12:03 p.m., July 27, 2009----Nearly 340 Blue Hens turned out for the 2nd annual University of Delaware Alumni Day at Dewey on Saturday, July 18, which was hosted by the New Castle and Kent and Sussex alumni clubs.
Northbeach restaurant and bar, which sponsored the event, was the site of the welcome party with appetizers, raffle prizes, and limited special edition T-shirts. The prizes included a $25 gift certificate to northbeach, UD alumni carabiner keychains and UDconnection travel mugs.
From there alumni proceeded to the Bottle and Cork jam session, where they enjoyed music by the bands Mr. Greengenes, Kristen and the Noise, and Liquid A. The jam session was standing room only, and some UD alumni went on stage with Mr. Greengenes.
Alumni also were able to enjoy a discount for the buffet at The Rusty Rudder.
Transportation was provided by the Office of Alumni Relations for those who wished to carpool from the Newark area, and hotel discounts for alumni were offered by the Bay Resort and Sand Palace.
“With a turnout twice as high than expected on a sunny summer day, the Alumni Day was a tremendous success,” said Sandra Tilford, alumni club coordinator. “Many of the participants gave rave reviews of the experience.”
Tilford said 180 alumni preregistered and that there was a very large walk-up. The oldest alumni attending were from the Class of 1971 and the youngest, alumni-to-be from the Class of 2010. Classes from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s were represented.
“It was so much fun, seeing alumni of all ages enjoying the day together,” said Joanne C. Reihm, a 1976 UD graduate who attended this year's event and who helped with last year's gathering. “The best part was seeing everyone wearing their UD T-shirts - a great display of blue and gold.”
The “driving force” behind the Dewey Beach alumni event was Kathleen Roberts, a 2003 UD graduate and manager at northbeach, Reihm said. Highway One, the group that owns the three establishments that welcomed alumni, hosted the 2008 event for UD graduates, and similar events for University of Maryland and Penn State alumni. This year, the group worked with the Office of Alumni Relations on the UD event.
Burt Hutchison, a 2000 UD graduate and president of the New Castle County Alumni Club board, said the event “was a much larger success than we every anticipated.”
He said the New Castle and Kent and Sussex clubs “worked hard together to market the event, manning the door and completing other behind the scenes work.”
“I would like to say thank you to all of the University of Delaware alumni who attended and tell them to make sure they spread the word about the event, and we will be doing it again next year,” Hutchison said, adding thanks to the members of the alumni club boards and to the Office of Alumni Relations team who worked so hard to make the event a success.
He added that “the venues were very gracious and went out of their way to make sure the University of Delaware alumni had a great time. I hope the alumni recognize this and patronize these venues again.”
Tilford said the alumni clubs are already planning the 3rd annual Alumni Day at Dewey for 2010, a date tentatively set on July 17.
Information on upcoming alumni club events, including the continuing summer baseball series, is available on the UDconnection Web site. Photographs of UD alumni events, including the Dewey Beach event, are available online.