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Eleni Assanis, Malini Gulati, UD President Dennis Assanis and alumnus Bill Luzier.
Malini Gulati (second from left), a senior political science major, is the 2023 T. Muncy Keith Spirit Award recipient. She is pictured with Eleni Assanis, UD President Dennis Assanis and alumnus Bill Luzier.

Recognizing Student Alumni Ambassador leadership

Photo by UD Athletic Department

Malini Gulati receives UD Alumni Association T. Muncy Keith Spirit Award

Malini Gulati, a senior political science major with minors in English and legal studies, was announced as this year’s T. Muncy Keith Spirit Award recipient during halftime of the Parents and Family Weekend football game on Oct. 7.

The University of Delaware Alumni Association presents the T. Muncy Keith Spirit Award, a $1,000 scholarship, annually to a UD Student Alumni Ambassador (UDSAA) who contributes the most time and effort to the organization’s programs, events and initiatives. UDSAAs are undergraduate students selected for their outstanding achievements and leadership on campus as they foster school spirit, strengthen connections among alumni and students, and help educate peers about the importance of philanthropy. 

After serving one term as vice president of administration her sophomore year, Gulati is the first UDSAA member to serve two terms as president. 

“Being president has allowed me to take a step into every role, whether it be philanthropy, membership or outreach,” she said. “I love being able to help with all positions and all my fellow executive board members.” 

From training executive board members to inspiring new volunteers, Gulati’s experience as a two-term president strengthened her leadership skills and made her a valuable resource to other members. 

“I believe that as a leader, one of your most important actions is supporting your team,” Gulati said. “I make myself available to train every executive board member so that they feel confident executing their job responsibilities.” 

Gulati also worked to increase UDSAA membership, bringing in 14 new members last year, and presented during the new member retreat on what it means to be a UDSAA, helping new members to feel welcomed and prepared.

She also learned adaptability during her time as president. Gulati adjusted to the changing guidelines of UD’s reopening post-pandemic and altered plans around a large-scale and rainy I Heart UD Giving Day that was ultimately successful. 

“I have learned that life always has curveballs ready to be thrown at you, and there is no way around it except for tackling it head on,” she said.

UDSAA advisor Katie Moyer attested to how Gulati’s character and enthusiasm have influenced her leadership role. 

“Malini is very welcoming and cares about the professional development of all UDSAA members. She consistently thanks members for volunteering and encourages them to make the most of the opportunities presented to them,” Moyer said. “With a passion for philanthropy, she is always encouraging her peers to raise money for their student organizations. It has been a joy advising Mal as she positively impacts the UDSAA group and the UD community.”  

To learn more about the UD Alumni Association awards, visit the Alumni and Friends web page.

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