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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Bernard Caldwell

Bernard “Coach B” Caldwell ’91 worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 18 years and has worked in education for 13. Through both careers, he’s always been a coach.

“I’ve been coaching since I was 17, and I have always loved it,” said Caldwell. “When I was at UD, people told me I should be a teacher. I thought, ‘no way, no how.’ Little did I know, the whole time I was coaching, I was a teacher.”

Being a coach means being a leader, and many people will tell you Coach B is a natural leader. He’s quick to point out that he definitely sharpened his leadership skills at UD.

“I got thrust into leadership positions a lot of times even though I didn’t want it. They (his fellow students) put me there probably because I was often the loudest and the most vocal — and I blame that on being a communication major,” he said with a laugh. “But my leadership skills and my ability to establish rapport were very effective for me as a sales rep, and it’s also helped me as a coach and a teacher.”

One of the leadership roles he held while at UD was as president of Black Action Through Unity, and today he is active with the Black Alumni Affinity Group. The group has been working on creating opportunities for Black alumni to network and engage with University leadership as well as bringing more alumni back to campus for the Black Alumni Reunion.

“The goal of the group is not only to have a reunion, but to reach out to other Black alumni and try to have them think about why they came to UD and to know they can share their experiences with current students that weekend.

“Some of my fondest memories were during Reunion Weekend when some of the Black alumni would come back and tell their stories and talk about what they’re doing now, sharing some of their successes now. It gave you hope that, ‘I can do that. I can be in their shoes one day.’ So, I never forget that, and I like to talk to the kids and encourage them.”

Although the 2020 Black Alumni Reunion was postponed due to COVID-19, people like Coach B are keeping connected and engaged through upcoming Black alumni events and opportunities, and they expect the reunion to be a huge success in 2021.

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