For the past 24 years, I've been known around the UD Magazine office as the “Class Notes Queen.” It’s been my privilege to collect and share the milestone events — both large and small — sent in by the Flyer family. It’s no secret that photos of babies and brides are my favorite, and the bond it’s created over the years makes me feel as connected to them as if I’d actually attended UD.
I reflect on some moments that stand out: crying on the phone while speaking to someone who’d lost a spouse on 9/11; learning of a broken engagement even before the betrothed to stop a note from being printed; pictures of UD flags flanked by just-married Flyers and their friends and family who share a treasured connection to UD and each other. And of course, all those adorable babies wearing their first Flyer gear. My heart is warmed by the valuable memories I’ve shared on these pages over the years.
“My heart is warmed by the valuable memories I’ve shared on these pages over the years.”
As I prepared the information for this magazine, I was struck by the jarring number of deaths for the In Memoriam section. As I sat at my kitchen table to work, the stack of paper containing the names and obituaries was more than 2 inches thick. Each sheet represented a loss. It was more than twice the normal number. In that moment I was selfishly reminded of my own losses caused by the pandemic and my shift to at-home work: Putting on real clothes every morning to go to the office. Making coffee and greeting co-workers over bagels and doughnuts every Friday. Chatting in the hall and catching up on the lives of the people who make up my Flyer family.
I miss walking across campus and being surrounded by students, going out to lunch, always making sure there’s half-and-half in the breakroom refrigerator, and all of the other sights, sounds and people that make UD the special place that it is. The solitude of working from home for nearly a year now has taken a personal toll, but none so permanent as that 2-inch stack of paper before me. It reminds me to be thankful for each new day as a gift from God. It reminds me that as in all things, this, too, shall pass.
“It reminds me to be thankful for each new day as a gift from God. It reminds me that as in all things, this, too, shall pass.”
As I laid aside the stack of loved ones lost, I began work on the pages that bring news of anniversaries and weddings, of new jobs, travels and adventure, of courage, friendship and resilience. I see the hope and joy that come from honoring the Flyers of the past and celebrating those of the future who are the alpha and omega that is Class Notes.