Reunion Weekend to feature 'Showcases'
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4:23 p.m., April 30, 2009----The University of Delaware's first Forum & Reunion Weekend, June 5-7, offers alumni and friends more than the opportunity to reconnect with UD and one another and to celebrate with full schedule of parties and other entertainment.

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It also offers numerous “University Showcases,” in which all seven colleges and other campus units will present a series of engaging sessions highlighting some of UD's best and most intriguing programs and experts. From researching your family tree to living a more environmentally friendly life, the showcases will feature useful information presented in a fun and intellectually stimulating way.

Showcases are scheduled in three groupings, all of them during the afternoon of Saturday, June 6, so that those attending Reunion Weekend can choose a convenient time to attend the sessions in which they are most interested.

The first set of showcases begins at 1:45 p.m., following a morning talk by nationally known motivational speaker Pat Williams of the NBA's Orlando Magic, a town hall meeting with University President Patrick Harker and a noontime international foods picnic on The Green. During the picnic lunch, plenty of activities will be available for children accompanying their families to the Weekend.

The first set of showcases will feature: “Don't Leave Grandma in the Attic,” in which faculty from the Department of Art Conservation will offer advice on caring for family photos and will schedule individual appointments to assess specific items; “Docking@Home and You,” in which Department of Computer and Information Sciences faculty and students will explain the Docking@Home project that aims to help cure diseases and discuss how volunteers can participate; and “Genealogical Research,” with staff from the University Libraries explaining how to conduct such research.

Also in the first group of sessions are two highly interactive showcases: “Who Wants to be an Environmentalaire?” a high-tech game sponsored by the College of Marine and Earth Studies, which lets participants test their knowledge of environmental issues against other contestants; and an audience-participation demonstration of the Exelon Trading Center in the Lerner College of Business and Economics, where those attending can make simulated stock trades.

The second set of showcases, from 3-4 p.m., offers another opportunity to explore the Exelon Trading Center and another session of “Don't Leave Grandma in the Attic.” Also offered will be: “Water Is Life: Engineers Make a Difference in Cameroon,” with UD's chapter of Engineers Without Borders -- including a telephone link to volunteers in Cameroon -- explaining an ongoing project to supply clean water to a small village in Africa; “Getting In: An Insider's Look at the College Admissions Process,” in which the Office of Admissions will share some behind-the-scenes insights into the process; and “How Viable Is My Retirement Plan? Do I Have One?” in which the director of UD's Certificate in Financial Planning program will discuss ways to plan for retirement.

From 4:14-5:15 p.m., a third and final group of showcases will be held: “Sustainable Home Landscaping” features experts from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources discussing such subjects as gardening with native plants and touring the new sustainable landscape at the UD Visitors Center; “Babies Driving Robots,” presented by the College of Health Sciences, will demonstrate a fascinating research project in which babies with special needs learn to use specially designed power chairs that enable them to move around and explore their world; and “Greening Your Life” offers advice from the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies and the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, which join forces to show how to reduce the environmental impact of choices in clothing and shelter.

Forum & Reunion Weekend also includes an all-you-can-eat-and-drink “Mug Night” on The Green with live music Friday evening, June 5; a 5K run/walk Saturday morning; an all-alumni dance party on The Green Saturday evening; numerous other reunion and entertainment activities; and overnight stays in one of UD's new residence halls.

For an updated schedule of events, as well as registration information, visit the Forum & Reunion Weekend Web site or call (302) 831-2341.

Article by Ann Manser