Ensuring the Future: Supporting Drexel Co-Ops Through Scholarship
William H. Ryan did not attend Drexel University. Raised in Philadelphia, he held an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and a graduate degree from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. A successful entrepreneur, Mr. Ryan came to know and appreciate Drexel University while serving as a partner for Deloitte & Touche. His widow, Casiana Ryan Schmidt, remembers why her husband was drawn to Drexel.
“Bill hired Drexel Co-Ops at Deloitte & Touche because he was impressed by their work ethic and professionalism.”
Ryan saw that the Drexel students he employed shared a common trait: the dedication to work hard and to go above and beyond expectations. “He found them to be very industrious and ultimately excellent employees. He spoke very positively about Drexel.” Since 1999, the company has hired a total of 135 students and currently employs 79 Drexel alumni.
Perhaps Mr. Ryan saw a little of himself in the students-he had succeeded by being made the youngest partner in his firm, was an avid reader with a mathematical mind (for light reading, he
cracked open his calculus textbooks), and he and Casiana travelled extensively, visiting nearly all major cities in the world.
Ultimately, the admiration Mr. Ryan held for Drexel students led him and his wife to establish an outright gift and a planned gift to support students. The William H. Ryan and Casiana Ryan Schmidt Endowed Scholarship Fund illustrates their investment in Drexel and serves as yet another example of the reach and impact that Co-Op students have on the world they serve.
Though William Ryan passed away in 2004 and Casiana has since remarried, she remains committed to their mutual vision to support Drexel students. In fact, in 2007, she and her spouse,
William E. Schmidt, established the Casiana R. and William E. Schmidt Scholarship Fund for Nursing. Casiana continues to recognize, as her husband once did, that Drexel students have a strong work ethic and a desire to succeed in their educational and professional lives. And, through these generous philanthropic gifts, she has ensured that students will keep moving forward into a brighter future.