Celebration of Benefactors

Annual Celebration of Benefactors Wednesday, April 20, 2016 • Noon Ehinger Center, Drew University Madison, New Jersey This annual luncheon brings together our generous benefactors who support named and endowed funds at Drew. Drew has a long history of endowed funds, and these continue to grow—expanding possibilities for our students, faculty and programs. Since the start of One and All: The Campaign for Drew, more than two dozen new scholarships and 15 new internships and research fellowships have been established thanks to the generosity and dedication of our donors. By invitation only. For additional information about this celebration, please contact Jane Driscoll Himmelrich in the Office of University Advancement at or 973.408.3733.

Posted in Giving to Drew

Making a Big Difference, a Little Bit at a Time

Every little bit counts: Cliché it may be, but Emily Litman C’99 can attest to its truth. As a high school senior, she had her heart set on Drew, but knew that her dream college was a bit of a stretch. Two days before the enrollment deadline, news of a last-minute scholarship tipped the college-of-choice calculus in favor of Drew. “Drew truly did change my life,” says Litman, now a fifth-grade teacher and ever appreciative of the generosity “that made my amazing Drew experiences possible.” That’s why she was so taken with an idea proposed by her longtime friend Carla Brady C’99: Let’s structure our class scholarship to benefit current Drew students for whom a little help will make a big difference. Starting in 2015, thanks to the marshalling prowess of Litman, Brady, fellow classmate Steve DeLuca, and the C’99 reunion committee, the generosity of many class members was sparked, and the Class of 1999 Scholarship was successfully endowed. Starting in 2015, the C’99 Scholarship will be given to one or more continuing Drew students who, because of unforeseen financial circumstances, may not otherwise be able to complete their Drew studies. In endowing the scholarship this year in honor of […]

A Word From…

Kenneth Alexo Jr., PhD Vice President, University Advancement The novelist and playwright G.B. Stern is reputed to have said that “silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” It’s pretty difficult to argue with the logic of her aphorism. To be thankful for something good we have received and yet fail to say “thank you” looks and feels an awful lot like ingratitude. No one, of course, wants to be thought ungrateful—and institutions of higher education are no exception. At Drew University, we do our very best to thank our alumni, parents, and friends for the many wonderful gifts that they provide, each and every day and typically without a lot of fanfare. But we also know that our usual means of conveying our appreciation (phone calls, emails, on- and off-campus events, letters from the president, and, yes, even gift receipts signed by yours truly) do not correspond to the actual value or impact of those gifts. I can’t hope to remedy the shortcoming in the space of this short column. What I can do, however, is offer you the entire Drew community’s gratitude for all that you do, and for the many and varied things that your gifts make possible: […]

Celebration of Benefactors

April 9, 2014 12:00 p.m. Luncheon Ehinger Center By invitation only Questions? Please contact Jane Himmelrich at (973) 408-3733 or View photos from the 2014 Celebration of Benefactors luncheon    

Posted in Events, Giving to Drew

Maureen Reustle G’13
Arts & Letters D. Litt.

Maureen Reustle spent years as an educator and college administrator before applying to the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies. With her children grown and her husband traveling, the time seemed right to resume academic study. Only this time Reustle, who had a master’s in education, wanted to explore the humanities. She dreamed of immersing herself in history, literature and drama. “I wanted to take courses in disciplines I really hadn’t had an opportunity to pursue,” says Reustle, dean of academic services at Ocean County College. A generous aid package from Drew brought the dream within her reach, and in 2007 she began commuting north to campus one evening a week. Each semester she took one course, moving slowly but steadily towards the doctorate she had always wanted. “I never appreciated history before. Drew took my life in a whole different direction. The faculty were incredible—they were so into their disciplines—and so encouraging, it was wonderful,” she says. Reustle, the granddaughter of Irish Catholic immigrants, wrote her dissertation, “Hatred to Hope,” on the street murals of Northern Ireland. The murals, famous examples of political art, depict the long conflict between Protestants and Catholics. She traveled on her own to Belfast and Derry to view […]

Posted in Giving to Drew

Juyeon Lee T’13
Master of Divinity

Serendipity, plus a generous scholarship, brought Juyeon Lee to Drew from Korea in 2009. “Without the opportunity I had to study at Drew, I don’t know where I would be,” says Lee, 31. “The experience really opened up my mind. Some day, when I have money, I would like to help a student myself.” As children, Lee and her siblings were taught to sing and play the piano by her mother, a pastor in Seoul. Her father is a social worker. After graduating from Dankook University she decided to become a missionary. Friends of her sister, then studying to become a conductor at Yale, urged her to apply to Drew. The Theological School is well-known among Korean Christians, for it was a Drew graduate—Henry Gerhard Appenzeller—who introduced Methodism in Korea in 1887. Today she is pursuing ordination in the United Methodist Church and hoping to become a pastor in the United States, though not just yet—this fall she began working toward a Masters of Arts in Religion, with a concentration in liturgical studies, at Yale Divinity School. Lee hopes to be ordained within seven years, and is eager to serve an American congregation. “As a Korean, the Korean connection is […]

Posted in Giving to Drew

Andrew Binger ’13
B.A., English

Andrew Binger’s mother, born and raised in Jamaica, emphasized the importance of giving back. “Her family wasn’t well off. She always said, “Don’t take for granted the opportunities you have here. Be grateful for them, and give back,” he recalls. Binger, born in Newark, heeded her words. As a child he received a scholarship to a private school in Livingston, N.J. At Drew, he was awarded the Cleon H. and Elsie Fisher Scholarship for student leadership all four years. But it was not until he joined the Drew Honduras Project, a student-run humanitarian organization, that he discovered the joy in giving back. “It was a great experience. You got dirty, you helped others, and through the process of helping others you learned a lot about the culture you were in and quite a bit about yourself,” he says. There was no going back. Binger joined Sandy relief efforts on Staten Island. He served breakfast and lunch to the homeless in Washington, D.C. He starred in Drew’s production of “Raisin in the Sun,” but also participated in a program that paired drama students with Newark public high school students. This summer he’s volunteering at an orphanage in the Dominican Republic, mentoring students attending Drew’s […]

Posted in Giving to Drew

David Cennimo C’97

Dr. David Cennimo C’97 has worked on the frontlines of the AIDS epidemic for the last fifteen years. He has seen it all, from heartbreak to headway, as an HIV specialist practicing and teaching at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark (formerly UMDNJ). “When I was a med student, people were dying from HIV infections. Now I see patients for whom this isn’t even their biggest health issue.” David describes this as his dream job. He enjoys the range of challenges his work involves, from providing patient care, to serving as a course director in the medical school, to conducting research in his spare time.  He credits his Drew education with preparing him for these distinct roles.  “I’m a fan of the liberal arts. You learn how to think, how to solve problems.” David also says that some of his best training for managing a clinical team came from student activities at Drew.  “I learned about team work and leadership by working on things like the Orientation Committee. I use those skills now every day in my job.” That’s part of why David has chosen to support Drew with a donation every single year since he graduated.  Over the […]

A Friend of Mind

The Pan-African Studies program at Drew celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Its origins, however, are more complex than this singular milestone suggests. The program was almost two decades in the making and promoted by a somewhat unexpected standard-bearer. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s student activists on college campuses called for more African-American faculty and courses on the history, culture, and politics of black Americans. At Drew, the student group Hyera petitioned for such changes. It was Joan Steiner – a British literature professor – who stepped in to chair the Black Concerns Committee. By 1974 Steiner had introduced the first Afro-American literature course at Drew and, in the process, became enamored with the work of Toni Morrison, James Baldwin and Alice Walker. The African-American and African Studies minor ultimately launched at Drew in 1993. From the beginning it has epitomized the liberal arts in its cross-disciplinary study of Africa and the African diaspora. Over the years, it has included courses taught by a Who’s Who? of Drew’s faculty: history with Charles Wetzl , John von der Heide and Lillie Edwards; literature with Joan Steiner, Kristine Aurbakken, and Geraldine Smith-Wright; anthropology with Phil Peek and economics with Fred […]

College Alumni Exceed Goal

It wasn’t until 48 hours before the deadline that John Holden ’98 and Cara Townsend ’05, both on staff at Drew’s Alumni House, realized the goal was within reach. “I was worried it wasn’t going to happen,” recalls Holden. “Then, all of a sudden, it was like winning at a slot machine!” Holden’s analogy describes what it was like at Alumni House on Friday, June 28, just two days before the end of Drew’s fiscal year, as the online giving site lit up with donations from alumni of the College of Liberal Arts who were responding to the “99 Days Challenge.” Over the preceding weeks, alumni had rallied around this challenge in a way not seen before at Drew. Working with the staff at Alumni House, alumni volunteers took the lead in reaching out to classmates through Facebook and other digital platforms. Katya Valasek ’04 posted yearbook photos on Facebook and invited her classmates into the process by tagging them. Yasin Abbak ’09 posted the challenge countdown webpage, publicly announced his gift, and urged alumni to step up. Amy McHugh ’10 used Facebook to ask her Drew friends to redirect $5 to Drew, and then went old-school by collecting cash […]