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By creating a legacy of philanthropy, the Reynolds family is
ensuring more opportunities for UD students to pursue undergraduate
With the Reynolds, philanthropy is all in the family.
BethAnne and David Reynolds, parents of class of 2020 alumna Rachel
Reynolds, share a vision to help future generations of University of
Delaware students. Together, the three of them established the Mind,
Brain and Behavior Summer Fellowship Fund in the Department of
Psychology and Brain Sciences. The family celebrated the fund’s first
award recipient this year and is hoping to inspire others to contribute.
The Reynolds created the fund to support self-designed undergraduate
research opportunities, saying they believed in the importance of
students practicing writing grant proposals and developing relationships
with faculty early in their college careers. While at UD, Rachel’s
involvement with the Summer Fellowship program was impactful. BethAnne
and David encouraged their daughter to designate a giving area that is
important to her, and she decided to ensure more Blue Hens could pursue
hands-on lab experience.
“We wanted to teach our children the advantages of philanthropy and
the scope it can entail,” BethAnne Reynolds said. “By doing it with
them, they can see the effects of where it goes. It doesn’t just go in a
bucket and then disappears. It’s personal.”
By making giving a family tradition, the Reynolds demonstrate the
importance of passing on a legacy of philanthropy and strengthening a
bond over shared values. They said that it’s been a rewarding and
effective way to make a positive impact together. The results are
tangible, and they can follow their passion in this area by investing in
important scientific discoveries.
“I like seeing cutting-edge research. It fascinates me! I also love
the personal contact with the recipients,” said BethAnne. “It’s great to
hear their gratitude and excitement but it’s not about the accolades
for us. We want to see what the scholars can achieve with what we
Rachel added, “It’s enlightening to hear what new fresh ideas are
being brought to the table and jump-starting different conversations in
the scientific community. Plus, knowing you helped someone is very
fulfilling. It sets them up for success and has a domino effect.”
Rachel’s experience as a UD Summer Fellow was similarly
transformative. She worked with Paul Quinn, professor of psychological
and brain sciences and a world-renowned researcher, in his infant
cognition lab. Now, Rachel is looking to pay it forward for future
generations of Blue Hens.
“My UD research has given me great advantages, not only in grad
school, but also in the skills that I gained,” Rachel said. “Working in
several different labs opened doors, and those connections helped me
discover how to communicate and collaborate.”
An Ohio native, Rachel enrolled at UD even before setting foot on
campus. Notably, the University is one of the few schools in the nation
that offers a cognitive science major. But it was in a first year Honors
English course that Rachel began thinking about the topic she wanted to
explore with Quinn. The small study that she designed for her research
writing project eventually blossomed into her master’s thesis when she
had the “time and the resources to do it for real.”
Rachel is scheduled to graduate in November from Erasmus University
in Rotterdam, Netherlands. She credits her UD study abroad program
experiences in London and Rome with expanding her horizons and
contributing to her decision to study internationally.
“I find it interesting to be able to ask a question and then use the
scientific method to try and figure out answers,” Rachel said. “I think
one of the amazing things about this fellowship is that it allows those
students who want to follow their own research interests to go the extra
mile. For me, it revealed a whole new world of ideas and creativity.”
Through their generosity, the Reynolds are certainly leading the way,
but they don’t want the spotlight. Perhaps this can be attributed to
midwestern sensibilities: modesty, pragmatism and a genuine willingness
to help others. By creating the fund under a general title, they said
they believe others will be more compelled to give to it and extend its
impact to provide additional research opportunities.
“We have been fortunate enough to be able to kick start the fund. We
set it up intentionally as a general fund, not a named fund,” BethAnne
said. “This fellowship will continue in perpetuity. We want it to grow
beyond us and help more students in the future, and every little bit
If you would like to join the Reynolds family in support of the Mind,
Brain and Behavior Summer Fellowship Fund, you can visit this website.
To learn more about parent and family giving opportunities, please contact Tracy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-831-7453.
Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.
Delaware First: The Campaign for the University of Delaware was
publicly launched on Nov. 10, 2017. The comprehensive engagement and
fundraising campaign unites Blue Hens across the nation to accelerate
UD’s mission of cultivating tomorrow’s leaders, creating solutions to
grand challenges, inspiring innovations and transforming lives. The
united effort will help create an extraordinary student experience at UD
and extend its impact on the region and the world.
Building on the record-breaking support and generosity evidenced by
the Campaign, on Oct. 7, 2021, the University announced the extension of
Delaware First with a $1 billion goal to further fuel change and
innovation for students, faculty, campus and the world.
For more information, call 302-831-2104 or email email@example.com.
Article by Tiffany Hess-Bennette;
Photo courtesy of BethAnne and David Reynolds Published November 07, 2022