From our Alumni Association
In my last letter, I encouraged—OK, pleaded with—you to come back and reignite your relationship with this proud University. It was great to see how many of you returned for this year’s Homecoming festivities. For those of you who missed this opportunity, we’ve found other ways to get you involved.
You’re saying, “Just what is the University of Delaware Alumni Association, and what does it do for me?” We’re known as UDAA, and membership in this prestigious organization is open to every graduate of UD, all 155,000 of us. To highlight who we are, we’ve created a special insert in this issue of UD Messenger. Please keep this Blue Hens Forever reference handy—forever.
We’re also touching alumni by reaching out in new locations. Our regional alumni clubs are growing in both size and number. From Boston to San Diego, you’ll find clubs springing up. To find your nearest gathering of Blue Hens, go to UDconnection.com/clubs. Our clubs are highly creative in their activity offerings. From cooking classes to sports venues to visiting the White House, Blue Hen alums can be found flocking together. UDAA helps encourage these activities by underwriting part of the cost through our Satellite Assistance Program.
Our efforts with alumni are starting early these days as UD freshmen are now asked to sign a banner that will travel to their campus events until graduation. The Class of 2014 was the first class to live this new tradition and the slogan: Students Today…Blue Hens Forever.
Just a few months into my tenure, I‘m already experiencing the meaning of the Blue Hen connection. Whenever I run into fellow alumni, there is a common bond that narrows any distance. I’ll share one example that I experienced this summer. After an unexpectedly hard fall while hiking, I found myself on the wrong side of an emergency department desk, as a patient. Bruised, broken and bleeding, I merely wanted to get treated and go home. So I barely listened when my husband consoled me with the fact that I would recognize the emergency physician. Imagine my surprise—and sheer relief—when it turned out to be a fellow UDAA board member. I will be forever grateful that the physician responsible for my care that day knew how important it would be to get back to my normal life, including the part that involves being a Blue Hen.
In closing, I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage you to rekindle your own UD connection. Make plans for your triumphant return to campus during Alumni Weekend in June. I dare you to come back. If you do, I hope to see you at Mug Night. If you don’t know what that is, you’ll just have to find out—when you come back.
Darelle Lake Riabov EH’73
President, UD Alumni Association