Timeline of Drexel History, 1889 - present

             | 1889-1899 | 1900-1909 | 1910-1919 | 1920-1929 | 1930-1939 | 1940-1949 |
             | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2014 |

1889     Work begins on the Main Building at 32nd, and Chestnut streets and plans for the Drexel Institute are made public

1891     First school president, James MacAlister, appointed
              Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry is dedicated
              Departments are organized under the following academic divisions: Art Department, Scientific Department, Department of
              Mechanic Arts, Department of Domestic Economy, Technical Department, Business Department, Department of Physical
              Training, Normal Department for the training of teachers, Department of Lectures and Evening Classes, Library and
              Reading Room, and Museum

1892     Classes begin
              Third school in the country to train librarians opens at Drexel

1893     Houses on 32nd Street purchased for lab and classroom space
              School founder Anthony J. Drexel dies in Carlsbad, Germany

1894     Department of domestic science and arts offers three specialized programs: domestic science, cookery, and dressmaking
              and millinery
              Technical department and science department merge to form department of science and technology
               Howard Pyle begins School of Illustration
               School incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania
               First school-wide commencement.  Commencement previously held at the department level

1895     Athletic association is formed
              Thomas Eakins teaches briefly
              First alumni association is formed

1896     First two class books, The Hanseatic and The Eccentric, are published
              Department of Free Public Lectures and Entertainment established, previously affiliated with the Evening School
              Evening architecture extends requirements for certificate

1897     Free evening classes in choral music are offered
              Violet Oakley attends classes in School of Illustration
              Lucina A. Ball, first secretary and registrar, resigns

1899     Virginia Castleman writes lyrics to Drexel Ode.  Ode performed at commencement for the first time
              Houses leased on Chestnut Street above 32nd for the School of Architecture
              Formal committee appointed to oversee social activities for students

1900     Department of Electrical Engineering opens
              Pauline Conway becomes first woman to complete the architecture program
              William Pittman, African-American scholarship recipient from Tuskegee Institute, completes architecture program
              Courses are offered in mathematics, physics, and chemistry
              Domestic Science and Arts are separated into junior and advanced programs with technical-level courses in Domestic
              Science and Domestic Arts as separate departments
              Howard Pyle resigns from Drexel

1902     Randell Hall (originally called East Hall) opens
              Picture gallery opens in Randell Hall

1903     Engineering course becomes school of electrical engineering grouped under the department of science and technology
              Training for nurses is briefly offered
              Library school requires entrance examination
              Choral music department is reconstituted as Department of Evening Classes in Choral Music

1905     Architecture becomes independent department
              Fine and applied arts is officially terminated
              Board of Trustees decides not to offer a degree
              Evening school offers course to prepare students to pass State Board of Examiners of Public Accountants
              Marble bust of A.J. Drexel, done by Moses Ezekiel, is presented to school by Sarah Drexel Van Rensselaer, daughter of the

1906     Science courses become School of Science
              School of Electrical Engineering becomes School of Engineering under the Department of Science and Technology, offering
              electrical, mechanical and civil engineering
              New alumni constitution is prepared

1907     First alumni day is held

1908     Training for nurses is discontinued
              Choral music course is discontinued
              Industry subsidizes employees' attendance at Drexel Evening School
              Board of Trustees president James W. Paul, son-in-law of the founder, dies.  Alexander Van Rensselaer becomes board

1909     Architecture offers three-year course
              Frances MacIntyre replaces Frances J. Dill as school's secretary

1910     Evening school alumni form separate group
              Associated alumni of evening classes form constitution

1911     First yearbook is offered
              Charles E. Etting Fund established as the first general scholarship fund

1912     Men's student government is formed

1913     Lexerd published under present name
              President James MacAlister resigns, then dies shortly after
              President James Horace Churchman serves pro tem

1914     Hollis Godfrey becomes president, implements a major restructuring of academic divisions
              Academic departments reorganized under four schools: Engineering School, Secretarial School, Evening School, and
              School of Domestic Science and Arts
              Technical training becomes a division under the School of Domestic Science and Arts
              Architecture drops from day curriculum, becomes division of Evening School
              Secretarial School created through the dissolution of the Department of Commerce and Finance
              Department of Domestic Science and Department of Domestic Arts consolidated under School of Domestic Science and
              Courses in pure and physical science, technical courses, and electrical engineering consolidate to form School of
              Right to grant Bachelor of Science degree in engineering is given
              Free lectures and public concerts discontinued
              Library school is discontinued
              Henry V. Gummere heads newly established Evening School, lengthens course offerings with policy of non-duplication with
              area schools

1915     Controlled summer program begins, predecessor to co-op program

1916     First home management practice house opens for the School of Domestic Science and Arts
               Lower school is discontinued

1917     Bachelor of Science in secretarial studies is offered
              Bachelor of Science in domestic science and arts is offered
              State grants rights to offer Master of Science in domestic science and arts
              Twenty-fifth anniversary convocation held

1918     Students' Army Training Corps begins
              War course for women initiated in dietetics, occupational therapy, and preparatory work for the civil service
              First student houses for women under direct Drexel control are set up

1919     First regular summer school begins
              Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) begins
              Terms become quarters
              Four-year engineering co-op is established
              Harold C. Bales is appointed first director of co-op
              Elizabeth L. Cowan and Ruth E. Green are the first women to receive Bachelor's degrees in Domestic Science and Arts
              Evening diploma school is organized

1920     Evening School offers preparatory curriculum
              M.J. McAvoy, first full-time coach, is hired

1921     Hollis Godfrey resigns
              Administrative board runs the Institute in the interim between presidents

1922    Kenneth Gordon Matheson becomes president
              Evening School faculty consists of regular college faculty, secondary school teachers, and persons from industry
              John Arnett comes to Drexel as physician
              New Home Management House opens
              Cecil A. Kapp is appointed new director of cooperative work
              Two-year dietetics course is offered
              Helen Goodspeed is director of home economics and advisor to women
              First alumnus, Horace P. Liversidge, is elected to board of trustees
              Seven scholarships are granted to students from local schools
              Secretarial school is retitled School of Business Administration
              Women's student government is formed
              Office of dean of men is created and dean of women's functions are expanded
              Faculty council of president is formed, composed of deans and directors, department heads, and chairman of committees
              Functions of registrar and comptroller are divided
              Preparatory nurses course is started
              Library School is re-established under directorship of Anne Wallace Howland

1923     Drexel alumni write new constitution
              Grace Godfrey succeeds Helen Goodspeed as director of home economics and advisor to women
               Dietetics becomes four-year major
               Four-year cooperative degree in chemical engineering is offered, as are business administration, four-year commercial
               teaching, four-year secretarial studies, and two-year secretarial course for diploma

1924     First evening diploma to woman in accounting is offered
               Five-year commerce and engineering course is offered
               Robert C. Disque becomes academic dean
               Endowment drive begins
               Evening College alumni amend constitution
               John Arnett begins systematic program of student health
               Faculty athletic council is formed

1925     Chemical engineering becomes five-year co-op

1926     Department of Education and Psychology is established
              Drexel Triangle begins

1927     Nursery playschool is developed
              Walter H. Halas hired as full-time coach, responsible for baseball, basketball, and football
              State grants charter amendment for Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in secretarial studies, commerce, home
              economics, library science, and civil, electrical, mechanical, and chemical engineering

1928     Cyrus H.K. Curtis gives pipe organ to Institute
               Edith M. Rood becomes first woman editor of Triangle

1929     Annuity plan for faculty is approved by board of trustees
              Home economics offers textile merchandising
              Curtis Hall is completed

1930     Home Management House and nursery school building open
              Nurses' course is established

1931     Drexel Lodge, gift of A.J. Drexel Paul, is dedicated
              Cornerstone is laid for Sarah Drexel Van Rensselaer Dormitory for Women
              Charter is amended to give honorary degrees
              Graduate work begins in home economics
              President Matheson dies
              Executive committee runs Drexel - academic dean (R.C. Disque), comptroller (W.R. Wagenseller), dean of men (L.D.
              Stratton), and director of Evening School (W.T. Spivey)
              Sarah Drexel Van Rensselaer Dormitory opens

1932     Parke R. Kolbe becomes president
              Open House for high school students, parents, and faculty is held
              Alexander Van Rensselaer starts first loan fund for Evening School students

1933     Home Economics holds first vocational conference
               Faculties with broad self-governing powers are formed in each school: business administration, engineering, home 
              economics, and library science; administrative head of school is to be called dean
              Business administration offers retailing management

1934     Men's faculty club room is established, with corresponding Ryder Club for the women of the faculty and administrative staff
              Provision of indefinite tenure for the faculty with rank of assistant professor and higher is passed by the board of trustees

1935     Home economics offers general home economics course

1936     Name is changed to Drexel Institute of Technology
              Carl Altmaier undertakes history of Drexel
              Marie Hamilton Law succeeds Anne Wallace Howland as director of library school
              Engineering Council for Professional Development accredits School of Engineering

1937     Alumni help in selecting promising students

1938     George C. Galphin starts guidance clinic
              Libray School discontinues non-credit summer work
              Technical Journal begins publication

1939     Student Building opens
              New alumni association constitution subordinates class and school interests to those of the Institute as a whole

1940     Engineering Defense Training Program offered

1941     Training begins in the Engineering Defense Program and the Engineering, Science, and Management of War Program

1942     George Peters Rea becomes president
               Edward D. McDonald and Edward M. Hinton's history of Drexel, covering the first 50 years of the Institute, is published.

1943     First women enroll in the School of Engineering

1944     Financial crisis caused by falling enrollment during World War II forces the sale of Drexel's collection of art and original
              manuscripts. The auction for the material brings in $75,000.
              President Rea resigns; Dean Disque serves as acting president

1945     James Creese becomes president
              Athletics becomes a recognized department under the Dean of Faculty

1946     The Drexel Society of Women Engineers founded

1947     Day college and evening school unite, making credits from both of equal value
              Don Yonker appointed men's soccer coach, beginning a 30-year career

1948     Evening students receive their diplomas with the day colleges in a combined ceremony

1950     Evening School becomes Evening College

1955     Stratton Hall (originally called the Basic Sciences Building) is completed
              Men's football team goes undefeated for the first time

1956     Tidewater Grain elevator explosion causes considerable damage to Drexel buildings
              The United States Army Corps of Engineers' report on the educational qualifications of engineering graduates ranks Drexel
              alumni second

1958     Men's soccer team wins national championship after a 12-0 season

1959     M.S. in Biomedical Engineering & Science is offered
              New library (current Korman Center), which includes space for the library school and an audiovisual center, opens

1960     Red Lion Warehouse, adjacent to the Main Building, is purchased

1961     Rush Hospital on 33rd Street is purchased

1962     Drexel graduate Paul Baran (class of 1949) invents "packet switching," a key component in the development of the Internet
              John Semanik (class of 1956) becomes Athletic Director, the first alumnus to hold that position

1963     William Walsh Hagerty becomes president
              Creese Student Center opens
              Pennsylvania grants the right to confer Ph.D. in physics, chemistry, materials engineering, applied mechanics, and mathematics

1964     Red Lion Warehouse is converted into classrooms and reopened as Commonwealth Hall.  A bridge over Ludlow Street
               connects Commonwealth with the Main Building

1965     Mary Semanik becomes Drexel’s Women’s Director of Athletics

1966     Rush Hospital is converted into classrooms and opens as the Graduate School of Library Science (Rush Building)
              A.J. Drexel statue moved from Fairmount Park to the Drexel campus

1967     Women's basketball team completes its second consecutive undefeated season
              Disque Hall opens
              Richard J. Mortimer earns the first PhD awarded by Drexel

1968     The College of Engineering and the College of Science are founded out of the previously established College of
               Engineering and Science

1970     Name is officially changed to Drexel University.  
              Nesbitt Hall is completed.

1972     Drexel four-oar crew wins the school's first gold medal at the Dad Vail regatta

1973     Mandell Theater opens

1974     Lancaster Avenue (between 32nd and 33rd) is converted to a sidewalk
              The Educational Activities Center (later renamed MacAlister Hall) opens

1975     The Physical Education Athletic Center (later renamed Daskalakis Athletic Center) opens; "Running Free" sculpture of three
               horses is installed.

1981     Men's soccer team wins its first ECC championship

1983     Drexel announces plan to require all students to have personal access to a personal computer

1984     W.W. Hagerty Library opens
              First Macintosh computers distributed to Drexel students
              President Hagerty retires
              William S. Gaither becomes president.

1987     Harold Myers begins his service as interim president
              Wrestling team has its winningest season ever (17-5-1)

1988     Richard Breslin becomes president
              Academic Building is purchased to be used for administration

1988     Neuropsycholgy Ph.D. program approved

1989     LeBow Engineering Center opens
              Michael Anderson (class of 1989) becomes first Drexel alumnus to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA)

1990     The Center for Automation Technology opens
              College of Science becomes the College of Arts and Sciences

1993     One Drexel Plaza is purchased at a December auction. It later becomes the home of the College of Evening and Professional Studies

1994     Chuck Pennoni serves as interim president upon the resignation of Richard Breslin

1995     Constantine Papadakis becomes president

1996     Men's basketball team sets a record by winning 27 games

1997     School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems begins
              School of Education begins

1999     North Residence Hall opens

2000     Caneris Residence Hall (formerly East Hall) Dormitory opens

2002     Drexel University College of Medicine established, successor to MCP Hahnemann University School of Medicine
              Pearlstein Business Learning Center Business building opens
              University Crossings opens as a dormitory

2005     Bossone Research Enterprise Center Scientific Research opens for Biomedical Engineering courses
              Classes begin in the College of Law

2007     College of Law Building opens
               Race Street Residences opens

2009     Constantine Papadakis dies; Chuck Pennoni resumes service as interim president
               Millennium Hall opens

2010     John Anderson Fry becomes president
              Recreation Center opens

2011     Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building opens  
              The Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry, part of Pennoni Honors College, offers the Custom-Designed Major
              Drexel affiliates with the Academy of Natural Sciences

2012     Men's basketball team sets a record by winning 29 games
              The URBN Center, new home of Westphal College, opens in the former Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) building.

2013     Gerri C. LeBow Hall opens
              The College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) is created, combining the College of Information Science and Technology
              (the iSchool), the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering, and the Department of Computing and
              Security Technology in Goodwin College
              The Center for Hospitality and Sport Management is established.
              Women's basketball team wins the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). Hollie Mershon is named Tournament MVP
              Men's and women's crew teams combine to win the overall points trophy at the Dad Vail regatta. Drexel repeats this victory in 2014.

2014     The College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) enrolls its first class of students.
              The School of Public Health moves from the Center City campus to Nesbitt Hall in the University City campus.

back to top