12:24 p.m., June 8, 2009----Four classes gathered for special events as part of the University of Delaware's 2009 Forum & Reunion Weekend -- the Class of 2004, the Class of 1999, the Class of 1984 and the Class of 1959. Those classes were celebrating their 5th, 10th, 25th and 50th anniversaries, respectively.
UD President Patrick Harker greeted members of the reunion classes, speaking to the Class of 1959 at a Gold Guard luncheon held Saturday afternoon at the Roselle Center for the Arts.
He welcomed the class members “back home” and recounted other recent visits by noted UD alumni, including an on-campus discussion of wind energy by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and a widely reported session that featured David Plouffe, a key leader in the Democratic campaign of President Barack Obama, and Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser to Republican John McCain
On campus for the annual Blue-White spring football game were two stellar Blue Hen quarterbacks, Joe Flacco, who led the Baltimore Ravens deep into the playoffs as a rookie in 2008, and Rich Gannon, a former National Football League most valuable player who led the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl appearance.
Harker outlined the Path to Prominence strategic plan, gave a snapshot of the incoming Class of 2013, which will be the largest in UD history, and encouraged the alumni to “continue telling the story of UD -- what we value and what we stand for.”
Harker told members of the Class of 1984, meeting Saturday evening at the Stone Balloon Winehouse, to reach out to fellow alumni and to steer prospective students to their alma mater.
Addressing the 5th and 10th reunion classes on Saturday evening at Klondike Kate's, Harker encouraged the graduates to maintain their connections with both the University and the people they met while students at UD.
He called the alumni based a “huge community of people who are looking out for you,” and encouraged them to talk up UD wherever they go.
Class gifts presented
Before Saturday's Town Hall meeting began, representatives of the four reunion classes and of this year's graduating class presented their gifts to the University in a symbolic check totaling $409,000. The gifts were:
* The newest alumni, from the Class of 2009, gave $100,000, double their original goal, and designated the donation to finance the purchase of solar panels for renewable energy on campus. The class broke a record, with 36 percent of its members making a gift or pledge for the first time.
* The Class of 2004 donated $27,015 for its fifth reunion. With 316 class members contributing, the gift exceeded last year's by 20 percent in the number of donors and by 15 percent in amount raised.
* For its 10th reunion, 294 members of the Class of 1999 gave $37,550 “to continue academic excellence at UD,” an increase of 33 percent over the number of donors last year.
* The 25th reunion Class of 1984 contributed $103,295 from 483 members “to support the University of Delaware and its students,” with the greatest number of gifts designated to the donors' respective colleges.
* The Class of 1959, which set a goal of raising $100,000 in celebration of its 50th reunion, has raised $41,140 from 145 class members and another $100,000 from another class member.
Article by Neil Thomas and Ann Manser