Celebrating two decades of sisterhood

The University of Delaware Nu Chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon, a professional and social student association for students in the fields of engineering and technical sciences, celebrated its 20th anniversary this semester.

It was a windy day on April 6, 2024, as UD students and alumni gathered on the South Green.

But the weather wasn’t the main reason why the sisters of the University of Delaware’s Alpha Omega Epsilon (AOE) Nu Chapter were overwhelmed: the sisters and alumni of the Nu Chapter had gathered to celebrate its milestone 20th anniversary.


Founded on April 3, 2004, AOE is a professional and social student association composed of female and non-binary students in the fields of engineering and technical sciences. The student association, which has welcomed more than 12,000 members in the 41 years since its founding in 1983, operates based on the values ​​of friendship, leadership and professionalism.

“AOE means so much to me personally and I know it means so much to my sisters and everyone in the chapter,” said Sofia Torres, AOE Chapter 2023-2024 president and senior in chemical engineering. “Being able to continue to be the organization that delivers engineering, engineering science and development for women is something I am proud of.”

When AOE came to UD in 2004, the organization was so small that chapter meetings were held in a basement. Now in 2024, the Nu Chapter currently has more than 110 undergraduate members and approximately 350 people in its alumni network.

As AOE continues to grow, alumni are eager to contribute to the organization by networking with current sisters, providing career advice and offering job shadowing opportunities. “I really appreciate being able to give back what was given to me,” says Sandra Bruno, EG2021 AOE alumna and senior design engineer at Bohler.

All attendees at the 20th anniversary event pose with the AOE letters.

An event never to be forgotten

Bruno was one of many alumni who attended the AOE Nu Chapter’s 20th anniversary. The event was an opportunity for sisters to catch up with recent graduates, meet some of the founders of their organizations and make connections on a personal and professional level.

The celebration was preceded by several months of planning and dedication by the AOE Board of Directors and Chairs. The leadership team began coordinating the event in January, integrating AOE’s traditions and activities from previous milestone celebrations throughout the planning process. Working as a team, the sisters were able to organize important logistics such as the location, the date (trying to keep it as close to the founding date as possible) and catering.

The anniversary event started outside on the South Green, where sisters and alumni gathered to celebrate with conversation, socializing and a delicious barbecue. Ultimately, due to weather, the AOE board moved the event to the Rodney Room in Perkins, where the festivities continued. Twenty years of AOE Nu Chapter members were able to bond with each other, even over an AOE-themed bingo game that quickly became competitive.

Inviting as many alumni as possible and reaching out to AOE’s alumni network contributed to the success of the 20th anniversary celebration. AOE Alumni Relations Chair Sarah Donaldson was instrumental in making this happen. As a vital communicator between the Chapter and alumni, she is responsible for sending alumni alerts about events and a monthly newsletter with chapter updates, including advance notice of the anniversary event.

“Being able to reach a larger group of alumni, even though I speak to them more regularly, has definitely brought a lot more alumni forward wanting to be here to celebrate this event,” said Donaldson, a senior in biomedical engineering. .

The AOE 2023-2024 Board of Directors (from left) Brenna Derby, Amara Kollas, Sofia Torres, Aadhira Gopalan, Avery Wolverton and Allison Delozier.

Empowering female and non-binary engineers

AOE’s purpose is not only to continue the advancement of underrepresented genders in engineering and other science and technology fields, it also exists as a safe space where women and non-binary people can empower each other as they navigate their paths as professionals.

“We value leadership and we encourage our members to be leaders. Even if you don’t have a specific title, you can be a leader within a group, within a project, or within your group of friends. That’s something we really encourage our younger members to grow into because it’s so helpful in the future.” Torres said.

AOE is also committed to uplifting the community. The Nu Chapter recently broke their fundraising record for the B+ Foundationadding to the total of $1.8 million UD has raised for the organization in its fight against childhood cancer UDance.

Last fall, the sisters visited Saint Mark’s High School’s Robotics team, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST). AOE has a strategic alliance with FIRST and the Nu Chapter was excited to connect with a local team.

At the heart of the AOE Nu Chapter is a heartwarming environment where members can grow as professionals while making lifelong friendships. Here, leadership, friendship and professionalism are perfectly intertwined to create an organization that continues to inspire its members.

“My favorite part of AOE is definitely the people, there are always people there to help you. There is always a familiar face in your classes, and when you go to the library or just walk outside, you always see someone and that is really reassuring.” said Erin DeGroat, AOE sister and first-year chemical engineering student.

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