By: Delaware State University
Experiencing record enrollment numbers, growing infrastructure, and expanding programs and partnerships over the last decade, the University determined it was time to refresh its brand to showcase its success and reflect its institutional character.
For the academic logo, the University Marketing and Communications design team set out to create a new visual mark connected with Delaware State University’s rich history, remarkable present, and promising future.
After extensive market research and feedback from stakeholders – including more than 600 students, faculty, staff, leadership, alumni and community members – the majority connected with the University’s iconic flag poles centered at the entrance of its main campus in Dover, Delaware. Along the ever-flying United States flag, the other flags are periodically changed to embrace the diverse number of countries the University’s students, faculty and staff represent. The only HBCU in Delaware, the University has relationships with 23 different countries around the world.
Numerous alumni and students commented that this is what they remember most about their first visit, and it continues to be the center point where students connect, whether to catch a shuttle or take photos with friends and family after celebrating graduation.
“It’s what we all remember from our first campus tour visit in middle or high school,” said 2023-2024 Student Government Association Vice President Josh Holloway. “Even now, we say, ‘Meet me at the flagpoles!’ ”
Leah Williams, the National President of the Delaware State University Alumni Association, noted the input of DSU graduates. “As ambassadors of the university, the unique experiences and perspectives of several alumni were utilized to create a design that generations of hornets can embrace,” Ms. Williams said.
“We are excited to introduce this new visual mark featuring flags that represent our diversity and honor, a mound that denotes our strong foundation, and traditional blue and red colors that reflect our inspiration and loyalty,” said Senior Associate Vice President of Marketing Dr. Dawn Mosley. “I am proud of our lead designer Jasmine Couch, our entire Marketing team, and the participants who provided valuable feedback to help shape the final design.”
On the Athletics side, the mascot beloved by students and alumni for decades has been provided a contemporary look to help propel the University’s Hornet pride into the future. The mascot name originated as the “Blue Hornet” nickname for the blue bus that transported the football team of the then-State College for Colored Students to its away games. By the time the College formally became a member of the Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1945, the “Hornet” had already been adopted as the mascot name of the institution’s sports teams.
“With the most diverse intercollegiate athletics program in DSU history, it was time for a more modern, powerful look,” said Director of Athletics Alecia Shields-Gadson. “This new Hornet athletics logo ushers in a new era for all of Delaware State University’s sports teams. It is a work of branding art that reflects all that our intercollegiate teams are striving for – consistent bold and strong performances on the field of play that are packed with an unrelenting sting.”
The Hornet redesign is the extraordinary result of the collaborative design work of our marketing team staff members Antonio “JR” Fuondjing and Jasmine Couch.
The launch of the logos is just the beginning. The next step, says Dr. Mosley, is revitalizing the University’s brand elements to tell its story as comprehensively as possible.
“Our students are our greatest storytellers, so we’ve readied them with a strong narrative behind the new mark,” Dr. Mosley said. “We’re inspiring our students, alumni, parents, staff, partners, and supporters to represent the new DSU and Hornet everywhere and on every platform. We purposefully produced a transformed sense of pride and excitement about who we are and our future. The new DSU mark reflects the way many have already referred to us for years. Now it is official, and we are excited to embrace it. We are DSU!”
The new logos will roll out immediately and will include new merchandise to prepare for DSU’s Homecoming on October 21. Anyone interested in merchandise bearing the new logos can visit http://www.HBCUdsu.com.
Over time, the Marketing and Communications department will continue implementing the updated designs on all platforms.