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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Corey Deel and daughter

Donors Help Level an Uphill Challenge

“At 18, I watched my friends prepare for college as I prepared to give birth to my daughter,” said UD student Corey Deel ’23.

As a young, single parent, Deel tabled aspirations for higher education while she focused on her daughter, Zoe. “I thought I would never be able to [attend college], logistically and financially. Zoe was my first priority, so I couldn’t spend a lot of time and money elsewhere — she needed that,” she said.

As Zoe got older, Deel’s mindset changed, and she explored furthering her education — and started by taking a few classes at Sinclair Community College. “Zoe and I actually started school on the same day; the day she went to kindergarten was my first day at Sinclair. We both had our little backpacks on,” she said.

Her career focus narrowed quickly at Sinclair. “I decided very early that my field of interest was neuropsychology, which will require a Ph.D.,” she said. The anticipated expense seemed insurmountable to Deel, but an academic adviser at Sinclair assured her a career as a neuropsychologist was accessible — and that she could begin by completing her bachelor’s at UD, thanks to donor-supported initiatives.

“I saw all of the scholarship support I would receive and realized it was possible,” she said. Deel enrolled in the UD Sinclair Academy, a partnership between UD and Sinclair that provides a pathway for a growing number of Sinclair students to seamlessly transfer to UD. In addition, she received an Osher Reentry Scholarship, designated for students with at least a five-year educational gap after high school.

The Osher scholarship and UD Sinclair Academy have received considerable donor support, including significant recent gifts: UD Sinclair Academy received $1.25 million from an anonymous Dayton-area couple and $1 million for a UDSA Kessler Scholars Program — a project supported by the Kessler Scholars Collaborative and the American Talent Initiative with funding from the Judy and Fred Wilpon Family Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Osher Reentry Scholarship is now endowed at UD thanks to a $1 million gift from the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management Jason Reinoehl emphasizes the impact of this support on reentry students — and other students: “Our UD Sinclair Academy and the Osher Reentry Scholarship help make it possible for talented students like Deel to attend UD.

Reentry students have talents, diverse experiences and perspectives that enrich the educational experience for all, both in and out of the classroom.”

The Osher Reentry Scholarship program has been in place at UD since fall 2020 and has had incredible success, with 100% retention and graduation rates, and an average cumulative GPA of 3.42. Deel certainly boosts that average, boasting a 3.96 cumulative GPA, while juggling

an average 14 credits and a part-time job — and, most importantly, her parental responsibilities. She is purpose-driven, thriving and setting an impeccable example for her daughter. She’s also grateful for everything donors have provided.

“Without donors, this opportunity wouldn’t be possible for me,” she said. “I have worked hard to get here and feel confident in my ability to create the life I’ve dreamt of, but I couldn’t do it alone.”

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