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Sheets a keepsake of sign-age

2:38 PM  Jun 12th, 2015

One sure sign you’re on a college campus is an array of white sheets blazoned with bold letters, numbers — and maybe thumbprints — hanging from porches, trees or windows.

The thumbprints are on a map of the United States on a sign made specially for the Class of 2015’s senior picnic. If this map had a legend, it would note that each thumbprint shows where a new grad is headed.

“It’s kind of neat that they decided to do a map with thumbprints because then you know where the UD family is going to end up,” said Nikky Gupta ’15.  “I now know four people who will be going to Wisconsin after graduation.”

Even though the new grads are now (mostly) gone from campus, the Class of ’15 sheet will likely return in 2016 and 2020.

That’s when they’ll have a chance to show it off — and maybe locate some more classmates across the country — at the Reunion Weekends featuring their first and fifth reunions. “There’s a sheet every year for each class celebrating a reunion,” said Anita Brothers, director of alumni relations.

Over the years, that’s a lot of sheets. Alumni Relations stores many of them in a couple boxes in the storeroom in its office on River Campus. From time to time the reunion committee may ask someone in an anniversary reunion class to make a new one. 

If you want to find alumni loyal to both UD and the sheet tradition, check out the Class of 1974. They may have started the tradition of using sheets as reunion guest books.

“Some time ago, I think it was our 10th reunion, we got a couple of bed sheets and had everybody sign them,” said Tony Lupia, long-time Class of ’74 reunion chair and keeper of their sheets.

With each succeeding reunion, first-time attendees get the chance to sign and leave a note. So Lupia is now storing five carefully folded sheets in a special plastic container at his Kettering home. 

“Our goal when we started this was to get 500 names by our 50th reunion,” Lupia said. They’re at 380 now. 

Hey, Class of ’74: only 120 more of you need to show up to help fulfill that dream.

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