Delaware State University (DSU) announced that it has officially completed its acquisition of Wesley college. The university will inherit 50 acres, 21 buildings, and 14 academic programs from the takeover. In addition, it will also add 71 former Wesley faculty and staff to its payroll.
The former Wesley campus in Downtown Dover will become the new Wesley College of Health and Behavioral Sciences in honor of the private liberal arts colleges’ history and legacy. It will host the nursing, occupational therapy, social work, and health programs from both schools.
DSU is the first historically Black college or university (HBCU) to acquire a non-HBCU school on its own. While a similar merger did occur between Tennessee State University, an HBCU, with the University of Tennessee at Nashville, this was due to a court ruling made by a federal judge in Tennessee.
A Positive Outlook for DSU
Tony Allen, the President of DSU, expressed his optimism about the takeover to WHYY.
“I’m very excited about what this prospect brings for more students who need an open door, just need an opportunity to change their economic trajectory for themselves, their families, and their communities,” he said.
The former president of DSU, Harry Williams, called the acquisition “an unprecedented landmark in the long history of HBCUs.”
It is estimated that nearly 80 percent of Wesley’s student body will carry on at DSU, a decision made easier by the drastically reduced tuition. One year of undergraduate study at Wesley was $43,000 compared to only $24,000 at DSU.
The acquisition was made possible by several financial boosts in the past year. This included a $20 million gift from author and philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, the largest single gift that the institution has ever received; a $1 million donation from the Longwood Foundation; and another $1 million from TikTok’s Health Heroes Relief Fund.