VOLUME 26 #1

Current cover


Alumni and friends come from as far away as California and Colorado, or even from just up the street. They pile into vans, hop onto planes, do whatever they can to be in Newark on the first weekend in June, for Alumni Weekend.


For the past decade, generations of Blue Hens have kept their spirit of allegiance and feeling of pride alive at this campuswide, three-day event—reuniting with beloved friends, exploring UD’s latest programs and reconnecting to the place that shaped them.


UD launches three-day “Forum & Reunion Weekend” that includes a “Dela-bration Mug Night,” a riff on the Stone Balloon’s popular tradition, which brings hundreds back to campus.


UD Alumni Association recognizes Wall of Fame recipients at new Alumni Weekend Ceremony. To date, 62 alumni have been honored.


Event name changes to Alumni Weekend. Tours of the UDairy Creamery sell out within a week.


Weekend begins amidst ominous weather warnings and possible tornadoes, yet more than 3,900 attend.


Alumni Relations sells out all rooms on Laird Campus — a total of 1,577 beds — within four days, and sells out Russell Complex as well.


Of the 5,000-plus attendees, more than 2,100 spend the weekend in UD residence halls.


As part of the festivities, more than 500 alumni bid farewell to the John Dickinson and Caesar Rodney residence hall complexes.


The University holds its first Saturday brunch at the new Caesar Rodney Dining Hall at the request of alumni.


Attendance climbs to 5,994.

Each of their weekend highlights is different, but in many ways, so much the same: The gleeful hugs when a long-lost roomie is spotted. The chatty residence-hall “staycations” with old dorm-mates. The music-fueled, mug-fortified Dela-bration party on The Green.

“Once you come back and experience it, you tend to come back again and again—and tell your friends,” says Justine Talley-Beck, BE98, UD’s director of alumni engagement.

That gathering momentum is reflected in the numbers: Attendance has soared from 1,690 to 6,022 since 2009. Individual colleges put together dozens of programs designed to showcase UD’s academic prowess, ranging from fleets of undersea robots to hives full of bees.

And each year on and around The Green, more “Double-Del” couples become engaged, more friendships are strengthened, more enduring memories are created.

“The class reunions are especially nostalgic and fun for many people,” Talley-Beck says. “It’s more than just seeing your friends again, it’s seeing them in the same place where you cultivated those friendships.”

And each year, as the events have multiplied and the crowds have grown, there’s a sense that Alumni Weekend always has new surprises in store, and new memories to make—no matter how long you’ve been gone.

“Alumni Weekend is the kind of event that grows along with you,” Talley-Beck says. “People now bring their kids. It really is a weekend for everybody.”

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