Nov. 29, 2004--Elbert C. Wisner, 80, of Sarasota, Fla., died Nov. 22.
One of the first African Americans admitted to the undergraduate program at UD, Mr. Wisner received his bachelors degree in electrical engineering in 1952.
He was elected to the Alumni Wall of Fame in 1988, was the featured speaker at Winter Commencement in 1989 and was presented the Universitys Medal of Distinction on May 3, 2002. The medal is the highest award the University bestows and is presented to those who have made humanitarian, cultural, intellectual or scientific contributions to society, have achieved noteworthy success in their professions or have given significant service to the University, the state or region.
An active alumnus, Mr. Wisner provided leadership in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the RISE Program in the College of Engineering in 1998 and was a member of the colleges steering committee for the Campaign for Delaware.
Born in Kansas and raised in Boulder, Colo., he began his college career at the University of Colorado, but transferred to the UD in 1949.
Mr. Wisner served in the U.S. Army in World War II and was an accomplished musician, playing in Army bands throughout the United States and later in France. He used his skill on the saxophone to help finance his education.
He earned an MBA from Rutgers University in 1973.
After he retired as a civilian Army electronic engineer, Mr. Wisner pursued a second career as president and senior partner in SBS Consultants, a management consulting firm, and principal management specialist with SEMCOR Inc.
His stepgreat-granddaughter, Shante Stargell, continued the family legacy at the University of Delaware when she graduated from the University with a bachelors degree in civil engineering in 2000.
In 1999, he moved from Ocean, N.J., to Sarasota, where he was a member of the First United Methodist Church.
Survivors include his wife, Lillette (Jenkins); stepdaughters, Adrienne Harris and Michele Carter; brothers, Roscoe and Richard; four stepgrandchildren; and six stepgreat-grandchildren.
Visitation and a memorial service will be held Monday, Dec. 6, at the First United Methodist Church in Sarasota.