UD Graduates of the Last Decade Met the Challenge, University of Delaware
University of Delaware

UD Graduates of the Last Decade Met the Challenge

University of Delaware graduates of the last decade have stepped up and met the Whitney Challenge, raising more than $53,000 for the University.

Early in the fall of 2011, longtime UD supporters Kenneth C. Whitney, UD alumnus and member of the Board of Trustees, and his wife Elizabeth K. Whitney issued a challenge to UD’s young alumni as a way of increasing giving participation from undergraduate alumni from the Classes of 2002-11.

The challenge, which matched all gifts up to $25, was deemed a resounding success.

When the eight-week campaign ended on Dec. 31, more than 650 alumni had given back to their alma mater, surpassing the goal of 600 donors.  For 200 of these young alumni, this was the first time they had ever made a gift to UD.

These generous alumni supported 142 areas at UD, utilizing the full $15,000 match to provide additional support to the areas about which they were most passionate.

“The generous match by longtime donors Ken and Elizabeth Whitney emphasized to young alumni that every gift to the University of Delaware makes a difference,” said Monica Taylor, vice president for development and alumni relations. “I’m pleased with the number of graduates from the last decade who supported their alma mater by participating in the challenge.”

Through the Whitney Challenge, young alumni were encouraged to contribute whatever they could to support the future of UD and help increase the University’s national ranking. The message resonated with graduates of the last decade, who continued to make gifts even after the donor goal was reached. 

Many donors had never supported UD before, and their first gift was a vote of confidence in the University and its mission. “The Whitney Challenge was the perfect opportunity for me to double my support to the UD Alumni Association, whose scholarship allowed me to study in Austria and Germany during my senior year,” said Tara Wheeler, a graduate from the Class of 2003. “I hope that my gift helps to provide study abroad opportunities for future Blue Hens.”

The Whitney Challenge website served as the center hub of the campaign, providing details about the challenge, and featuring an online honor roll of donors.  Alumni were also able to create their own profiles to share their favorite UD memories and why they give back.  Visit the site today to see which of UD's generous young alumni filled out a profile to be featured online.