The first weekend in May is a special time at Drexel as alumni return “home” to campus to celebrate Alumni Weekend. While it’s been an annual Drexel tradition for decades, Alumni Weekend provides a memorable and unique experience for Drexel graduates in new and exciting ways each year.
There’s no doubt that one such experience at Alumni Weekend 2014 was the final gathering on Saturday, May 3: Drexel After Dark. This new event took place on all four floors of the Main Building, which was decorated and transformed almost beyond recognition.
Drexel After Dark promised to provide something fun for alumni of all class years. From the after-hours club on the fourth floor with Yards Brewing Co. beer and video games, to the piano-lounge atmosphere in the A.J. Drexel Picture Gallery, to the lively dance floor and DJ in the Great Court, Drexel After Dark did not disappoint.
“I feel it must have been a Herculean task to put together Drexel After Dark,” says Lou Partridge ’74, ’75. “I emailed a friend afterward to say it was some of the most fun that I’ve had at Drexel since graduating. What an experience!”
According to Ira Taffer ’79, ’83, chair of the Alumni Association Board of Governors, after listening to feedback from alumni, they realized it was time to rethink the dinner-dance style of the University galas of the past and create something fun and new.
The Class of 1964 celebrated its 50-year reunion during Alumni Weekend this year and its graduates were inducted into Drexel’s Golden Dragons Society.
Michael Noce, BS chemical engineering ’11, and his date are greeted by Mario the Magnificent on their way into Drexel After Dark.
“It was held in the Main Building because that is a place to which almost all alumni have a connection,” says Taffer. “We made sure Drexel After Dark had lots of space for many different types of activities and a vari
ety of food choices. Guests spent time exploring all of their options, and then they settled in for what turned out to be a great night.”
Another highlight of Alumni Weekend was the Class of 1964’s 50-year Reunion. These graduates, known as Drexel’s Golden Dragons, kicked off Friday, May 2, with a welcome breakfast followed by the Golden Dragon Pinning and Induction Ceremony.
The celebration continued with a class photo on the Main Building staircase, the Golden Dragon Luncheon and a trolley tour of campus which some hadn’t seen in 50 years.
“I had a wonderful time celebrating my reunion,” says Walt Rogers ’64. “The Golden Dragon Induction was quite impressive, lunch was delicious and we loved the campus trolley tour. Next time we would like to walk it.”
Friday night was the sold-out annual Alumni Wine Pairing Dinner where graduates enjoyed a four-part menu fully prepared and served by Drexel culinary and hospitality students under the direction of Greg Garbacz ’04, chef de cuisine at Sbraga. Each course was paired with carefully selected wines, described in detail by Bob Barrett ’98, Winebow sommelier. Also on Friday evening, the Sports Fans of the ’50s gathered with former Drexel athletes, DAC Pack members and Dragon fans for a special rally and patio BBQ.
“Many of the colleges and schools hosted open houses, brunches and tours on Saturday,” says Taffer. “It’s important to give alumni a chance to revisit their colleges and schools during Alumni Weekend to meet professors, deans, old classmates and new acquaintances.”
Young alumni and friends looking for a bit of an adventure spent Saturday afternoon exploring campus and competing
for great prizes in the Alumni Weekend Scavenger Hunt, which wrapped up with lunch at St. Declan’s Well in West Philadelphia.
“The Scavenger Hunt was a really good time,” says Stephanie Miller ’11. “My cousin is also a Drexel alum, so he and his wife and kids and I teamed up. It definitely put us in a competitive spirit, and we even learned an extra thing or two about our alma mater.”
Other highlights of Alumni Weekend included the Silver Dragon Pinning and Induction Ceremony for the Class of 1989, the Alumni Association Awards Ceremony, which honored outstanding alumni and students with scholarships and awards, and special reunions across campus for alumni affinity groups.
Save the date now for Alumni Weekend 2015 on Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2. To make sure you get your print or email invitation, update your contact information with the Office of Alumni Relations at 1.888.DU.GRADS or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also update your information online by visiting drexel.edu/alumni and clicking the log-in button at the top of the screen.
Silver Dragons celebrate their 25-year Reunion together at a cocktail reception in the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building.
The Alumni Association is looking for members of the Class of 1965 to join Co-chairs Donna Mueller ’65, ’70 and Fred Crotchfelt ’65, ’66 on the Golden Dragon Reunion Committee. If you would like to help plan your 50-year reunion activities and invite your classmates back to campus for the celebration, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 1.888.DU.GRADS or email@example.com.
Read on for a look at what happened during Alumni Weekend 2014, including the Golden Dragon Reunion, Drexel After Dark and everything in between.