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Drexel Ends Fundraising Campaign Early, Surpasses Goal

12/13/2013 9:15:00 AM

Gerri C. LeBow Hall's exterior
Among the campaign's highlights was the construction of Gerri C. LeBow Hall, the new home for Drexel's LeBow College of Business.

Seven months before its scheduled closing date Drexel University President John A. Fry announced the conclusion of the University’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Dream It. Do It. Drexel. A Campaign for the Future.” The campaign’s public phase was launched in November 2011 with a goal of reaching $400 million and was expected to conclude in June 2014, but ended early with its goal already exceeded by $55 million. 

“The entire Drexel community came together to achieve this unprecedented success,” Fry said. “Broad support from alumni, parents and friends of the University; foundations, corporations and other funders; Drexel’s faculty and professional staff and many more stakeholders allows Drexel to advance our founder’s legacy of innovation into the 21st century, and helps turn our vision for the modern urban university into reality.”

More than 17,500 first-time donors made gifts during the campaign, which garnered 67 gifts of $1 million or more. Three benefactors made contributions in excess of $25 million. During the campaign, activity by Drexel’s alumni also increased, with attendance at annual events climbing by 71 percent and social media engagement jumping by 225 percent. Since the launch of the campaign, three times as many alumni are volunteering at the University.

Funds raised through the campaign are already supporting the University’s strategic initiatives to improve academic excellence and the student experience; promote research, technology transfer and economic development; boost civic engagement; and enhance Drexel’s global impact.

Among campaign’s highlights were the creation of 130 endowed scholarships, the construction of Gerri C. Lebow Hall, the new home of the Bennett S. LeBow College of Business, and renovation of the URBN Center, the ultramodern home for the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. One gift established the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship, which brings together students, researchers, technologists, inventors and investors from across the University and throughout the region. More than $47 million was raised for initiatives such as the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation and the Dana and David Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, which advance the goal articulated by Fry upon his arrival: to make Drexel the “most civically engaged university in the nation.”

“Our fundraising success is due to the philanthropic vision of supporters who are inspired by America’s top research universities like Drexel and what it can achieve for our students, our neighbors, our city and our world,” said Elizabeth Dale, senior vice president for Institutional Advancement, whose team spearheaded “Dream It. Do It. Drexel.”

Campaign gifts provided a major boost to Drexel’s strength in use-inspired research by creating the Coulter-Drexel Translational Research Partnership and supporting other research and entrepreneurial initiatives for students, faculty and community partners.

“The campaign has exceeded our expectations by every measure,” said Richard Hayne, founder and CEO of Urban Outfitters, who serves as a Drexel trustee and chaired the “Dream It. Do It. Drexel.” Steering Committee. “These investments enable the University to carry out, at a higher standard of excellence, our mission of preparing new generations of students while turning faculty expertise to take on some of our world’s greatest challenges and to make the most of opportunities, whenever and wherever they arise.”