Delaware State University is set to unveil the first ever statue on campus.
DSU is recognizing what it considers the most pivotal president in its history Friday when it dedicates the Dr. Jerome H. Holland statue.
“We see this as historic preservation. We need to not only memorialize Dr. Holland but memorialize all that he accomplished and how that relates to our history,” said Carlos Holmes - Delaware State University’s spokesman and historian.
Holmes says Dr. Holland is considered by many the savior of DSU. He was the president from 1953 to 1960, during a very troublesome period.
Holmes says at the time the college had lost its accreditation. It’s also had a terrible relationship with the state, which had withdrawn much of its financial support. Dr. Holland was able to turn things around and create a healthy partnership between the school and the State of Delaware.
“He was the president from 1953 to 1960 at a very troublesome time; he inherited quite a problem when he became president. We had lost our accreditation, we had a terrible relationship with the State...the State was not treating us very well in terms of financial support and that’s one of the reasons we lost our accreditation,” Holmes said.
Holmes says Dr. Holmes’ unique leadership style and abilities allowed him to get the school back on track - building a healthy partnership with the State of Delaware and getting the school accredited again.
The statue of Dr. Holland sits at the entrance of the University’s pedestrian mall. The public is invited to Friday’s 3 p.m. dedication.
Current DSU President Dr. Wilma Mishoe will be among those remembering Holland and his contributions. Her father, Dr. Luna Mishoe, succeed Dr. Holland as president in 1960.