Wilma Mishoe announced on Sept. 5 — her 70th birthday — her intention to retire as president of Delaware State University, effective Dec. 31, the capstone to a 40-year career in higher education that ends where it started: on the DSU’s Dover campus.
In a letter to the University community — available at bit.ly/2LFYZLu — Mishoe wrote, “I am far from done. When I retire from the Presidency of this great University on December 31, 2019, I know I will go to new adventures, confident that I have left our great, shared enterprise in good hands. My heart will always reside on this campus, and my hands will be here whenever needed.”
Mishoe was serving as the first female chair of the board of trustees in October 2017 when then-President Harry Williams announced his departure to become CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The board announced Mishoe as interim president in January 2018, a position made permanent that June, installing her as the first female chief executive in the university’s history. Prior to her tenure at Delaware State University, Mishoe was a long-serving academic administrator at Delaware Technical Community College, chairwoman of the Capital School Board and a trustee at Wilberforce University, the oldest private Historically Black College and University in the country, where she later became interim president. She started her career at then-Wilmington College.
Her career at Delaware State University has been marked by an emphasis on “Students First,” including final achievement of the four-year INSPIRE scholarship program for Delaware students attending the university; securing the first dollar-for-dollar 1890 Land Grant research match from the state for agricultural research and community outreach efforts; creating a downtown presence in Dover with the acquisition of the Barros Building and the continued operation of the Schwartz Center for the Arts; replacing the aircraft fleet for the university’s world-class aviation program; a technology initiative to ensure the campus goes completely digital by 2020; and increasing the state’s commitment to addressing the university’s backlog of deferred maintenance.
Under her leadership, the university now stands at nearly 5,000 strong, the largest student enrollment in its 128-year history.
To view Mishoe’s personal video to the university community, visit youtu.be/NKBglgUxPps.