monday Club of Wilmington, DE. Ridgeway earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from then-Delaware State College in 1975. He and his wife, Sherri, a 1977 DSC graduate, live in Maryland.
Philip G. Sadler Jr. ’62
Philip G. Sadler Jr. graduated in 1962 from then-Delaware State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting. While a student at DSC, Sadler participated in several extracurricular activities and held office in several student organizations, including junior and senior class treasurer, Men’s Council program chairman, Business Club president, president of the Pan Hellenic Council, and president and dean of pledges of the Gamma Sigma Chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. He was on the Dean’s List and was selected to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. Sadler is a life member of the Delaware State University Alumni Association (DSUAA) and served as its national president and president of the Baltimore Chapter, the Central Jersey Chapter and the Kent County Chapter. Sadler is extremely proud of the fact that there have been three generations in his family having received degrees from DSU, first being his father, Philip G. Sadler Sr. ’37, himself and his daughter, Alisa Sadler Truss ’96, MBA. Sadler’s family includes three children and six grandchildren.
Monica Scott ’02
Monica Scott is currently a program director at a Licensed Practical Nursing Program in Newark, DE. There she has demonstrated a change in the development of the nursing students and an increase in NCLEX passing scores above 90%. Her desire to shape future nurses as well as impact communities from her growing passion in volunteering and providing excellent education has proven that she is passionate in what she does. Scott received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2002 from Delaware State University. She has a multifaceted world of nursing experience which includes Community Health, Medical-Surgical Nursing, Geriatric, Home Care and Nursing Education. In 2006, she discovered her passion in nursing education. Scott furthered her education at Wilmington University, where she received her master’s degree in Nursing Education and Nurse Leadership, was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau and completed her capstone on The Effects of Acrylic Nails. She has taught at Jefferson University and Immaculata University as an adjunct instructor. Scott has volunteered in multiple walks in the community, mentored nurses seeking advance degrees and is currently involved with Parkway Academy in Wilmington, where she provides insight to students about the nursing profession and has donated school supplies. Scott has one daughter who is her pride and joy.
Taunita Stephenson ’09
Growing up as a military brat who loved sports, Taunita Stephenson excelled in softball and basketball. She has been involved in the realm of athletics for over 10 years with experience in events, operations, programming, athlete/leadership development and relationship building. Currently, she serves as the first female assistant commissioner of championships at the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), where she oversees 13 championship events from inception to execution, assists with the acquisition and managing of sponsors, and serves as the primary administrator of SIAC sport policies and procedures. Stephenson previously was the first assistant director of Wellness and Recreation at Delaware State University, coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion in Athletics and coordinator of Event Management at Grinnell College and worked in the Player Engagement Department at the National Football League. Stephenson earned her bachelor’s degree from DSU in 2009 and dual degrees, a MBA and Master of Sports Management,
from the University of Central Florida University-DeVos Sports Business Management Master’s Program. She is the daughter of Retired SMSgt Kevin E. Stephenson and Retired MSgt Priscilla L. Merritt, and has a brother, Khalid A. Stephenson, a 2013 DSU graduate. She considers Upper Marlboro, MD, and the Washington, DC, area home.
Jimmie ‘66 and Tina ‘65 Strong
Following his graduation from then-Delaware State College, Jimmie Strong found success during a four-decade career as an entrepreneur in Delaware, Maryland and Georgia. Strong was a master builder and the force behind multiple construction and restaurant ventures, including serving as CEO of the Strong Company, a multi-disciplined corporation with specialties in land development, luxury subdivision and single-home construction and real estate. The company also included a record label and Original Pizza of Boston and Partners Steak and Seafood franchises in its portfolio. Tina Strong held a succession of successful physical education and science teaching positions and continued her studies at the University of Maryland, the University of Delaware and the University of Georgia, where she earned her Master of Education with an emphasis in Biology. Soon after, she was promoted to Science Department head, a position she held more than 15 years. In business, she is the co-owner and vice president of the Strong Company. Both Tina and Jimmie, who met during their freshman year on campus, are lifetime members of the Delaware State University Alumni Association and have been inducted into the DSU Athletic Hall of Fame in recognition of their longtime support of DSU. Jimmie lettered in three sports, including football, during his time as a student. Their union has produced two daughters— Audra and Cassandra — as well as an adopted daughter Fredrena and two grandchildren.
Leroy A. Tice, Esq. ’02
Leroy A. Tice is an attorney with his Wilmington firm of Leroy A. Tice, Esquire, P.A., a general litigation firm that focuses on personal injury, criminal defense, worker’s compensation and civil rights matters. He is a member of both the Delaware State Bar Association and the New Jersey State Bar Association. Tice is a member of the Delaware Bar Association’s Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section, the Delaware Trial Lawyers, as well as the National Employment Lawyers Association. He also serves as an outside counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and as a special hearing officer for the Prestige Academy, a Wilmington charter school. He was appointed to the Delaware State University Board of Trustees in 2010. A native of Milford, DE, Tice has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Delaware State University and later earned a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law.
Cathleen Trigg-Jones ’92
Cathleen Trigg-Jones is an EMMY Award-winning journalist, actress, talk show host and executive producer and co-star of the new TV series We Are The Joneses, premiering this January. A former news anchor and reporter for MY 9 and FOX 5 News broadcasts in New York, Trigg-Jones’ on-air career spans more than two decades and covers television, radio and film. Over the past few years since leaving news to pursue other passions, Trigg-Jones has been busy appearing in several national commercials, movies and prime time TV shows, including Madam Secretary, House of Cards, Homeland and VEEP. Trigg-Jones’ talents can also be seen behind the scenes, where she is fueled by her passion for creating and producing television and film projects under the umbrella of her own multi-media production company, Catscape Productions, which she founded in 2002. She is currently in production of her own talk show, Chic Chat, which will launch this spring. A mother of four, Trigg-Jones’ deepest passion has always been helping women and children in need. Together with her husband, she founded The Trigg House in 2006, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing services such as housing, education, mentorship and counseling to women and children aging out of the foster care system — a cause very personal to Trigg-Jones having spent part of her early life in foster care before being adopted herself.
David G. Turner ’86
David G. Turner joined IBM Global Business Services in 2010, where he was involved in developing vision and strategy as well as contributing to several other major areas. From 2006-2009, Turner held several positions at Bank of America, including Information Management transformation executive, Deposits and Mass Markets Customer Insights, Strategy and Product Innovation executive, and Card Product Development/Product Management and Analytics executive. After retiring from Bank of America, Turner founded Sovereign Partners Consulting, LLC to work with key major banking clients around the world in strategy and IT consulting with a focus on managing and using data to drive business value. He joined MBNA in 2003 as a senior executive vice president and a member of the Senior Operating Committee and was promoted to group executive and a member of the Executive Committee to create the Research and Development Department in 2004. Turner also previously worked with Gateway Companies for five years and AT&T for 14 years. He received a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science/Mathematics from Delaware State University, his Master of Science in MIS from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is also an alumnus of the Dartmouth – Amos Tuck Executive MBA Education Program in Hanover, N.H. Turner was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America” in 2002. First appointed to the Delaware State University Board of Trustees in 2008, he currently serves as the board’s chairman.
Robert P. Vanderhost ’72
Robert P. Vanderhost came to Delaware State after serving his country in the United States military, enrolling in 1967. He was offered a scholarship to play basketball in the middle of the 1967-68 season, and he earned a starting position the next two seasons. A member of Delaware State’s 1,000-point club, Vanderhost’s tenure was also highlighted by two All-CIAA selections. He averaged better than 19 points per game with the Hornets. In 1970, he was selected as the team’s Most Outstanding Player. After finishing his playing career, Vanderhost served as an assistant coach with the Hornets during 1970-1971 season. His professional career included teaching stints with the Philadelphia Public Schools, juvenile gang worker with the Crime Prevention Association, private investigator, and an assistant director with the Wilmington Housing Authority. He also managed a series of nationally known entertainers. Vanderhost’s spare time included volunteer work with the Philadelphia Youth Athletic Association, Delaware Youth Athletic Association, and the Philadelphia Sonny Hill and Baker Leagues as a coach. He also found time to mentor students in the Red Clay Consolidated School District. He is currently active as a board member with the Philadelphia Association of Black Sports and Culture Inc. and as a member of DSU’s New Castle County Alumni Chapter.
Enid Wallace-Simms ’74
Enid D. Wallace-Simms, a Delaware native, began her career with Delmarva Power in 1980. She has experience in Payroll, Marketing, Insurance/Claims and Public Relations, was the account manager for the City of Wilmington under the Managing Customer Perceptions Department of Conectiv Power Delivery, was manager of Customer and Community Relations and is currently senior public affairs manager under the Government Affairs and Corporate Citizenship Department. A graduate of then-Delaware State College University with a bachelor’s degree in Distributive Education (Marketing & Distribution), she received her certification in Corporate and Community Relations from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. Wallace-Simms is a past recipient (2003) of the YMCA’s Black Achiever in Business and Industry Award and serves on the selection committee. She is the past local vice president of Fund Development and national board member and secretary, as well as the past president and chair of the Communications Committee of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc. She was appointed to the United States Commission on Civil Rights for the State of Delaware as acting chair (vice chair) and is a member of the Congressional Service Academy Review Board for the State of Delaware. Wallace-Simms has a son, Carmen Maurice.
Leah Williams ’15 ’16
Originally from Cheltenham, MD, Leah Williams made history when she graduated from Delaware State University in 2015 as the first person to ever be awarded both the Presidential Academic Award for her 4.0 GPA all eight semesters and the Presidential Leadership Award for her leadership throughout campus. Williams returned to pursue her Master of Business Administration degree, which she completed in just one year. During this past year, she was selected by the White House to serve as an HBCU All-Star, supporting President Obama’s initiative to promote the excellence, innovation and sustainability of HBCUs. She represented DSU at the HBCU Conference where she had the opportunity of introducing Vice President Joe Biden. Since then, Williams was elected as the vice president of the HBCU All-Star Alumni Association. During her time at DSU, she founded two organizations on campus which are still active today, served as a supplemental instructor for multiple classes, tutored many students and mentored freshmen. Williams, who plays nine instruments, was also a dedicated member of the marching, concert, jazz and pep bands. When available, she continues to provide assistance to the band program, which continues to play some of her arrangements. An employee of Northrop Grumman, Williams plans to continue to climb up the corporate ladder in her career, while also making an impact in her community.
Herman L. Wood ’73
With more than 30 years of experience in facilities and construction management in both government and private corporations, Herman L. Wood’s expertise includes oversight of contractual services including engineering and facilities management with fiscal responsibility of operating, expense and capital budgets, account personnel, client reporting, profit and loss statements, forecasting, vendor management, policies and procedures, metrics and benchmarking operational impacts, energy savings initiatives and space planning activities. As a senior manufacturing engineer and administrator for Crown, Cork & Seal for more than 15 years, Wood directed manufacturing engineers in trouble-shooting 33 manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S., Canada and the Virgin Islands. He most recently has been with U.S. Facilities since 2001, currently as director of Business Development and Supply Chain Management, Commercial & Government Services, and a mentor protégé. Wood holds of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from Delaware State University and matriculated with a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics at then-Beaver College. He is proudly married to Yvonne Rivers Wood for over 37 years with two sons and three grandchildren and resides in Voorhees, NJ.