From our Alumni Association
People often ask me what re-ignited my relationship with the University of Delaware. I can truthfully credit Flat Stanley. Who, you say? Flat Stanley is a paper doll teachers give their students in elementary school. The students, in turn, send Flat Stanley to relatives and ask them to show Stanley a good time—so to speak. In this case, my niece sent him to us in 2000 and we showed him around. A trip to the UD campus was a logical stop since my husband and I are Double Dels and our niece's mother is also a UD grad.
Neither of us had been on campus since graduation. The changes we admired were inspiring—new buildings, new signage, new landscaping. Yet, there was still the nostalgia of our old dorms, Harrington "Beach" and the stately Green. We came home with a renewed sense of pride.
From there, we accepted invitations to attend events, whether musical, sport or intellectual. The welcome we received made us feel part of the UD family again. This interaction, in turn, spawned a more visible relationship with the University. First, it was the car window sticker, then the UD license plate and, finally, UD clothing. About this time, we became avid Blue Hen football fans, with season tickets and tailgating.
Which came first—the chicken (in this case, the Hen) or the egg? Was it our pursuit of all things UD or the University's pursuit of us that generated this rebirth? Whatever it was, we wanted more of it. Before long, I had been nominated for the UD Alumni Board. Flattered and somewhat nervous, I accepted. And the rest is history.
When you graduate from UD, your kinship is mostly with your classmates. When you "come back" to UD, this relationship extends to Blue Hens from other years, majors, dorms and geographies. The friendships I have made through this reawakening will last beyond my UDAA Board term. I would wish the same for you—and encourage it.
If it takes us reaching out to you, we'll invite you to an alumni club meeting, Homecoming or a concert. If you want to make the first effort, it's easy. We now have a special email address, exclusively for the UDAA. Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll answer.
If you want to come back, we'll show you around. If you've waited as many years as I did, I promise you, it's worth the wait. You could make plans to join us for Alumni Weekend June 1-3. Don't know anyone coming? We'll welcome you—our Student Alumni Ambassadors are well-versed in Blue Hen welcomes.
And if none of this has motivated you, we'll send you Flat Stanley. I hear he knows his way around campus.
Hope to see you in June!
Darelle Lake Riabov EH73
President, UD Alumni Association