Heard Around Campus: September 2015

New Provost on “Re-Inventing the Academic Experience”

Shortly after taking part in his first Drexel Convocation, Provost M. Brian Blake, PhD, sent out a message titled “Re-Inventing the Academic Experience in the 21st Century” detailing themes he hopes will “inform initiatives” his office will take on.

Among the themes detailed in his Sept. 22 message were nurturing and developing signature research and curriculum at the University, developing incentives to support entrepreneurial effort and building upon efforts to “enhance the climate” of diversity and inclusion at Drexel

Some of the themes Blake touched upon — such as “meeting students where they are” with new programs — were discussed during his address at Convocation. Blake’s speech, and the rest of the ceremony, can be viewed here

Welcome Week a Hit

Senior Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Services Randall Deike, PhD, described Drexel’s new effort to bring Drexel’s first-year students to campus “a welcome to remember.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in welcoming our new freshman and transfer students to campus,” Deike said in a Sept. 18 message. “Your tireless efforts made Welcome Week a resounding success.”

Welcome Week began with a new emphasis on making new students’ move-in a joyous experience with the help of Drexel employee volunteers. Welcome Week progressed from there, with a celebration the next day at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and events throughout the rest of the week to introduce students to both Drexel and Philadelphia.

“Welcome Week proved to be incredibly effective in creating an atmosphere of excitement and community for our new Dragons — a feat that could not have been accomplished without the hard work and dedication of our amazing team,” Deike said.

Westphal College of Media Arts & Design Continues to Rake in Accolades

Adding to rankings achieved by the college already, Westphal’s fashion design program ranked 10th in the world and third in the United States on The Business of Fashion’s inaugural list.  Its rankings also placed the Drexel fashion design program at the top in learning experience and No. 2 in long-term value.

Additionally, College Factual ranked the entire college as the No. 7 design and applied arts college in the United States. This list was published in USA Today.

Construction and Renovation Project Updates

  • The Summit at University City — American Campus Communities’ new 580,000-square-foot student housing, dining and retail complex on the southwest corner of 34th Street and Lancaster Avenue, along with its 400-seat, marche-style Urban Eatery dining facility, is now open. Featuring more than 1,300 student housing beds and approximately 20,000 square feet of retail space, most students moved in the weekend of Sept. 18–20. The retail locations along Lancaster Avenue are currently under construction.


  • Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center — Renovations to the existing building are expected to be substantially complete in late October 2015. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new, recently opened wing that doubles the center’s space will be held on Nov. 11.


  • 3 Parkway (College of Nursing and Health Professions) — The college has moved into the third phase of the 3 Parkway Building and the fourth and final phase is set to be complete in November. Faculty and administrative personnel for doctoral nursing and nutrition sciences will occupy the building in the final phase of the third-floor renovations.


  • University City High School Site — Demolition is complete on the above-grade surface structure of the University City High School building. Further demolition of below-grade structures (the pool, mechanical tunnels, etc.) is ongoing, with remaining demolition work and leveling of the site anticipated to be complete by the end of November. The site’s demolition is part of a Drexel-Wexford Science & Technology joint venture that includes a potential K-8 school.


  • The Study at University City Hotel — Construction is in progress at 33rd and Chestnut streets for Hospitality 3’s 212-room boutique hotel. The hotel is on schedule to open in fall 2016.