Messenger - Vol. 4, No. 2, Page 2 1995 New Blue Hen Clubs team up for athletes There's a new team at the University of Delaware, but you won't find its members on the field, on the court or in the pool. It's the University of Delaware Athletic Fund (UDAF) and its associated Fightin' Blue Hen Clubs, the newly created fundraising arm of the University's 22-sport Intercollegiate Athletics Program. And, all that's needed to "make" this team is an interest in maintaining the quality and competitiveness of UD athletics. UDAF's goal is to increase the number of alumni and friends providing financial support to athletics, thus broadening the base of private support. Overseeing the athletic fund is a 30-member board of directors, 22 of whom will be public directors elected by the membership. University trustee R.R.M. Carpenter III, who chairs the Board of Trustees' Committee on Student Life and Athletics, has been elected to serve as president of UDAF's founding board. "This new initiative has at its heart the basic concept of teamwork," says Athletic Director Edgar Johnson. "While individual effort is a key component in any endeavor, the combined efforts of individuals working together as a team always result in far greater accomplishments. That's the way we're looking at the UDAF and the Fightin' Blue Hen Clubs." Initially, Fightin' Blue Hen Clubs will be created in those geographic locations where existing support for athletics has been greatest-Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Each club will have its own president and a volunteer structure responsible for recruiting members through personal contact, personalized mailings and a phonathon. A gift of $50 or more ensures membership, and various benefits will be provided to donors. Based on their giving levels, donors may receive priority seating for football and basketball, news releases, media guides, recognition in football and basketball programs and membership in the Bob Carpenter Club. Donors who pledge $1,000 a year for five years will receive membership in the Delaware Diamonds Society. Officers will establish a meeting schedule for their individual Fightin' Blue Hen clubs, and University coaches and administrators will attend these meetings as their game and travel schedules allow. A meeting of all members is planned to be held each spring on the Newark campus. Revenue to support the 11 men's and 11 women's teams at the University of Delaware has traditionally come from a variety of sources, including University funds, the state and ticket sales. Increased support from private gifts from alumni and friends of the University is central to the future of the Delaware athletic program. Additional support for the University's athletic fund can make the difference between a good year and a great year, Johnson says. Gifts to the UDAF can help meet special needs, including equipment, travel, recruiting, scholarships and facilities. "It's going to take a number of individuals working together to ensure that all 22 sports are financially secure and competitive. If we can get all those alumni and friends who currently make gifts to athletics to convince others to do the same, then we've got a team," says Johnson. For further information on how to support the athletic program's competitiveness and success, call Kathleen Houghton at (302) 831-1075.