University of Delaware
In their capacity as Carillon Circle co-chairs, Chip and Doris Bixler (standing, center) address a gathering of the organization in the Old College Gallery.

National Volunteer Week

UD celebrates its volunteers, promotes benefits of volunteerism to community


4:18 p.m., April 22, 2013--National Volunteer Week takes place this week, from April 21-27, celebrating the importance of volunteerism, service and civic leadership.

Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week is sponsored by Points of Light, the world’s leading volunteer organization. The occasion is honored on university campuses across the country, recognizing their volunteers and encouraging their communities to take action and start giving back.

Campus Stories

From graduates, faculty

As it neared time for the processional to open the University of Delaware Commencement ceremonies, graduating students and faculty members shared their feelings about what the event means to them.

Doctoral hooding

It was a day of triumph, cheers and collective relief as more than 160 students from 21 nations participated in the University of Delaware's Doctoral Hooding Convocation held Friday morning on The Green.

At the University of Delaware, there are many diverse opportunities to get involved. The students, faculty and parents who seek out these volunteer possibilities exemplify the good-hearted, philanthropic nature of National Volunteer Week. By giving back, they reap the intangible rewards associated with volunteerism while simultaneously benefiting the UD community. 

Dave Tully, a 2008 alumnus, volunteers his time as the gift chair for the fifth reunion committee of the Class of 2008. UD inspired Tully in many ways, and his pride and passion are highlighted by his continued involvement on campus.

“UD is an incredible educational institution that offered me so much. Volunteering here is just one way that I show my appreciation. Find something for me to do next,” says Tully about his desire to stay involved with such a supportive and energetic community. 

Joe and Annette Petito, co-chairs of the Parents Fund Council and involved supporters of the Blue Hen Leadership Program, are inspired to give back by the unbridled enthusiasm of the UD community and President Patrick Harker’s vision for the future.

“There must be something in the water,” jokes Joe Petito about the infectious spirit of UD. 

As non-alumni, it is this Blue Hen pride and the presence of their daughter at UD that motivates the Petitos to volunteer and support future generations. Joe Petito stresses the value of volunteerism and aims to impress this lesson upon his daughter before she graduates in May: “It is vital that, when you get involved with something, you leave it better than you had found it.” 

Speaking about the joy he and his family have experienced through volunteerism, he goes on to state, “At Delaware, we’ve found that we get more out of volunteering than the recipient.” 

The Petitos echo the same sentiment that several others volunteers also expressed -- volunteering benefits the volunteer just as much, if not more, than those they are endeavoring to help. 

Chip and Doris Bixler, who both received their undergraduate and graduate degrees from UD, also know how much involvement at the University has positively affected their lives and are looking to spread that wealth and knowledge. As co-chairs of the Carillon Circle, they made a commitment to benefit the University in their will and are also donating their time to expand the horizons and “plant a new tree of knowledge” for each and every Blue Hen.

“The longer we have been associated with the UD, the more we are proud of it,” says Chip Bixler, encouraging friends of UD to celebrate volunteerism and get involved with a vibrant and life-changing institution.

Shanté Hastings, a past president of the UD Alumni Association and current president of the Sussex and Kent County Alumni Club, has a very similar opinion.

“I love UD; I always have and I always will. Everyone has something to contribute, and staying involved ensures that your alma mater continues to improve and succeed,” said Hastings. She explains further that the “good feeling” that comes with volunteerism is something that everyone can experience by getting involved. Her UD pride is tried and true and her decision to give back through volunteerism around campus has just reinforced her belief in the University’s legacy of excellence. 

National Volunteer Week is a time to appreciate our volunteers and recognize the importance of giving back and supporting one’s community. The University is constantly encouraging volunteerism and embracing the principles of philanthropy, and this week is just seven days out of the 365 per year that UD actively engages volunteers to make tremendous differences in their communities and the lives of others.

Article by Emily Meussner

Photo of Carillon Circle by Lane McLaughlin

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