Welcome to New Students

August 14, 2017

Dear Blue Hens,

Welcome to the University of Delaware! I hope you are proud of the hard work and commitment that secured you a seat in our incoming class, where there were nearly seven applicants for each opening.

You and your accomplished classmates will have the opportunity to learn from some of the best scholars in the world in an environment where we foster a spirit of unity and inclusion, drawing strength from the diversity of our campus community.

Just a few years ago, we celebrated in true Blue Hen fashion when one of our faculty members, Professor Richard Heck, won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Professor Heck and his colleagues have established a long tradition of mentoring, inspiring and nurturing UD students. Our distinguished faculty is anxiously awaiting your arrival and will help guide you as you chart the path for your career and will help you make your dreams a reality.

I am very proud of our accomplished alumni, and I would be remiss if I did not also mention former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who has founded the new Biden Institute on our Newark campus. The Institute will pair Biden’s long-time work in important domestic policy issues with the University’s strengths in public policy education and research. As the former vice president spends more time at his Institute, you will no doubt have the opportunity to encounter him on campus.

Prior to joining UD, your primary focus was working hard to get into a great college. Now that you’ve accomplished that goal, your next mission is to use the vast resources of this great University to realize your dreams. Your mind can only grow when it is stretched. I want you to feel emboldened to step into territory that is unfamiliar. Take chances: explore, create, innovate … there is no better time than now.

At UD, we encourage our students, faculty and staff to “Dare to be first.” To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, some see things and say “Why?” while others dream things that never were and say, “Why not?” Find a way to make this motto your own, and dare to be first in what matters to you!

To be sure, you will be challenged and you will work hard. At the end of it all, you will join the pantheon of Delaware alumni who have made the world a better place.

I look forward to seeing you at one of my favorite University traditions, our beautiful Twilight Induction ceremony, on Aug. 28, where I will officially welcome you to UD in person. Until then, I wish you a joyful end to the summer.



Domenico Grasso, Ph.D.

Provost & Professor of Engineering