From Our President
With the 2011–12 academic year right around the corner, everyone at UD is focused on topping the year just gone. It’s a tall order, but if I’ve learned anything from my four years at the University, it’s to never doubt the power, the passion and the potential of this community.
While we said goodbye three months ago to the outstanding Class of 2011, we’re eager to greet the Class of 2015, the biggest and most accomplished group of students we’ve ever enrolled. While Alumni Weekend drew a record 3,000-plus Blue Hens back to campus, we’re already making plans for another exciting alumni gathering, Homecoming Weekend, Nov. 11–13. And while we celebrated a Nobel Prize winner in Professor Emeritus Richard Heck and a Rhodes Scholar in new alumnus Matthew Watters, we look to the thousands of brilliant faculty and students walking among us every day and know that any one of them may soon win the world’s praise as well.
In UD’s latest “Diamond Report”, I share my vision for this University: a place where talent and innovation attract talent and innovation; where dynamic people demand a dynamic environment; where ingenuity is valued, ideas flourish and creativity thrives. Every day, I see this vision made real. The UD family is strong and vibrant and interesting, and I want you to be a part of it.
In this issue of the UD Messenger, you’ll read the stories of dozens of alumni who give back to UD. And their giving has little to do with money. They give their time, their effort and expertise. They give themselves to our students, our goals and our mission.
Brothers Ming Xu and Ping Xu help students, scholars and professionals newly arrived from China acclimate to life in Delaware (middle-of-the-night airport runs included). Hall of Fame quarterback Bill Vergantino founded an organization that helps former athletes and their families struggling through tough times. Lt. Gen. John Morgan, UD’s highest ranking alumnus currently serving in the U.S. Army, comes back to campus to talk with the University’s ROTC cadets (and was on hand to congratulate them at their commissioning ceremony this spring). Meanwhile, Darelle Riabov has taken on the UD Alumni Association presidency and will work to bring you more fully into this community of amazing individuals.
Without doubt, you are UD’s best asset. We need you. We need more mentors to help students exploit the advantages of a UD education, more internships to give them a leg up on the competition, more jobs for new (and not-so-new) graduates. We need more ideas and advice on how we can keep raising the bar—and keep clearing it. We need to strengthen this family in which everyone looks out for everyone else, a family in which three words resonate: “Think UD first.”
Patrick T. Harker
President, University of Delaware