Delaware First: The Campaign for the University of Delaware is the first of its kind for the University, an unprecedented, comprehensive engagement and fundraising campaign that, with the help of generous donors, will shape the future of UD. Here you will find information about our Campaign Ambassadors, FAQs to help explain the Campaign and staff contact information.





  1. Why a campaign and why now? The great challenges of our time require leadership, perseverance, risk and bold ideas that will advance our world as we pursue the next firsts. The students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University of Delaware are tackling those challenges. Across campus, in places beyond Delaware and to the furthest points on the globe, Blue Hens are challenging assumptions, breaking barriers and pioneering research that will lead to a better world. We want to keep providing opportunities to all Blue Hens so that they, in turn, can continue putting great ideas into practice and exploring new frontiers. This is our moment to define success by the values we shape, the intellectual curiosity we cultivate and the courage we inspire to make a difference. You are an integral part of this moment, as well. Your support and engagement can help us pursue new and expanded programs and initiatives and put Delaware First—in the hearts of our students and faculty, in the minds of society’s leaders and in the words and actions of Blue Hens across the world.

  2. What are the top priorities of the Campaign? Two overarching themes are driving the Delaware First campaign: 1) Creating an Extraordinary Student Experience Priorities that support student access and success include

    • Student scholarships
    • Endowed professorships
    • Graduate fellowships
    • Cutting-edge research
    • Experiential learning opportunities

    These initiatives will set the foundation for excellence as we strive to reach even greater heights in undergraduate and graduate education.

  3. Extending Our Impact on the Region and the World Your support will also position us to create a dynamic environment for discovery and problem-solving that will position UD to help solve some of the most pressing challenges facing America and the world. Core priorities include:

  4. How did the name for the Campaign originate? Why “Delaware First?” The name, Delaware First: The Campaign for the University of Delaware, was generated in an independent effort to put esteem for UD at the forefront of philanthropic consciousness. It was designed to follow on the past UD brand identity, Dare to Be First, and pay homage to the areas where we are “first,” including the first state, first study abroad program, etc. This sentiment behind the name starts with the love of our home state of Delaware, the First State, and the thread of pioneering vision that has created, defined and advanced institutional promise that UD has brought forward as a “first” in many categories. We focused the messaging on philanthropy and engagement – asking our constituents to make UD first of their philanthropic priorities since our Campaign initiatives are bold and not replicated at other universities—a “first” of their kind. We hope this phrasing will translate to generous regard for the University as people put UD first in their hearts when considering opportunities to make a difference in our society and our future.

  5. Will this campaign remove student debt load? One of UD’s priorities is to ensure that students from a variety of backgrounds are able to achieve their dream of attending college, regardless of their family’s financial situation. The Delaware First campaign aims to increase endowed scholarship support, which, combined with private support and UD programs like the Blue Hen Success Collaborative and our Commitment to Delawareans, will not eliminate student debt, but will help improve UD’s ability to assist students financially in a significant way.

  1. Why invest in UD? While UD receives roughly 12% of its support from the State of Delaware, the majority of the school’s funding comes from other sources, including tuition, programs, endowment payout and philanthropy. Investing in UD is an investment in the community and wider region. For the state of Delaware, the UD community generates $6.2 billion in annual revenue and supports 61,000 jobs. Every state dollar allocated to UD returns $14.25 to Delaware’s economy.  For the private donor, there is no greater return than investing in people who will become world-changers—innovators, leaders and problem-solvers of tomorrow.

  2. Why does college cost so much? All around the nation, funding sources for public higher education have shifted, pushing a greater share of the costs onto students and their families. At the same time, college expenses have been rising almost six percent above the rate of inflation as universities manage increasing costs. Tuition rises as colleges strive to stay competitive by allocating money to attract top faculty and build state-of-the-art facilities. Attending UD is still a relative bargain compared to other institutions of higher education, especially for in-state students.

  3. Why does UD need support when it already has such a significant endowment? There are numerous financial challenges currently facing institutions of higher education. This is especially true at UD, where our historic sources of funding have scaled back their support, eliminated it altogether or not kept pace with UD’s increasing need to be competitive. UD’s main sources of income are tuition revenue, research grants and private support, which include endowment returns and new gifts. Because of these financial challenges, the role of individual endowments has become even more meaningful—particularly for students. While 62% of UD’s endowment funds support undergraduates, the gap between those who qualify for support and those who actually receive it is widening. At $1.64 billion market value, UD’s endowment is not as healthy as many other private universities and though it’s strong compared to some publics, the purpose of an endowment is to create an income source in perpetuity.

  1. How does endowment work? An endowment is more than just a gift—it’s an opportunity. When a scholarship or a fund is endowed, it establishes a sustainable source of income that empowers students to achieve their dreams, supports faculty as they teach classes and conduct critical research and drives the University of Delaware to strengthen its commitments and programs. Endowed funds provide a predictable source of income over time that isn’t tied to budget variables, allowing the University to make commitments and build programs into the future. For more on how the endowment is performing and how it impacts UD, read the Investment Offices 2019 Annual Report here.

  2. Why can’t we use part of the endowment to provide more student support? Each of the separate funds that comprise UD’s overall endowment fund has limits on how the income may be used. The University must allocate the funds as determined in the donor’s gift agreement. Additionally, endowed funds provide financial stability to the University as they grow through prudent investment and additional gifts. The interest payout over time is worth more than the value of the amount that might be withdrawn for current use. For example, a gift of $100,000 invested in UD’s endowment for 20 years will grow into an estimated market value of $224,000 and will generate $123,000 for students during that time―and then on in perpetuity.

  3. Why are endowed professorships a priority to the University? Committed, talented and well-funded faculty are critical to UD’s success. Recruiting and retaining professors who inspire learning will not only attract the brightest students, but also create further prestige for UD as they conduct research that elevates and contributes to the University’s reputation as a premier research institution. With an endowed professorship, a portion of the value of the endowed fund supports the salary and research of a professor, dean or department chair. Endowed professorships allow the brightest faculty members to fund life-changing research, engage with promising students and collaborate with scholars around the world.

  1. Why is alumni engagement so critical to the University’s success? UD’s prominence in Delaware and on the larger world stage owes much to the passion of its many alumni. Advancing our University beyond the status quo hinges on their engagement and support. Improved alumni programming—including regional events, Alumni Weekend and more—is essential to this effort. Creating opportunities for interaction with current students will also help alumni learn more about the current UD community. It is imperative that we also encourage young alumni to stay connected with the University and leverage UD’s vast network of professionals, scholars and leaders to help grow their careers.

  2. How can alumni help contribute to the University’s success?

    • Financially support any area of UD that is meaningful. All gifts of any amount count in the campaign.
    • Hire fellow Blue Hen alumni for jobs or hire a student for an internship.
    • Volunteer as a member of a Regional Alumni Club or the UDAA board of directors.
    • Become a Career Advisor for students and young alumni through the UD Career Advising Network (UD CAN).
    • Wear UD gear and advocate for UD wherever you can.
    • Update your contact information every year so we can keep in touch.

Contact Us

If you have a UD story to share, questions or need assistance, we are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday. Email:campaign-info@udel.edu | Phone: 302.831.2104 | Mail: Use the gift form to mail in your donation | Visit: www.udel.edu/alumni-friends If you’d like to talk with one of our development professionals about your gift, please use the categories below to help find the person who best matches your interests.

Vice President
(i.e. buildings, major programs, etc.)

James W. Dicker

P | 302.831.0530

Senior Associate Vice President
(i.e. professorships, scholarships, fellowships, etc.)

Currently open position.

Regional Gifts (i.e. outside of the Mid-Atlantic region)

Kris Graves

Assistant VP, Regional and Global Programs, New York Region P | 302.831.6595

Dan Rogalski

Senior Director of Development, Midwest Region P | 302.831.6211

Ruth Rosenberg

Senior Director of Development, Eastern Region P | 302.831.6993

Dana Raftas

Associate Vice President, Strategic Initiatives P | 302.831.7435

College Directors of Development

Doug Kleintop

Arts & Sciences
Assistant VP, Colleges and Programs

TJ Cournoyer

Earth, Ocean & the Environment Education & Human Development

Dana Raftas

Lerner College of Business & Economics

Kris Graves


Dan Sarkissian

Agriculture & Natural Resources Health Sciences

Athletic Facilities Gifts

Jordan Skolnick

Deputy Athletic Director, External Relations and Revenue Generation P | 302.831.1075

Annual Fund Gifts

Drew Dinbokowitz

Senior Director, Annual Giving & Alumni Marketing P | 302.831.7446

Alumni Association

Lauren Simione

Associate VP, Alumni Engagement Annual Giving P | 302.831.1408

Parents Fund

Stacey Muzzi

Assistant VP, Parents and Family and Student Life P | 302.831.0764

Matching Gifts
(i.e. corporate, company or organization matching charitable gifts)

Lynne Sklar

Assistant Director, Advanced Gift Services P | 302.831.3765

Gift Planning
(i.e. will or estate gifts)

Martha Mitchell

Associate VP, Development and Principal Gifts P | 302.831.8633

Corporate and Foundation Gifts

Martha Mitchell

Associate VP, Development and Principal Gifts P | 302.831.8633

Donor Relations and Stewardship

Kelly Saylor

Senior Director, Donor Relations and Strategic Special Events P | 302.831.1694

Campaign Progress

Current Campain Progress: $840,064,252 of $750,000,000

Every gift and every interaction makes an impact. Be part of this transformational journey!

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