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News Alumni Weekend 2018

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Generations of Blue Hens return to campus for 10th annual celebration
YouDee and dancers on stage

​University of Delaware mascot YoUDee joins the musical acts on stage during Friday's Dela-bration, part of the 10th annual Alumni Weekend.

More than 5,500 alumni, family and friends reunited at the University of Delaware to celebrate memories and create new ones during Alumni Weekend, Friday through Sunday, June 1-3.

The 10th annual Alumni Weekend featured an array of events and activities. Alumni had the chance to partake in the Dela-bration on The Green, spirit stations in the Trabant Food Court, experiment with a tasting of organic vs. regular wine, enjoy receptions hosted by many of UD’s colleges and departments and much more.

The College of Arts and Sciences hosted a block party outside the dean's office on South College Avenue, giving alumni the opportunity to talk with faculty, staff and current students and to enjoy games, food and refreshments.

“Alumni Weekend is a signature annual event for our alumni and friends,” said Lauren Simione, Class of 1995 and associate vice president of alumni engagement and annual giving. “Alumni often refer to it as ‘the best weekend ever’ and we couldn’t agree more. It is a weekend full of Blue Hen pride and blue and gold spirit, as alumni enjoy the festivities, explore new aspects of campus and reminisce with friends. We hope this encourages them to remain engaged with the University and their fellow alumni all year long!”

On Friday evening, alumni gathered on The Green for Dela-bration — one of Alumni Weekend’s biggest attractions. UD President Dennis Assanis and his wife, Eleni, welcomed the crowd to the weekend festivities. The outdoor party featured the band Jessie’s Girls, which provided high-energy entertainment for the night. Alumni also decorated mugs, enjoyed food stations and reconnected with classmates.

Participants learn printmaking

​Alumni and friends attend an open studio session sponsored by the Department of Art and Design to learn printmaking.

Coming back to campus for the first time in a while allowed alumni to reminisce and share their favorite memories.

“I was in Delaware Repertory Dance Company and so we put on a lot of shows,” said Kyla Amick, a graduate from the Class of 2016, who currently works as a speech therapist. “Any memory with them [is my favorite] — I danced with them all the time.”

To mark 10 years of alumni coming together to celebrate their UD experiences, $10 from each of this year’s Dela-bration registration fee went to support the Delaware Fund, which supports students to ensure they continue to have access to a UD education.

Tia Bolden, who graduated from UD in 1993 and remains very involved with the Black Alumni Organization, said she comes out each year to represent past black students and secure a spot for future ones through her giving.

“I think it's very important for the kids that are going to school to understand somebody paved the way for them to get here and how important it is to give back,“ Bolden said. She encourages alumni to remember the groups that supported them and to direct their funds to those causes.

Participants learn printmaking

​Participants in the printmaking activity, at a Department of Art and Design studio, make UD-themed items to take home with them.

On Saturday afternoon, the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Art and Design hosted an open studio art session, led by Bailey Chick, a 2017 master of fine arts alumna.

The fun and engaging event--complete with wine, beer and light refreshments--taught the art of printmaking. Participants learned silkscreening techniques and created their own UD-themed piece to take home.

Earlier on Saturday morning, some alumni had brunch with the mascots in Caesar Rodney Dining Hall. The hearty meal included eggs, bagels, chicken tenders and a college favorite, tater tots. Face painting, balloon artists, visits with YoUDee and BabyBlue and opportunities to take photos were also available.

Francis Manno, an education major from the Class of 1973, who later served in the Navy, said this was his first time back to campus since graduation. He said it was exciting to see how much campus has changed and to reflect on his time here.

“I always thought I got a very good education and I’ve always been proud of Delaware,” he said.

The weekend also offered him an opportunity to reconnect with a childhood neighbor.

“Turns out, in the first house we lived in when I was 5 years old, there was a boy across the street I used to hang out with,” Manno said. “Hadn’t seen him since and he contacted me about two months ago about the reunion.”

Manno said he and his neighbor attended UD during the same years and were both members of the education college, but never crossed paths.

“I’ll see him again tonight at the reception,” Manno said, referring to the class reunion celebration. “I mean, talk about a small world sometimes, it just sneaks up on you.”

The Reitters

​Double Dels AJ and Emily Reitter, music majors from the Class of 2013

Later that day on the lawn of Old College, Double Dels — married couples who are both UD alumni  — celebrated their unique love with a UDairy ice cream social.

Music majors from the class of 2013, AJ and Emily Reitter shared their story of falling in love at UD.

“We’re Double Dels. We met our freshman year of college as music majors,” Emily Reitter said. “We were 18 years old and we dated all throughout college. We got married a couple of years after. So we’ve been together eight years total.”

Love was also in the air for Monica Sterk, a 2013 graduate from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Her boyfriend proposed to her during the weekend in front of the fountain near the Morris Library.

Saturday also included reunions for the classes of 2017, 2013, 2008, 2003, 1998, 1993, 1988, 1983, 1978, 1973 and 1968.

Alumni Weekend’s festivities concluded Sunday morning with a kids' fun run and a Blue Hen 5k on Laird Campus. The College of Engineering won the Dean’s Cup for having the most alumni in the 5k race. Jonathan Robb (Class of 2005, Business and Economics) was the fastest male and Holly Reynolds (Class of 2004, Health Sciences) was the fastest female among alumni running in the race.

A gallery of photos from Alumni Weekend can be found on the UD in Photos galleries page.

Blue Hens are encouraged to start planning for Alumni Weekend 2019, which will take place June 7-9.

About the Office of Development and Alumni Relations

The Office of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) engages donors, alumni, friends, parents, faculty, staff and students in a lifelong relationship and fosters a tradition of philanthropy to strengthen the University of Delaware’s legacy as one of the great public institutions of higher education in America. For more information about DAR, visit the website.  

Article by Carlett Spike and College of Arts and Sciences communications; photos by Evan Krape, Wenbo Fan and Carlett Spike

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As thousands gathered for Alumni Weekend, activities included a Department of Art and Design studio session in which participants learned the art of silkscreen printmaking.

As thousands gathered for Alumni Weekend, activities included a Department of Art and Design studio session in which participants learned the art of silkscreen printmaking, creating UD-themed items.

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