Twilight Induction Ceremony 2018
Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson and Evan Krape August 28, 2018
UD officially welcomes the Class of 2022
The University of Delaware’s Class of 2022 was warmly welcomed to campus during the seventh annual Twilight Induction Ceremony on Monday, Aug. 27, on the South Green in front of Memorial Hall.
Once the students, faculty and staff settled in and the warm summer sun began to set, UD President Dennis Assanis addressed the class, which numbers more than 4,200 students.
“Wherever you are, you are all Blue Hens now,” he said. “And wherever you go in the world, you’ll be a Blue Hen forever. You are part of our proud history stretching back 275 years.”
He noted this history includes great scholars, innovators and entrepreneurs. Many leaders, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Olympic gold medalist and basketball star Elena Delle Donne were once in the shoes of first-year students.
Biden and Delle Donne achieved greatness in their chosen fields, and Assanis encouraged the students to start forging their own success story.
“What’s most exciting about being a Blue Hen is that you get to choose your own path,” Assanis said. “You get to define who you are going to be at the University of Delaware. Starting right here, right now.”
Provost Robin Morgan also welcomed the class and congratulated them on making it this far in their journey. Despite the worries that naturally accompany the transition to college, she reminded them to live in the present and to get the most out their time at UD.
“The years will go by quickly,” she said. “It’s easy to become so focused on the worries of the future. So focused that we fail to savor the present. Every 60 seconds of each 60 minutes is a gift of time. There is nothing short of magic in everyday moments and details. These are the privileges of the present.”
Each year a student speaker is selected to offer the new students advice. This year’s speaker, Qourtney Ringgold, a psychology major entering her senior year, reflected on the lessons she’s learned as a student at the University. She shared the highs and lows of her journey before finding her place at UD.
“Don’t come to college thinking you have to portray a persona that you feel fits in,” she said. “You can’t let people and situations make you lose yourself. Don’t let college change you into someone you think you need to be. Let college change you into the better person you want to be.”
Interim Vice President of Student Life José-Luis Riera greeted the crowd and initiated the lighting of the candles. He explained the light passed from faculty and staff is a symbol of their commitment to ignite each student’s learning and engagement at UD. As the light is passed from student to student, this is a symbol of your connection, he said.
“As the candles are lit, I encourage you to think about how you will live the essential values of the community you’re entering — the values you just heard our University leaders invoke,” Riera said. “I encourage you to think about what being a Blue Hen means to you.”
As the students lit their candles and shared their flames across the lawn, the UD Chorale sang the alma mater.
Kevin Peterson, president of the Student Government Association (SGA), told the students he is excited for them to join the UD community.
“On behalf of the UD student body I want to welcome you to the University that thrives on your passion and your ideas,” he said. “You will quickly learn that being a Blue Hen is far more than a degree that you receive.”
Peterson shared a snapshot of some of the feats accomplished by UD students last semester. These included raising money for a student in need of a heart transplant and raising $2 million for childhood cancer research.
UD Alumni Association President Steve Beattie also welcomed the class to the network of more than 182,000 Blue Hen alumni.
“Your contributions to this community begin here on campus and will continue long after you graduate,” he said. “This moment, right here and right now, is your entry into a world full of future friends, lifelong mentors, co-workers, coaches, alumni advocates and, yes, employers.”
Following the ceremony, students were invited to sign their Class of 2022 banner — further cementing their place at UD.
“It was fun,” said Kayla Cefaratti, a first-year student studying medical diagnostics. “It was really fun to see all the students together lighting the candles. It’s just a fun community to be a part of, and I’m excited to be here.”