Dear alumni, parents and friends
Welcome to the Summer 2009 edition of UD Messenger. We just wrapped up the 2008–09 academic year, and it certainly was an exciting one.
We celebrated significant progress on our Path to Prominence™. Generous gifts and grants are fueling ambitious programs to achieve key milestones. For instance, in April, we unveiled one of the nation’s most aggressive campus sustainability plans. Our very newest alumni—the Class of 2009—showed their support for the plan with a gift of $100,000 (double the donation goal) to help fund a major solar panel installation.
This year, our rapidly rising profile brought to campus an unprecedented number of national figures. They talked to large audiences about race and diversity, geopolitics, the media, the election, the economy and the environment. In fact, our most famous alumnus, Vice President Joe Biden, stopped by in May to talk about offshore wind power and Delaware’s role in this emerging energy market. You’ll read about some other prominent visitors in these pages.
The year concluded with two wonderful events. A beautiful spring day greeted the University of Delaware’s 160th Commencement. Some 3,400 students gathered at Delaware Stadium to receive their hard-earned degrees. While we know that these new graduates face many steep challenges, we know, too, that UD has imbued in them the ability and the inclination to help solve many of the world’s most pressing problems. Our Commencement speaker, award-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, exhorted students to do just that—to “take the imagination you’ve sharpened here, the activism you nurtured here, and be the ‘Re-Generation.’”
One week after Commencement, UD welcomed 1,700 alumni back to campus for our first-ever Alumni Reunion Weekend. It was fantastic to see so many Blue Hens reconnect with old friends and with the University. Everyone I saw over the course of the weekend—and I saw virtually everyone—was having a terrific time. I thank all of you who came back to Newark and made the weekend such a success. And, next year, I’ll welcome still more of you who will undoubtedly want to be a part of this very special event.
Patrick T. Harker
President, University of Delaware