We could have picked any of a hundred stories. We chose 14. Some are the biggest stories of the year. Others flew beneath the radar. There are stories about extraordinary things no other institution could achieve, and some about the ordinary things Drexel does just a little bit better.
Together, they tell a single story — about an institution that is unafraid of the future, one that sets the standard for a modern urban university. It's my privilege to report to Drexel's stakeholders on how we've advanced our mission together this year.
Drexel continues to focus on our academic enterprise, the engine that drives us. The University is creating 100 new faculty lines over five years while prioritizing academic capital investment. We're expanding the Drexel Co-op — our signature model for keeping higher education relevant to today's economic challenges — to offer more global opportunities and help students build their own businesses. And we're focusing our fundraising on new endowment support for our students and the professors who teach and mentor them.
Drexel's excellence in use-inspired research and innovation has spurred the growth of our Coulter Foundation Translational Research Partnership and our technology commercialization efforts. At the same time, our investigators are making startling contributions to science, such as Dr. Ken Lacovara's discovery of a new supermassive dinosaur called Dreadnoughtus schrani.
Civic engagement is a priority at Drexel, along multiple dimensions. Our collaboration with neighbors and other partners led to the designation of a large area of West Philadelphia as one of five inaugural federal Promise Zones. In the same spirit of collaboration, Drexel is a principal along with Amtrak, SEPTA and Brandywine Realty Trust in exploring the creation of a new center of gravity for innovation in Philadelphia, through the 30th Street Station District Plan.
Drexel University has always been about educating students to be who they'll need to be for the times in which they'll live. Today, that means teaching them to be entrepreneurial. It means placing them in classes and labs with world-renowned researchers solving global challenges. It means helping them prepare for the rigors of the world of work through real-world experience. And it means involving them deeply as our partners in addressing the great challenges facing our University.
These are the stories of what Drexel has become, and where we are heading. I hope you enjoy them.
John A. Fry