Achievement, an icon, a major upgrade and love.

December 2016 – Drew University’s most read stories this year covered everything from alumni achievement and a major campus upgrade to boldface names in The Forest, a big gift and even love. Here’s a closer look at the top 10.

10. Reunited in The Forest

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More than 600 gather for Reunion 2016, which honored seven distinguished alumni and celebrated the success of the One and All fundraising campaign.

9. Mathematically Significant

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In the largest gift in math ever, Steven Gilbert donates $3 million toward a junior professorship in the name of his mother, former Math Department Chair Norma Gilbert.

8. Making History

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Alumna Karen Oliveto becomes the first openly gay bishop in the United Methodist Church. Oliveto, a graduate of both the College of Liberal Arts and Caspersen School of Graduate Studies and a former adjunct professor at the Theological School, credits Drew with giving her the “capacity for critical thinking, to move between cultures and to see beauty in the world.”

7. Research Partners

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Mentorship is part of Drew’s DNA—even during the summer. Professors help a dozen undergraduates conduct research in a new program known as the Digital Humanities Summer Institute.

6. A Hero’s Welcome

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The University celebrates the return of a favorite son: RISE fellow and Nobel Prize-winner William Campbell. Campbell, who won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine for developing a drug that combats river blindness, spends a day talking to students, professors, administrators and trustees.

5. Best Kept Secret

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College Raptor names Drew a “hidden gem,” placing it in select company. College Raptor picks just one gem per state.

4. Achieving High Marks

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In a national guide, The Princeton Review ranks Drew highly in three key categories: theatre, race/class interaction and being LGBTQ-friendly. Just as significant? The rankings are based on what current students say about the University.

3. A Major Upgrade

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The Commons undergoes extensive renovations and is transformed into a bright, communal space that offers a wider array of foods, including entries made to order.

2. Icon on Campus

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In a thought-provoking Commencement speech, basketball legend and author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar calls on 2016 graduates to reinvent the American dream to reflect their own values and condemn racism, sexism, homophobia and the exploitation of the poor. “That,” he concludes, “is an American dream worth dreaming.”

1. Love, Love, Love

daniels-21A Valentine’s Day celebration of 10 relationships that began in The Forest becomes the most read story on Drew.edu. Ah, the power of love.