March 8, 2010
To the 272 Sacramento-Area Alumni of Drexel University:
I thought you'd like to see an actual photo taken of our Graduate Center this past New Year's Eve. How is that for welcoming Drexel to our second year in Sacramento? Today finds us enjoying the warming of the weather, the blossoming of the trees and the excitement that comes with getting ready to welcome our third group of working adults into the Dragon family, as six graduate programs start again at the end of this month.
As I reported in my last letter to you, we have enrolled more than 175 students in our one doctorate and eight master's programs – this despite a simply terrible economy that makes it an act of real confidence and courage for working adults to make the 2-3 year time and tuition commitments that being a Drexel graduate student requires. While it's tough, I truly believe that this is the best time for them to be investing in themselves, and for their employers to be investing in them. The Sacramento Bee published an op-ed I wrote about this ("Higher Education: Building The Region's Economic Snowpack") which you can find on our Drexel in the News web page.
If you have been receiving copies of our newsletter, the Dragonfire, you know how alive Drexel's campus has become in just one year. Among many other events, we continue to bring preeminent civic and business leaders to our campus every month, many through our "What It Means To Lead" speakers' series which gives our students a unique opportunity to speak with them in an informal setting. I hope you will join us if you can – the next one is this Wednesday evening, then on April 15 and May 24. Come early and have pizza with our students!
When I returned to the Philadelphia campus for the December meeting of the Board of Trustees, I brought a gift back to them that was appropriate from our region: bottles of our inaugural Drexel Water Boy Wines. This first is a 2006 Zinfandel made from grapes in the Amador region. It includes a description on the back of the origins of the Water Boy and how it has brought luck to generations of Drexel students. The Trustees loved it – it even goes well with pizza! – and we are able to offer it to our alumni here, for a keepsake for the bookshelf or for a nice evening with friends! If you would like to order a bottle or a case, please email our MBA student Mary Tye (and the Tasting Room Manager) at email@example.com. She can help you with pricing and delivery. Drexel receives a contribution from the winery for every case that is purchased, so you’re actually helping our campus while enjoying yourself!
While we won't be offering wine, we are having a number of events over the next few months which I hope you will consider attending. On March 24 at 6:00 p.m., we will be holding Convocation – our third since opening our doors here in Sacramento. President Pennoni, Provost Mark Greenberg, and the Deans will be using our high-def videoconferencing system to "beam" into our Graduate Center, where our keynote speaker will be Leroy Tripette, a senior officer of the Intel Corporation, one of the region's largest employers. A month later, the Community Alumni Network of Drexel University (CAN DU) will be holding its annual Earth Week event at which alumni, students, and their families come together to perform community service. This year, for the first time ever, it will be bi-coastal: Earth Week will start on April 17 in Philadelphia with an event in Fairmount Park, and end with us in Sacramento on April 24 with a morning clean-up of the public bike trail between Eleanor and Acacia Avenues and a picnic lunch. Please put this event on your calendars now, and stay tuned for information about that event, which will be sent to you by the Office of Alumni Relations. In May we are talking about having our first all-program outing of the season to Raley Field for dinner and a River Cats game – more about that in the next letter – and in the summer we're hoping to connect with the Northern California alumni club for an outing to watch the Giants play in San Francisco.
Next August, we'll be starting a pre-med program for college graduates. Called the Interdepartmental Medical Sciences program, it’s been taught for 30 years at Hahnemann and has a remarkably high success rate for getting students who average a B or better into US medical schools. If you know of any college student who is seriously interested in med school (for a career in medicine, veterinary medicine, biotechnology, or pharmaceuticals), make sure they know about our program. Like so many things we are doing here, it will be a first for the region.
And in September, we hope to launch our new MS-Engineering Management program, which will focus on infrastructure – and we all know how important infrastructure projects will continue to be to the economy and future of this region! This program is not just for people with an undergraduate degree in engineering, but for anyone who has had significant experience working in infrastructure projects – developers, architects, planners, insurers, government officials, investors, lawyers and paralegals.
I want to conclude this note by saying how eager and excited our graduate students are to meet Drexel alumni and to become part of the Drexel family. I hope you will attend some of the events we are holding here or just drop by our campus in Sacramento for a visit. You will always be welcome here – and you will be proud of what you will see.
One Capitol Mall, Suite 260, Sacramento, CA 95814 • TEL 916.325.4600 • URL www.drexel.edu/sacramento