Delaware Public Media

DSU president Harry Williams leaving to run Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Oct 23, 2017

Delaware State University’s president is stepping down.

Harry Williams will leave DSU early next year to become President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

The announcement came Monday night at the organization’s 30th anniversary gala in Washington D.C. as Williams received its Educational Leadership Award.

Williams was named Delaware State University president in 2009 after spending 18 months as the school’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  He’ll stay on as president until January 20th of next year.

Williams called his time at DSU “the most defining decade of my professional life.” 

"My family and I are deeply indebted to the State of Delaware and to Delaware State University. This University and its community – students, staff, faculty, alumni, trustees – have given us more than we could ever have imagined,” said Williams in a statement.  “Every day I’ve attempted to return that same level of energy and commitment to the Hornet Nation, so that DSU takes its rightful place among the most important, diverse, and influential HBCUs in the country. While much remains to do, we have achieved our initial objectives and are now perfectly poised for the future."

During his tenure, DSU’s enrollment has grown by 22 percent. He also built a research capacity of nearly $30 million in grants that included a cutting-edge Optics Center and the school’s first patents. He also led a $20 million fundraising campaign.

“Dr. Williams has led Delaware State University during a critical time - when higher education has been more important than ever to the success of young Delawareans, and to our collective success as a state,” said Gov. Carney (D-Delaware) in a  statement. “DSU has long been one of Delaware’s most important and historic institutions, and its contributions to our state, our ability to attract talented young people, and prepare the next generation, have only grown under Dr. Williams’ guidance."

“Dr. Williams is a visionary leader whose acumen and style are matched only by his commitment to our students’ success. There could not have been a more ideal person to lead us through the still early days of the 21st Century. He embodies the very best of us from our initial roots as the Delaware College for Colored Students to our evolution as a comprehensive teaching, learning, and research University,” said DSU Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Wilma Mishoe in a statement.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund has 47 member schools that represent nearly 300 thousand students at the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions.  Williams will work there to develop new strategic partnerships that build its scholarships and expand research initiatives.  He’ll also lead the group’s K-12 public education reform efforts.