January 2018 – The Drew community—trustees, alumni, parents of students, faculty, staff and friends—rallied to raise more than $4 million in seven months to meet a heady challenge by Dr. Steven Gilbert.
Gilbert, a generous Drew donor, offered $1 million if Drew raised $4 million—and Drew kicked into gear. Energized by a social media campaign joined by President MaryAnn Baenninger and intensified by personal phone calls by trustees and alumni, 105 donors contributed $5,000 or more with a total of over 3,000 donors embracing the challenge.
The University exceeded Gilbert’s goal and raised $4.3 million. This demonstrates the power of Drew, which was honored by Gilbert’s $1 million gift, and marks a great start to the new year.
Gilbert previously created the Norma Gilbert Junior Professorship in Mathematics to honor his mother, a math pioneer who taught at Drew for 25 years, chaired the math department in the 1970’s and wrote a best-selling statistics textbook.
“I’m shouting-proud to see so many fellow donors rally around Drew, especially when so many chips are on the table,” Gilbert said. “The University meant much to my mother, a math professor and chair here, so this is a fitting tribute to her as well.”
The Gilbert gift is just one of many recent Drew successes. In a short amount of time, Drew achieved significant growth in incoming students, particularly among transfer and international students, earned national recognition from The Princeton Review, Washington Monthly, the Fiske Guide to Colleges and the Institute of International Education. Drew also addressed the rising cost of higher education by lowering tuition by 20 percent for the 2018-19 academic year.
“Our donors are phenomenal and their response to the Gilbert Challenge was amazing,” said Baenninger. “We are so grateful for their generosity which fuels our growing momentum.”