Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What is it Like to be a University President?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a university president? 

One of the greatest powers that archival repositories possess is the ability to transport researchers back in time to retrace the steps of other individuals.  When you research archival collections you have the ability to hear someone else’s voice and at times read his or her most intimate thoughts in the documents before you.  You touch the very same papers!

Among some of the most significant collections in the DSU archives are those of the university presidents.  Found within the presidential files are documents which speak to each president’s visions for the growth of Delaware State University. The collections include strategic planning reports, speech drafts, correspondence with other university presidents, meeting minutes for internal committees, travel itineraries, and so much more.  The records have the ability to inform researchers about the historic mission of Delaware State University, the incremental physical and intellectual growth of the university, the character of DSU students and faculty, and the significant contributions of the university to the world at large. 

I am pleased to say that efforts are beginning in order to publicly present the presidential files of Dr. Luna I. Mishoe (1960-1987) and Dr. William B. Delauder (1987-2003). Hopefully one day very soon you will be able to be transported back in time to walk in the shoes of two of the university’s most significant leaders. 

The collection of President DeLauder's papers contains a wealth of information about the opportunities and responsibilities of a university president. This travel itinerary is just one example.  Here we learn that President DeLauder traveled to the White House to attend a conference for historically black colleges and universities in 1989. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Where were you on December 31, 1999 at 11:59pm?   I was sitting in my grandparents’ house in New York State huddled on the floor with a survival kit I had gotten for Christmas just days before.   Meanwhile, in Dover Delaware, College administrators at Delaware State University were waiting to determine if winter break should be extended due to a mass failure of technology. 10!...9!...8!...

It was Y2K.  New Year’s Eve in 1999 was a time of mass panic as people around the world waited for the moment when computers would destroy the world as we knew it, or so they thought.  There was a flaw in the internal clocks of computers in which they only had two digits instead of four designated to calculate the calendar year.  The simple lack of two digits would cause computers to revert to the year 1900 instead of advance to 2000.  This, it was theorized, had the potential to power down technology around the world.

In the years prior to the year 2000, Y2K compliance committees were established anywhere where technology was utilized – essentially everywhere - in schools, businesses, medical facilities, modes of transportation, public utilities, etc.  Delaware State University was no exception.  

Last week a report from the 1999 Y2K compliance committee at DSU was uncovered within the university archives.  Enjoy these excerpts from the DSU report, and relive the panic in a short video clip from National Geographic. Today we are able to laugh at the Y2K incident as it fades into the obscurity of history.

Written by Joy Scherry