$45 million gift to Drexel is largest to any Pa. business school

A Drexel University graduate has given $45 million to his alma mater. The largest single gift to any business school in Pennsylvania will pay for half of a new campus building.

Drexel’s LeBow College of Business is already named after Bennet LeBow, who made a fortune by turning around struggling companies. He said the $45 million has already attracted company.

“Other people have donated $5 million,” said the businessman who graduated in 1960 with a degree in electrical engineering. “You’ll see that accelerate — transform the whole University. And the building has been here since 1965, it’s about time to get a new building.”

The building — a 12-story tower at Market and 33rd streets — will pull together existing buildings via bridges.  Mathesson Hall, which was state-of-the-art in the 1960s, will be demolished.

Professor Richard Friedman was a freshman when that building first opened. “I lived here basically for 40 of the last 45 years. The building means a lot to me. But it’s just a building, the university is the most important thing.”

The $92 million project is part of a Drexel building spree including an integrated sciences center, now under construction, and the recently completed recreation center.

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