Alumni meet freshmen in states across the country
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 21:08
Incoming freshmen across the country received tips and advice from alumni over burgers, hot dogs and UDairy ice cream at events near their own hometowns before coming to campus this fall.
Alumni clubs in six different states held nine new student welcoming events this summer for accepted freshmen to help them prepare for their first semester.
Alumna Stefanie Spatola, alumni clubs coordinator at the Office of Alumni Relations said send-off parties have been a way for alumni to help ease incoming freshman into the college lifestyle for the past three years.
“[It’s] to kind of say goodbye, have a great time, good luck!” Spatola said.
According to Spatola, current students and alumni shared with the incoming freshman what to bring, what books to buy and what to expect once they arrive on campus.
Events this summer were held in Lancaster and Reading, Pa., Newark and Lewes, Del., northern New Jersey, south Florida, and northern and southern California.
“The students from California were amazed that they needed to bring snow boots and jackets and stuff,” Spatola said. “They had no idea where to even buy that kind of stuff.”
She said for the past two summers an alumna hosted a cookout at her home in Hermosa Beach, Calif.
“She opens her house up to everybody and cooks and entertains them,” Spatola said.
A Richmond Squirrels’ baseball game was the setting for an event in Richmond, Va.
Spatola said venue choice is dependent upon the amount of students coming to the university from a given area and whether an alumnus is available to plan and head the event.
“Usually we’re at these events and someone will walk by and say, ‘Oh I went to UD,’ and they’ll stop by and start talking,” she said.
Incoming freshmen participate in icebreakers to share their major and dorm room assignment. The alumni then share what careers they have and how the university helped get them to where they are today.
Invitations to the events were sent to nearby alumni, current students, members of the class of 2016 and their parents. According to Spatola, many relationships are formed during these events and local parents form car pools for the holiday.
Other universities, such as Duke University in North Carolina, also hold similar gatherings. This past summer, Duke held 65 “Forever Duke Send Off Events” in San Antonio, Southern England, Korea and Las Vegas, according to the Duke Alumni Association’s website.
Newly appointed Director of Admissions Jose Aviles said he has had little to do with planning these events, as he was appointed a month ago, but that alumni are vital to the admission of new students.