Distributed at 4:15 p.m.

Nov. 28, 2023

Dear UD Community,

The University of Delaware is driving dynamic change throughout the world, and recognition of our academic excellence, research impact, student success and deep engagement with our communities continues to grow. The teamwork and dedication of everyone at UD builds upon this strong foundation of vision and values, benefiting our students, faculty, staff, alumni and generations of Blue Hens to come.

Today, we are thrilled to announce another exciting and ambitious step in the University’s evolutionary momentum: UD will join Conference USA as a full member of its intercollegiate athletic conference, effective July 2025.

This move will elevate our Fightin’ Blue Hens football program to the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the sport’s highest level of competition in the NCAA. Our football program has won six national championships and produced some of the NFL’s top players over the years. The University also will be adding a varsity women’s sport to be announced at a later date.

The move to this competitive tier will further propel the reputation of Blue Hen Athletics. Our passionate fan base and recent investments in Delaware Stadium and the Whitney Athletic Center clearly demonstrate a readiness for bold change, and UD is prepared to accept the challenge.

Conference USA membership will raise the national visibility of the whole University by providing omni-media exposure of UD’s academic rigor, talented students, faculty, staff and alumni, and many other strengths that contribute to our reputational pride.  With world-class scholars, explorers, innovators, teachers, artists, entrepreneurs and more, UD ranks among the nation’s leading public research institutions for good reason.

We hope you will join us at the Whitney Athletic Center for a celebration of this exciting announcement at 10 a.m. tomorrow—Wednesday, Nov. 29. The event will be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person.

As a united community with an abundance of Blue Hen spirit, we will continue to cultivate opportunities for growth, achievement, and an enduring positive impact on the world. Go Hens!


Dennis Assanis

Chrissi Rawak
Director of Athletics, Community, and Campus Recreation

University of Delaware   •   Newark, DE   •   udel.edu