deeAbout 10 years ago Michael Dee G’05,’15 started taking courses at the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies at Drew with one goal in mind: learning. He had been mulling over some of life’s big questions, including what it takes to make one’s existence matter. The 1972 Yale grad and co-owner of the family business that produces Smarties, the iconic rolled candy, took one course at a time and fell in love with the history of ideas.

Dee, who is currently writing his dissertation on Darwin before the publication of On the Origin of Species, says he gives to Drew because, “It’s one of the good things. It isn’t so much that Drew was good for me, but that it’s good for all students, and good for the community,” he says. “It’s a jewel. I find the professors to be really exceptional, and the deans extremely helpful, as well as demanding.”

“And,” says Dee, “we want demanding.”—Mary Jo Patterson