Nicole S. Rowe
Administrative Assistant, Public Relations
320 DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE 19720
Wilmington University Admissions Building Named in Honor of Former President
The continuous efforts, caring spirit and strong leadership of retired Wilmington University president Dr. Audrey K. Doberstein will not go unnoticed on the University's New Castle campus. Dr. Doberstein was honored today as President Dr. Jack P. Varsalona renamed a building the Audrey Kohl Doberstein Admissions Center to pay tribute to the legacy she left behind.
Dr. Doberstein became president of then Wilmington College in 1979. At the time the school had 400 students, no assets and a debt exceeding $700,000. While many people might have questioned the future of the humble roadside college, Dr. Doberstein was determined to forge ahead. It is thanks to the perseverance of Dr. Doberstein and the support of the Board of Trustees that the University continues to flourish today. When she retired the institution had approximately 10,000 students and 6 locations. And today the University has 11,500 students in 9 locations throughout Delaware and New Jersey.
"Dr. Doberstein has touched the lives of 20,000 students by giving them a chance to earn a quality education. It is her spirit of caring every day and every hour that has set an example for our faculty and staff." Said President Dr. Jack P. Varsalona in a speech before the faculty and staff. "We named this building after Audrey Doberstein because we want the next 20,000 students to know why they are here."
Under the direction of Audrey Doberstein, Wilmington University created cutting-edge programs to meet the needs of an ever-changing job market. A focus on the non-traditional student made Wilmington University the first school in Delaware to target working adults (students age 25 and older), offering evening and weekend classes so students could fit a college education into their busy lifestyles.
As Audrey Doberstein was welcomed on stage, she was met with thunderous applause and a standing ovation. President Dr. Jack P. Varsalona unveiled a portrait of Dr. Doberstein that will be hung on the wall of the building that she is being named for.
Audrey Doberstein's daughter, Ann Doberstein was emotional when she spoke of her mother's achievements at the ceremony on Wednesday. "What she does is leadership and love...It was always about the students."