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Jackie and Stanley W. Silverman ’69 ’74

“We hope we will prompt others to think about endowed professorships as a great investment in Drexel and its students.”

When it comes to Donna De Carolis, founding dean of the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship, two-time Drexel alumnus and vice chairman of the Board of Trustees Stanley W. Silverman ’69 ’74 does not mince words.

“Donna is an extraordinary leader,” Mr. Silverman says. “She puts the students first and she creates a sense of excitement and ownership in her staff around the vision and mission of the Close School.”

Mr. Silverman, a guest columnist on effective leadership at the Philadelphia Business Journal, former president and CEO of PQ Corporation and member of the Close School’s External Advisory Board, considers Dean De Carolis the heart and soul of the Close School, saying, “Donna inspires her students to pursue their dreams, while she pursues her own dream of changing the world of entrepreneurship education.” Her leadership inspired him and his wife, Jackie, to make an endowment gift in June 2014 to name Dean De Carolis the Silverman Family Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership.

She will be able to use the funds from the professorship for scholarly research on entrepreneurship, to launch or strengthen programs and to provide assistance to students. Mr. and Mrs. Silverman’s gift is additionally impactful because fewer than 10 percent of Drexel’s endowed professorships are currently held by women.

“Donna, with our full support, is accomplishing something here that’s different than in any other college or university,” he says. “The Close School is a safe place for students with all sorts of interests to learn, develop their businesses, sometimes see their ideas fail and then start again.”

Mr. Silverman’s involvement with the Close School exemplifies his commitment to giving back to Drexel. In addition to being a trustee, he has also served as chair of the board of Drexel’s College of Medicine and on various advisory councils and committees. His professional success along with his history of service and philanthropy at the University garnered him a spot in The Drexel 100, the University’s alumni hall of fame, and the A.J. Drexel Paul Award for Service to Alma Mater, the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association.

At the Close School, Dean De Carolis says, “Stan continues to be a strong supporter of our vision and values. He also enjoys talking with the student entrepreneurs about their ventures and ideas and this, of course, is very valuable for them.”

In fact, several students have asked Mr. Silverman, who accompanied Dean De Carolis and Close School students on a travel program to Silicon Valley last March, to be their mentor. This summer one of them, Collin Cavote ’15, won Founder.org’s $10,000 prize for his start-up Biome, a biowall company that uses plants to scrub carbon from air. In the end, it’s these opportunities to make a difference in students’ lives – opportunities that he and his wife are helping to make possible through their support of the Silverman Family Professorship of Entrepreneurial Leadership – that most excite Mr. Silverman.

“Jackie and I couldn’t think of a better way to leave a legacy to the University, and we hope we will prompt others to think about endowed professorships as a great investment in Drexel and its students.”

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July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014
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