History of Drexel University

History Of Drexel University

History of Drexel University

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Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry was founded in 1891, by Anthony J. Drexel, with the main building dedicated on December 17th of that year. The convocation was attended by such figures as Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison, as well as the governor of Pennsylvania and the vice president of the United States, Levi Morton. Bishop Henry Potter officiated the convocation, and The Honorable Chauncey Depew gave an address praising the new institution for its goal of preparing students for jobs in science and industry, as opposed to training lawyers and academics in abstract fields.

Early history

The Institute's first president was James A. MacAlister. Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1840, he emigrated with his family to Wisconsin in 1850, attended Brown University and subsequently received his J.D. from Albany Law School in 1864. During his term as president (1891–1913), the institute offered a variety of courses in subjects ranging from art and illustration, mechanic arts, domestic arts and sciences, commerce and finance, teacher training, physical education, and librarianship. He also advocated lectures and programs that we open to the public, even granting access to the library to non-students. Another initiative was to offer classes in the evening that could be attended by working professionals.

From 1895 to...
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