The Longwood Foundation has awarded $1-million to Delaware State University to support its acquisition of Wesley College. The funding will support on-going transition costs, including personnel and a comprehensive plan for aligning the two institutions’ academic programs. DSU is looking for the transaction to be completed by July of 2021.
Te deal has several contingencies attached to it, including approval from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the regional accrediting body for both institutions.
“In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and all its inherent uncertainties, as well as the continued unrest in our country over systemic racism, there is a case to be made that a University like ours should focus its attention on navigating a rapidly changing American landscape,” said University President Tony Allen. “That is precisely what we are doing. The Wesley acquisition is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and matches our highest aspirations.”
Dr. Allen noted that one of the other core contingencies for a successful acquisition is the ability to secure sufficient funding resources outside University normal operating revenue to manage the transaction. “This Longwood Foundation gift will be expressly used for that purpose, and validates the impact the combined entity will have on the educational, cultural and economic impact to the City of Dover, Kent County and the State of Delaware.”
The Longwood Foundation has been a longtime supporter of Delaware State University. Recently, the Foundation provided two separate $1 million grants between 2011 and 2015. Those grants supported the University’s Project Aspire – a scholarship initiative that helped students stay enrolled and complete their degree requirements. The program resulted in a 12% increase in the University’s retention rate and a 6% increase in its graduation rate.
“The Longwood Foundation’s grant to Delaware State University to help acquire Wesley College is a wonderful investment that will benefit the students, but also the greater Dover community for many years to come,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper. “Longwood recognizes Wesley’s impact in our region with its location in the heart of historic Dover and its attractive health sciences curriculum and has generously stepped up to the plate to help make this acquisition a reality. This is what we mean by the Delaware Way – public and private sectors working together to make Delaware a better place to live, work and learn!”