The University of Delaware was founded in 1743 by Francis Alison, but wasn’t chartered until 1833. Of the school’s first class of 10 students, three went on to sign the Declaration of Independence: Thomas McKean, George Read, and James Smith.
After inhabiting several locations (including Pennsylvania) and names, the school finally became known as the University of Delaware when it merged with Delaware’s Women’s College in 1921.
Today, UD is known as a great value for in-state students and is home to highly-regarded engineering and business departments and study abroad programs.
Delaware’s campus is known for its colonial-style brick buildings and white columns. Many students claim that the Green, which is the hub of campus, was the deciding factor in their decision to apply to Delaware. At the center of the Green is Memorial Hall, which not only serves as the home of the English department but is also the face of the university in paintings, postcards, and promotional materials. There are also numerous places for students to kick back on campus.
When it comes to on-campus hangouts, the Perkins Student Center and the Trabant University Center are among the most popular. Trabant is located on the main campus around the university's countless academic buildings, and is therefore known for having the fast-paced energy of an academic quad during the 15 minutes between classes. Between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. it is nearly impossible to find a table in the center’s vast food court, which offers options ranging from Taco Bell and Quiznos to sushi and custom wraps. It is common for students to meet here for group study sessions or to hang out between classes.
Perkins, on the other hand, is located on the outskirts of East Campus and boasts a decidedly different atmosphere. The food court is eclectically decorated and often quiet, making it an ideal study spot for many. It offers different styles of food as well, focused on its large salad bar, grill station, and made-to-order Mexican food. Undergrads often hang out in the Perkins Hen Zone, which includes pool tables, video games, and various other forms of entertainment.
Aside from these two mega centers, Morris Library, although good for studying, is also a place to see and be seen, and the second floor is where it happens. This large, open space has high ceilings and is filled with rows of tables for four. Students looking to get some serious studying done choose one of the many cubicles scattered throughout the library’s stacks. Students also frequent the Carpenter Sports Building, or Little Bob, which is home to the university's main student gym. Undergrads sometimes spend a while waiting to use equipment at this often-crowded facility, giving them an opportunity to catch up with friends. Lastly, on sunny days, the Green and Harrington Beach are filled with students throwing a ball or Frisbee around, reading and doing work, or simply hanging out with friends.
UD sits in the college town of Newark, with a number of big-city options within driving distance.
The university is situated in the small town of Newark, with Main Street running directly through the heart of UD’s historic campus. Students have easy access to coffee shops, boutiques, and restaurants and fast food. For those looking for the perks that major cities have to offer, Baltimore and Philadelphia are both located less than 45 minutes away, and a trip to New York City or Washington, DC takes around two hours by car. Even closer is Wilmington, Delaware’s largest city, which is only a 15-minute drive from campus and home to museums, nightlife, and shopping.
Tailgating before football games, especially during Homecoming, is Delaware’s most prominent tradition. The parking lots around the stadium are typically filled with food, alcohol, beer pong tables, and the like. It is not uncommon for only about half the tailgaters to actually make it into the game.
Every spring different streets around campus host events known as “Fests.” From ChapelFest to WilburFest to SkidFest, these huge street parties usually take place in numerous houses on the street, with musical entertainment, alcohol, and sometimes even local stars making an appearance.
Joseph Biden (1965) is a Democratic Senator from Delaware and chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Joe Flacco (2008) is an NFL quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens.
Rich Gannon is a former NFL quarterback and current football analyst for CBS Sports.
Dallas Green is a former MLB player and manager who led the Philadelphia Phillies to a World Series title in 1980.
Louis McLane was a US Representative and US Senator from Delaware who served as Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury under President Andrew Jackson.
Tom Mees is a former ESPN anchor.
Jeff Pearlman (1994) is an author and writer for ESPN.com.
George Thorogood is a noted blues-rock musician.
The University of Delaware’s athletic programs participate in the NCAA’s Division I and the Colonial Athletic Association. Football is the biggest sport at Delaware; despite being Division-IAA, the Blue Hens draw massive crowds and support:
The university’s football team garnered high levels of fan interest in 2007 with its first trip to the Division I-AA championship since its win in 2003. Football games and tailgates are popular throughout the season, and are well-attended by students, alumni, and members of the community. The men’s lacrosse team gained newfound popularity in 2007 with its unexpected Colonial Athletic Association Championship win and advancement to the NCAA Final Four.
The women’s basketball and volleyball squads are also consistently competitive. There has been talk of the university improving its sports facilities in the coming years. There are also a variety of club and intramural sports in which students can participate.
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Delaware’s first graduating class included three men who would go on to sign the Declaration of Independence: Thomas McKean, George Read, and James Smith.
Delaware was the first American university to institute a study abroad program.
YouDee, the school’s official mascot, was elected into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006.
The University of Delaware’s dorms are similar to those at most other colleges. However, the school has recently begun to renovate its old facilities. Freshmen and sophomores usually live on campus, while most students move off campus for the remainder of their time at UD.
Residence halls at the University of Delaware can be divided into categories based on location (East Campus, West Campus, and Laird Campus) and living style (double/single traditional, communal living, and apartment style). Although the university offers some living options on the Main Campus, incoming freshmen and the vast majority of sophomores will be placed in one of these locations.
The residences in East and West Campuses are fairly typical of larger American universities: the buildings are old and dingy, with rooms resembling confinement cells. At the same time, these dorms are known for their social atmosphere and the ‘we-live-in-a-prison’ camaraderie that commonly takes shape among residents.
West Campus is home to two all-freshman residence hall complexes. Rodney offers both single and double rooms and alternates gender by floor, while Dickinson is co-ed and consists entirely of doubles. East Campus, popular with sophomores and home to the university's Honors students, has three residence hall complexes: Harrington, Gilbert, and Russell, as well as Lane and Thompson Halls. Each campus has its own dining hall, small (and often crowded) gym, and convenience mart. Students living in both East and West enjoy their proximity to academic buildings as well as the university's two major student centers.
In recent years, the heart of residential life has begun to migrate toward Laird (also known as North) Campus. Although it is typically known for the Towers, high-rise buildings that house sophomores in apartment-style arrangements, construction has been completed on new residence halls built to accommodate the university's growing undergraduate population. These new buildings are clean and beautifully designed, but students often complain that the communal living aspect, in which two rooms share a single bathroom, detracts from the larger community-centric, open-door feel commonly found in the older residence halls. Another frequent complaint is Laird’s distance from the Main Campus (it’s common for students to take a bus to class). Despite these drawbacks, the new student accommodations popping up on Laird Campus ensure that it will continue to draw more and more undergrads.”