The AKG Art Museum experience is a lot more than the a complex of buildings, gallery spaces, the great Lawn, etc. The Museum experience extends outwards into the Delaware Park, which is the ideal setting (and backdrop) for the newly enhanced cultural destination.
Over the years, the connection between the Museum and Delaware Park has deteriorated. I’m mainly talking about the poor condition of Delaware Park’s Grand Staircase that connects Gala Waters (Hoyt Lake) to Lincoln Parkway, which in turn extends to the Gallery.
This past Friday, it was announced that Grand Staircase, envisioned and designed by the Olmsted Firm, in collaboration with famed Buffalo architect E.B. Green (as part of Green’s Albright Art Gallery), has been immaculately restored. The restored staircase beautifully mirrors the AKG Art Museum’s own set of historic steps.
“We are grateful and excited to officially announce that the restoration of the Grand Staircase in Delaware Park is now complete,” said Beth Downing, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Interim Executive Director. “Thank you to the generous support of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, The Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and every private donor for making this project possible. We hope every park user enjoys this beautifully restored space.”
Although the art gallery building wasn’t completed until 1906, the stairway visually connected other impressive Pan-Am features, including:
The Buffalo History Museum (then the New York State Building)
The Bridge of the Three Americas
A boathouse (now Marcy Casino)
All integral public components found on the lake side of Delaware Park
The restoration of the Grand Staircase included the following elements:
Disassembly of original granite stones to inspect the foundation
Reconstruction of the foundation and substructure of the steps
Restoration and cleaning of original granite stones for reuse, while sourcing suitable restoration grade stones for those sections that were beyond repair
Reassembly of the stonework with professional masonry and repointing
Now, can we get the lion sculptures replaced on the nearby Elmwood Bridge (in some form), downgrade the expressways into boulevards ASAP, and restore Scajaquada Creek? These are all part of the grander vision that will exponentially elevate the AKG Art Museum and Delaware Park experiences, by restoring the original design standards that were put forth by the respective masters of their trades.
As many already know, nonprofits are a critical part of Delaware’s economic infrastructure. Nonprofits are behind many of the most important programs serving our communities, such as those feeding hungry children when school is not in session; providing substance abuse treatment; supporting vulnerable individuals, families or populations like veterans, the homeless, the elderly or victims of domestic violence; or helping animals find their forever home. Such programs and the nonprofits behind them rely on the generosity of many individuals who give their time, talent and, importantly, their money.
Held annually the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday has become a global day that encourages people around the world to celebrate nonprofits. In addition to helping raise millions of dollars worldwide, Giving Tuesday shines a bright light on the impact that nonprofits have (often thanks to many individuals and volunteers behind the scenes). Giving Tuesday has also more broadly changed how people think about giving. Over the past 11 years of its existence, Giving Tuesday has helped make philanthropy more inclusive by highlighting the multiplying power that small donations from many individuals can have.
Here in Delaware, Giving Tuesday is a complementary counterpart to Delaware’s largest day of giving – Do More 24 Delaware, which takes place in early March. For 24 hours in 2024 – 6 p.m., Thursday, March 7, to 6 p.m., Friday, March 8 – this Delaware-focused giving day will unify the nonprofit sector and connect communities throughout the state with Delawareans and friends of Delawareans from around the world in celebration of our local nonprofits. Many of the 500-plus nonprofits expected to participate use what they raise through that event to help budget and increase their community impact throughout the year.
Days like Giving Tuesday and Do More 24 Delaware are important because they help foster a different mindset. They prompt people to think about others and support causes that matter to them. The sharing of nonprofits and community service through a giving day event like Do More 24 Delaware helps turn individual philanthropy into a shared experience, and it strengthens the bonds that individuals are building through their joint commitment to making a difference and spurring impact in their community.
The culture of philanthropy in Delaware is strong, and it needs to grow stronger for the next generation of leaders of our nonprofits, our businesses and our state. Supporting Delaware nonprofits through individual giving is a simple – and important – way to get started. There are hundreds of active nonprofits throughout the state looking for individuals to help lead and transform their missions into a more impactful reality. Find one (or two) you can support, and talk with them about other ways you can get involved. And if you can mark your calendars for the Do More 24 Delaware giving day event March 7-8, that would be great too!
The special counsel investigating Hunter Biden opposed his request to issue subpoenas for documents from Donald Trump and others from the former president’s administration in a filing Monday, pushing back on the notion that charges against the president’s son in Delaware were a result of selective or vindictive prosecution.
In November, Hunter Biden’s attorneys asked the federal judge overseeing his case in Delaware – where he is charged with three gun crimes – for permission to subpoena documents from Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr and other Justice Department officials.
Hunter Biden’s attorneys said the heart of his defense is that the case is “possibly a vindictive or selective prosecution arising from an unrelenting pressure campaign beginning in the last administration” and argued that information from the subpoenas would support such a defense.
But special counsel David Weiss, whose team is also using a Los Angeles grand jury as part of an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings, argued in Monday’s filing that Hunter Biden failed “to identify any actual evidence of bias, vindictiveness, or discriminatory intent on the Special Counsel’s part.”
“(H)is arguments ignore an inconvenient truth: No charges were brought against defendant during the prior administration when the subpoena recipients actually held office in the Executive Branch,” Weiss wrote. “Instead, every charge in this matter was or will be brought during the current administration — one in which defendant’s father, Joseph R. Biden, is the President of the United States and Merrick B. Garland is the Attorney General that was appointed by President Biden and who personally appointed the Special Counsel.”
Weiss also wrote that claims of a vindictive or selective prosecution can only be litigated before a trial begins and not during the trial itself. He criticized the requested subpoenas for seeking “broadly worded categories of documents across seven years.”
Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to the three charges, which include illegally possessing a firearm while using illicit drugs.
“His allegations and subpoena requests focus on likely inadmissible, far-reaching, and non-specific categories of documents concerning the actions and motives of individuals who did not make the relevant prosecutorial decision in his case,” Weiss wrote in his conclusion.
NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware will add women’s ice hockey as a varsity sport and join College Hockey America (CHA), effective July 1, 2025, it was announced Friday. Delaware becomes the 45th college or university to sponsor a Division I women’s ice hockey program.
A public press conference will be held on Monday, December 4 in the Fred Rust Arena at 10 a.m. It will also be streamed live on YouTube.
A national search for a varsity women’s ice hockey head coach will begin in January 2024, allowing a full year of recruiting and preparation ahead of the 2025-26 inaugural season. UD has offered women’s ice hockey as a club sport since 2003, with the club earning a top-10 national ranking in each of the last 10 seasons. The University will continue offering women’s ice hockey as a club sport in 2024-25 and beyond.
“The addition of women’s varsity ice hockey at UD is the latest bold step in the evolution of our Athletics program, raising the profile of our outstanding Blue Hen student-athletes and the whole University,” University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis said. “We are deeply committed to gender equity in Athletics and throughout UD, and we are excited to be part of this growing sport.”
With the announcement of Delaware football transitioning to FBS, the University was committed to adding a women’s sport to continue to stay Title IX compliant. The University looked at a number of key criteria, including the feasibility, continued commitment to gender equity, recruiting footprint, conference fit, facilities, and ability to win championships.
“We’re thrilled to be part of growing the game of women’s ice hockey here, both nationally and at UD.” Director of Athletics, Community, and Campus Recreation Chrissi Rawak said. “I’m confident women’s ice hockey will have success on and off the ice, and joining the CHA allows us to surround ourselves with aspiring institutions and some of the best competition in the nation.”
In its due diligence, the University of Delaware performed a feasibility study funded by the Industry Growth Fund, a joint initiative of the NHL and NHLPA, with the goal of empowering schools exploring the addition of Men’s and/or Women’s DI varsity ice hockey. The results of the study reinforced UD’s findings and made clear that women’s ice hockey was the best path forward. In addition to this being the right decision for the University of Delaware, there’s also the great benefit of helping to grow a sport that is popular in this region of the country.
“The growth of women’s hockey is undeniable and unstoppable,” NHL Sr. Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs Kim Davis said. “The NHL is proud to support the development of the University of Delaware’s women’s ice hockey team – it represents our vision to open access, opportunity and aspirational pathways for young women in the game.”
Delaware and the Philadelphia Flyers will form a partnership, with details being shared on Thursday, February 8 at Wells Fargo Center as the Flyers take on the Winnipeg Jets on the day after National Girls & Women in Sports Day. The Flyers have a strong history of helping grow the game of hockey, particularly within women’s hockey. The organization launched a girls-only Learn to Play program, hosted the Professional Women’s Hockey Player Association (PWHPA) Dream Gap Tour, and created a female-focused front office mentorship program, Next Shift. You can buy tickets to celebrate the newly formed partnership and the addition of Delaware women’s ice hockey here.
“I am incredibly grateful to the NHL and College Hockey Inc., for their collaborative insight and support in working together with the University of Delaware to help us determine that women’s ice hockey was the right sport for us to be adding,” Rawak said.
College Hockey America was established as a NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey conference in 2002. Currently, the CHA includes six institutions spanning three states from the Midwest to the East Coast. The membership includes Lindenwood University, Mercyhurst University, Pennsylvania State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Robert Morris University, and Syracuse University.
The CHA has qualified a representative to the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship 19 times since the league’s founding. Mercyhurst has qualified 14 times with four trips to the Frozen Four and an appearance in the 2009 national championship game.
Individually, CHA players have earned All-American honors 12 times. The CHA has also been represented among the finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award 14 times since 2005. That group includes five top-three finishers and one winner – Mercyhurst’s Vicki Bendus in 2010.
CHA alumni have competed for eight countries at the Winter Olympics and skated off with 14 medals, including four gold. Professionally, 15 CHA alumni are in training camps with Professional Women’s Hockey League teams, a number that includes seven league alumni who were selected in the PWHL draft in September.
“College Hockey America is incredibly excited to welcome the newly established Division I hockey program from the University of Delaware to the CHA and NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey,” College Hockey America Commissioner Michelle Morgan said. “Chrissi Rawak and her team have done an exceptional job in getting us to this point and I look forward to working with her as the program takes shape and builds towards its first season of competition in 2025-26.”
With the addition of women’s ice hockey in 2025-26, UD Athletics now sponsors 22 varsity intercollegiate programs.
Student-athletes at UD are known for their excellence in competition and in the classroom. The University of Delaware’s academic programs are among the nation’s best and its research classification places the University in the top 3% of all U.S. universities and colleges. Announced in September, UD ranks No. 76 among national universities and No. 36 nationally among public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report‘s 2024 Best Colleges rankings. U.S. News also ranked eight undergraduate programs at UD among the nation’s top-100 in their disciplines, including No. 5 nationally in chemical engineering. UD Is also a top-50 university in the U.S. for veterans and active-duty military.
That outstanding academic reputation also translates to UD Athletics and UD student-athletes.
UD student-athletes complement their athletic success with strong academic performances. In the 2022-23 academic year, Blue Hens compiled a cumulative 3.286 grade-point average—the highest in department history, excluding academic terms impacted by COVID-19. This marked the ninth-consecutive year and the 19th-straight semester in which UD student-athletes have posted a 3.00 GPA or better.
FOLLOW ON SOCIAL For the latest on Delaware ice hockey, follow the Blue Hens on X, Instagram, and like on Facebook.
About NHLPA/NHL Industry Growth Fund During the 2023-24 NHL season, the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association are celebrating 10 years of the Industry Growth Fund (“IGF”), which was established to create opportunities to help grow the game of hockey both on and off the ice. Over its first decade, the IGF has dedicated more than $180 million to develop programming, create initiatives, host events and provide education that drives awareness and brings hockey to communities across North America. For more information, visit www.nhl.com/community/industry-growth-fund/.
Ice Hockey Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the University of Delaware adding Varsity Ice Hockey? We have the incredible opportunity to add a women’s varsity sport to continue our commitment to gender equity and Title IX by adding Women’s Ice Hockey, bringing us to 22 varsity sports.
Ice hockey was the right choice for us for many reasons. We completed a feasibility study, sponsored by the NHL and their efforts to grow the game of ice hockey, which determined that we have the infrastructure, facilities, and interest to be a successful college hockey program. The recruiting footprint we are in and the talent we are surrounded by is very strong. We already have the facilities we need for this sport, with our two rinks on campus.
What is the timeline for the addition of Women’s Ice Hockey? A national search for a head coach will begin after the first of the year. Once the head coach is hired they will focus on building the program, including recruiting student-athletes. The first year of CHA conference competition for the varsity team will be the 2025-2026 season.
What conference will Women’s Ice Hockey play in? We have accepted an invitation to join the College Hockey America conference. The conference membership currently consists of Penn State, Syracuse, Lindenwood, Mercyhurst, Robert Morris, and Rochester Institute of Technology. The CHA has had four Frozen Four teams and one in the national championship game.
Will you keep a club option for Women’s Ice Hockey? Yes, our plan is to have both a varsity program and maintain a club option as well for women’s ice hockey.
Will all the players from the club program transition to the varsity program? We will concentrate first on hiring a head coach, who will recruit players for the program. There will be tryouts that will give those interested the opportunity to try out for the team. Women’s club hockey will remain an option as well.
How are the costs of adding Women’s Ice Hockey being covered? Operational costs associated with beginning the Women’s Ice Hockey program will be paid for by the athletics department through fundraising and revenue generation opportunities tied to moving to CUSA and FBS football.
Will there be renovations needed for Fred Rust Ice Arena? Our feasibility study showed that our existing facilities are in line with most college hockey programs. It indicated that the arena could benefit from some small-scale renovations to the locker room and spectator areas, but there are no immediate plans for renovations, and they are not needed for us to start the program.
Will or did you consider adding varsity Men’s Ice Hockey? We have no plans to add varsity men’s ice hockey, but remain supportive of their successful club program. We look forward to growing the game of hockey in the state of Delaware – and believe adding women’s ice hockey as a varsity sport will increase interest in ice hockey for both boys and girls in the state of Delaware.
If I am interested in the varsity ice hockey program, how can I learn more? Those interested in the varsity ice hockey program can email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow the program on new social media handles:
X: @Delaware_IH Instagram: @Delaware_IH Facebook: Delaware Ice Hockey