As all of us at the University of Delaware look forward to graduating the class of 2010 in May, UD’s admissions officers have been looking farther ahead than that. For months, they’ve been busy creating the class of 2014, which promises to be a remarkable one. More than 25,000 students applied to UD for fall admission, and their SAT scores, GPAs and class ranks are the highest we’ve ever seen. Needless to say, competition for a freshman slot has been particularly tough this year, and I can’t wait to meet our newest, most deserving Blue Hens.
The education that awaits them here is truly unique. UD has long prized authentic, experiential learning. In this issue of the UD Messenger, you’ll see some extraordinary examples of this problem-based learning: theatre students who play patients with head or spinal cord injuries to help nursing students treat the conditions; students whose work with Special Olympics athletes provides them clinical experience in adaptive physical education; a history major sailing a replica 17th-century vessel, which doubles as a floating classroom; an art conservation intern restoring graffiti-marred cave walls in ancient Pueblo dwellings; and much more.
Hands-on learning doesn’t get any more compelling than the project detailed in our cover story. This spring, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will break ground on its very own creamery and ice cream storefront. (Milk for the student-run UDairy creamery comes from UD’s herd of dairy cows.) The facility, to be equipped with labs, classrooms and space for extension and outreach activities, will help prepare the next generation of animal and food scientists—and the next generation of entrepreneurs.
In this issue, you’ll also read about some remarkable alumni, including New Jersey’s new governor, Chris Christie; an immigration attorney who comes from a family of immigrants herself; and the senior adviser to the Abu Dhabi government in the area of maritime strategy.
Finally, I ask you to join us for UD’s second annual Alumni Forum & Reunion Weekend, June 4–6. I promise it’ll be even better than last year’s celebration. And if you made it to Newark last summer, you know just how big a promise that is.
Patrick T. Harker
President, University of Delaware