Delaware First Festival
Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson and Evan Krape November 09, 2017
UD fundraising campaign launches with fun and celebration on The Green
More than 2,500 University of Delaware students, faculty, staff and friends filled The Green on Thursday, Nov. 9, to kick off Delaware First: The Campaign for the University of Delaware, the largest fundraising and engagement campaign in the University’s history.
During an afternoon packed with festivities, attendees were treated to a sneak peek of the campaign, as well as cookies, hot chocolate, music by DJ Amaze, campaign-themed winter hats and tastes of a new UDairy-exclusive ice cream flavor, named Delaware First and specially developed to celebrate the campaign. A mosaic wall capped off the historic celebration, allowing guests to add their photo to complete a panoramic depiction of Memorial Hall.
Led by UD alumnus and original Phillie Phanatic, Dave Raymond, Health Sciences ’79, the festival featured a variety of speakers who inspired and challenged the crowd to think about how they could create opportunities for Blue Hens both on campus and beyond.
Thanking Blue Hens for their generosity and spirit, UD President Dennis Assanis and his wife, Eleni, called on the Delaware community to engage with the University and consider making a gift in support of Delaware First’s $750 million fundraising goal.
“Our moment is now,” Assanis said. “This is UD’s time to boldly imagine our future and work together to deliver on big, game-changing ideas. Through the Delaware First campaign, we will build on the amazing achievements of our great institution and reach new heights of excellence in teaching, research and service to our world.”
The Assanises were joined by other speakers, including Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Services Director Chrissi Rawak, Interim Vice President for Student Life José-Luis Riera, Associate Dean for the Social Sciences David Wilson and UD Student Alumni Ambassador (UDSAA) Abby Hidalgo.
“Philanthropic support has shaped student experiences, provided resources and created opportunities beyond what we ever could do alone as a University,” said Hidalgo, Arts and Sciences ’18, who currently serves as UDSAA vice president of philanthropy. “It’s important to note that we can all make a difference, as well as show our gratitude and grow our passions. Together, we will make the UD experience transformative for every Blue Hen.”
About Delaware First
Delaware First will strengthen the Blue Hen nation and raise funds to support student scholarships, endowed professorships, graduate fellowships, research, facilities and experiential learning opportunities across UD.
The campaign will also help establish several potential programs such as a graduate college, initiatives around innovation and entrepreneurship, partnerships through the Biden Institute and the construction of several new buildings around campus, including the biopharmaceutical building on STAR campus, as well as UD athletic facilities, among other strategic projects.