Heard Around Campus – August

Heard Around Campus

This is the last Heard Around Campus before the start of the new academic year. Here’s what you need to know about what happened this past month and what will occur in the very near future. 

Convocation Date is Set

Mark your calendars: The 2016 Convocation will take place on Friday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. in the Drexel University Recreation Center. Faculty, professional staff and graduate students are invited and encouraged to attend the ceremony. 

If you are interested in attending, please register online by Wednesday, Sept. 7. Regalia can be ordered during registration courtesy of the Office of the Provost.

Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University (ASU), will deliver the keynote address. He is leading the transformation of ASU into one of the nation’s foremost public metropolitan research universities through a model he designed known as the “New American University.” Crow’s vision for ASU correlates in many ways with our strategy of Transforming the Modern Urban University.

To learn more about the 2016 Convocation and register, click here.

Institutional Advancement Releases Findings for the Fiscal Year of 2016

Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement David L. Unruh recently sent an email updating the Drexel community of its fundraising efforts. This year held many milestones that reflected well on the support for Drexel as well as a testament to the power of Drexel’s approaches to fundraising and engaging key constituents.

This year, private philanthropy to the University totaled $120.7 million, surpassing Drexel's FY16 goal by $700,000 and beating FY15 by $5.3 million.

The Drexel Fund — along with the Office of Alumni Relations and every college, school and unit — secured 15,316 donors, representing a four-year high and 2,000 more donors than the previous fiscal year. This includes a 9 percent increase in undergraduate alumni donors, a 6 percent increase in total alumni donors and an overwhelming 881 percent increase in student donors over FY15.

For Drexel’s inaugural Day of Giving: 24 Hours of Impact on May 10, an extraordinary 2,887 donors gave $713,514. More than 1,400 donors participated in Why I Give this year, representing a 30 percent participation rate and nearly twice as many donors as FY15. These two events raised a total of $917,000, a 270 percent increase in dollars over the previous year.

Registration Closing Soon for Drexel's Third Annual Assessment Conference

Registration is filling up fast for Drexel's third annual Conference on Assessment from Sept. 7­–9. This year’s event will bring over 350 attendees from institutions across the United States and overseas including Israel and Pakistan. There will be 56 concurrent sessions, two snapshot or PechaKucha blocks, three plenaries including a Georgia Tech futurist specializing in higher education and over 75 presenters from every region of the United States.

The website for the conference can be accessed at here. As a special feature of the conference, we are able to offer all Drexel faculty and staff participation in all of the conference events at an 89 percent discount or $50 for three days of networking, professional development, speakers, all meals and receptions, etc. In order to secure this benefit you must register for the conference at this site, which has been set up specifically for faculty and staff.

Check out this site for more information.

Summer Construction Updates

Current Projects:

1427 Vine Street: Construction is in progress for the complete renovation of the fifth floor to accommodate the internal relocation of the College of Medicine’s Women’s Care Center from the seventh floor. Move-in is scheduled for the week of Sept. 19.

3101 Market St.: 3101 Market St. renovation for the relocation of engineering laboratories and electrical and computer engineering laboratories from the third floor of Bossone Research Enterprise Center and for the expansion of the College of Engineering’s research capacities is underway. Designs have been completed for offices for the AJ Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment, a social sciences lab and a geographic information systems lab. Construction is underway.

Bossone Research Enterprise Center Renovations: Fifth floor laboratories with new chemical fume hoods are complete, and researchers in materials science are in the process of setting up experiments. Demolition is complete and construction is underway for repurposing the sixth floor for biomedical engineering and adding chemical fume hoods to the fifth floor.

Center for Automation Technology (CAT): Infrastructure improvements needed to support new wet research laboratories for the Department of Chemistry, as well as the environmental engineering component of the Institute for Energy and the Environment laboratories, are in progress. Construction documents are completed and construction will take place in multiple phases over three fiscal years. Phase 1 — the basement demolition and construction of the floor with associated infrastructure — began in early June. Substantial completion is expected in December.

Daskalakis Athletic Center (DAC) Renovations: Construction is underway for Phases 5 and 6. Phase 5 renovations on the basketball court level involve adding new bathrooms, offices, ticket booth, conference room, storage rooms and audio/visual room for TV. Phase 6 is the installation of a new air conditioning system for the arena; the air-handling units and chillers have been ordered. Substantial completion is scheduled for late September.

Fox Historic Costume Collection (URBN Center): The expansion of the Fox Historic Costume Collection is currently in the programming phase; Atkin Olshin Schade is the architect for this project, made possible by a generous gift from Penny and Robert Fox.

Korman Center/Korman Quad Enhancements: Gluckman Tang is the architect for an addition to the existing Korman Center building that will add much needed student common space, while updating the building’s appearance to align more closely with the quality of the newer buildings on the Quad. Renovations to the Quad, to be named the "Korman Quadrangle," will integrate it with the existing Perelman Plaza to revitalize this core thoroughfare. The project, funded by a generous $8 million gift from the Hyman Korman Family Foundation with a University match, is expected to be complete in fall 2017. Groundbreaking took place in June, move coordination is near completion, and construction of the enabling phases is underway.

Paul Peck Problem Solving and Research Building (PPSRB) Renovation: Design is in progress for renovations to the ground and third floors of PPSRB. The ground floor renovation will create the new home for the James E. Marks Intercultural Center, as well as offices for the Office of Equality and Diversity, the Student Center for Inclusion and Culture and the LGBTQA Student Center. The renovation of the third floor will create spaces for the consolidation of Hospitality and Sport Management and University Partnerships. Also included are code-required building-wide fire/life safety upgrades.

Public Realm Plan: Urban design and landscape architecture firm West 8 is completing the overview of a Public Realm Plan for the University. Goals for the plan include making our campus more positively urban and people-friendly and providing a framework for future development that facilitates connections — to the city, to adjacent neighborhoods and among various campus precincts. Phase 2 of the plan has begun, with completion expected in September. An Open House to solicit feedback from the University community was held in May, and the design team is working to incorporate feedback.

Queen Lane Campus: A Wing, First Floor Classroom: Construction began in early May on a new, 132-student Team-based Learning Center, which will allow the entire medical class to experience course content at the same time with multiple instructors. Construction is complete and the room is in use.

Raymond G. Perelman Center for Jewish Life: Construction is in progress, and substantial completion is expected in September.

Stein Auditorium Renovation (Nesbitt Hall): Renovations began in June to make the auditorium fully ADA-accessible with the addition of a ramp to access the stage, new auditorium seating with larger tablet arms and other cosmetic upgrades including lighting.

Thomas R. Kline Institute for Trial Advocacy at the Kline School of Law: The renovation of 1200 Chestnut St. for the Thomas R. Kline Institute for Trial Advocacy is in progress, with substantial completion targeted for the end of 2016.

Third-Party Project Updates as of August 2016

Childcare Mixed-Use/Residential Development (Radnor Property Group): Radnor Property Group has broken ground on the development of Vue32, its new 16-story mixed-use residential and childcare development at 3201 Race St. Nobel Learning Communities will be the operator of the 180-person preschool facility, and the childcare/residential tower will total 176,000 square feet. The project also entails the development of 12 owner-occupied townhomes totaling 13,200 square feet. Radnor Property Group is developing the project under a ground lease agreement with Drexel (similar to the third-party developments by American Campus Communities), at no cost to the University.

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

University City High School Site (Drexel-Wexford Science & Technology Joint Venture): Temporary parking lots have been installed along 38th Street. Infrastructure work began in January and is in progress.

Check out Drexel's Master Plan Blog for updates.

Visit the Drexel Master Plan blog for additional project updates and images from Vice President for University Facilities and Real Estate Bob Francis.