August 30, 2021

Dear UD Community,

It is hard to believe that it is already that time — the start of a new academic year at the University of Delaware. My wife, Eleni, and I could not be more excited to extend a heartfelt welcome to each and every one of you as members of our Blue Hen family! This is always such a special time for everyone on our campus, and particularly this year as we return with a renewed sense of hope and possibility. These past 18 months have brought us all on a journey of challenge, perseverance, and reinvigorated perspective as we step into the future. Indeed, we are truly inspired to be proud members of the UD community.

This fall, we are welcoming one of our largest and most diverse classes of new Blue Hens, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, bringing a variety of perspectives, principles and cultures to UD. We are equally excited that our returning students will be able to enjoy a vibrant campus experience this year, many of them for the first time. UD thrives on its campus culture of interactivity, engagement, intellectual curiosity, and personal development, and this academic year will bring us all to new levels of enrichment across every category as a community.

I encourage you all to take advantage of everything UD has to offer — from challenging academic pursuits to stimulating social activities to cultural engagement, innovative research, rewarding community service, and the list goes on. We are also excited to have a number of new facilities on campus to serve the needs of our students, including a new Wellbeing Center at Warner Hall that will provide a wide array of services to support the physical and mental health of our community; the new Whitney Athletic Center, which has the equipment, services and space to help UD student-athletes succeed in the classroom and in competition; and other facilities such as Worrilow Hall and the new Ammon Pinizzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center, providing state-of-the-art resources to fuel discoveries that improve lives around the world.

I also want to welcome our many new and talented faculty and staff members who are bringing fresh energy to the classroom, the lab, our campus, and our entire community. UD faculty and staff are leading several major initiatives, including the new Delaware Education Research Alliance, the new Gerard J. Mangone Climate Change Science and Policy Hub, the new I-Corps Northeast Hub, the Partnership for Healthy Communities, and a renewal of funding for the UD-headquartered National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals, as well as UD’s participation in the Universities Studying Slavery consortium. These and so many other advances at our University are making a positive impact on our society and preparing our students for a rapidly changing world.

As always, progress and achievement rely on an ongoing commitment to protect the safety and health of the entire UD community. While vaccinations are dramatically reducing the COVID-19 caseload, we must remain vigilant against the risk posed by the Delta variant and other evolving aspects of the pandemic. Wearing masks indoors and maintaining a safe physical distance from others are still effective tools in helping to slow the spread of the coronavirus. I sincerely appreciate everything you are doing to protect yourselves and others so that we can continue the important work of our institution and lead our students to success.

All of us at UD are thrilled to be part of this exciting journey of education and inspiration. I hope to see many of you this evening, when all first- and second-year students, along with faculty and staff, are invited to celebrate the start of a new academic year at the Twilight Induction ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on the north side of Memorial Hall or join us on Facebook Live or UD Live.

Eleni and I wish you all much success as we come together to challenge ourselves intellectually, grow personally and make new connections with the extraordinary members of our community that define the pursuit of meaningful purpose at the University of Delaware.

Best wishes for a rewarding and productive year ahead.


signature of President Dennis Assanis

Dennis Assanis

University of Delaware   •   Newark, DE   •