Wilmington University was founded just outside historic New Castle, Delaware, in 1968 by Dr. Donald E. Ross, who served as the institution's president until 1977. The school began with a charter class of 194 students in 1968; between 1979 and 2006, the university grew to more than 10,000 students under the leadership of president Dr. Audrey K. Doberstein. Duberstein was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women in 2011 in recognition of her contributions to Wilmington University and the community. The university now offers graduate and doctoral degrees, and serves more than 20,000 students enrolled annually in online and on-campus classes at campuses in three states.
Founded as Wilmington College, the institution officially became Wilmington University on September 10, 2007, after the approval of the board of trustees and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The name was changed to reflect the emphasis on undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs