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Delaware State University Programs Included in Federal Appropriations Bill

March 14, 2022

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester Secures $1 Million for Revitalization and Entrepreneurship Senator Chris Coons Solidifies Partnerships in Space Observation and Sustainable Energy  

DOVER, Del. – Funding for two Delaware State University programs and two shared initiatives with the University of Delaware were included in the sweeping $1.5 trillion federal appropriations package passed by Congress and sent to President Biden’s desk, thanks to the Delaware Congressional Delegation.

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester secured $1 million for the Center for Urban Revitalization and Entrepreneurship (CURE), the first small business incubator in Kent County and part of a Delaware State University plan to help revitalize COVID-battered downtown, Dover.

Senator Chris Coons successfully requested $900,000 for the Charles Schwab Financial Literacy Institute (FLi), a partnership focused on financial literacy and wealth management for university students, student influencers, and communities. The senator also secured $1 million for the Sustainable Energy Research program and $900,000 for the Space Observation Center, two programs shared with the University of Delaware. 

Dr. Tony Allen President of Delaware State University delivers remarks during Capital One and the Delaware State University ribbon-cutting ceremony to make their New Historic Downtown satellite facility Friday, February 25, 2022, in Wilmington, Delaware. Mandatory Credit: Saquan Stimpson

“The Delaware Congressional Delegation is the best in the country,” said Delaware State University President Tony Allen. “They not only show up when we need them, but they are also engaged in the work and constantly thinking through how we can extend the best of our intellectual capital — students, staff, and faculty — to communities throughout Delaware and oftentimes around the country….Today’s announcements are clear and compelling examples.”

To meet urgent needs across the country, members of Congress were invited to request funding for projects in their communities. This year marked the return of so-called earmarks and give lawmakers the ability to set aside funds for specific projects. 

Under the Community Project Funding program in the House of Representatives, members were allowed to submit a maximum of 10 requests for funding to be considered by the House Appropriations Committee.  CURE was among more than 150 applications for funding received by Congresswoman Blunt Rochester’s office.

“Ever since coming to Congress, my top priority has been investing in Delaware and creating economic opportunity up and down our state. The Community Project Funding that I was able to secure for the Center for Urban Revitalization and Entrepreneurship will do exactly that,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “From creating new and exciting opportunities for the Hornet students at DSU to spurring economic growth within the Downtown Development District of Dover to inspire collaboration and cooperation across public, private, and academic sectors – this investment is truly a gamechanger.”

In the Senate, community programs are called “congressionally directed spending” and included a wide range of more than 4,000 projects. 

“As the first Delaware senator in more than 40 years to serve on the Appropriations Committee, I am proud to have secured nearly $2.5 million for projects that will make a huge impact at Delaware State University,” said Senator Coons.  “This funding will further strengthen one of the nation’s leading public HBCUs and ensure that the campus is able to open even more doors for its students.  I thank the Delaware federal delegation and President Allen for their partnership in supporting the next generation of leaders.”

Leaders at the university said efforts by the delegation will benefit Delaware State University students and the surrounding communities. “I would like to thank the congressional delegation for their support of our programs here at Delaware State University,” said Dr. Saundra DeLauder, Provost and Chief Academic Officer. “Funding garnered in support of  CURE and the Charles Schwab Financial literacy Institute under the leadership of Dean Michael Casson will support our academic programs, experiential learning opportunities for our students, and outreach to our communities. These programs exemplify our core values here at the university as a public land-grant institution. Funding in partnership with the University of Delaware also supports our commitment to broadening participation in under-represented areas in STEM.”

In additional budgetary news, Congress approved a $400 annual increase for federal Pell Grant program recipients, bringing the yearly maximum to $6895, the most significant increase in a decade.

Also, funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) rose by $12.5 million over last year, bringing the total to $215 million.