For graduating seniors, classes have been completed, a degree has been obtained and pictures are ready to be taken. Their work has seemed to pay off, and a photograph in a white dress or a Blue Hen-blue gown might be just what they are looking for as a memento of their college experience.
At the university, it has been a tradition to pose in front of, on or even in the water fountain on the South Green, formally referred to as the Magnolia Circle fountain. The “UD Bucket List,” put together by the UD Student Alumni Ambassadors and UD’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations, encourages students to “take a picture at a fountain on campus,” as one of the 17 “gold items” on the list.
“I know that a lot of students really look forward to taking graduation photos by or in the fountain,” Joanna Lee, a junior occupational therapy major who does senior portraits at locations around the university, said.
In the past, students have let their graduation enthusiasm get the best of them, instigating rowdy events surrounding the fountain. Regardless of previous occurrences, Magnolia Circle photoshoots are still made possible through a combination of university police and university authorities.
“The UD Police Department has been a wonderful partner and have scheduled specific days and times for seniors to go in the fountain with their supervision, primarily for a fun photo shoot and to check the item off their #UDBucketList,” Lauren Murray Simione, the associate vice president of alumni engagement and member of the Class of 1995, said.
Despite all this excitement, anyone who walked by the South Green fountain during recent semesters could see that it was not in the most photogenic condition, as it had been turned off and waterless throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for maintenance and system repairs.
“This past week, I was taking graduation photos for someone, and the fountain was one of the locations we had in mind for photos, but we decided to bypass it completely,” Lee said. “I am looking forward to the fountain being fixed for the future, whether that be for this class or for future classes.”
The Director of Maintenance and Operations, Paul Dickinson, was able to restore hopes for the class of 2022.
“We are repairing the fountain with a target to have it refilled before commencement,” Dickinson said. “It has needed some work, and though COVID and the supply chain has yielded some challenges, … we are working with our vendors to complete the process.”
While the Magnolia Circle fountain has been filled with water for appearances during past commencements, for the first time in years it will finally be fully repaired.
The UD Police Department designated times for students to enter the fountain. Although there are rules, such as no alcohol and no diving, graduates were able to have their picture taken in front of, on and even in the Magnolia Circle fountain, fulfilling a university tradition and checking a gold item off the UD Bucket List.