“It wasn’t until years after I graduated that I really came to appreciate what an incredible place Drew is,” reflects Rob Potanovich ’97. Looking back, he is especially grateful for the small, highly interactive classes that are the norm at Drew. “You couldn’t hide in that situation. You were expected to participate in discussions and make presentations. That has been invaluable for me in the business world, where I need to develop, share and defend my ideas every day.”
Potanovich’s wife, Susan Applegate Potanovich ’97, also traces her career beginnings back to Drew. As an economics and math double-major, she was able to secure an internship position at Exxon—at that time located just down the road in Florham Park. She was offered a full-time position after graduation that put her on a path to her current position in the energy industry.
Today, the Potanoviches are among Drew’s most loyal supporters as members of the Dendros Society, which recognizes alumni, faculty, staff and friends who have contributed, at any level, to Drew for at least five years in a row. In the Potanoviches’ case, it has been every year for the last 10 years.
Each year that the Potanoviches made their donations they were included in Drew’s alumni participation rate, which is the percentage of alumni making a gift that year. This statistic carries a lot of weight with prospective students and potential funders because it is considered an indicator of the university’s overall strength and spirit.
“Drew prepared us to go out into the world, opened doors for us and has been the source of lifelong relationships,” explains Rob. By giving back they feel they are helping build Drew’s reputation, making sure the university can stay competitive and helping students just like them. “We are continuing to invest in the place that gave us so much.”–Barbara Perkins P’09