From the Memorial Hall steps, looking north towards Main Street in August 2013I was gonna include this as a subsection in the next chapter, but decided it warranted its own: is it “The Mall” or “The Green?” If you ask UD, they’ll most certainly say the latter…but if you poke around UD’s site a bit, you’ll see that it hasn’t yet been totally purged of all “Mall” references. (Though, this site might prompt them to do a thorough word-replace!)
Those long grassy stretches north and south of Memorial Hall will always be “The Mall” to me. North Mall and South Mall, end of story. Now, being a native of North Jersey, I was used to you-know-what: A “Mall” was where we’d buy clothes and maybe see a bunch of Guidos. (Yes, as a child of 1980s New Jersey, I knew that term waaaaay before Jersey Shore.) However, when I landed on the UD campus -- even when touring the campus -- I quickly became used to the other “Mall” usage. As did the tens of thousands of other kids I attended UD with, and the generations before us.
The best I can pinpoint it, is that late 2001 or early 2002 was when UD decided “The Mall” should be called “The Green.” This was of course right in the middle of the central campus building boom, with a lot of effort put into reshaping The Mall, er, Green into Marian Coffin’s original design. Those designs (available on UD’s site) clearly label the grassy stretches as “The Green,” so I guess the school then out of respect decided to push the new / old name.
And man, did they PUSH that name. To me, the most blatant example was the “Heard on the Mall” section of the UD Messenger becoming “Turd on the Mall.” (Just wanted to make sure you were paying attention. It became “Heard on The Green.”)
Anyway, if you started UD sometime let’s say, post-2004, you may have NEVER heard of it being referred to as “The Mall,” but trust me, there are decades’ worth of Blue Hens that will call it nothing else!
“My boyfriend and I took a detour through Newark to avoid construction on 95 coming back to Baltimore. As we drove down Main Street, I pointed out all of the points of interest at my old stomping grounds. When we passed the Mall, I pointed it out to him saying, ‘That's the Mall, but now they're trying to call it the Green. I don't know what the hell they're thinking, because it's the Mall.’ I don't think he understood my heartfelt allegiance to it being called the Mall, but tradition is tradition, right?”
- Jennifer L, UD '02
“I attended the University of Delaware as an undergrad from 1998 to 2002. I came back to UD for grad school during the time when they started calling it the Green, and undergrads looked at me funny when I refused to refer to it that way. But, oh well!”
- Noel, UD '02
“I was lucky enough to be at UD during the name change. One day I'm walking down the Mall and the next it's being referred to as the Green on UDaily. After the initial shock and confusion, I vowed to forever call it the Mall! My kids, my grandkids, random folks from the Midwest will know it as THE MALL!”
- Meredith S, UD '05
“I was a Blue Hen Ambassador and gave a million tours telling everyone it was ‘The Mall’ and then it became ‘The Green’ during my senior year, and I had the hardest time changing my tour speech and telling people it was called ‘The Green,’ because everyone hated it!”
- Randi G, UD '03
“The Mall throughout the main campus at UD is a parallel term derived from the grassy areas framed by our national monuments in Washington, DC. (Digger’s Note: Yes, the National Mall!) Let’s ask Tiger Woods what ‘The Green’ is!”
- Kimberly G, UD '96
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