Dover Officials Hope Potential Merger Keeps Wesley in City - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Officials Hope Potential Merger Keeps Wesley in City

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Wesley College in Dover (Photo: WBOC) Wesley College in Dover (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- One day after learning news that Wesley College is seeking a merger with another institution, some officials in Dover are expressing hope that the private liberal arts school will be able to stabilize its finances and remain in the city.

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said Thursday he is hopeful state officials and other stakeholders can find the appropriate way to support Wesley. Leaders at the school have acknowledged the institution is facing financial difficulties tied to decreasing enrollment and other factors.

Christiansen said Wesley has a large footprint within the city because of its main campus, the old Dover library, and a former federal building that houses occupational therapy and nursing programs. The college also co-owns the shuttered Schwartz Center for the Arts on South State Street.

"I think it is very, very important and it is incumbent on the powers that be to realistically come up with a game plan to secure the future of Wesley college." he said.

Wesley College President Bob Clark said in a letter to state officials late last month that it is request $3.2 million to help it stabilize its finances and remain eligible for federal aid. The document, which was obtained by WBOC through a Freedom of Information Act request, stated the school had signed agreements with two other institutions and is attempting to merge with one of them.

School officials have said there are more than 1,000 students enrolled at Wesley College with roughly 250 to 300 people working there.

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