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Becoming Blue Hens
1743 Welcome Days include the Twilight Induction Ceremony.

Becoming a Blue Hen

Photo by Evan Krape

UD undergraduates benefit from extended orientation, paths into community

Becoming a Blue Hen can seem at first like joining many classic East Coast, research-driven institutions. First visits to UD’s Newark campus immerse students in a sea of lush native gardens, stately columns and red brick. The latter boasts at many turns centennial celebrations of academic accolades, along with reminders that they too belong within the legacy of this proud land-, sea- and space-grant institution.

Just as students quickly learn the many ways in which UD fuels local and global innovation, so too does it soon become obvious how uniquely varied the path to Blue Hen Pride can be. Throughout the world, UD undergraduate students can take advantage of multiple entrances designed to serve their needs.

New Student Orientation (NSO) and 1743 Welcome Days

Many first-year and transfer students apply and accept their offer to attend the University of Delaware by May 1. Their orientation begins with a one-day program at UD’s Newark campus in June or July, which includes academic advisement as well as education around safety, wellness and success. The program illustrates a typical day at UD, as well as the ways in which Blue Hens live the student-chosen values of respect, openness, engagement, innovation and mentorship. Then, following optional extended transition programs, their formal orientation concludes in August with 1743 Welcome Days and the awe-inspiring Twilight Induction Ceremony.

Delaware in D.C.

Delaware in D.C., also facilitated by New Student Orientation within UD’s Division of Student Life, provides students with an opportunity for spring entry into UD after spending their first semester at American University in Washington, D.C. Delaware in D.C. students learn what it means to be a Blue Hen even when off-campus, and are introduced to resources and support staff at both institutions. In addition to the scavenger hunt on the National Mall that closes their three-day orientation, many participants fondly remember the lasting bonds they formed within both university communities. This year’s cohort of Delaware in D.C. students is the largest in program history.

Associate in Arts Program

Students who enroll in UD’s Associate in Arts Program (AAP) begin their Blue Hen journeys at a campus of their choice in Georgetown, Dover or Wilmington. There they enroll in small-sized classes taught exclusively by UD faculty, receive advisement from a professional staff, and have opportunities to work and engage with their community. Students in Wilmington may apply to work at the UDairy Creamery on Market Street. Delaware high school graduates who apply directly and study full-time may have their tuition waived by the state-supported SEED scholarship. AAP students who complete 60 credits and earn a UD associate’s degree may then transition into an undergraduate program on the Newark campus and pursue a baccalaureate degree in any of UD’s seven colleges. Starting this fall, Blue Hens at the Georgetown AAP campus may also complete an RN degree in addition to their UD’s associate’s degree by way of a new dual-admissions partnership with Delaware’s only hospital-based nursing program, Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing. The partnership also offers a pathway to a UD Bachelor of Nursing degree for nurses working in Sussex County.

World Scholar Program

UD World Scholars spend their first semester abroad at a partner institution in Rome or Madrid, kicking off a four-year internationally-focused student experience that prepares them to live and work anywhere in the world. Upon arrival to UD’s Newark campus in the spring of freshman year, World Scholars are encouraged to join the greater University community while continuing a co-curricular program that offers globally centered minors, living learning communities, a second experience abroad, internships, and networking. In fall 2017, the Institute for Global Studies will launch the third first-year site in Auckland, New Zealand, and anticipates adding more sites as program enrollment grows.

Blue Hens Forever

With so many unique backgrounds and beginnings, do all Blue Hens still find common ground? The remarks below from members of UD’s class of 2018 suggest that being a Blue Hen, regardless of circumstance, really is forever.

“‘One can acquire anything in solitude, except character,’ said Stendhal, a realist of his time. And that’s what I have found - Blue Hens have character. We are a community of individual spirits, that work together for the common goal of making a difference.” - Emily Griffith, UD class of 2018

“It wasn’t until I came to UD that I went from feeling like you could only call a single place home, to knowing I had found another one.” - Virginia Cruz-Ayala, UD class of 2018

“Being a Blue Hen means having a home away from home everywhere you go.” - Cristina Padovani, UD class of 2018

“UD provides an atmosphere where I am not afraid to reach for more—more opportunities to learn, more leadership positions to hold, and more ways to give back to the community.” - Gianna Santaniello, UD class of 2018

“When you are welcomed into the Blue Hen community, you are committing yourself to the endless opportunities that are presented in front of you. I have learned that the best way to better yourself, is to better those around you.” - Katie Wecht, UD class of 2018

“I chose this campus as my four-year home in no small part due to the students that I already knew in attendance. They spoke proudly of their campus, and welcomed me before I was even a student. They welcomed me again when I accepted my invitation to attend, and I continue to feel welcomed and loved by my peers every day of my college experience.” - Kevin Flaherty, UD class of 2018

“Believe me, I was always a HUGE Blue Hen Fan but it wasn’t until I had to leave Newark that I realized just how incredible and unique Blue Hen pride is. It is meeting new people and being challenged each day to take risks and to stay true to your authentic self.” - Megan Masterson, UD class of 2018

“Being a Blue Hen is not just a passion for the school, it is a celebration of its people, an appreciation of the experiences shared, and a pride for its achievements. Most of all, to be a Blue Hen is to accept the tool that helps each and every student write the next chapter of their story. “ - Ron Phillips, UD class of 2018

“If there’s one trait all UD students share, it’s the persistence to want to see change in this world.” - Elizabeth Cardinale, UD class of 2018

“College is absolutely about school and studying first, but when it comes to being a Blue Hen, I believe finding ways to involve your passions outside the classroom is what being a Blue Hen Forever truly means. “ - Hannah Schur, UD class of 2018

“The supreme privilege of being a Blue Hen extends far beyond the impact we have on each other and our campus legacy because the best part about being a Blue Hen is the impact that it has on you.” - Alex Schwartz, UD class of 2018

“Historically, Blue Hens (both the animal and the Delaware regiment) were known for their fierceness in battle. The tenacity that I have now was not innate for me - I absorbed it from courageous friends, classmates, professors and mentors.” - Austin Hanby, UD class of 2018

“Being a Blue Hen means doing everything in your power to discover your passion. Some of us will fall in love with our nursing major; others the Frisbee team; many of us live for the dining halls; a bunch of us love the events on campus; and all of us know we are at the best university in the world. Once we find this passion, regardless of what it is, we will give it our all because that’s what Blue Hens do.” - Matt Rocha, UD class of 2018

“The truth is, you can find scores of Blue Hens on campus who will share the similar sentiment that I am sharing with you now, which is that my life had not truly begun until I arrived at the University of Delaware.” - Brendan Hickey, UD class of 2018



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