Enormous Debt of Gratitude, Giving, University of Delaware
University of Delaware

Private Support Matters

Tuition and state funding do not cover the costs of educating our students. Every student on our campus benefits from private support.

'Enormous Debt of Gratitude'

By Don Puglisi

Retired UD professor and current Delaware Diamonds Society member

I was privileged to spend 30 years on the University of Delaware (UD) faculty before retiring in 2001 to pursue other business interests. Being a university professor at UD has to be one of the most enjoyable and interesting careers one can have. It provided an unparalleled quality of life through a top-quality working environment, strong support and encouragement for teaching, research and service from the University administration, outstanding colleagues, and, most meaningful to me, the opportunity to teach and interact with students from all walks of life and from all over the world. I stay in touch with quite a few of my former students, watching them develop in their professional and personal lives and witnessing the significant impact their time at the University has had on them.

At the same time, I am well aware and appreciative of the impact those students have had on my life. On the personal side, the University gave me the freedom to pursue and develop my professional interests and was gracious and generous in rewarding me for my teaching, research and service. I owe the University a continuing enormous debt of gratitude. 

My parents were firm believers that education is an important vehicle for enabling people to develop intellectually and emotionally and to provide the foundation for getting ahead financially in life. They made significant personal sacrifices to enable me to get my undergraduate degree and encouraged me to pursue graduate degrees. They believed in recognizing and rewarding achievement and also taught me to serve others as best as one’s time and means can allow. I will never be able to thank them enough for all they have done for me. 

As a faculty member and a parent, I am well aware of the financial needs of the University and its students. That is why I’ve targeted my giving to new buildings, faculty research and teaching excellence, and student scholarships.

This financial support is a way of saying “thanks” to the University, my former colleagues and students, and, most of all, my parents for all they have done for me. But my debt of gratitude is still outstanding and I have a lot more to do before it is anywhere near paid off.

Don Puglisi is a MBNA America Professor of Business Emeritus at University of Delaware and the Managing Director of Puglisi & Associates.