Standing at the Victory Bell are (from left) UD President Patrick Harker, UD Alumni Association Outstanding Alumni Award winners Grace Thompson Leong and Steven E. Linberg, and UDAA President Ken Jones.

UDAA fall awards

UDAA Outstanding Alumni, T. Muncy Keith awards presented


1:28 p.m., Nov. 14, 2013--Grace Thompson Leong of the Class of 1988 and Steven E. Linberg of the Class of 1973 were recognized as 2013 recipients of the University of Delaware Alumni Association (UDAA) Outstanding Alumni Award on Oct. 13. 

Presented each Homecoming Weekend by UDAA, the award is given to UD alumni who have exhibited exceptional volunteer work on behalf of the University and/or the alumni association.

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Leong has served on the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council since 2009 and is the current vice chair. She is also a member of the Horn Program for Entrepreneurial Studies Advisory Board in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. 

For several years, Leong has been a professional adviser to UD's Public Relations Student Society of America, and has provided resources and funding for dozens of communications students to engage in professional development opportunities. She also sponsors a Winter Session internship at her New York based public relations firm that is exclusively reserved for UD students.

Leong has been an active alumna serving as the moderator of a distinguished panel of speakers at “An Evening of Conversations and Connections” alumni event held in New York City in October 2011 and again at the event held in Washington, D.C., in June 2012.

She has assisted the University’s Office of Annual Giving by loaning her story to an appeal letter that was mailed to fellow 1980s alumni detailing her experience at UD and how it impacted her life and career. Additionally, she and her husband Todd, a member of the Class of 1986, are volunteers in the Delaware Diamonds Society rebranding efforts, acting as a profile story in UD's marketing efforts. 

Linberg served as a founding member and as inaugural chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council from 2009 until 2012. He assisted the dean in setting the strategic direction for the council and led regular council meetings held twice per year. 

Additionally, he helped to recruit other members of the council and continues to serve as immediate past council chair. 

Linberg has supported UD by attending numerous events on campus, including the Plastino Scholars annual dinner, president-hosted pre-game receptions for basketball and football games, Kent and Sussex County Alumni Club gatherings, and “An Evening of Conversations and Connections” with Washington, D.C., alumni. 

Linberg and his wife, Alice, of UD’s Class of 1973, have steadily contributed to UD since 2000 and are current members of the Delaware Diamonds Society at the Senior Benefactor level. 

As proud UD alumni, all three of their children graduated from UD, along with two of Steve Linberg’s siblings. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi academic honor society at UD. 

UDAA T. Muncy Keith Spirit Award

Michael Smyth, a senior from New Fairfield, Conn., and vice president of recruitment for the Student Alumni Ambassadors, was awarded the UDAA’s T. Muncy Keith Spirit Award on Nov. 9. 

Smyth was presented the award by UDAA President Kenneth Jones, of the Class of 1980, and UD President Patrick T. Harker at a ceremony held during halftime of the Parents and Family Weekend football game.

The UDAA T. Muncy Keith Spirit Award is a $1,000 scholarship presented each fall to a Student Alumni Ambassador who has made or has the potential to make the greatest contribution to the organization. 

Student Alumni Ambassadors are undergraduate students who are selected for their outstanding achievements and leadership on campus.  Ambassadors encourage school spirit, foster connections between alumni and students, support the Office of Alumni Relations, serve as advisory board members to the University community and aspire to be active UD alumni upon graduation.

“It is an honor to be the recipient of the T. Muncy Keith Award,” said Smyth after receiving the award. “Being a Student Alumni Ambassador has been such an important part of my UD experience. I have had the opportunity to meet so many interesting alumni and hear about the unique experiences that they have had at UD. I've met so many other great students through SAA and made friendships that will last forever. 

“The program has inspired me to continue being an active alum after graduation. There has been tremendous growth for the Student Alumni Ambassador program and I am excited to watch the program grow in the future.”

To learn more about the awards, the UD Alumni Association and Student Alumni Ambassadors, visit the website.

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