The alumni delegates, with Warner and Taylor award winners Brielle Gerry and Ryan Leonard leading the way, process through Delaware Stadium.

Alumni open ceremonies

Warner, Taylor winners lead alumni procession to open UD's 165th Commencement

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4:30 p.m., May 31, 2014--Led by two outstanding members of the Class of 2014, a procession featuring alumni from the 1950s through the 2010s opened the University of Delaware’s 165th Commencement ceremonies held Saturday, May 31, at Delaware Stadium.

The alumni procession represents all UD alumni around the world, which at the conclusion of Saturday’s ceremony number more than 162,000 in 75 countries.

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Leading the alumni delegates were Brielle Gerry and Ryan Leonard, recipients of the Emalea Pusey Warner and Alexander J. Taylor Sr. awards, respectively. The awards are given annually by the UD Alumni Association to recognize the senior woman and man who most exemplify leadership, academic success and community service.

Gerry and Leonard were joined in leading the delegates by Darelle Lake Riabov of the Class of 1973 and Jonathan Asuncion of the Class of 1983, both of the UD Alumni Association.

Also marching in this year’s procession were representatives of classes from the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s, the 2000s and the 2010s.

“We are very pleased to have our alumni delegates here for these Commencement ceremonies,” UD President Patrick Harker said, noting that the delegates “represent all segments of alumni of our University.” 

As new alumni, the graduates participated in a pinning ceremony led by Kenneth Jones, president of the UD Alumni Association and a member of the Class of 1980.

“Regardless of what you do in life, you will always have a bond with every graduate of Delaware, for you are now and forever more a Blue Hen,” Jones said, inviting the graduates to attach pins to classmates’ hoods and robes.

Jones encouraged the new alumni to “reach out to other Blue Hens for networking opportunities” and to take advantage of the benefits and services offered by the UD Alumni Association.

Related stories and resources

• UD held its 165th Commencement ceremony under sunny skies on Saturday.
• Follow the conversation on social media by checking out UD’s Commencement Storify page.
• Commencement photographs soon will be available at UD in Photos.
• A video of Commencement is available.
Honorary degrees were presented to four outstanding individuals.
• Ten members of the Class of 2014 were honored as high index seniors, with perfect grade point averages.
• Commencement was thrice as nice for the Manning family.
• A doctoral hooding ceremony was held on Friday.
• The UD Honors Program held a celebratory breakfast on Friday.

Photos by Evan Krape and Kathy F. Atkinson

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