If you live in the region, chances are you’ve seen a bus or a billboard or a television spot about Drexel’s co-op program. The high-profile branding push is part of Drexel’s refreshed Ambition Can’t Wait message, which uses current events and realism to emphasize that our graduates come out of college already adapted to an evolving economy and a changing world.
In fact, preparing students for the future has been the mission of co-op since 1919, when Drexel President Hollis Godfrey created the program in a spirit of patriotism, post-Armistice, to give students the technical preparation to make their services of more value to the country.
This fall, we’ll begin a year-long celebration of that mission to mark the 100th anniversary of the program (more on that later).
In the meantime, we have superb evidence that the mission of the Drexel Co-op Program is alive and well today in the successes of the 40 Under 40 featured in this edition.
A striking number of the honorees this year have careers in fields that barely existed not long ago. Fields like virtual reality and artificial intelligence require an inventive and entrepreneurial mindset that flourishes in Drexel’s curriculum. Meanwhile, rapid changes in the legal status of marijuana have meant opportunities for people like Kate Steinberg, who does outreach for the medical marijuana dispensary Curaleaf; and for the inventors of GrowFlux, an agricultural lighting system; and for an alumnus who is using a robotics degree to build cannabis plant pruning machinery.
It’s easy to follow a path well-trod; Drexel’s approach to education is to anticipate where trails will be blazed next.
So, while Drexel prepares for a grand party next year to commemorate co-op’s centennial, I know that many graduates honor co-op daily through successful careers and satisfying work, and I’d be happy to hear from alumni of all ages about what co-op meant to you. Drop me an email, or leave a comment online at drexelmagazine.org, and share your favorite co-op story. We’d love to include some co-op memories in the fall magazine.
Sonja Sherwood / Editor
ABOUT THE COVER: Illustrated collage by Ryan Olbrysh.