Wilma Mishoe will be installed as the 11th — and first female — president of Delaware State University.
Mishoe, who had been acting president of the historically Black university since last year and was appointed president in July, will be formally recognized during an investiture ceremony Saturday.
She holds a position her father, Luna Mishoe, held for 27 years.
“Dr. Mishoe wants to continue her father’s legacy, as well as the great work of previous presidents before her in terms of growth and excellence,” said Carlos Holmes, DSU’s director of news services and college historian. “If you talk to Dr. Mishoe, she is not satisfied of the perception of Delaware State University of where it should be in Delaware and regionally.”
Under the direction of Luna Mishoe, the university grew from 18 majors, enrollment expanded from 386 students in 1960, and the physical infrastructure of the campus expanded with new construction and improvement to existing buildings, Holmes said. Luna Mishoe, also a Tuskegee airman, died in 1989.
The university’s enrollment has continued to grow under Wilma Mishoe’s leadership. This year enrollment is 4,872, up from last year’s record of 4,648.
Mishoe plans to continue seeking more grant opportunities for the university and to implement a digital learning initiative.
“By 2022, we want all of our instruction to be digitally delivered,” Holmes said. “This freshman class received an iPad to use in their first academic year.”
Due to Mishoe’s busy schedule this week, she was not available for comment, according to a university spokesperson.
Mishoe received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education from Howard University and earned a doctorate in adult/vocational education from Temple University.
She held several positions at Delaware Technical and Community College — including dean of office instruction, dean of student services, federal programs coordinator and affirmative action officer — before she retired in 2010. She was appointed acting president of Wilberforce University in Ohio in 2014.
After the announcement last year that former DSU President Harry Williams was leaving the university, Mishoe stepped in and served as acting president. Williams is now president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a non-profit organization that represents 47 publicly supported Black college member schools.
Mishoe was named the first woman to chair DSU’s board in August 2017.
The board of trustees at DSU voted unanimously to appoint Mishoe as president over the summer.
“Our priority is to keep the university moving forward with an intentional focus on student success,” Mishoe said in a statement last year as acting president.
The installation service will be held at 10 a.m. in the theater of the Education and Humanities Building on campus, 1200 N. DuPont Highway in Dover, Del. Delaware Gov. John Carney and Williams are expected to be in attendance, as well as other dignitaries.
By Ryanne Persinger of the Philadelphia Tribune