The Warner and Taylor award winners, Elizabeth Quartararo and Mark Rucci, lead the alumni processional.

Alumni open ceremonies

Warner, Taylor winners lead alumni procession to open UD's 166th Commencement


4:55 p.m., May 30, 2015--Led by two outstanding members of the Class of 2015, a procession featuring alumni from the 1950s through the 2010s opened the University of Delaware’s 166th Commencement ceremonies held Saturday, May 30, at Delaware Stadium.

The alumni procession represents all UD alumni around the world, which at the conclusion of Saturday’s ceremony number more than 165,000 in 75 countries.

Campus Stories

From graduates, faculty

As it neared time for the processional to open the University of Delaware Commencement ceremonies, graduating students and faculty members shared their feelings about what the event means to them.

Doctoral hooding

It was a day of triumph, cheers and collective relief as more than 160 students from 21 nations participated in the University of Delaware's Doctoral Hooding Convocation held Friday morning on The Green.

Leading the alumni delegates were Elizabeth Quartararo and Mark Rucci, recipients of the Emalea Pusey Warner and Alexander J. Taylor Sr. awards, respectively. The awards are given annually by the UD Alumni Association to recognize the senior woman and man who most exemplify leadership, academic success and community service.

Quartararo and Rucci were joined in leading the delegates by Darelle Lake Riabov of the Class of 1973 and Italo V. Carrieri-Russo of the Class of 2007, both of the UD Alumni Association.

Also marching in this year’s procession were representatives of classes from the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s, the 2000s and the 2010s.

Special guests included members of the Class of 1965, who will be inducted into the University’s Gold Guard with a 50th reunion during Alumni Weekend. Representing the class were James G. Gregg, Marie Chelly Gregg and William T. Majett Jr.

As part of the ceremony, Ken Jones, a member of the Class of 1980 and president of the UD Alumni Association, recognized David DeWalt, the Commencement speaker, as a member of the Alumni Wall of Fame. “This recognition marks you, Dave, as one of our most esteemed alumni and it celebrates the indelible impression you’ve made on your community, colleagues, profession, and this University,” Jones said.

Near the close of Commencement – and following an alumni video highlighting members of Blue Hen Nation including Vice President Joe Biden and WNBA star Elena Delle Donne – members of the Class of 2015 were invited to participate in the alumni pinning ceremony, marking an important step in their journey as “Blue Hens Forever.” 

Related stories and resources

• UD held its 166th Commencement ceremony on Saturday morning.
• Follow the conversation on social media by checking out the Storify site.
• For videos about Commencement, see the University’s YouTube channel.
Honorary degrees were presented to five outstanding individuals.
• Eight high index seniors were honored.
• The Commencement view from graduates and faculty members.
• A doctoral hooding ceremony was held on Friday morning.
• The UD Honors Program held a celebratory breakfast on Friday morning.
• Read the remarks by Commencement speaker David DeWalt.

Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson and Doug Baker

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