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Delaware State University honors a past president by renaming its theater

Delaware State University honors the late Dr. William B. DeLauder with renaming their theater.

DeLauder was the school’s 8th president, presiding over it from 1987 until his retirement in 2003.

Delaware State University historian Carlos Holmes says the tenure included the school’s transition from college to university status.

“His defining achievement was the successful argument he made with the Delaware General Assembly and then-Governor Tom Carper that led to the elevation of Delaware State College to Delaware State University in 1993. But his achievements go beyond that,” stressed Holmes.

DeLauder also redesigned the DSU campus and made it walkable by building the pedestrian zone. This discouraged the use of cars on campus and promoted safety.

Other accomplishments include establishing DSU’s aviation program and campus police force, conducting over $100 million in infrastructure improvements, and increasing enrollment by 40 percent.


Quinn Kirkpatrick


Delaware Public Media

The current President of the DSU, Dr. Tony Allen says that a long-term goal of the school was to commemorate DeLauder’s achievements with a building on campus.

“Seeing the value of the leadership over the years that has given all of us, especially our students, this tremendous opportunity is critical,” Allen said. “We take this very seriously. Our motto is, “Come in to learn, go out to serve,” and part of that learning is on whose shoulders we stand.”

In recognition of DeLauder’s love of the arts, DSU’s theater is now known as The Dr. William B. DeLauder Education and Humanities Theater”.

“This theater was named after Dr. DeLauder has completed the commemoration of the four greatest presidents in the history of this campus. We created our own version of Mount Rushmore. And I speak as a university historian. dr William DeLauder, Dr. Luna Mishoe, Dr. Jerome Holland, Dr. William C. Jason – they are all the best presidents in our history. And now Dr. DeLauder’s rightful place in that group, and this ceremony underscores that,” said Holmes.


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