Wilmington – Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki said today that Wilmington’s first-ever commemoration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Month was a huge success. Purzycki said the month-long celebration, intended to promote HBCU awareness among local students and their families, as well as to recognize the historic significance of these educational institutions, did just that. Mayor Purzycki said he is proud of the fact that at least a half dozen members of his Administration are graduates of HBCU’s including Chief of Staff, Tanya Washington (Norfolk State University).
HBCU month concluded last Friday with a College Fair and Financial Aid Seminar at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Wilmington. More than 650 high school students from 22 local schools were in attendance. The students had the opportunity to meet with representatives from ten HBCUs, including Cheyney University, Delaware State University, Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Morehouse College, Bowie State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Lincoln University, Morgan State University and Virginia State University.
Mayor Purzycki said it is remarkable that over one-hundred of the students who attended the College Fair were offered “on the spot” acceptance to college. The Mayor said HBCU Month in Wilmington was so successful that it will return next year with an even greater effort to send more local students to college.
“I couldn’t be happier with the results of our efforts to promote HBCU’s to local students,” said Mayor Purzycki. “More than 100 young people where accepted to college and some of them received full or partial scholarships. When we told the HBCU’s we would introduce them to local students, they didn’t hesitate to come to Wilmington to meet these outstanding individuals and to welcome them to college. We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to the colleges and universities which have offered more than $114,000 in scholarships to our local students and their families.”
Mayor Purzycki offered special thanks today to local school superintendents who supported the College Fair and arranged transportation for their students who wanted to participate in the fair. They include Mark Holodick from the Brandywine School District, Mervin Daugherty from the Red Clay Consolidated School District, D. Dusty Blakey from the Colonial School District, Richard Gregg from the Christina School District, Victoria Gehrt from the New Castle County Vo-Tech School District, and Matthew Burrows from the Appoquinimink School District.
The Mayor also thanked Kenneth Youngblood, who is the owner and operator of McDonald’s Restaurant on 4th Street, for donating meals to the college recruiters who came to Wilmington last week.
HBCU Month in Wilmington also included a Proclamation Signing and Community Day Ceremony at Helen Chambers Park, which is in the heart of the West Center City community. Representatives from Delaware State University in Dover attended the community event to provide a taste of an authentic HBCU homecoming experience for local residents. The month’s events also included a beautification project at the Nativity Prep School, and members of the Delaware 87ers basketball team and Philadelphia Union soccer team came together for a makeover of the School’s basketball court and soccer field—all part of the HBCU pledge to give back to the community.
Source: Mayors Office