The sale of University of Delaware license plates has raised more than $48,000 in scholarship money since they first went on sale little more than a year ago, Robert R. Davis, assistant vice president of alumni and University relations, said.
In fact, sales within the state of Delaware have been so successful that the alumni office is now offering Maryland state tags featuring the popular interlocking UD design, Davis said.
One reason the plates are so popular, he noted, is that owners can choose any four digits to customize a tag.
For Jeannie Miles, alumni and University relations, that means hearing a lot of endearing stories.
"My favorite is the new father who came rushing in to get a license plate with the birthdate of his firstborn," Miles said. "And, there is one man who ordered a plate with a number that is also on his father's original [black] state tag as well as on his brother's fireman's tag."
Several alumni and UD employees have license plates with their wedding dates on them, and one couple has two plates-one for the year they got engaged and one for the year they got married. Couples who are Double Dels (married alumni) may get a tag with their graduation years, say UD8485 and then reverse them to UD8584 on the second plate. Some former football players have plates displaying their uniform numbers.
People who have earned two degrees at UD often order tags with numbers composed of both degree years.
University President David P. Roselle's tag is UD1743-the date of the University's founding.
Tags with numbers to mark graduation years went fast. They are sold out through the year 2005, and there are only a few other years available-all in the '40s and '30s."
The tag bearing UD1 went to Hockessin dentist Alfred B. Brown, Delaware '59, who submitted the highest bid for that number when the plates first went on sale in 1996. Brown also purchased tags with the numbers UD5, UD10, UD18, UD20 and UD23 and paid a total of $7,230.
While the UD1 plate was going on the back of Brown's own Mercedes Benz, he said he would divide the other plates among himself and his sons, two of whom also are UD graduates.
That auction raised more than $27,000 for scholarships, and Miles said there was a line of people waiting to purchase plates at the alumni office the next business day.
Davis said the Maryland tags are being marketed to alumni in that state, then to parents of current students and to employees who live in Maryland. Cost for a Delaware plate is $50 and the Maryland plate costs $65.
To order Delaware or Maryland tags, contact the Office of Alumni and University Relations at 831-2341 or via e-mail at PLATE@mvs.udel.edu