University of Delaware
Acting President Nancy Targett welcomes the UD Marching Band to the President's House for the Delaware Will Shine tailgate event.

Delaware Will Shine tailgate

Special tailgate celebrates members of strategic planning committee


1:22 p.m., Sept. 9, 2015--Before the throngs of students, alumni, friends and fans chanted the University of Delaware’s fight song at Friday’s football season opener, a smaller crowd celebrated the final words of its penultimate line: When the sun goes down and the moon comes up, Delaware will shine.

Delaware Will Shine (DWS), the title of the University’s strategic plan, launched this spring, was led by a committee of nearly 100 faculty members, staff and students, all of whom were the guests of honor at a special, pre-game tailgate celebration, hosted by Acting President Nancy Targett. 

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“I can’t think of a better place to thank you for your work on the strategic plan than here,” she said, standing in the President’s House at 47 Kent Way. “Delaware Will Shine will serve the University well for many years, and it only worked because of you.”

Provost Domenico Grasso, who oversaw the process, echoed such sentiments and thanked the “superstar [planning committee] team,” led by Vice Provost Charlie Riordan, for investing thousands of hours and including hundreds of stakeholders. 

Quoting the axiom “failing to plan is planning to fail,” he noted the DWS strategic plan is foolproof and called it “critically important to the future of UD.” 

The plan, which outlines “who we are, what we care about and where we want to go,” focuses on seven key themes: Educating the Global Citizen, Advancing Cultural Understanding and Creative Expression, Bridging Opportunity Divides, Building a Sustainable Economy, Improving Health and Wellness, Innovating Energy and Environmental Solution, and Ensuring Safety and Security. 

Attendees and members of the planning committee (and subcommittees) highlighted the inclusive nature of the planning process. 

“It brought people together in an important way,” said Christopher Knight, associate professor of kinesiology and applied physiology. “It was a great opportunity to meet very thoughtful faculty and staff across the University.” 

Physics doctoral student and subcommittee member Cesar Caro agreed. 

Volunteering to serve on the planning committee because of his personal love for UD — there are six (soon-to-be seven) UD degrees within his immediate family — he said he felt very grateful to be involved in charting the University’s future. 

“There continues to be a genuine effort to make sure the UD community is involved,” Caro said. “Apathy is the only barrier to engagement because the opportunities are there.”

The strategic plan is currently moving to the implementation phase, and Grasso will send an email to the University community in the coming weeks seeking more volunteers to assist in the process.

“We need participation from all levels,” the provost added. “It’s not a top-down process.” 

Photos by Evan Krape

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