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Drexel Traditions

Drexel is a prestigious university with a rich history dating back more than one hundred years. Though it has evolved over the years, Drexel has maintained a commitment to providing men and women of all backgrounds with the tools they need to succeed in their chosen careers.

Below are some traditions and facts that make Drexel University the unique place that it is today:

Legacy Families

Are you one of many generations of Drexel alumni? Are your children currently enrolled or have they already graduated from the university? The Alumni Association would like to recognize Legacy Families of alumni who have continued the Drexel tradition from their parents and grandparents or have passed it on to their children.

"The Water Boy"

One of The Drexel Collection's proudest treasures, "The Water Boy" was created by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi (1834 - 1904), the French sculptor of the Statue of Liberty. Though the statue has aged through the years, his right toe remains a shining bronze as generations of Drexel students passing through the Main Building's Great Court have rubbed the toe for good luck in exams.

Drexel Colors 

H. D. Cady, class of 1896, wrote that his school pin was "the regular design used when the Institute opened its doors fifty years ago. The colors, orange and silver, were the colors in those days." In the early 1920s, the Athletic Association adopted blue and gold for Drexel teams. Later, the University’s Board of Trustees approved the colors "gold with blue."

The DAC Pack

The DAC Pack is comprised of students who are full of Drexel pride and spirit and has grown to become one of the largest and most visible student organizations at Drexel. During the 2008 Drexel basketball season, the DAC Pack included almost 200 students who followed the men's basketball team all the way to the CAA Championships in Richmond, VA. 

Cramps Ship Yard

In 1895, James MacAlister, the university's first president, would often cancel classes and allow Drexel students to go to Cramps ship yard to watch war ships set sail. The students would wave orange flags, as Drexel's colors were orange and silver at that time. 

Lancaster Walk

In 2001, Student Life began honoring incoming classes with dragon claw plaques on Lancaster Walk. The Bronze plaques are presented at the end of the New Student Week to encourage students to "Make your Mark" at Drexel. 

"Mario the Magnificent"

"Mario the Magnificent," the bronze statue of the Drexel Dragon mascot, is the work of renowned Philadelphia sculptor Eric Berg. Located at the corner of 33rd and Market Streets, the statue is 14 feel long, 10 feet high, weighs 4,100 lbs. and stands on 17 ton granite base. A visible landmark, the statue often serves as a common meeting place for people on campus. Both the statue and the university's mascot are named for former trustee and alumnus Mario Mascioli '45. 


Convocation marks the traditional beginning of the academic year and offers a chance for faculty, staff and students to rededicate themselves to Drexel's mission of teaching, research and service to society. It begins with a procession of faculty, professional staff and graduate students in academic regalia and features remarks from a number of University and special guest speakers.

Runnymede and Drexel Lodge 

For many years a Drexel family property in Upper Darby, PA, called Runnymede had been made available to Drexel Institute students and staff for sports and recreation. In the late 1920's, Runnymede burned down and the grounds were sold. A replacement property in Newtown Square, PA, was purchased and given to the Institute by trustee Anthony J. Drexel Paul, a grandson of the founder. It was formally dedicated in 1931 and enjoyed by generations of Drexel students as "Drexel Lodge."