University of the Sciences Board of Trustees Chairman Delbert S. Payne has announced that he will retire from that position in May 2011. Payne, who has served on the USciences board since 1990 and chair since 2000, has helped steer the University's dynamic growth from a single college with 1,630 students, to a vibrant university with five colleges and 3,000 students. The board of trustees will hold an election for its next chairman at its regularly scheduled meeting on May 12, 2011.
"I feel truly blessed to have been part of the wonderful transformation of this institution from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science to University of the Sciences in Philadelphia—a full-fledged university with five colleges," Payne wrote in his retirement announcement to the board. "I have met some very terrific people both on the board and at the University."
Following a 20-year career in the military, Payne joined the Rohm and Haas Company in 1972 where he was the director of human resources at the Bristol, Pa., plant and later manager of corporate social investment before retiring in 1996.
“Del has committed himself to making the world a better place, not just through his own deeds, but by creating an environment and the opportunities for young people to emerge as community leaders in healthcare,” said Marvin Samson, board vice chairman. “His vision for and service to University of the Sciences for more than two decades and its growth under his guidance are testimonies to his selfless dedication. I am privileged to work closely with him and count him among my closest friends.”
Payne earned a bachelor's degree with honors in chemistry from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 1952 and then a master's in organic chemistry from University of Pennsylvania in 1964. He attended graduate school under the U.S. Army's civilian schooling program with additional graduate work in management and business from George Washington University in 1972.
A veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, Payne served in the army from 1952 until 1972. He was a commanding officer of the nuclear, biological, and chemical test division of the U.S. Army Arctic Test Center at Ft. Greely, Alaska, before retiring with a rank of lieutenant colonel.
In addition to his chairmanship at USciences, he was chair of the board of the Education Opportunity Fund of the New Jersey Department of Higher Education as well as the Philadelphia Education Fund and Glassboro State College (now Rowan University).
“Del is a gentleman's gentleman. He is an icon and a man of integrity and dedication in every respect. Working in partnership and collaboration with Del Payne has been one of my great and profound pleasures,” said USciences President Dr. Philip P. Gerbino. “History will record that his leadership, insightfulness, experience, and deep knowledge and understanding of higher education has enabled the growth and development of our university at a remarkable rate. It is an honor to be his friend.”
Payne received an honorary doctor of humanities from Glassboro State College in May 1990. USciences has honored his dedication to the University with the naming of The Delbert S. Payne Lobby in September 2010 in the University's iconic Griffith Hall and with the establishment of The Delbert S. Payne Endowed Scholarship in April 2010 to benefit one African-American student in financial need at the University each year.
Payne is a resident of Willingboro, NJ, with his wife Altona and has a son Harry and daughter Patricia.
At University of the Sciences, students embark on a challenging learning experience in a proving ground for successful professionals in the science and healthcare-related fields. A private institution dedicated to education, research, and service, and distinguished as the nation’s first college of pharmacy, the University has produced leaders in the science and healthcare marketplaces since its founding in 1821. Students in USciences’ five colleges learn to excel in scientific analysis and to apply their skills to improving healthcare in the lives of people worldwide through such disciplines as pharmacy, biology, physical therapy, healthcare business, and health policy. For more information, visit usciences.edu.