VOLUME 20 #2

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From our Alumni Association

Alumni Association President Darelle Riabov

Tradition has long been defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “the handing down of information, beliefs and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction,” but we also have the ability to define it ourselves. When President Harker first arrived, he asked about UD traditions. I couldn’t think of any—or at least ones I could mention. But many now have been springing up on campus. If you haven’t experienced one, you should.

For the new freshmen, tradition starts with a Twilight Induction Ceremony—an opportunity to be officially welcomed to UD. There’s also the UDAA class banner signing, when freshmen sign a “Blue Hens Forever” banner that travels to events during their college years and beyond. At graduation, students participate in the UDAA Pinning Ceremony, which symbolically represents their transition to alumni.

Traditions aren’t just for students. Along with winning football teams, UD fans enjoy traditions. Traveling band members sport massive brass instruments, scale the stadium steps repeatedly and play breathlessly from the aisles to wild applause. Victorious football players flock together for a helmet-pumping chorus of the Fight Song at game’s end.

As a UD donor, you’ve likely experienced special traditions. UD scholarship recipients gather at a “Gratitude Gala” to write personal thank-you notes to the donors who have made their scholarship awards possible. The notes create a bond between donor and scholar. To build on it, donors and scholars meet one another over dinner at the annual Celebration of Scholarship. Priceless…

And for our alumni, there’s your own weekend of traditions in June. Alumni Weekend opens with Mug Night on Friday, where you can start your own collection of UD mugs (great for entertaining Blue Hens). On Saturday, there’s a State of the University presentation by Harker and an update on what the UDAA is doing to serve you. Late Saturday afternoon, you can feel proud as we recognize exceptional alumni chosen for the UDAA Alumni Wall of Fame.

If none of these traditions appeals to you, there’s always the UDairy Creamery. Start a tradition of visiting—for any excuse you can muster. Warning: It may impact your waistline.

I have my own tradition. Each football game, I wear the gold UD football charm that belonged to my uncle when he played for the Blue Hens in 1924. I think Uncle Dick would be happy to know that his niece is proudly wearing it.

Have a Blue Hen tradition? Share it at alumni-association@udel.edu or at facebook.com/UDalumni. You can never have too many UD traditions, as long as they’re ones you can talk about. A UD tradition generates a sense of belonging, spirit and fun. I dare you to come back and create one.


Darelle Lake Riabov EH73
President, UD Alumni Association

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