This HBCU is now the first to acquire another school on its own: ‘A historic moment’

Abu Mubarik July 08, 2021
Delaware State acquires Wesley College. Photo: Delaware State

Delaware State University (DSU) has made history by becoming the first HBCU to acquire another institution of higher learning. The deal for the purchase of Wesley College was completed last week. What the takeover means is that DSU will gain 50 acres, 21 buildings, 14 academic programs, as well as 71 former Wesley faculty and staff members, the university said in a statement.

“This is a historic moment,” said Delaware State University President Tony Allen. “In our view, that point is noteworthy, but it is not the reason this is such an attractive opportunity. To serve more students who need our brand of excellence, education, and care, we needed to increase the size of our footprint, build on our key academic programs, grow our research base and enhance our economic impact on the State of Delaware.

He went on, “We could not be any more pleased about adding the incredible Wesley brand legacy, so many continuing students, and dozens of dedicated employees to our own family.”

According to reports, the first time a similar situation occurred was in 1977 when a court ordered that the University of Tennessee at Nashville merge with Tennessee State University.

No money changed hands in the takeover of Wesley College. However, DSU agreed to take on Wesley’s liabilities as well as all students in good standing.

DSU will not honor Wesley scholarships as the average cost differential between the two schools is approximately $200,000. Wesley’s undergraduate tuition rate for last year was $26,934. DSU’s tuition rate was $7038 for in-state students and $16,960 for out-of-state students. DSU earlier this year canceled more than $700,000 in student loan debt to graduates troubled by the coronavirus.

Following the takeover of Wesley College, the school will now be known as the Wesley College of Health & Behavioral Sciences within Delaware State. It will run programs in disciplines like including allied/public health, kinesiology, nursing, occupational therapy, psychology and social work.

So far, 387 former Wesley students have registered to continue their studies at Delaware State, and another 85 students are in the process of registering, according to Delaware State. Together, they make up 77 percent of former Wesley students.

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