The University of Delaware School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) commemorates a milestone event this year, its 50th anniversary. Started in 1961, the School was the fourth urban extension program in the U.S. to receive a Ford Foundation grant, recognizing a societal shift from largely rural populations to an increasingly more urbanized society. To kickoff this yearlong celebration, SPPA held an alumni social and scholarship fundraiser on March 23, 2011 to acknowledge alumni, and drawing friends together to benefit future students. The event was held at Catherine Rooney's on Newark's Main Street, and was well attended by alumni, students, friends and supporters of SPPA and the UD community. Co-hosted by the United Alumni of Urban Affairs, the Urban Affairs Student Association, the Delaware Association of Public Administrators, and through the overwhelming generosity of Catherine Rooney's, the evening celebrated SPPA's educational heritage and its dedication to developing future leaders and scholars.
As the evening progressed, the School honored Gwendoline B. Angalet, a 2000 graduate of the PhD in Urban Affairs and Public Policy program for her dedication, commitment and support of the School's mission and principles. Maria Aristigueta, SPPA Director and George Watson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, recognized Gwen's many accomplishments, contributions and spirit in support of the School. Watson acknowledged Angalet's connection to SPPA and the general sentiment of those gathered by stating, in part, " …for exceptional service and loyalty to the School and its community through demonstration of its core philosophy of making a difference…and for a lifelong commitment of health policy for all persons of Delaware, the region and the nation, most particularly its children."
Currently, Angalet is the Senior Advisor for Academic Affairs at Nemours Health & Prevention Services (NHPS). She provides leadership and guidance to NHPS in its relationships with institutions of higher learning in Delaware ensuring that NHPS works closely on programmatic and research opportunities to promote the health of Delaware's children. She was previously the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families, where she provided direct support to the Cabinet Secretary in the development of policies, programs and community resources for improving the quality of services to children in crisis. During her tenure within the department, she also served as Director of Management Services and Acting Director of the Division of Child Mental Health Services.
"In all her roles in the State, at Nemours, and in the community, Gwen has forged new partnerships with the School and actively supported the accomplishments of our students, faculty and staff," expressed Dan Rich, a professor at the School.
Professor Jeff Raffel shared a similar sentiment by adding, "Gwen has retained her faith in and promoted our mission faculty and staff, students and alumni. She is a true Blue Hen!"
The evening's activities also included live and silent auctions, made possible through many generous donations provided by friends and supporters of the School. Lunches on Capitol Hill with three of Delaware's premier statesmen, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congressman John Carney, a generous one week vacation at the Bethany Beach home of one SPPA alumni, Philadelphia Phillies tickets, DuPont and Newark Country Clubs golf packages, numerous works of art, and tickets to many area cultural events were among the wide range of auction items. In addition, there were numerous raffle items to popular Newark area establishments from which attendees could choose.
The event was an overwhelming success and exceeded everyone's expectations. As a result of the event, SPPA significantly improved its scholarship base and provided the framework for building a healthy and sustainable scholarship fund. Al Frankel, coordinator for the School's admission and alumni relations and an organizer of the event stated, "The alumni social planning group established a number of goals for the evening, one of which was fundraising. We wanted to provide an opportunity for current students and alumni, colleagues, friends and supporters to celebrate what we represent and focus on the work yet to be done. We met all of our goals." The School's legacy of delivering exceptional educational opportunities and outstanding professional experiences that foster responsible, effective and socially concerned scholars and professionals will continue to thrive and prosper for future generations.
The School's director, Maria Aristigueta, concluded, "Tonight's Alumni Social and Scholarship Fundraiser made it evident that our college administrators, faculty, students, and alumni have a collective interest in providing students with the best possible academic experience. There was a spirit of camaraderie this evening that in essence captures what SPPA is truly about, the mentoring of future leaders to address the needs of our society."