Envision. Explore. Engage.

President's Report 2024


UD President, Dennis Assanis

At the UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE, we educate and inspire the bold leaders of tomorrow. We continually strive to expand our understanding of ourselves and the world around us, driven by a spirit of curiosity, open inquiry and respect. As you will see in the following pages of this year’s President’s Report, our students, faculty and staff harness the knowledge and collaborative culture of UD to realize amazing achievements every day around the globe.

More important than the “what” and “how” of such accomplishments, though, is the “why.”

Students come to UD in pursuit of an ambitious goal: to change the world. We work every day to harness that energy and optimism, channeling their potential through their experience today and their impact tomorrow. This translates into a collective goal to envision exciting possibilities ahead, to unlock new opportunities to explore meaningful impact in a dynamic society, and to engage in productive conversations and actions that make progress happen now. 

The University of Delaware has enjoyed a tremendous year. Our Blue Hen students at every level are leading for tomorrow, excelling in their classroom, cultural and community endeavors. Researchers and artists are innovating for impact with cutting-edge and interdisciplinary ventures in health, energy, education, business, agriculture and more. And by connecting our world, the entire University is deeply engaged in meeting the needs of society and pursuing our common goals.  

As we look ahead to 2024 and beyond, we remain dedicated to bringing the best of the University of Delaware to the world, and that starts with our people.

Assanis Signature in blue

Dennis Assanis
President, University of Delaware

White text that says "$100 Million" inside of a blue circle. The Circle is a shade a blue that is UD's primary color.

Investments by UD and partners in financial- technology scholarship and economic development in the past three years, as well as construction of the FinTech Innovation Hub

White text that says "Top 8%" inside of a blue circle. The Circle is a shade a blue that is UD's primary color.

Rank of UD’s research and development spending among universities nationwide in FY2022; externally sponsored projects totaled $236.8 million in FY20231

White text that says "#76" inside of a blue circle. The Circle is a shade a blue that is UD's primary color.

Rank among the nation’s best universities, up 13 spots from last year, and #36 among publics, up 2 spots2

Leading for Tomorrow


Thriving in a culture of academic excellence, the University of Delaware’s students are transforming knowledge into action to change the world.

Watch: Blueberries and Healthy Aging: youtube.com/watch?v=1uwYvWsC7so

Healthy brain? More wild blueberries, please

A diagnosis of celiac disease drove Katherine Rippon to pursue an Honors degree in nutrition and dietetics at UD, then research the link between wild blueberries and improved cognitive health in older adults. “I've really been able to grow as a person to learn what the research side of things looks like,” Rippon said.

A scene from "Suite Blackness," where dancers are on stage in various poses with a stormy sky background.

Celebrating social and historical significance of Black dancers in film

To showcase the history of Black dancers in film, UD faculty, professionals, students and community partners collaborated on “Suite Blackness: Black Dance in Cinema,” an original performance on campus during Black History Month. The show featured the stories and talents of Black dancers in cinema spanning 1920 to 2000. 

Text inside of a circle that reads "500+ undergraduates in the 2023 summer research symposium, exploring avian malaria, neural networks, jazz idioims, and more."
Text inside of a circle that reads "19% growth in master's degrees awarded since 2022."

Watch: Njioma Grevious performing the first movement of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Violin Concerto in G minor, op. 80.: https://capture.udel.edu/media/1_78o5zeve/

A unique (and award-winning) achievement in musical performance

Graduate student violinist Njioma Grevious received thunderous applause for her award-winning performance of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Violin Concerto in G minor, op. 80 at the prestigious Sphinx Music Competition in Detroit. Grevious is the first ever UD student to win top spot at the competition, taking both the $50,000 Robert Frederick Smith Prize and the Audience Choice prize.


Text inside of a circle that reads "22% growth in Black, Hispanic, and other domestic underrepresented minority undergrads since 2018."
Text inside of a circle that reads "35,000 students and faculty studying abroad since 1923."
A couple of students sitting over a cliff that faces the ocean on a sunny day.

Embarking on our next 100 years of study abroad

A century after launching the nation’s first study-abroad program in 1923, UD continues to lead in global education. A third of UD students study abroad, compared to one in 10 nationally, and faculty and researchers are engaged in more than 200 partnerships around the world. UD celebrated its milestone anniversary with cultural events, visits by dignitaries and an alumni trip to France, recreating the inaugural study abroad experience.


Enabling Student Success


Undergraduate applications for fall 2024, a record and an increase of 45% since 2018


Increase in undergraduate financial aid between FY2018 and FY2023, reflecting UD’s commitment to affordability and access


Consecutive semesters that Blue Hen student-athletes have posted an average 3.0 GPA or better

Innovating for impact


The University of Delaware's brightest minds work at the frontier of new ideas and discoveries that are shaping tomorrow.

UD President, Dennis Assanis, Delaware Governor John Carney, and other local dignitaries cut a blue ribbon to commemorate the opening of UD's Fintech Innovation Building.

Working toward equity in fintech 

The new FinTech Innovation Hub is expanding Delaware’s national leadership in promoting equity through financial technology. Working in finance, engineering, public policy and other disciplines, UD and its community partners are developing products and services that can break the cycle of poverty and help families build wealth and financial security.

Two individuals working with fabric in a classroom.

Telling the story behind the stitching

The silk taffeta dress is famous, its designer nearly forgotten. But with help from Fashion & Apparel Studies faculty and students who recreated Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding dress for a museum display, the name of Ann Lowe is now recognized as one of the world’s first Black high-fashion designers. Stitch by stitch, the students gained a new appreciation of artistic passion and the persistence of the human spirit.

Text inside of a circle that reads "2,500 participants in more than 30 campus and community events for National Arts and Humanities Month in 2023."
Text inside of a circle that reads "20,000 well-paying jobs to be created by the MACH2 in the mid-atlantic region."
Text inside of a circle that reads "100% graduates securing full-time teaching jobs after completing the Teacher Residency Program."

Watch: Center for Clean Hydrogen at University of Delaware: youtube.com/watch?v=LkTbUMRRQzM

Leading workforce development for MACH2 Coalition

UD will lead the higher education component for workforce development for the Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub (MACH2), a federally funded regional coalition leveraging technology and infrastructure to accelerate the use of clean hydrogen as a carbon-free fuel source. MACH2 complements the work of UD’s Center for Clean Hydrogen, launched in 2022.


Two members of the Teacher Residency Program exchange ideas and thoughts inside of a classroom.

Teacher Residency Program prepares educators and strengthens schools

To provide immersive experience for future educators and help address Delaware’s teacher shortage, UD’s Teacher Residency Program enables students to work in year-long residencies in K-12 classrooms in high-needs schools while earning a stipend. They commit to teaching in the state for at least three years after graduation.


Driving Research and Innovation


Innovators and entrepreneurs working alongside UD faculty, staff and students on our Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus


Research institutes and centers at UD, as well as 19 core facilities


Square footage of the new Science Center rising in the heart of campus, an interdisciplinary teaching and research facility set to open in 2024

Connecting our world


Bringing a future-focused and cooperative entrepreneurial mindset to everything we do is central to who we are at the University of Delaware.

Watch: Francis Alison Award 2023 - Joseph Fox: youtube.com/watch?v=3ussBs_5vaY

Professor recognized for scholarly inventiveness and impact

Joseph Fox is a pioneer in ultrafast chemistry whose patents include the fastest known bio-orthogonal reaction, a process that was cited as foundational to the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His discoveries and innovations are advancing medicine, biotechnology and more. Fox was named a 2023 fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and earned the Francis Alison Award, UD’s top faculty honor recognizing our most outstanding scholars.


Watch: Kelly Cobb Textile Video: youtube.com/watch?v=9Y0_3mYtfIE

Reducing textile waste and spurring local economy

The U.S. generates 17 million tons of textile waste annually, so an interdisciplinary team of UD researchers is developing a hyper-local, second-generation textile supply chain. The idea could reduce textile waste while creating a circular system that keeps materials in use. Depending on the material properties and the needs of the region, textiles could be recycled for other purposes, like landscaping fabric, insulation and erosion control, benefitting both the local economy and the environment.


Text inside of a circle that reads "14 UD-associated researchers named to the National Academy of Inventors since 2012."
Text inside of a circle that reads "UD ranks 33rd in Sustainability in the U.S., with 23 research centers working on the topic."
Members of the President's Student Advisory Council smiling and laughing.

Student advisors work toward University-wide goals

Now in its second year, the President’s Student Advisory Council provides UD leaders with informed, diverse and inclusive perspectives to help enhance opportunities for all. This year, students shared feedback on a host of topics with deep dives into civil discourse and artificial intelligence.

Uniting Knowledge with Action


National rank for undergraduate entrepreneurship programs, as well as 3rd in the Mid-Atlantic region5


Visits annually to UD’s health clinics, serving the community’s needs while driving cutting-edge research and education


UD’s economic impact on the Northeast Region, supporting more than 35,000 jobs6


(1) National Science Foundation (NSF) Higher Education Research and Development Report, FY2022; (2) U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2024; (3) Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub, mach-2.com; (4) QS World University Rankings, 2024; (5) The Princeton Review, 2024; (6) Econsult Solutions Inc. of Philadelphia