VOLUME 24 #3

Current cover


Igniting Blue Hen passion

an image of Chrissi Rawak with YoUDee

OUR UD | To Chrissi Rawak, the pride and potential of UD was instantly summed up by a sign she saw soon after arriving on campus:

“blue hen: (’blü\ ’hen) n. 1: One who leads; one with aspirations of championship caliber. adj. 2: to be strong, focused and dedicated; to be passionate and inspiring; to be part of a family.”

It’s a definition she quickly saw reflected in the people and programs around her.

“The thing I love most about athletics is how it inspires,” says UD’s first female athletic director. “It inspires our students, and it inspires our constituents. It opens doors. It connects people to the University. And it creates memories.”

Part of Rawak’s mission is to translate the passions of those fervent fans into the kind of support that’s crucial not only for the growth of athletics programs, but for sustaining the lifelong impact of being a Blue Hen. Through athletics, she believes, student-athletes learn how to be resilient, how to push themselves to places they never thought possible, well into their future. “Our job is to prepare them for the next 40 years,” she says. “And that takes resources. It means finding more creative ways to engage students around athletics—ways that make it more likely they will stay engaged for life.”