Capital One Unveils New Riverfront HBCU Building

DE Governor, Congressional Delegation, celebrate Capital One’s expanded partnership with Delaware State University

WILMINGTON, Del. / February 25, 2022 / Today, the Delaware Congressional Delegation joined Delaware State University trustees, faculty, staff, and students as well as Delaware Governor John Carney, Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, and other civic leaders at an event unveiling “Delaware State University Riverfront,” a $4.7MM facility donated by Capital One to the University last summer.

In remarks at the event, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Governor John Carney, Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, and other leaders highlighted the partnership between Capital One and Delaware State University as an example of the critical role public-private partnerships play in strengthening HBCU infrastructure and expanding career pathways for HBCU graduates. Both Capital One and the University are strong advocates for the passage of the IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act, bipartisan federal legislation that proposes to make historic federal investments in HBCUs and strengthen public-private partnerships to enhance and grow these institutions. The bill is co-sponsored by: U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.), U.S. Representatives Alma Adams (D-N.C.) and French Hill (R-Ark.), and 175 other Members of U.S. Congress.

“Public-private partnerships are essential to strengthening and sustaining HBCUs, and it is a true honor for Capital One to be able to contribute to the ongoing legacy and impact of Delaware’s only HBCU by investing in its students and infrastructure. HBCUs are engines of opportunity and our partnership with Delaware State is a natural extension of Capital One’s commitment to advancing a more inclusive and equitable economy,” said Andy Navarrete, Executive Vice President, Head of External Affairs at Capital One.  

From left to right: U.S. Sen Tom Carper, Delaware State University student Anaya Patterson, Delaware Gov. John Carney, Delaware State University President Dr. Tony Allen, Capital One Delaware Market President Joe Westcott, Mayor Mike Purzycki, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings, and Delaware State University student Kyle Sheppard

With plans to open this spring, “Delaware State University Riverfront” will headquarter the University's School of Graduate, Adult, and Extended Studies, a new partnership with the Teen Warehouse for its workforce development center, and an incubation hub for micro and small businesses with a particular focus on minority and women-owned companies. The facility, which is valued at $4.7MM, contains 35,000 square feet with six floors, an open floor plan, and custom meeting space. 

In addition to formally opening the facility, Capital One and Delaware State University shared a series of updates related to their expanded recruitment partnership. Capital One announced today that an executive mentorship program will be launched in the spring to pair Capital One executives with University sophomores. The Capital One Foundation is also providing $270K in grants for the University’s Career Services Experiential Learning program, an initiative that seeks to help students bridge the gap between classroom and career. In November, Capital One shared its plans to deepen its recruiting partnership with the University, focusing on connecting students to career pathways in business analysis, technology, and product development.    

“Capital One was founded on the idea that new technology, world-class talent, and a focus on inclusion could transform financial services. Central to all of those things is our continued ability to bring great people and diverse perspectives into our company, and we’re incredibly excited by the opportunity to do that by deepening our recruiting relationship with Delaware State and its students,” said Shavonne Gordon, Vice President of Enterprise Diversity & Recruiting at Capital One.

Delaware State University President Tony Allen, who serves as Chair of President Biden’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, was proud: "It’s about time Delaware State University returned to the state’s metropolitan center— a city so many of our current students and alumni call home and a corporate hub for world-class employers like Capital One.” 

Allen continued, “It is well-researched that HBCUs have long been the central driver for propelling people from low-resourced backgrounds— particularly Black people— into the American middle class. To win together, our communities need to have a competitive education pipeline that rapidly prepares us for equitable economic opportunity, provides comprehensive and systemic support for the most vulnerable, and responds to an ever-changing workforce with intention and speed. This partnership is not the single solution, but it represents a significant move in the right direction.”

“This is a true win/win/win that we know will yield dividends for the community, for the University, and for Capital One. With deep roots in Wilmington, we at Capital One are honored to help bring this incredible learning institution, the only HBCU in the state of Delaware, back to the heart of the city,” said Capital One’s Delaware Market President Joe Westcott.

Today’s event featured products from local, small, minority-owned vendors and Delaware State University alumni-owned businesses, including Wilmington Green Box, a healthy food and cold-pressed juice business, that focuses on providing at-risk teens with entrepreneurial jobs.

The Delaware State partnership marks an important milestone in advancing Capital One’s enterprise HBCU recruitment and advocacy strategy, propelled in part by a fivefold expansion in efforts to support full time and intern hiring efforts over the last two years, a $1M commitment to supporting HBCU’s through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and United Negro College Fund (UNCF), a suite of programs to deliver skills training to HBCU students, and strong public support of policies that strengthen HBCUs across the country. Capital One has been a vocal supporter of bipartisan efforts spearheaded by Senator Coons to increase federal funding for HBCU infrastructure and encourage more public-private partnerships focused on strengthening and sustaining HBCUs. The partnership also extends Capital One’s larger commitments to advancing racial equity through the Capital One Impact Initiative, a $200 million, five-year commitment launched in 2020 to support growth in underserved communities and propel socioeconomic mobility by closing gaps in equity and opportunity. 

Capital One's joint commitment is one of the many ways it’s ensuring a long-term partnership beyond the ribbon cutting ceremony. As a Harvard Business Review report noted, public-private projects are “vital pieces of a nation’s economic fabric.” To that end, the partnership also extends Capital One’s larger commitments to advancing racial equity through the Capital One Impact Initiative, a $200 million, five-year commitment launched in 2020 to support growth in underserved communities and propel socioeconomic mobility by closing gaps in equity and opportunity. 


About Capital One 

Capital One, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of  channels. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol  “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index. Capital One was founded on the principle that great talent, great analytics and great technology could revolutionize financial services and democratize credit. We believe that attracting, hiring, and enabling great people can change banking for good.

About Delaware State University

Delaware State University is the nation’s #3 public Historically Black College/University (US News & World Report) and an R2 doctoral-granting high research activity institution, with a 130-year history of providing a high-quality, low-cost education for ALL. The University is the nation’s #1 provider of professional pilots of color; Delaware’s #1 provider of nurses, teachers, social workers, and accountants of color. In expanding its footprint throughout the State, the University recently completed the historic acquisition of Wesley College in downtown Dover. For more information, visit DESU online. 


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