Volume 6, Number 4, 1997


Exhortation and exhilaration at 148th Commencement

Tears, cheers, lots of hugs and a few sighs of relief marked the University's 148th Commencement ceremonies, held May 31 in Delaware Stadium for members of the Class of 1997, their families and friends.

Intermittent raindrops did nothing to dampen the spirits of the 2,788 degree recipients and the more than 20,000 well-wishers in the stands. By the end of the ceremony, 66 doctoral degrees, 405 master's degrees, 2,313 bachelor's degrees and four associate degrees had been conferred.

Graduates came from 41 states in the United States and 71 countries around the world. They ranged in age from 19 to 86 and included three sets of twins and seven people who were celebrating both Commencement and their birthdays. There were 112 Michaels and 121 Jennifers-the most popular names in the class for the fifth year in a row.

Among the many success stories that day were those of Julie Anne Fine of Newark and D. Thomas Rutkowski of St. Louis, who achieved perfect 4.0 grade point averages in their full-time study for baccalaureate degrees; Saundra Anderson of Bear, Del., who earned a degree in nursing while undergoing grueling treatments for Hodgkin's disease; Sean Curran of Hockessin, Del., (above center) who earned a finance degree in four years despite an accident that left him paralyzed below the neck; David Murray, a busy husband and father employed by UD facilities management, who earned his degree after 22 years of part-time study; and Dorothy White, who graduated from high school on D-Day and earned her fine arts degree at the age of 70.

University President David P. Roselle delivered opening remarks and urged the graduates to "Keep your minds open, clear and true and filled with understanding for those things, those people, those thoughts which may be different from yours, and a way will be open to you in all you do."

Columnist Georgie Anne Geyer, (above left) known worldwide for her sensitive and innovative reporting as a foreign correspondent, delivered the Commencement address.

Geyer spoke of a Jesuit friend in Chile in the 1960s who, in the midst of the battle between democracy and communism, told her, "I am aware that the center is not holding. Still, I will keep on fighting. I am responsible for my own fight, not for the outcome."

"Those words not only seemed eminently reasonable to me," Geyer said, "they also seemed very (to use a word I do not particularly like) 'empowering,' because no one can take your own fight away from you. Often enough throughout history, people who seemed to lose at the time turned out later to win in the greater scheme of things."

Geyer wished the graduates the ability to know the "Order of the Loves," a phrase from St. Augustine (354-430) that she said describes "the capacity of knowing what is most important to you, what you love above all else and what you must place first if you are to be all of the person you can be, as you leave this wonderful school today and face your new lives."

UD ranks 25th among top public universities

The University of Delaware is ranked 25th among the nation's top public universities in U.S. News and World Report's just released 11th annual "America's Best Colleges" issue and guidebook.

This is the first time the magazine has ranked the nation's top public universities in a separate table.

"Applicants and their families do take the U.S. News rankings seriously, and it is important for the University to be included in this new category of the best national public universities," Fred Siegel, UD's associate provost for enrollment services, said. "There are some major institutions not on this 'Top 25' list: All the more reason for the entire community to feel proud that UD is viewed objectively as a great institution. The effect on recruitment will most definitely be felt."

Based on questionnaires sent to 1,400 four-year schools, the rankings appeared in the magazine's Sept. 1 issue. The rankings take into account academic reputation, retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, value added (a measure of the school's role in the academic success of students) and alumni giving rate.

UD shares the 25th rank with Indiana University at Bloomington and the universities of California at Santa Cruz and Hawaii at Manoa.

Money magazine recently ranked the University of Delaware 64th in its eighth annual ranking of top values in four-year undergraduate schools in America. UD also was ranked 14th out of the 25 best buys in the Mid-Atlantic area in the article, which appears in the magazine's September issue.

Ever-ready rain jacket

Arain jacket designed by Rachel Fink of Bethesda, Md., HP '97, will be the first offering in a new line of clothing to be known as "UD Classics." A manufacturer for the design currently is being sought, and it's expected the jacket will be available for sale next fall in the UD Bookstore.

Fink, a textiles and clothing merchandising major, designed and constructed the fully lined, thigh-length jacket in partnership with W.L. Gore & Associates Inc.

Her fashionable rainwear also has a practical side. It will carry the Guaranteed To Keep You Dry® warranty, because it unites waterproof, windproof and breathable Gore-tex® fabric with a self-contained pouch, sewn onto the nylon lining in the back. It is possible to tuck the entire coat up into the pouch and stash the resulting small, flat package into a briefcase or bag.

Fink says this is the first rain jacket to have the pouch sewn into the garment itself. Thus, it eliminates the question of what to do with the pouch when you're wearing the coat or what to do with the coat when you misplace the pouch. In the case of this UD Classic, you'd be wearing the pouch, although no one will ever know.

With flattering A-line styling and a drawstring waist, the jacket will feature contrasting color on the collar, zipper and cuffs, which can be rolled up to accommodate different arm lengths. The jacket also has a hood with a small visor that can be rolled up under the collar when the skies clear.

Fink became involved in the project when UD alum Laurie Gil, HP '73, '77M, president of the Human Resources Alumni Association and a 1992 Presidential Citation recipient, contacted Karen Schaeffer, associate professor of consumer studies, for student help on the project. An associate at Gore, Gil works on a development team for women's products in the Consumer Fabrics Division of Gore.

Fink embraced every phase of the project, from sewing to weather testing. She wore the coat in the Gore rainroom, which produces three inches of rain per hour, to satisfy criteria for the warranty and conducted research on raingear already on the market.

After developing a prototype, Fink helped assemble focus groups to test reaction to the product and to hear opinions on rainwear likes and dislikes.

Eventually, l0 test models of the coat were made and given to Fink's friends and acquaintances (including Schaeffer) to wear for 20 days. After each use, participants filled out a questionnaire that covered everything from style to leakage.

"One of the most interesting results was the number of people who liked the coat so much they said they wouldn't just save it for emergencies," Fink says.

"One woman said she used the pouch as a pillow when she traveled, and another thought it made a great stadium seat."

-Beth Thomas

Have a craving for crab cakes?

If you developed an appetite for crab cakes while a student at UD, here's a recipe sure to take you back.

Each year, the Delaware Sea Grant College Program and UD's College of Marine Studies sponsor a Crab Cake Cook-Off at Coast Day, the award-winning, annual educational festival and showcase for Delaware's marine resources. The event, which attracts more than 10,000 visitors, was scheduled this year for
Oct. 5.

Last year's winner was Gregory Scirroto from Somers Point, N.J. Here's his recipe for crab cakes with snap, crackle and pop!

Mia Crab Cake

2 pounds crab meat
1 teaspoon Caribbean jerk spice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 oz. Frangelica liqueur
1 cup white bread, diced
1 teaspoon green Tabasco
4 oz. scallion, diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 oz. roasted red peppers, diced
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 cup crushed Rice Krispies
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
olive oil (to lightly coat cakes)
3 oz. pesto
2 oz. parsley, chopped
Combine liquids in large bowl, mixing after each ingredient. Then, add all remaining ingredients, except Rice Krispies, olive oil and parsley. Form into five-ounce crab cakes, roll in olive oil and dust in crushed Rice Krispies. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 40 minutes on crushed aluminum foil. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Summer visitors

Things were buzzing in Clayton Hall this summer when the Eastern Apicultural Society held its yearly meeting with sessions for every level of beekeeper-from beginner to expert. And, those weren't the only interesting groups flying around.

People unfamiliar with UD may consider the summer months as off-time, used to relax and regroup for the start of the new academic year.

Not so, says the staff of Conference Services.

According to Polly Weir, director of conference administration, the campus caters to a steady flow of conference visitors in the summer.

This summer, they included cheerleaders, Amtrak employees, bankers, lawyers, academic conferees, school teachers, the Governor's School for Excellence, the Institute for Organization Management, the Stonier School of Banking, the American Chemical Society, the United Church of Christ, Summer College (a UD program for talented high school juniors) and the U.S. Army Reserves Nurses Training School.

-Ed Okonowicz

Tanks a lot

An adhesion process recently patented by a UD professor and two alums is being used by the U.S. Army to join components of an experimental composite tank.

The Diffusion-Enhanced Adhession (DEA) process, a low-temperature, low-pressure process used to join dissimilar materials, eliminates an old pre-treatment procedure that was costly and environmentally unfriendly.

The DEA process was developed at UD's Center for Composite Materials by John W. Gillespie Jr., associate professor of materials science; Steven H. McKnight, EG '96PhD, now an Army Research Laboratory employee-in-residence at the center; and Roderic C. Don, EG '90, a center research associate. Collaborating on the project was George E. Thomas, EG '81, who works for United Defense Limited Partnership.

The center's research was one of 17 projects highlighted in a U.S. Department
of Defense publication, Defense Basic Research-Rapid Transition from the Laboratory to the Field. UD's Center for Composite Materials has been a Center of Excellence through the Army Research Office since 1986 and through the Army Research Laboratory since 1996.

Branding the brûlée

Noreen Lambert, Delaware '98, of Ocean View, N.J., sears the cre`me bru–le´e at Vita Nova, the student-operated restaurant of the UD's Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management Program. Located upstairs in the new Trabant University Center, the popular Vita Nova is open for lunch and dinner Mondays through Fridays during the academic semesters. A recent addition, Nova to Go, allows patrons to pick up a complete dinner or freshly made salads, sandwiches and desserts.