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Mary E. Hagerty HD ’99

Mary E. Hagerty HD ’99 with her late husband, former Drexel University President William W. Hagerty

When Mary E. Hagerty HD ’99 was deciding how she could make an impact at Drexel University, her thoughts turned to her late husband, former Drexel President William Hagerty.

Mr. Hagerty served as president from 1963-1984, and Mrs. Hagerty staunchly supported her husband through a major revitalization period that witnessed Drexel’s enrollment doubling, the budget increasing tenfold and the institution becoming the first university to use microcomputers. W.W. Hagerty Library bears the Hagerty name in recognition of the former president’s innovative contributions, and Mrs. Hagerty’s philanthropy carries on their shared commitment to Drexel.

“My husband was very proud to have the Library named in his honor in his lifetime. It meant a great deal to him,” says Mrs. Hagerty. “He saw the Library as a central component of the University, and he knew that the role of the Library would grow and change in the information age.”

Building on her husband’s legacy, Mrs. Hagerty’s most recent gift will help establish the foundation for an Information Exploratorium in W.W. Hagerty Library, underscoring their shared commitment to technological advancement and student success. Her gift will begin the transformation of an area of W.W. Hagerty Library into a contemporary, technology-rich environment with flexible workspaces and advanced technologies. The re-imagined area will enable students to work collaboratively and discover and create digital information in a variety of formats.

“An Exploratorium will bring together information from multiple sources through multiple vehicles and make it visible and available to all [students and faculty] at the same time,” says Mrs. Hagerty. “Each person can bring their own perspective and make their unique contribution.”

Exploratorium visitors will be able to use the new equipment to learn and present in a variety of ways. Cutting-edge video technology will allow them to create complex data analysis displays, while modern recording equipment will help them to create and explore oral histories and personal narratives. Advanced teleconferencing equipment will allow students at Drexel and across the world to review and discuss news items and images to gain an understanding of different cultural perspectives of current events.

“My husband knew that the role of the Library would grow and change in the information age.”

That Mrs. Hagerty chose to focus on priorities important to her late husband comes as no surprise. A dedicated wife and mother, she is known for always putting family first. (In a favorite family story, she once turned down dinner with the Queen of England at the White House for a visit with her grandchild.) She supported her husband through his accomplishments at Drexel, and her commitment to their shared interests continues through her philanthropy today.

“I hope that my contributions have helped Drexel achieve my husband’s vision of the Library as a place where information knowledge can be accessed, developed and shared.”

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July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014
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