Even in the midst of the global pandemic, when Drexel alumni, community members and friends were called upon to support the University, they responded and rallied.
Drexel University has raised more than $700 million as part of its most ambitious fundraising campaign ever, with the latest Campaign for Drexel, “The Future Is a Place We Make,” well on the way to meeting and potentially surpassing its goal of $750 million.
The milestone represents a strong and sustained level of confidence in the University and its capacity to prepare students for academic and professional success, generate research and innovation that address urgent societal challenges, and pursue civic engagement initiatives that benefit the Philadelphia community and beyond.
“The fact that the pandemic has not inhibited the ongoing progress of the largest campaign in Drexel’s history clearly demonstrates how our alumni, friends and corporate and foundation partners have remained steadfast in their commitment to the University and in their belief in our impact and future,” said President John Fry.
Since publicly launching in November 2017, anchored by seminal commitments from Thomas R. Kline and Dana '83, HD '14 and David Dornsife, HD '14, the Campaign has provided funding for the University to competitively recruit faculty, staff and students; secure Drexel’s future as an innovative leader in higher education; and boost its academic vision for the way Dragons can learn and teach.
This milestone represents a strong and sustained level of confidence in the University and its capacity to prepare students for success, generate research and innovation that address urgent societal challenges, and engage with communities.
The Campaign has supported significant growth in Drexel’s endowment, which sustains the long-term health of the University. To date, donors have established more than 160 new endowed scholarship and fellowship funds, 13 endowed professorships, four fellowships and many endowed program funds in schools and colleges across the University. In addition, the number of donor-supported co-ops has more than doubled during the Campaign.
Recent donor support created the Bruce Eisenstein Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering, fueling Professor David Han’s work in artificial intelligence, and it aided College of Medicine student and scholarship recipient Sara Ali’s path from community college to an MD degree. Third-year College of Arts and Sciences student Kejsi Ruka’s nonprofit co-op was made possible by support from an alumnus and his wife.
Other gifts support a corporate and nonprofit governance institute (named for Raj and Kamla Gupta), a community legal clinic (named for Andy and Gwen Stern), research at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, an expanded early childhood education lab, athletics coach positions and new and renovated teaching, social and athletics spaces.
Donors gave generously to rapid-response and emergency funds created with urgency throughout the pandemic, contributing to COVID-19 and racial-equity research, the Student Emergency Fund, Drexel’s Counseling Center and the Emergency Fund for Families at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.
At Drexel’s new Center for Black Culture, supporters are funding scholarships, stipends, new spaces for social activities, art installations and events, as well as a library.
The Campaign’s success has been made possible by the generosity of alumni, trustees, faculty, staff, parents and friends of Drexel — more than $108 million has been contributed by Drexel's trustees, over $227 million by Drexel alumni and another $210 million by parents and friends of the University. Additionally, during each year of the Campaign, hundreds of faculty and professional staff have contributed to Drexel, giving a total of more than $11 million to date.
Recent leadership commitments include $9 million from Dana and David Dornsife to launch a center on racism and health – recently named The Ubuntu Center on Racism, Global Movements and Population Health Equity – and to support other priorities at their namesake Dornsife School of Public Health; $4 million from Trustee Emeritus William T. Schleyer ’73, HD ’06 and his family (including sons Edward, MD ’12, and William Jr., MD ’14) to fund scholarships for MD students at the College of Medicine; $2 million from Trustee Michael F. Barry ’81 and Patricia Bartlett ’81 that endows a professorship at the College of Engineering; and $1 million from the Drexel family (multiple descendants of Anthony J. Drexel) to establish and enlarge the Drexel Family Scholarship Fund, which supports students across the University.
“We’re particularly proud of the number of Drexel graduates who have engaged with the University during the Campaign,” said David Unruh, senior vice president for Institutional Advancement. “At the start of the Campaign, we hoped that 35,000 alumni would show their support through donations, volunteering, mentoring students and attending events. Remarkably, more than 37,000 already have stepped up so far to help advance Drexel.”
On May 5, another record was achieved, the first time that donations surpassed $1 million during a single Drexel day of giving, known as 24 Hours of Impact. The effort also attracted its largest number of donors.
The Campaign has significantly eclipsed the total of the University’s previous campaign record: $455 million generated through the “Dream It. Do It. Drexel.” campaign that concluded in November 2013.
To learn more about the Campaign and the many ways to support it, visit future.drexel.edu.
Support The Campaign for Drexel
Of the $700 million raised by the Campaign, the overall progress on select priorities includes:
- $153 million for research initiatives
- $146 million for scholarships and co-op
- $129 million for academic support
- $40 million for civic engagement
- $32 million for endowed professorships and chairs
- $32 million for learning spaces
In addition, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University has raised more than $60 million as part of the Campaign effort.
CAMPAIGN BY THE NUMBERS
1,220 current members of the A.J. Drexel Society, recognizing total giving of $1,000 and more during an academic year
275 new members of Drexel’s Legacy Society, recognizing donors who have included the University in their estate plans
2 schools and colleges named for donors during the Campaign: Dana and David Dornsife School of Public Health
and Thomas R. Kline School of Law
42 operational and program funds (supporting co-ops, research and other initiatives) endowed
9 prize and award funds endowed
$50M: largest single gift made during the Campaign (Thomas R. Kline’s naming gift to the School of Law in 2014)
58: most number of years of giving to Drexel by a current donor (four alumni and friends share this honor!)
Source: Drexel University records.