Drexel University Leaders consider Major Campus in Placer
A delegation from Drexel University met with Placer County officials and community leaders throughout the Sacramento area, and toured the region last week in their continuing effort to determine whether to start a new campus on the western border of Roseville.
A group of more than 40 Drexel officials, led by University President Dr. Constantine Papadakis, several college deans and trustees, conducted a four-day fact-finding trip as part of an ongoing feasibility study for a campus in Placer County. The group met with Placer County supervisors, other elected officials and education and business leaders.
Addressing a Roseville Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Friday at a kickoff event, Dr. Papadakis announced that Drexel would offer any area high school graduate a $10,000 academic scholarship toward the annual tuition charge. The scholarship, part of the Drexel's Build the Pipeline Scholars program, is based upon completing the admissions process by Jan. 1, 2008 and will be renewed each year the student maintains a 3.0 grade point average at Drexel.
"The scholarships are an expression of Drexel's strong interest in serving the students and families of Sacramento and Placer counties,"Dr. Papadakis said. "We feel once these students graduate after a wonderful experience at our Philadelphia campus they will become our ambassadors, returning to the Sacramento area and helping us spread the word about Drexel."
A 116-year-old Philadelphia institution renowned for its leadership in higher education innovation, Drexel is considering locating a new, four-year campus in Placer County, just west of the Roseville city limits.
The university community would include 600 acres for a campus and an adjacent 536-acre community that would be developed to help finance the campus. The land for the university would be donated by the Tsakopoulos family, William and Claudia Cummings, Wayne and Mary Prim and their partners.
"We're very intrigued by the idea of creating a new Drexel University in the Sacramento region,"said Dr. Papadakis, who made an August visit to the area and announced Drexel's initial expansion interest. "Our latest visit has been a tremendous fact-finding mission for all of us. We are very encouraged by the response we've received from the community. We understand this is an extraordinary opportunity."
With 350,000 residents in Placer County, including 102,000 in Roseville, many people in the region feel the time is right to plan for a private university with the capability of Drexel, which has a 20,000-plus student population in center city Philadelphia.
"I think Drexel University is exactly what this community needs,"said former Placer County Supervisor Bill Santucci, a longtime supporter of efforts to bring higher education to the Roseville area. "We need a private university that gives our children and our grandchildren some choices. Drexel would be a wonderful, first-class university in our community."
"Our community's students need a university in our county,"said Susan Goto, a community leader and member of the Roseville City School Board. "Drexel would be a huge asset to our community."
Founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, Drexel University is a private, comprehensive, doctoral research university widely recognized for its focus on co-operative education and technology. Drexel is the 16th largest private university in the nation and became the first major university to operate a fully wireless campus in the year 2000.
The plan for the university campus entitlements is expected to go before the Placer County Planning Commission later this year.
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