Wilmington Celebrates Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Wilmington Celebrates Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Mayor signs proclamation declaring September as HBCU Month; City plans series of events to interest students in HBCU’s


Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and HBCU Delaware Coalition, Inc., President Steve Washington today announced details of the City’s commemoration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Month during September. Wilmington will hold a series of events over the next few weeks to promote awareness among local students and their families about HBCU’s, as well as to recognize the significance of these historic institutions.

Mayor Purzycki said at least half a dozen members of his administration are graduates of HBCUs, including the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Tanny Washington (Norfolk State University), and Special Assistant to the Mayor, Ashley Christopher (Howard University). Other HBCU graduates include: Cultural Affairs Assistant, Tonya Richardson (Hampton University), Community Referral Specialist, Earl Cooper (Morehouse College), Commissioner of the Licenses and Inspections Department, Jeff Starkey (Hampton University), Director of the Human Resources Department, Charlotte Barnes (Delaware State University) and Special Events Coordinator, Tiffany Christopher (Howard University).

“I am proud of these individuals who have chosen to serve with me to create a more efficient City government and move the City forward on a number of fronts,” said Mayor Purzycki. “Throughout this month, I will join with my government colleagues to spread the word to local students about the importance of HBCU’s and try to interest them in attending an HBCU. I want to thank Ashley Christopher and Earl Cooper for managing our HBCU campaign and for being so committed to their respective schools as well as to the mission of the HBCU Delaware Coalition, Inc., mission.”

Delaware State University president, Dr. Harry L. Williams, praises the City’s effort in celebrating the importance of HBCUs in light of the relationship DSU has had with Wilmington during the University’s 126-year history.

“As Delaware’s sole historically black institution of higher education, countless Wilmington students have attended DSU and earned degrees,” said Dr. Williams. “Many of them, as well as other graduates of the University, have also practiced their professions in the state’s largest city. With that rich reciprocal relationship in mind, it is an honor for Delaware State University to celebrate HBCU Month in Wilmington.”

Wilmington’s month-long HBCU commemoration will be highlighted by a Proclamation Signing Ceremony by Mayor Purzycki at HBCU Community Day in Helen Chambers Park on September 17.  Other events include a Happy Hour Fundraiser for black professionals, a beautification project at Nativity Preparatory School, a live hour-long program on LAPA Public Access TV28 and a College Fair and Financial Aid Seminar in the City County Building lobby. Various members of the Mayor’s staff also plan to visit area schools to talk about their HBCU experience and encourage the students to enroll at an HBCU.

A summary of the special HBCU events include:

Proclamation Signing/Community Day Ceremony
strong>Where: Helen Chambers Park, 600 N. Madison St.
When: Sunday, September 17, 2017, from 3:00 p.m.  – 6:00 p.m.

Staff Outreach to Local High School Students
Where: Various New Castle Co. high schools
When: Wednesday, September 20, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Nativity Prep Beautification Project
Where: Nativity Preparatory School, 1515 Linden St.
When: Wednesday, September 20, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Local Public Access TV 28 HBCU program – Live Taping
Where: LAPA Public Access TV28, 2801 Lancaster Avenue
When: Thursday, September 21, 2017, from 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

College Fair and Financial Aid Seminar*
Where: Louis L. Redding City County Building Lobby
When: Friday, September 22, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

*Schools attending thus far include Delaware State University, Bowie State University, Lincoln University, Coppin State University, Virginia State University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Happy Hour Fundraiser for Black Professionals
Where: Ernest & Scott Taproom, 902 N. Market St.
When: Wednesday, September 20, 2017, from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.