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Delaware Public Archives to host presentation on history of Delaware State College

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

The Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. N., Dover, will commemorate African American History Month with "Building an Educational Future: Delaware State College and its relationship with Delaware’s Comprehensive High Schools in the 1950s,” a special program led by Donald Blakey at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 1.

In 1953, Jerome H. Holland was hired as the new president of Delaware State College. Holland had three sources of student recruitment — out of state, Wilmington’s Howard High School and Delaware State College’s High School. Coming to the rescue of the struggling college were many of the graduates of the newly formed county comprehensive high schools for African Americans and Native Americans. These schools were William. C. Jason, in Sussex County, William H. Henry, in Kent County, and Louis L. Redding, in New Castle County. The graduates of these schools provided a continuous and highly important flow of student traffic to sustain the important efforts set in motion for Delaware State College by Holland.

The intent of this program is to interact with former students of the schools in order to explore and capture valued experience gained within their home institutions and Delaware State College. These recorded memories will provide a permanent record to be available to current and future scholars.

A native of Washington, D.C., Blakey has been an active member of the Dover area community for many years. After graduating from Delaware State College in 1958, Blakey went on to earn his master’s degree and eventually his doctorate. He served as a physical education instructor and baseball coach at Delaware State College before joining the Caesar Rodney School District as assistant principal at the high school and director of pupil transportation for the district. An aviation enthusiast, he was a FAA-certified commercial, instrument, multi-engine-rated pilot who flew with Dover Air Trans Inc. For more than 25 years, Blakey was a member of Kent County Levy Court and the State House of Representatives. He currently works as director and principal writer for DonDel Theater Co. in Dover.

The program is free to the public and will last approximately one hour. No reservations are required.

For more, call 744-5047 or email thomas.summers@delaware.gov.