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Hayne Gift

Richard A. Hayne

Helping Students Launch Creative Careers

Stan Silverman
Trustee Richard A. “Dick” Hayne

A $5 million gift from Richard A. “Dick” Hayne, the chairman and chief executive officer of Urban Outfitters, Inc. (URBN), will launch a wide-ranging experiential learning initiative that will help a diverse range of students at the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design launch design and related careers in the retail sector. A separate portion of the gift will provide unrestricted funding to the University.

“I’m deeply grateful to Dick Hayne for his visionary generosity, which will help further transform Drexel and how we prepare students for leading and shaping creative professions,” said John Fry, Drexel president. “I’m particularly pleased that Dick’s gift aligns with and amplifies the University’s ambitions in critical areas including our distinctive approach to experiential learning and solutions-oriented teaching, as well as making Drexel more accessible to students from all backgrounds.”

A member of Drexel’s board of trustees since 1996 and currently one of its vice chairs, Hayne has enthusiastically supported other University advances. In 2009, he made a significant gift – at the time the largest donation by an individual in Drexel’s history – to purchase and renovate space for the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, including the college’s URBN Center located at 3501 Market Street on the University City campus. The state-of-the-art building was originally designed by the noted architect Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown and their firm, Venturi Scott Brown. Hayne also has supported the Laurence A. Baiada Center for Entrepreneurship at Drexel’s Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship.

Hayne co-founded Urban Outfitters in 1970 and has been chairman of the board and president since the firm's incorporation in 1976. Today, URBN is a leading lifestyle consumer products company operating under the Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People, Terrain, Urban Outfitters and Vetri brands.

At a time of disruption, Dick’s incredible generosity will enable us to lean into the changing retail space, extend the reach, visibility and impact of our design programs and increase access and opportunity for deserving students. This is exactly what creative colleges should be doing.

Jason Schupbach, Dean, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design


The new gift will allow Drexel to invent a new kind of academic-industry partnership in the Antoinette Westphal College based on an apprenticeship model. In contrast with the co-op model, students selected to participate in the program will attend Drexel while working simultaneously as apprentices receiving mentoring and training at Urban Outfitters. The precise structure of each student’s experience will be built flexibly to empower students to learn critical skills in a variety of ways. Work experience will augment what is being taught in the Drexel classroom, and some aspects of curricula will be curated specifically for these students. Funding will support tuition, room and board, travel expenses and work experiences, resulting in a “net zero” cost to students, as well as a staff person to serve as a recruiter and manager for the students.

The program is expected to launch in summer 2023, with recruitment of the first cohort of students starting in fall 2022. Initially intended for those studying fashion design, the goal is to expand the program into product design and interior design in the future. The program will be piloted with five to 10 students in the first year.

“I am thrilled to continue supporting Drexel and its role as an innovative and creative leader in higher education,” said Hayne. “Retail has been changing rapidly, particularly over the past few years, and there’s a real need for agile and creative universities like Drexel to provide a pipeline of students who enter the workforce with a level of relevant experience.”

The program aligns with the University’s strategic plan, Drexel 2030 – Designing the Future, which recommends extending experiential learning beyond traditional co-op positions to place “powerful partnerships” at the heart of the institution, including academics, research and community and global engagement. Drexel’s goal is to ensure that partnership and active learning seep into and drive curricular innovation, immersive experiences and interdisciplinary solutions across the University.

“As an industry leader and passionate supporter, Dick Hayne truly has transformed our College and opportunities for student success,” said Antoinette Westphal College Dean Jason Schupbach. “At a time of disruption, Dick’s incredible generosity will enable us to lean into the changing retail space, extend the reach, visibility and impact of our fashion design, interior design and product design programs and increase access and opportunity for deserving students. This is exactly what creative colleges should be doing.”

In addition to Drexel, Hayne serves on the boards of Independence Seaport Museum, the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania and Stroud Water Research Center. He previously was chair of the board of trustees of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. Hayne graduated from Lehigh University with a BA degree in social relations. His son, Judson ’15, received a BS in entrepreneurship from Drexel’s Bennett S. LeBow College of Business.

The gift marks the latest major advance in Drexel’s fundraising and engagement campaign, The Future Is a Place We Make, which launched publicly in 2017. Hayne is an honorary chair of the initiative, which has surpassed $785 million – $30 million above its original goal – with his new commitment. Concluding on June 30, 2022, The Campaign for Drexel advances the University’s highest strategic priorities, including creating pathways for student support and success; growing commitment to access, diversity and inclusion; pioneering approaches in teaching and learning; accelerating multidisciplinary and high-impact research and innovation; and deepening civic engagement. In addition to financial goals, the campaign seeks to engage a widening circle of alumni in the life of the University. 

To learn more about the many ways to support Drexel, visit future.drexel.edu.

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