Celebrating UD volunteers

During National Volunteer Week, UD celebrates service and civic leadership

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8:42 a.m., April 8, 2014--Established in 1974 and sponsored by Points of Light, the world’s leading volunteer organization, National Volunteer Week is recognized on college campuses across the country. 

For this year’s Volunteer Week, to be marked April 6-12, UD’s leadership encourages members of the community to give back, while expressing their gratitude to the many students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents who already volunteer at the University.

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"We have a remarkable corps of people at UD committed to service and engagement," said President Patrick Harker. "All year long, so many of our alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends lend their time, talent and passion to making this incredible University even stronger. I know I speak for the entire campus community when I say that I'm profoundly grateful to all those who volunteer on behalf of UD." 

One volunteer dedicated to giving back to UD is alumnus Shawn Duff of the Class of 2008. As president of the UD Men’s Crew Alumni Association, Duff recently helped raise over $25,000 to support the crew team’s equipment and operation costs. 

Like many alumni who volunteer for UD, Duff says a positive experience at the University encouraged him and his fellow crew teammates to get involved. 

"We formed lasting friendships while rowing for UD,” Duff said. “It's remarkable after almost five years to still see the passion for supporting the program."

Class of 2000 graduate Shanté Hastings, who is a past president of the UD Alumni Association and currently volunteers as president of the Kent and Sussex County Alumni Club, said she loves the good feeling that comes with volunteering, and explains that it is something anyone who gets involved can experience. 

“Everyone has something to contribute, and staying involved ensures that your alma mater continues to improve and succeed,” Hastings said. 

Another past Alumni Association President, Darelle Riabov of the Class of 1973, has volunteered for the University in several capacities, including as a guest at Blue Hen Leadership Program (BHLP) etiquette dinners, a speaker and panelist for BHLP leadership conferences and a member of the Arts and Sciences Advisory Council. Riabov also implemented an internship program for UD students, which she facilitated for 13 years. 

“When you give your time to the University of Delaware, the return on your investment is massive,” Riabov said. “That engagement with UD keeps paying dividends -- in the friendships developed and the opportunities to participate in additional volunteer activities. These added volunteer experiences have sent me in new directions and increased the sense of pride I have in my alma mater.” 

While National Volunteer Week offers a special opportunity to recognize those who give back and to encourage volunteering, engagement is a core principle at UD 365 days a year. Every day, through volunteerism, co-curricular service learning and community-based research, UD community members reach out across economic, social, geographic and ethnic lines to help create a more caring world, in whatever small way they can. 

University programs and organizations could not operate without the commitment to service demonstrated by faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. In the spirit of National Volunteer Week, a new video thanks and celebrates UD’s volunteers and shows the impact that they have on campus and beyond. To view the video and ways to get involved, visit this website.

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