Saturday, Oct. 13, during family alumni weekend, the class of ’88 mingled with current UD upperclassmen in Braniff Foyer to compare shared experiences and give the students a chance to network.
This year was the 30th reunion of the class of ’88, who, to show their gratitude to UD, recently started the faculty development fund. Class of ‘88 alumnaus Anne Hoelscher reached out to the alumni office with the idea of hosting this event so the class could get in touch with current UD students during their reunion.
According to Larisa Thelen, director of Alumni Relations, they opened the event to all alumni who were on campus for the weekend.
Thelen said that the alumni from the class of ’88 were interested in doing this particularly to help students them network. The event was a great opportunity, especially for juniors and seniors, to talk to the alumni face to face and — if not strike a job connection, — at least get tips on how to network.
Senior Racquel Rodriguez spoke with Michael Dixon, one of the alumni present at the event.
“Michael Dixon gave some really good networking advice, and he explained how the core helped him in his career and how we can apply it going forward,” Rodriguez wrote. “They were very welcoming, and it was a great way for us upperclassmen to practice our networking skills on a personal level.”
The event was organized by individuals from the board of trustees, alumni, the alumni office, and students Clare Slattery, president of student government, and Cecilia Dugyon, president of student foundations.
The class of ’88 hasve also chosen to give back to the university by supporting the UD faculty.
“The class of ’88 started the faculty development fund for alumni to give to because it was their 30th reunion coming up,” Thelen said. “So I think it was 5 years ago, when they were celebrating their 25th reunion, they created a similar fund for faculty and that was a huge success, so they’ve seen that as an opportunity to continue giving back. That’s where they’ve found what they want to give to.”
The class of ‘88 also encouraged other alumni classes to donate to the fund, according to Thelen.
“When your reunion year comes up or when my next reunion year comes up, we can give to a specific department or a specific area of the university where maybe you think the greatest need is or what your class is most attracted to,” Thelen said.
Overall, the Student Social with the Class of ’88 was a success.
“I really wish UD had more events like this,” Rodriguez wrote, “because the alumni have a special insight on how their UD education helped them. I think most students that attended valued their experience and wanted to learn as much as possible from the alumni.”