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UDAA Awards ceremony

Photo by Duane Perry

UD Alumni Association honors accomplished Blue Hens over Alumni Weekend

On Saturday, June 3, University of Delaware alumni, friends, families, past recipients and leaders gathered in the Gore Recital Hall to honor the 2017 recipients of the UD Alumni Association (UDAA) Awards. UDAA President Anne Giacoma Barretta of the Class of 1983 and University President Dennis Assanis opened the Alumni Weekend ceremony by welcoming guests and congratulating award recipients.

“Thank you for all that you do to make UD shine and increase our impact on the world,” Assanis said at the event. “Out of 175,000 alumni, we are honoring you today and that’s what makes today so special.”

After Assanis addressed the audience, the male and female recipients of the Warner and Taylor Awards for Outstanding Seniors were individually acknowledged followed by the two Outstanding Alumni Award recipients and the four Alumni Wall of Fame Award recipients. Click here to learn more about these awards. During the ceremony, the mentors, friends and family members introduced the award recipients who then made remarks of their own.

Superior Court of Delaware Judge William Carpenter of UD's Class of 1973 introduced lifelong friend and Outstanding Alumni Award recipient Alan Brayman, also of the Class of 1973. Carpenter and Brayman met at UD and, to this day, their families return for football games and other events together. “The bonds we’ve developed here have been lifelong and unbroken,” explained Carpenter. “You truly bleed blue and gold and know what it means to be a Blue Hen.”

Brayman reflected on his involvement at UD over the years as a past UDAA president, avid volunteer and donor. “More than anything else, UD’s given me a tremendous sense of pride,” said Brayman. “I’m proud of where it is today and the picture it’s painted for the future.”

After the remarks, guests congregated in the lobby for a reception. Throughout the room, award recipients and guests reminisced about their time at UD, exchanged details about other Alumni Weekend events and shared stories of how they found out that they had received their awards. Alumni Wall of Fame award recipient Ann Massey Badmus of the Class of 1984 had no idea her husband had nominated her. He managed to keep it a secret until the UDAA formally notified her.

“I think he just didn’t want to tell me in case I didn’t get it,” explained Badmus. “I was amazingly surprised though. Receiving this award is a great honor considering the prestige of the University.”

Darelle Riabov of the Class of 1973 was in Philadelphia with her two sisters when she found out she’d received the Outstanding Alumni Award.

“Receiving this award is one of those things that I just can’t find the right words to describe. I was over the moon,” Riabov said. “It’s so good for the University to recognize alumni. As a recipient, you feel such pride for UD and all that it’s given you.”

Across the room, Warner Award recipient, Linda “Ellie” Halfacre of the Class of 2017, chatted with her parents, grateful to be able to share some time with them after the ceremony.

“I am just so very proud of my daughter,” Halfacre's mother, Sandra Magner of the Class of 1989, excitedly explained. “Seeing her here now makes me so happy. My heart feels like it could beat right out of my chest.”

Richard Taylor of the Class of 1971 and Carolyn Taylor Cloud of the Class of 1965, the grandchildren of Alexander J. Taylor Sr., for whom the Taylor Award is named, also attended the event, eager to meet this year’s recipient, Micah D. Petersen from the Class of 2017.

“He [Taylor] came to UD as an orphan with a tenacious work ethic,” said Jennifer Davis, great granddaughter of Taylor. “He put everything including all of his money into his education. and I’m sure he never thought things would have worked out like this.”

"Mr. Taylor would surely be impressed by the tremendous accomplishments of not just Petersen but all of this year’s award recipients,” said Lauren Simione, interim associate vice president of alumni engagement and annual giving and a member of the Class of 1995. "After Alumni Weekend, this year’s recipients have returned to their homes around the country, knowing that UD will always be a home for them, where people appreciate all that they do as proud, accomplished and generous students and alumni."

Additional information about past recipients, award criteria and annual nominations can be found by visiting www.UDconnection.com.

2017 honorees

Warner and Taylor Awards for Outstanding Seniors

Linda “Ellie” Halfacre, of the Class of 2017 – Warner

Micah D. Petersen, of the Class of 2017 – Taylor

Outstanding Alumni Award

Alan L. Brayman, of the Class of 1973

Darelle Lake Riabov, of the Class of 1973

Alumni Wall of Fame

Ann Massey Badmus, of the Class of 1984

Richard J. Gannon, of the Class of 1987

Elizabeth “Beth” Anthony Mattey, of the Classes of 1977 and 1994

Paul M. McConnell, of the Class of 1974


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