At a Molecular Level

“You can’t get these answers from a text book,” says Stephen Silva ’14, referring to the laboratory research he is doing at the Drew Summer Science Institute (DSSI) – research that could lay the groundwork for new anti-fungal medications. Current anti-fungal treatments are often ineffective and produce adverse side effects, and that’s a problem for chemotherapy, HIV and leukemia patients with weakened immune systems. Silva is part of a molecular biology team working with Professor Stephen Dunaway this summer to understand the genetic sequences of a specific yeast protein in order to find some answers. Silva has been able to dedicate himself to this project, rather than take a summer job to help pay for school, thanks to the Carrie Hendrickson McMahon Summer Research Fellowship established by the ’94 alumna to support biology and biochemistry students. “I needed a lot of help paying for college,” says McMahon, now a regulatory scientist at the Food and Drug Administration.  “I was lucky enough to get the Elsie Fischer Scholarship (among other Drew awards) and always considered it an interest-free loan. I made it a priority to give back.” Since 1998, DSSI has brought together advanced anthropology, biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, physics and […]

The McAlumni Myth: French Fries, the Liberal Arts, and Drew

A Word From Kenneth Alexo Jr., Vice President for University Advancement  It’s a joke I often hear when I tell people I work at Drew University. The standard version goes something like this: “An engineer looks at an idea and asks, ‘How does it work?’ An accountant looks at it and asks, ‘How much does it cost?’ And a liberal arts graduate looks at the same idea and asks, ‘You want fries with that?’” My initial reaction to this hackneyed criticism of the liberal arts is to take pity on my interlocutors; they have obviously not had the advantage of the very education they feebly seek to denigrate. And then the teacher in me–or, what is essentially the same thing, the fundraiser–takes over. This is one of those perfect teaching moments, I tell myself, and I embrace the opportunity to show these tired, oh-so-astute critics of the liberal arts the error of their ways. The evidence, both statistical and anecdotal, convincingly demonstrates that a liberal arts education prepares graduates for personal and professional success much better than pre-professional or vocational programs. Indeed, the data show, among other things, that alumni of liberal arts colleges and universities possess the very skills […]

They’ve Got Game

With their senior gift, Drew’s newest graduates give the university community a way to build bonds. The Class of 2013 plans to bestow on Drew something that its members remember as pivotal to their own college experience: fun and games. Renovations to what was then the University Center, now the Ehinger Center, led to pitching the building’s aging game tables, such as a battered Ping-Pong set. Their absence was sorely felt. Christine Felix ’13, co-chair of the senior gift committee, says the group wanted to fill that gaming void. “A lot of the people on the committee remembered back to their freshman year sitting around the Ping-Pong table,” Felix says. “That was a great place to make friends.” To date the class has raised $10,696. Combined with a $7,500 match from trustee emerita Nancy Schaenen, the class will have more than $18,000 to purchase games for the C’80 Pub, the Space and the 1867 Lounge. Felix says the class hopes to purchase PacMan, pinball and Ping-Pong games, among others. “This year has been quite a good year,” says Schaenen, who was instrumental in launching the senior gift program at Drew in 1983. She has partially matched every class gift over […]


Due to low registration, the following 99 Days events have been postponed: June 6 – Jersey City June 7 – Philadelphia Arts Crawl (APS tour WILL take place as scheduled at 2 p.m.) June 8 – NYC (both Four Freedoms Park Tour and post-tour gathering at Carriage House are postponed) We’ll let you know when new dates are scheduled. Thanks to everyone who came out to support Drew in Morristown, Boston and DC! Take a look at a few photos from these happy hours–and, if you have any photos you wish to share, please send them our way or upload to Twitter or Instagram using #Drew99. The 99 Days Challenge For many years students have marked 99 Nights to graduation with a celebration in the Pub. Now Drew is bringing pub-style revelry from the Forest to you as we count down the days to June 30 (the end of Drew’s fiscal year)! Join fellow alumni for happy hour and support your alma mater in the process. Your $20 donation to The Fund for Drew will help boost alumni participation and enhance the reputation and ranking of Drew nationally.

Posted in Giving to Drew

Support Drew Fencing

Please consider making a gift to the fencing team today! You can direct your gift to either the Fencing Endowment or the Expendable Fencing Fund.  If you are able to give $1,000 or more, we suggest that you direct it to the endowment for the long term benefit of the team.  But please know that whatever gift you are able to make is truly appreciated and has an impact beyond the actual dollar amount. Do you or your spouse/partner work for a company that matches employee contributions? If so, your gift could be doubled, at no cost to you, depending on the company’s policy. To find out if your company has a matching gift program, please visit Keep in mind that Drew’s fiscal year ends June 30.  Please try to get your donation in by then so the funds will be available to for coming year’s team! Make a Gift Giving Levels $10,000 – double the existing endowed fund $2,500 –one recruiting/training trip $1,000 – a strip-ready fencer $500 – equips the team with blades $100 – five sabre blades $60 – one fully wired epee/foil blade $25 – one sabre blade If you have any questions, please contact David […]

Posted in Giving to Drew

Upon Reflection

“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 […]

The Fund for Drew

Dear Alumnus: “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” I believe baseball’s accidental philosopher, Yogi Berra, was on to something when he said this. All of us who have been fortunate enough to study at Drew Theological School can recognize the deep truth in this Yogi-ism.  The world, as we know only too well, is an imperfect, fallen place.  There is a gulf – a gulf sometimes seemingly impossible to bridge – between the way things ought to be and the way things are.  The relationship between vision and reality, between theology and application, between theory and praxis, is an uneasy one. And yet both theory and practice are necessary, especially for those of us called to ministry as pastors, chaplains, teachers, and leaders.  We know from hard experience that we cannot separate them or approach them in isolation.  Otherwise, we fall victim to one of two powerful temptations: to try and force all things to conform to our “perfect” theories, or to give up all hope of making the world a more just and peaceful place. It is only by understanding the original beauty, goodness, and wisdom of God’s creation that we […]

Recent Grants to Drew

Among the nearly $2 million in grants pledged to Drew by corporations and foundations during the last academic year, the following grants were awarded: $20,000 from the Willits Foundation for the College of Liberal Arts Scholarship Fund $40,000 from PSE&G for Drew Summer Science Institute $110,000 from the F. M. Kirby Foundation for on-going Campus Revitalization Initiative $150,000 from the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation to underwrite the Drew Forum Speaker Series $300,000 from the Carnegie Corporation for the Center for Religion, Culture & Conflict’s Summer Institute in Religious Peacemaking and Conflict Transformation

Posted in Giving to Drew

50 Years and Counting

The Class of 1962 has a lot of history with Drew.  They remember studying with faculty icons – Elizabeth Korn, Doc Young, Robert and Florence Zuck – better known as an art gallery, athletic field, and arboretum to more recent students. They also remember the opening of the original University Center in 1959.  You’d never know it from their clean-cut yearbook pictures, but this class had a rebellious side.  In the dark of night they disassembled a doorway and carried a yellow Volkswagen Beetle into the lobby of the UC where it was discovered by university officials the next morning.  They were also part of a campus-wide, news-making demonstration in December 1959 in protest of inadequate portions and choices in the, then, new UC dining hall. This September the Class of 1962 celebrates their 50th reunion at the time-honored Golden Oaks lunch during Alumni & Family Weekend when the newly renovated Ehinger Center will be dedicated. And they continue to make their mark at Drew.  At their 40th reunion they established the Class of 1962 Scholarship and collectively contributed enough to endow the fund, which has provided scholarships to deserving College students each year since 2005. For the past two […]

Drew Rugby Football Club: 50th Anniversary

Saturday, April 27, 2013 Save the date for a full day of activities celebrating the 50th Anniversary of  the Drew University Men’s Rugby Football Club. Can’t make it back to campus for April 27? Join the celebration by making a gift to the Men’s Rugby Team. Visit and note Rugby 50 in the comments section. Support Drew Rugby The following items will be for sale to support Drew Rugby at the celebration: $50: Custom DRFC Rugby Ball [$35 tax deductible] $100: DRFC Short OR Long Sleeve Jersey (M, L, XL & XXL available) [$35 tax deductible] $350 Kit ‘n Kaboodle:  [$150 tax deductible] Custom DRFC Rugby Ball DRFC Short Sleeve Jersey (M, L, XL & XXL available) DRFC Long Sleeve Jersey (M, L, XL & XXL available) DRFC Kit Bag customized with your name Rugby Ball Size 5, high-quality, hand stitched Zenon training ball made by Gilbert uses the hydratec technology to enhance the life and performance of the ball. This ball has standard grip and the 3-ply polycotton and cotton laminate. Durable rubber surface allows the ball to work well in all weather conditions. This ball confirms to all IRB size specifications.   DRFC Short OR Long Sleeve Jersey Halbro traditional heavy weight cotton jersey in short and long sleeves. Gold collar […]

Posted in Events, Giving to Drew