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The day DelVal became a university


Posted on April 22, 2015 by By Dr. Joseph Brosnan, president.

Courtesy: Delaware Valley University Some of DelVal's student-athletes visited the sign to celebrate university status.

The jagged line of students waiting to get free “university” t-shirts wound its way through the lobby of the Student Center and out into the Pub. I stood in the middle of all the excitement, helping to give out this souvenir of DelVal’s new status as a university.

It clearly was a hot item. We couldn’t give them out fast enough. More and more students crowded in, with everyone enjoying the frenzied pushing, the camaraderie and the shared pride.

This was April 8, the day our school officially became Delaware Valley University. It was the culmination of work that began in 2010 when the Board of Trustees approved the strategic plan. That plan was lengthy and detailed, but it all centered on DelVal taking this step up the academic ladder.

Over the past few years, as the plan was being implemented and as we launched programs that would qualify us for university status, we were thinking mainly about the future. On April 8, I couldn’t help but think about the present.

All around me, I could see that our students were overjoyed with the change. It was like a big party, a true cause for celebration.

Groups of student were gathering around the new “Delaware Valley University” sign at the Butler Avenue entrance, climbing on it, taking pictures of themselves shouting to passing cars, “We’re a university!”

Drivers honked back in support.

We had prepared long and hard for this day. Dignitaries came to campus. Speeches were made. Our new banners and logos were displayed. The day was nicely choreographed and went off without a hitch. But there was something I had not anticipated, and it occurred while a film crew was interviewing me in the library.

I was explaining my feelings on the day while standing in the closed-off alcove that was the office of our founder, Dr. Joseph Krauskopf. It has been preserved, just as he left it.

 As the camera rolled, I was nearly overcome by a sense of history. Dr. Krauskopf had once sat where I stood. He created the foundation for our university. Now it was me, an Irish guy from Brooklyn, who was charged with honoring the founder’s legacy and building on it.

At that moment, the hair actually stood up on the back of my neck. A chill went down my spine. 

It was evidence that something great has occurred.

University status happened because so many people, possessing love and appreciation for DelVal, labored so diligently on its behalf. Our leadership teams of faculty and staff, with the assistance of our trustees, achieved one for the record books.

I hope you were present to witness some of what I have mentioned here. Either way, I know you have been affected by it. I hope you always remember this. 

History is for remembering, and you are now part of history.