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#ForeverDragons: Save the Date for the CoAS Commencement 2021

By Gina Myers

Headshots of Tim Hanlon and Angel Hogan

May 04, 2021

On Tuesday, June 8, 2021, the College of Arts and Sciences will celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2021 with a virtual commencement. The ceremony will be live-streamed from Mandell Theater, where a small party of dignitaries and speakers will gather.

The keynote address will be delivered by Carole Gardner Dodson ’71. Dodson is an ExxonMobil retiree. After graduating from Drexel with a bachelor’s in humanities and social science in 1971, she was offered a management position at Bloomingdale's but instead chose to pursue an MBA at New York University’s Stern School of Business. After receiving her MBA, she became a Certified Public Accountant and worked at Coopers & Lybrand in New York and Philadelphia before joining Rohm and Haas Company. In 1980, she and her husband, Samuel Dodson '70, took advantage of an R&H assignment that relocated them to Houston, TX. Carole Gardner Dodson joined ExxonMobil where she enjoyed a multi-faceted career in financial reporting, procurement and SAP systems. Her work on the ExxonMobil STRIPES project took her and her husband to Brussels, Miami and back to Houston. Among other interests, she currently serves as a member of Board of Directors of The Beacon of Downtown Houston.

Current photo of Carole Gardner Dodson next to 1971 yearbook photo Commencement speaker Carole Dodson alongside her 1971 Drexel Yearbook photo

The ceremony will also feature two student speakers, one representing undergraduate students and the other representing graduate students.

Undergraduate speaker Tim Hanlon is graduating with a Bachelor of Science. He is majoring in Biology with an Organismal Biology and Physiology concentration, and also has a Neuroscience minor and a Creative Writing and Publishing certificate. He is the outgoing Student Body President. During his time at Drexel, he served as the chair of the Undergraduate Student Government Association’s (USGA) Sustainability Committee during his junior year, won the Drexel Publishing Group’s Writing Contest for humor the past three years and ran the Philadelphia Marathon. Additionally, Hanlon has volunteered as an academic tutor for SquashSmarts since January 2018 and as a student volunteer at Penn Presbyterian Hospital during his junior year. After graduation, Hanlon will be heading to Harvard Medical School and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to continue his research on novel cancer treatments before attending medical school.

Graduate student speaker Angel Hogan is an activist, poet and filmmaker who is graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She has performed as part of the Black Women’s Arts Festival, Literary Death Match, Moonstone Presents, First Person Arts and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. She worked with ArtWell, was a contributing editor to Philadelphia Stories and a review panelist for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. Hogan has also created a documentary, By Law, By Love: A Documentary about Family, Race and Identity, which was completed in 2019. She works fulltime at LeBow College of Business.

The commencement also features the first graduating class of Drexel’s new Creative Writing MFA program and will spotlight student awards.

As students, families and friends celebrate, use hashtag #foreverdragons on social media, tag @drexel_coas on Instagram and Twitter, and share congratulatory notes, photos and videos to the CoAS Class of 2021 Kudoboard.

If permitted under city health guidelines, the University-wide commencement will take place at 7:30 p.m. on June 11 at Citizens Bank Park, with graduates, families and friends in attendance. The event will also be live-streamed.

Sociologist Elijah Anderson will serve as the University-wide commencement speaker. Anderson is the Sterling Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies at Yale University. He is considered by his peers as a prolific and groundbreaking ethnographer of urban life.

“The College of Arts and Sciences Department of Sociology is extremely proud to see Drexel honor the distinguished urban sociologist Elijah Anderson at its commencement ceremony. We often teach his work in our urban sociology classes,” says Sociology Department Head Mimi Sheller, PhD. “Dr. Anderson has been instrumental in advancing the excellent tradition of Philadelphia urban ethnography, first established by sociologist W.E.B. DuBois, and in which our department continues to work.”

To keep up to date on all things commencement, visit the Drexel University Commencement website.