5:32 p.m., May 14, 2007--More than 1,000 UD seniors decked out in flip-flops and shorts flocked to The North Green Friday afternoon, May 11, to win prizes, dance to live music, ham it up on the air trampolines and generally enjoy a well-earned break before finals and graduation during the first sunny and warm Senior Day in more than two years.
While many came hoping to win prizes from the vast array that ranged from free car washes and meal coupons to the ever-popular WSFS Bank ATM Challenge and a new free car (this year a Scion), others came just to bask in the sun, watch the antics and cheer friends on.
“We just came to hang out,” Ming-Jay Shiao, a senior electrical engineering major from Ohio, said.
Sponsored by UD's Student Government Association and the Student Centers Programming Advisory Board, the event promised all seniors who'd registered online the chance to win a number of prizes. Those who did enter and win, however, had to be present to claim their spoils.
“A friend of mine won the mountain bike,” Susan Lister, a senior double-majoring in computer science and psychology, said, “but I don't think she was here when they made the announcement.”
Lister, who didn't enter to win anything herself this year, said the weather and atmosphere was enough to bring her out, however, and added that because of her unique situation of attending last year's event as a senior, as well, she could make the judgment that this year's Senior Day was “definitely better.”
“Last year, Senior Day was held inside at the Trabant University Center, so we really got lucky this year,” she said.
Samantha Merrick, a senior graphic design major from Towson, Md., won “a bunch of gift certificates and some jewelry” earlier in the day. But because winning one thing didn't preclude an entrant from winning something else, she said she still had hope that her name might be called again.
“I entered online,” she said, “and the computer puts you in a random list. But you have to be here and have them notice you in order to claim your prizes.”
Among those enjoying the near perfect spring weather on The Green were seniors Ashley Kelso, Lindsay Grubiak and Samantha Kesten.
Grubiak, a psychology major, also said it will be sad to leave UD and the friends that she has made, but she is also looking forward to the staring a career after graduation. “I will miss the friends I have made these last four years, but I'm ready to move on.”
Kesten, who majored in Italian, said that she and her friends have all enjoyed their undergraduate experience and are glad they made the choice to come to UD.
“It has been everything that a college experience should be,” Kesten said. “We couldn't have picked a better school.”
Keegan Maguigan, a senior in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said that the event was a nice way to cap off the end of his senior year at UD.
“It's great, with the free food and the live music,” Maguigan, who has a job lined up at a local civil engineering firm, said. “It's also a bittersweet experience to leave UD. I've had a great time here.”
Marilyn Prime, director of student centers, said that the nice weather and the large number of students who turned out indicated that Senior Day 2007 was a choice destination for all who stopped by to hear the music and enjoy some free food and win some really nice prizes.
“We were really concerned about the weather in the morning, but it turned out to be a beautiful day,” Prime said. “We had an excellent crowd, and everybody seemed to be having fun.”
Matthew Gregory Horowitz, a senior accounting major with a management information systems minor from Staten Island, N.Y., won a $1,000 Visa card, courtesy of United Electric Supply.
“It feels great to win this,” Horowitz said. “I really haven't won much in contests, but I just came out today and I was lucky.”
“I was really nervous about pressing the right buttons,” Studd said. “I'm going to use the money to go to Ocean City after graduation.”
Senior Day prize-winners in addition to Horowitz and Studd included:
Jesse Michael Abrahams, a College of Arts and Sciences senior from Oyster Bay, N.Y., won a $35 gift certificate courtesy of Paintball Action Games.
Mathew L. Simon, a Lerner College of Business and Economics senior from Wilmington, won a Down Town Outing package and a one-month unlimited membership to 1614 Fitness and Aerobics.
Samantha Alexandra Merrick, a College of Arts and Sciences senior from Towson Md., won a First Restaurant Package and a $50 gift certificate to Minster's Jewelry.
Jason Daniel Rosenberg, a College of Engineering senior from Wilmington, won a 19-inch monitor from Gateway Computers.
Mark E. Manz, a senior health sciences major from Wantagh, N.Y., won a Raleigh Mojave-4.0 21-speed bicycle, and a three-month membership to 1614 Fitness and Aerobics.
Michael J. Seningen, a College of Arts and Sciences senior from Wilmington, and Rodman Deas Haislip, a Lerner College of Business and Economics senior from Chatham, N.J., won a UD Gift Basket from the UD Bookstore.
Jamie Lynn Fischer, an Honors Program senior from Boca Raton, Fla., won the Second Restaurant Package.
Megan Brittany Dowling, a College of Arts and Sciences senior from Newtown, Pa., won an Apple 8 GB iPod Nano and a three-month membership to 1614 Fitness and Aerobics.
James Michael Aaron, a Lerner College of Business and Economics senior from Washington, D.C., won a Magellan Road Mate Portable Auto Navigation System courtesy of Boscov's.
Tracey Lynn Gordon, a College of Human Services, Education and Public Policy senior from Audubon, N.J., won a Weber Spirit E-310 gas grill, courtesy of Boscov's.
Michael James Kunert, a Lerner College of Business and Economics senior from Eatontown, N.J., won a 37-inch Panasonic Plasma TV, courtesy of Boscov's.
Article by Jerry Rhodes and Becca Hutchinson
Photos by Kathy Atkinson, Duane Perry and Stacy Kleber, AS '07