• Overall, alumni have a positive opinion of Drew with 84% reporting a “very positive” or “somewhat positive” attitude toward the University.
• A positive student experience is the top motivator to give back, with 86% of respondents selecting “agree” or “strongly agree”.
• Supporting students with financial need (80%) and improving academic programs and overall quality (79%) were also top motivators for giving back.
Click here to view complete responses to the alumni survey.
1,341 alumni, or 14.2% of all those invited, completed the survey. Of those who completed the survey, 39.5% were current donors to Drew, 32.1% had given in the past, and 28.5% had never made a donation to Drew. Please note that this survey was conducted anonymously, meaning that Drew is not able to identify individual respondents. If you have a question or comment that requires a response, please contact the Office of Alumni & Parent Relations at 973-408-3229.
Many alumni who responded to the open-ended survey questions shared similar observations and concerns. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
What is the vision of the administration going forward?
Last year the faculty, staff and administration of Drew engaged in a rigorous strategic planning process in order to set out a road map for the next five years. Alumni and students were also invited to provide input to the plan during its formulation. Four major goals emerged from this process:
• Create a more vibrant intellectual community
• Foster curricular and co-curricular opportunities that enhance students’ social, global and professional engagement
• Better articulate and communicate Drew’s distinctive character and strengths
• Ensure institutional sustainability
Once these four goals were agreed upon, the campus community set out to develop proposals for action steps that offer concrete ways to achieve them. The administration is now in the process of reviewing and prioritizing specific initiatives and focusing on those that would best enable the university to implement the strategic plan. The next step will be to secure the resources needed to realize these strategic initiatives.
If Drew tuition is so high, why does the University need alumni donations?
Although Drew’s “sticker price” was $39,573 for tuition and fees in the College last year, the majority of students receive substantial financial assistance that makes a Drew education attainable. Last year 57.9% of all College students received need-based scholarships that averaged $24,393, while 39% of undergraduates received merit-based awards averaging $11,707. In all, Drew gave out $33.6 million in aid last academic year from its own resources. As a result of this institutional aid, according to the non-profit Project on Student Debt, Drew graduates owe less than those of almost every other four year college or university in the state.
Drew is able to provide this kind of scholarship support precisely because alumni give back, to the annual fund and to endowed scholarship funds. These funds enable Drew to give scholarships to deserving students and to maintain the quality of education – small classes, dedicated professors and distinctive off-campus programs – which is synonymous with Drew.
Why was the Graduate Division of Religion moved?
In May 2004, five freestanding graduate programs in religion administered by the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies were amalgamated into a Graduate Division of Religion. In July 2007, governance of the GDR officially transferred from the Caspersen School to the Theological School. The purpose of the transfer was twofold: 1) to make the administration of the GDR more centralized and effective, given that all of its full-time faculty were already Theological School faculty; and 2) to increase the financial support available to Ph.D. students by bringing the GDR under the aegis of the Theological School endowment.
Ph.D. programs in religion fall into two categories—larger, less selective, tuition-driven programs and smaller, more selective, funded programs. Drew has effectively moved from the former to the latter in just a few years, and is currently attracting students who are also accepted by Chicago, Yale, Harvard, Union, Fordham, Vanderbilt, Emory, SMU, Claremont, and GTU.
What does the Drew Theological School look like in the 21st century?
Drew Theological School is today one of the world’s foremost ecumenical institutions, drawing on Wesleyan, postmodern, and other expressions of Christian thought in its efforts to form the next generation of church leaders and seminary faculty. While our relationship with The United Methodist Church remains a continuing source of guidance and inspiration, our constituency includes representatives of more than 20 different denominations. We are also, in both our student and faculty bodies, a community of many ethnic cultures and races. Nearly one-half of the Theological School’s full-time faculty are women, and 48 percent are members of racial and ethnic minorities. The diversity of our faculty has created an educational setting that has steadily attracted an ever-more diverse student body, culturally, ethnically, and theologically. In the 2010-11 academic year, over 50 percent of the 506 students enrolled were women and 58 percent were from non-white backgrounds.
In addition to creating a community that is demographically diverse, Drew Theological School is committed to fostering an environment in which the great diversity of Christian ideas, ideals, and practices are valued and examined. This commitment is integral to the Drew Theological School’s distinguished tradition of preparing men and women to minister to, teach in, and lead a world in need of spiritual renewal.