Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management Evelyn Thimba to Leave Drexel

Dear Colleagues,

After successfully leading Drexel University’s enrollment and admissions efforts for four years as senior vice president of Enrollment Management, Evelyn Thimba will be leaving the University, effective July 7, 2023, to lead enrollment and retention efforts at American University. Evelyn joined Drexel in 2015 and has led the admissions and enrollment team for more than seven years with much pride, shepherding us through significant change.

Evelyn has committed her career to creating access and promoting opportunity in higher education to students who have historically been disadvantaged and under-represented in higher education. With 20 years of experience in college admissions and enrollment management and having successfully enrolled exceptional students at New York University and now at Drexel, Evelyn has worked with students and families nationally and internationally to demystify college admissions.

Since joining Drexel, Evelyn has developed and executed comprehensive recruitment, communications and marketing strategies that have led to the robust enrollment of academically talented and universally diverse classes. During some of the most challenging times for higher education, she significantly increased applications to the University and secured the successful enrollment of the three largest and most diverse classes in Drexel’s history.

Under Evelyn’s leadership, the University established a new Center for Inclusive Education and Scholarship. The Center oversees all pre-matriculation academic preparation programs, academic retention programs for under-represented students and all endowed scholarship programs. The Drexel Liberty Scholars program, established to break down the barriers to higher education for Philadelphia-based students, was expanded to eligible students across the country and provides 65 recent high school graduates from across the nation with a renewable scholarship award that covers 100 percent of tuition and fees. Additionally, the program fosters student success and holistic support through a dedicated faculty or professional staff mentor, a Living Learning Community in which all scholars live during their first two years, co-curricular programming, extracurricular and developmental programming, and active engagement with campus life.

Evelyn was instrumental in creating the recently launched Drexel Promise program that will provide students who have earned an associate degree at an accredited community college in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey with a renewable scholarship for 50% of the cost of tuition as they work to complete their bachelor's degree at Drexel. By providing much-needed support and opportunity, the Drexel Promise works to reduce financial barriers and their resulting inequities for aspiring community college students within our local communities.

Evelyn joined Drexel at a pivotal time where strong leadership was required to ensure the stability and success of the University’s enrollment strategy. She co-led the institution in adopting Student Lifecycle Management, a strategic approach to enrollment management that focuses on the entire student journey – from the first interaction with the prospective student through graduation and beyond. She has established a solid foundation for enrollment management and student success on which we can continue to build as we remain nimble and adaptive to the ever-evolving higher education landscape.

A strong and thoughtful leader whose counsel and guidance I have valued over the years, Evelyn dedicated much of her time to serving on committees at the University focused on enhancing the University’s reputation and creating an environment where students can get the most of the Drexel experience.

We are launching a national search for Evelyn’s replacement co-chaired by Megan Weyler, senior vice president and Chief Human Resources Officer, and Vibhas Madan, dean of Drexel’s LeBow College of Business. The search will be aided by WittKieffer, a global executive search and leadership advisory firm.

During the interim, Subir Sahu, senior vice president for Student Success, will oversee Enrollment Management with the assistance of Tom Gutman, who will serve as interim vice president for Enrollment Management; Melissa Pennestri, who will oversee undergraduate admissions; and Angela Montgomery, who will oversee graduate admissions.

Please join me in thanking Evelyn for her outstanding leadership and contributions to Drexel and wishing her well in her future endeavors.


John Fry

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