VOLUME 23 #1

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A Lasting Legacy: The Path to Prominence

Memorial Hall

OUR FACULTY | As the Messenger went to press, President Patrick Harker announced plans to step down as the 26th president of the University of Delaware to become president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, effective July 1.

Under Harker’s leadership, the University of Delaware launched the Path to Prominence, a strategic plan predicated on excellence in undergraduate, graduate and professional education, environmental leadership, global engagement, diversity and service to the community. Implemented and embraced by the University community of alumni, students, parents, friends, faculty and staff, the Path to Prominence resulted in a University that is thriving and positioned for even greater success in the future.

Prioritizing aggressive and strategic faculty hiring brought more brilliant minds to UD and dramatically increased sponsored research. Record-high enrollments, including the largest, brightest class in UD’s history in fall 2014, reflected the University’s in-demand status. And with an eye on the next century of growth, UD acquired the 272-acre former Chrysler assembly plant and began development of the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus, the largest land addition to the Newark campus in our history.

Under the Path to Prominence, the University also:

  • • Expanded the Commitment to Delawareans, adding a financial aid component to ensure that a UD education remains an affordable, accessible option for First State families;
  • • Opened the first new sciences building on campus in two decades—the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory—to focus on learning and building interest and enthusiasm for the sciences. UD has already seen increased retention in STEM majors since the ISE Lab’s opening;
  • • Established numerous research centers, as well as the Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships, to stimulate invention and entrepreneurship and to translate UD research into economy-driving technologies;
  • • Undertook major capital projects, including the ISE Lab; the Louis L. Redding and Eliphalet Gilbert Residence Halls; the new Academy Street Residence and Dining project; a campus bookstore; and upgrades to campus athletics facilities, including an addition to the Bob Carpenter Center and a major renovation of the Carpenter Sports Building;
  • • Welcomed the Nurse Managed Health Center, the Delaware Physical Therapy Clinic and the GoBabyGo! Research initiative to the new Health Sciences Complex as part of the STAR Campus. Partner organizations such as the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance and the Delaware Rehabilitation Institute also opened dedicated space in the building.
  • • Boosted alumni engagement with events such as Alumni Weekend, which grew from 1,100 participants in its inaugural year in 2008 to more than 5,000 today; and
  • • Witnessed unprecedented philanthropic support, as fundraising climbed more than 140 percent—from $26.4 million in 2008-09 to $63.9 million in 2013-14. Donor support has helped fund initiatives like the David A. Plastino Scholars Program, which allows students to “follow their passion,” and the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship, made by possible by Charles, AS75, and Patricia Horn, which gives students the chance to conceive, validate and launch a high-growth start-up.

The strong and thoughtful leadership of President Harker, combined with the passion and dedication of our constituents, has resulted in remarkable strides for the University of Delaware. With this solid foundation, and the ongoing partnership of our alumni, parents, students, friends, faculty and staff, the University is well positioned for the next chapter in this great institution’s history.

On March 13, 2015, the University of Delaware Board of Trustees selected Nancy Targett, dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, to serve as interim president, effective July 1. The board also named a Presidential Search Committee to identify the institution’s next president. Read more about the presidential search.

More about President Harker as President:


Path to Prominence

Interviews and Editorials

A Presidential Perspective

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