David P. Roselle was unanimously elected the 25th president of the University of Delaware in December 1989, following a search by a committee made up of trustees, faculty, alumni, staff and students.
Before officially assuming his new responsibilities on May 1, 1990, the president designate came to Newark during the winter to spend time familiarizing himself with the institution, its personnel and its concerns and challenges.
The transition between presidents was a smooth one because of Roselle's homework, and no time was lost in the progress of the University. Cooperative agreements were developed with the state government on construction of the Lammot du Pont Laboratory and the new Bob Carpenter Center Sports/Convocation Center, as well as renovations to the Allan P. Colburn Laboratory and the establishment of a technology park at the edge of the campus. Other major construction projects completed or under way during Roselle's administration include the new Trabant University Center, the Student Services Building, the Charles C. Allen Jr. Laboratory, the MBNA America Hall and Gore Hall, a state-of-the-art classroom building located on the Mall.
Public and private support also led to the renovation of a dozen aging campus buildings, from Robinson Hall to Recitation Hall to the historic George Evans House. Other projects were undertaken to beautify the campus grounds, including enhanced walkways, benches, outdoor lighting and plantings.
A dramatic upgrade in campus technology also occurred during Roselle's first six years, with all classrooms, offices and dormitory rooms now directly wired into the campus network. The new University administration made large increases in support for student scholarships and faculty and staff salaries, yet managed to hold down extraordinary tuition hikes.
While seeking increased revenues from private sources, contracts and grants, the Roselle administration also has reduced expenditures by privatizing services and consolidating redundant functions, eliminating $8 million in deficit spending and cutting recurring expenses by $32 million.
The Board of Trustees in 1995 chose to call all incoming Honors Program students whose application essays receive an A grade "Presidential Scholars," in honor of the president's commitment to attract student scholars.
Recognizing that David and Louise Roselle have "enhanced all aspects of life at the University of Delaware," the Board of Trustees established this small park and pedestrian pathway to honor them. Designed by Erik Karlsson, AG '77, of Landers Design Group, the park features an arboretum of native plants and protects the existing beech grove and other valuable specimens. Located across from the Perkins Student Center, the park is bordered by Alison Hall, the Hugh M. Morris Library and tennis and basketball courts.