Delaware State University President Harry L. Williams was named among the honorees of the 2016 National TRIO Achiever Award in recognition of his career accomplishments.

Delaware State University President Harry L. Williams was named among the honorees of the 2016 National TRIO Achiever Award in recognition of his career accomplishments.

The award was presented Sept. 1 at the 35th annual Council for Opportunity in Education Conference in San Diego. Williams was among the six 2016 honorees who all received guidance and assistance from a TRIO program during their high school and/or freshmen years and have gone on to experience success in their professions.

The federally funded TRIO programs provide college preparation, mentoring and college admission assistance to low-income and first-generation students. Those established throughout the country include the Upward Bound, McNair Scholars and Student Support Services programs.

Williams, who came from a low-income family in North Carolina, enrolled as a freshman at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, in 1982. He was embraced by the TRIO’s Student Support Services Program at that university, which he credits with giving his higher education journey a good start.

Meanwhile, the native of Greenville, North Carolina, also found his calling to be in higher education, leading to his service in a number of ascending administrator posts at Appalachian State and at the University of North Carolina and his 2008 appointment as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Delaware State University and ultimately as the university’s president in 2010.

Since he became the 10th president of DSU, the university’s enrollment increased from 3,819 to 4,560 students. Among other accomplishments of the institution under Williams’ leadership:

— He achieved the support of state government to establish the Inspire Scholarship Program.

— The University was awarded more than $108 million in research-related grants.

— The construction of the Optical Science Center for Applied Research Building was completed in 2015.

— DSU was recognized as the 1890 Land-grant Institution of the Year in 2013 and as the 1890 University of the Year in 2015, both by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

— DSU’s initiatives to increase student success have led to partnerships with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education “First in the World” program, resulting in $3.6 million in grants in support of the University’s work in these areas.

— The University has established the Early College High School that features a science technology, engineering and math-emphasis curriculum as it prepares students for higher education.