For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Drexel University Alumni Spotlight

Jon Corle '70

A Grandfather Reflects on Move-in Day
Jon Corle ’70

Our family has logged hundreds of Drexel credit hours, four degrees, two teaching assignments, a few certificate courses and workshops. We have been donors, sponsors, fans and supporters for over fifty years. Our connection to Drexel runs deep and holds a unique and special place in our hearts.

That uniqueness was never more apparent to me than on September 17,2023. My wife, Diane and I were enjoying an afternoon on our porch and receiving photos by text of the move -in of two of our grandchildren. Abigail Stuart was admitted in nursing and Justin Corle was admitted in architectural engineering. There were photos of their dorm rooms (a far cry from the room I moved into in 1965 as a house freshman at Sigma Pi then located at 210 North 34th Street).

The photo I liked best is one of the four parents and two freshmen. Standing in the center of the photo are Abby and Justin.  By Abby are her parents, Jon and Lauren Stuart. On the other side by Justin are his parents Sherrie and Tim Corle. Lauren and Tim are our daughter and son. It struck me that as brother and sister they were each moving in their last child on the same day, to the same dorm at the same university. For our whole family this is a rare and precious moment in time.

As grandparents we are privileged with the view from 10,000 feet. Diane and I have experienced the trials and joys of rearing independent children, moving them into college dorms and returning home to the empty nest.

Reflecting on my own move-in day, I think about my mother, Louise Corle, RN as we arrived at the Sigma Pi house in her Rambler station wagon. She was a widow, and I was her only child. At the time I had no idea of the emotions she must have felt at the prospect of driving home alone to the empty nest. I do now, after sending our two children off to college over two decades ago. Now Tim and Sherrie and Jon and Lauren will come to know the bittersweetness of progress. As parents there is the joy of knowing that you have shepherded a child to acceptance at a world-class university in a rigorous course of study.  That you have worked hard to provide the financial resources needed.

Yet, there is the sadness of the now vacant bedroom at home. The acknowledgement that life will never be the same. This transition is not like the ones before it: progressing from pre-K to kindergarten and on to high school graduation. Going off to college marks a separation and the entry to adulthood.
To Tim and Sherrie and Jon and Lauren, I say embrace the joy of a job well done. Use the newfound time to deepen your relationships and pursue some of those put-off dreams.

To Justin and Abby, I say embrace your new lives as adults. You live in a world full of noise, some true and some false. The older adults in you in your life experienced that noise as they matured but not to the extent created by social media today. It has been said that when information is everywhere, attention and discernment become the scarce resources. Inform yourselves and then focus on what is important and under your control.

Your grandma and I are proud of you and your brothers who have gone before you. Always know that you are loved and we have your back. You can always stand on our shoulders as you accomplish great things.

Love, Dad &Grandad