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Donna Marie De Carolis Named Silverman Family Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership

Dear Faculty, Professional Staff and University Leadership:

Stan and Jackie SilvermanThis fall, Drexel is launching groundbreaking courses through the Close School of Entrepreneurship. These courses, as well as the new B.A. in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and minors in social entrepreneurship, energy innovations and health innovations, will transform how Drexel educates entrepreneurial-minded students.

I am pleased to recognize two extraordinary individuals who are making these innovative educational opportunities possible, as well as the outstanding professor they are honoring.

In June, two-time Drexel alumnus and vice chairman of the Board of Trustees Stanley W. Silverman ’69, ’74 and his wife, Jackie, donated $2 million to endow The Silverman Family Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership. The endowed fund will be a tribute in perpetuity to the Silverman family’s vision, generosity and leadership.

Donna Marie De Carolis, PhD, founding dean of the Close School, has been named to this prestigious professorship. With fewer than 10 percent of Drexel’s endowed professorships currently held by women, we are particularly pleased that Stan and Jackie chose to recognize Donna. She will be able to use the funds made available from the endowment at her discretion for scholarly research in the field of entrepreneurship, to launch or strengthen programs, to provide assistance to students and to support the overall mission of the Close School. You can read more about the gift and Donna’s naming here.

Stan earned a degree in chemical engineering and an MBA from Drexel. He is the former president and CEO of PQ Corporation, a global company in two core businesses: chemicals and engineered glass materials. Throughout his career, he has been both a student and teacher of leadership. He has mentored and advised C-suite executives and lectured at Drexel and the Wharton School. He is the Leadership Catalyst at Tier 1 Group, as well as a writer, speaker and advisor on effective leadership. Stan writes a weekly guest column on leadership for the Philadelphia Business Journal (you can read his work here). He has served on a variety of corporate and nonprofit boards, and is the former chairman of the board of Drexel’s College of Medicine. In 1992, he was named to The Drexel 100, the University’s most distinguished alumni recognition organization.

Before becoming founding dean of the Close School, Donna was associate vice provost for entrepreneurship education and oversaw all academic entrepreneurial offerings and student activities at Drexel. She previously was associate dean for graduate programs in LeBow College of Business, responsible for all graduate and corporate degree programs. In 2003, she received the prestigious Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. She provides weekly business commentary on KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia, discussing trends in entrepreneurship and leadership. Her commentary has also appeared in Forbes, Business Week and other national media. Donna is a member of the Alliance for Women Entrepreneurs, the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society. She also serves as an advisor to several startup companies in the region.

Please join me in congratulating Donna on her naming as The Silverman Family Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership, and thanking Stan and Jackie for peerless leadership and philanthropy in support of Drexel’s mission.


John A. Fry