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Alumni Spotlight

Liz and Bud YanakCharles "Bud" Yanak '79, '84
and Liz Yanak '09

A Drexel Legacy Story

When it comes to Drexel, Bud and his daughter Liz Yanak have more in common than just their degrees. They share a passion for Drexel athletics, a love of the food trucks on Ludlow Street, and most importantly an appreciation for the quality education they received during their time as students.

Bud grew up in Philadelphia and went to high school less than 2 miles from Drexel. After his freshman year at LaSalle University where his uncle was Vice President, he transferred to Drexel because he knew he wanted to be an engineer and as he put it, "Drexel was the school to go to for engineering."

Liz had a similar reason for attending Drexel, although engineering wasn't her area of interest.

"When it came to colleges, I knew I wanted to do film and video and I was really impressed with Drexel's program," said Liz. "I came to Drexel and went on tour and I just kind of had a feeling. I really liked it here and after talking to people here I liked it even more."

Both also agree that the Co-op was a selling point. Bud's co-ops were in Washington DC with the U.S. Coast Guard and in New Jersey for RCA, while Liz had her co-op in Bala Cynwyd with NBC 10.

"Co-op was a really great experience; I could only do one but I wish I had done more," Liz said.

According to Bud, being one of nine children he had to pay for his own education so the Co-op was absolutely essential.

"We looked at it back then as a way to make money but the connections I made through my Co-ops were phenomenal," he said. "I had five job offers from my Co-ops and a total of eight job offers to choose from when graduating."

Bud and Liz enjoy talking about how Drexel has changed from the early 80's to the 21st century.

While Bud reminded Liz that "yes, they actually did have phones back in 1979," there are many differences in the student life experience between then and now.

"When I was a student, we were mostly all commuters," said Bud. "We hung out in the commuter lounge a lot – there was even a bowling alley there!"

Liz instead decided to live on campus as a student.

"I remember the first day in my dorm, after unpacking, sitting on my bed and thinking, 'what am I going to do now, and then some people from my dorm came by and asked me to go out with them," she said. "I met a lot of different majors in my dorm and although some of us did not have any classes together, we did have projects and out of class work that we did together and as a result, I made a lot of friends that way."

When talking about their student experiences, both Bud and Liz recall the food trucks fondly.

"We used to call them the Dragon Wagons," Bud laughed.

"They were definitely the best part of Drexel food," added Liz.

Currently Liz is pursuing a master's degree in television management and an MBA from Drexel, and working part time in the Athletics Department. "Even after I'm done school, I plan to stay in touch with the athletics department because they've done so much for me to help me get my graduate degrees."

Bud is a big fan of Drexel basketball and often comes back to campus to visit his daughter and catch a game. In addition, Bud is on the College of Engineering Alumni Association Board.

Between them, Bud and Liz will soon have a total of five Drexel degrees. Go Dragons!

For more information on Legacy Family Programs and to share your stories and photos, click here.