Silverman Donates $2 Million for Close School Dean Professorship

Photo of Stanley Silverman and Donna De Carolis

Two-time Drexel alumnus Stanley W. Silverman '69, '74 and his wife, Jackie, have donated $2 million to endow The Silverman Family Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership at Drexel University. The professorship will be held by Donna De Carolis, founding dean of Drexel University’s Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship.

"As one of Drexel's most visionary leaders, Dean De Carolis inspires her students to greatness," said Silverman. "She has changed entrepreneurial education forever and our gift is intended to help her accomplish even more."

Endowed professorships are one of the highest academic honors the University can bestow on a faculty member. They enable Drexel to attract and retain the most insightful and pioneering scholars. Gifts like the Silverman Family endowment underscore the importance of faculty scholarship to the Drexel community and provide donors an opportunity to seed research and academic programming that captures their passions, as an enduring tribute to their life experiences.

"I believe that all students have the potential to take their ideas, in whatever context, and make them a reality," said Dean De Carolis. "The generosity of the Silverman Family will provide the support to enable me, my team and my students the opportunity to dream big and pursue our entrepreneurial passions."

The Close School is the first free-standing school of entrepreneurship in the nation to offer degrees in entrepreneruship. Building on a foundation of curriculum, programming and thought leadership at Drexel, the Close School is the engine driving the expanded culture of entrepreneurship envisioned by the University’s strategic plan. As envisioned by De Carolis, entrepreneurship is not just a technical process of launching new companies. Rather, it is a set of personal and professional skills that foster the pursuit of innovation in business, personal and career contexts. Students from every college and school at Drexel are able to connect through the Close School to curricular, extracurricular and experiential programs that support entrepreneurial efforts. The Close School also serves the regional entrepreneurial and business community through thought leadership in entrepreneurship research.

Prior to her role as founding dean, De Carolis was the associate vice provost for entrepreneurship education at Drexel. In this role, she oversaw the development and coordination of all academic entrepreneurial offerings and student activities at Drexel. She previously served as the associate dean for graduate programs at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business, and was responsible for the administration and strategic direction of all graduate and corporate degree programs. De Carolis is a weekly commentator on KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia, providing a business commentary on trends in entrepreneurship and leadership. Her opinions and commentaries have also appeared in Forbes, Business Week and various other media nationwide. De Carolis is an active member of the Alliance for Women Entrepreneurs, the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society. She serves on the on the advisory board of several start-up companies and is a member of the Union League of Philadelphia. In 2003, she was the recipient of the prestigious Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Silverman, who received an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and an MBA from Drexel, serves as vice chairman of Drexel’s Board of Trustees, chairman of the board of Drexel’s College of Medicine and is a member of The Close School of Entrepreneurship’s Advisory Board. Throughout his career, Silverman has been both a student and teacher of leadership, and what differentiates great leaders. He is a recognized thought leader in the area of leadership, and has served as a guest lecturer on the subject of leadership at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and at Drexel. He has also served as a mentor and advisor to c-suite executives and other senior leaders. Silverman is the former president and chief executive officer of PQ Corporation, a global company operating in North America, South America, Europe and Asia Pacific in two core businesses – chemicals and engineered glass materials. He is a trustee of Friends Select School, has served on three public company boards and serves on a number of private and private equity boards, as well as the board of Ben Franklin Technology Partners. In 1992, Silverman was named to the Drexel 100, a group of the University’s most distinguished alumni. He is also a member of the Union League of Philadelphia and the Harvard Club of New York City.