36 Things We Love About Drew

1 – Best-Ever Senior Prank
About a decade ago, I received a call at 5:30 a.m., telling me that all the chairs in the Commons were missing. Initially, I thought they’d be in the Governor’s [Tom Kean] office in Mead Hall. But after a half day of searching, facilities finally found them on the roof of the Commons. I couldn’t believe the effort that went into moving them up there. It was a great prank: it didn’t hurt anyone, it didn’t deface anything and it confounded everyone. It showed the spirit and the closeness of the community to pull it off and keep it a secret.
—Tom Evans, chief of public safety

2 – Playtime
There’s this car that we get to drive, but it doesn’t actually move because there’s no wheels.
—Peter Carroll, 5, denizen of the Child Development Center

3 – A Little Bit of Everything
There’s much I love: the mansard roofs of Faulkner, Sitterly and Wesley houses, as well as their crazy creaky narrow stairways; as a minimalist, the compactness of the campus, the human scale of its buildings; the gorgeous old beech between the Hall of Sciences and Route 124—I used to read beneath its canopy. Ultimately, though, I’d have to say that I loved the cumulative effect of all these details. Drew was a great place to transition from the rural to the urban, from childhood to adulthood, from ignorance into a recognition that you could chip away at unknowing, one book, one page at a time. Apart from the friends I made there, that’s the part of Drew that’s stayed with me most.
—Dale Peck C’89

4 – Theatre Arts
I could’ve gone to Alabama State University and still gotten away from my overbearing mother, hooked up with random girls in Idaho or learned to do keg stands at Rutgers. But what made Drew special to me was the theatre arts department. With the exception of Sunday morning set strikes—not what my lingering hangover wanted me to be doing—the department made me feel part of something.
—Brandon Picchierri C’06

5 – Taco Day
It’s a bonding experience for the whole school because, well, it’s Taco Day and it happens every Wednesday. I get my taco shells, put some meat in there, some lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, whatever, then eat it and love every minute of it.
—Ted Johnsen C’07

6 – The Great Outdoors
Walking to class on a chilly autumn day, stopping at your friends’ rooms with coffee, the colors, the acorns—even now, when that first cool morning hits, I am transplanted back to campus.
—Lawrence Morris C’94

7 – Legend has it that
admissions once tried to have all red-tailed hawks banned because, the story goes, one dropped its leftover dinner (squirrels are a favorite) too close to a tour group. If so, I’m glad they didn’t get their way. The birds, with their four-foot wingspan, take my breath away.
—Dave Muha, chief communications officer

8 – The trees were here first
they’re truly remnants of a natural forest. And surprisingly, the most ancient and majestic of our trees—some of the big white oaks are over 200 years old—are on the main part of campus. There’s a hodgepodge of architecture here, but the trees give the university a feeling of unity.
—Sara Webb, professor of biology

9 – I love the campus
on misty spring evenings—the fog in the trees and glowing lamps are just magical.
—Suzanne Longley C’98

10 – My friend and I were wired one night
so we went for a walk around 2 a.m. We somehow decided it would be fun to roll down the hill into Tipple Pond. We lost our keys and jewelry but still, it was a blissful moment.
—Allison Grill C’05

11 – Romance
Janine and I met the first day of orientation when we were both lost on our way to financial aid. Drew was a matchmaker of sorts; the things that attracted us to Drew also drew (no pun intended…) us together—tree-lined paths, small classes, every trope you’re told about college. So we decided to be married on campus—it’s where we met, fell in love and formally linked our lives.
—Peter Herman C’98, who married Janine Calabro C’98 on Sept. 7, 2002

12 – Honduras Project
It is late afternoon, hot and humid, and the bugs are so loud you can feel them. We’re at El Hogar, a Honduran children’s home, where dozens of boys point and beam as they identify Drew volunteers who’ve returned, giggling as they struggle to pronounce English names. Older boys recite information for new ones: “Students from Drew University in Nuevo Jersey, Estados Unidos. They come every year.” “They painted the mural in the Casa de Tigres” (a dormitory). “And the Cancha” (the soccer and basketball court). “No, they built the Cancha.” “And they painted it.” “They do everything!” “I’m going to be like them when I grow up.” I’m filled with pride that I’m associated with the only college that has anything like it.
—Sandra Jamieson, professor of English

13 – The People
I am from Malawi, Africa. A month after I arrived, I got sick and spent two weeks at Morristown Memorial Hospital. I was surprised by how many students, administrators and professors came to see me—no fewer than 25 almost every day. These people did not yet know me, but they took care of me and my wife like we were family.
—Blessings Magomero, third-year M.Div. student

14 – Basketball
What is it I love about Drew? It sure isn’t the tuition. (I’d like to see you put that in the magazine.) I’d have to say it’s basketball. I came as often as I could because I like the people in the program. Joining the team was an easy way for my son, Kevin, to immediately feel like part of the school.
—Richard Codey P’07, N.J. Senate president

15 – Drew International Seminars
There’s a real initiative here to get people out into the world. I went on the Egypt Drew Service Learning project—my first trip abroad—where we helped a refugee community in Cairo with whatever they needed, whether it was handing out clothes or filing paperwork. I now know I don’t want to work for a government agency shoveling papers around. Instead I want to help people improve their circumstances.
—Ben Shedlock, junior

16 – Drew Summer Science Institute
During construction in the neurobiology labs the summer of 2006, we had pipes bursting, electricity going out—it was difficult for me and for the students who help with my Alzheimer’s disease research. Then, a camp came in to do Mr. Science Guy experiments, pushing us out of the lab. One student in particular, Amanda Holloway C’07, kept a great attitude through it all. Right now, we’re co-authoring a paper based upon her research.
—Roger Knowles, professor of biology

17 – No Limits
I always wanted to try theater, but thought going to college was about pursuing a specific career path. Then a friend of mine, a stage manager, encouraged me to audition for Plays in Process, and I got the lead. Being on stage for the first time was a rush. To be an economics major and take on a role in a school play—that’s the beauty of Drew.
—Ryo Kuroki, senior

18 – Wall Street Semester
Lots of people everywhere, screaming numbers, throwing papers—I’d seen a lot of movies showing the New York Stock Exchange, but it was much better in person. There are a lot of Drew alumni on Wall Street, and they were very helpful in pointing me in the right direction. It was a challenge. It was great. And I’ve been there ever since.
—Miguel Gonzalez C’01, financial advisor, JPMorgan

Favorite Places

19 – Seminary Hall’s Cyber Café is a hidden secret—I’m nervous telling you about it. People are there studying, having intense conversations about doctrine, trying to unpack the meaning of a lecture. It has these amazing old dark wooden booths, and it’s green, with fair trade coffee and a bring-your-own-mug policy. I love going for the sense of community.
—Dhawn Martin, doctoral student in theology and philosophy

20 – My favorite building is the F. M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre
It was the gymnasium when I was at Drew and the remodeling of it into the theater is exquisite. You’d almost think the architect was an old-boy graduate. He picked up the little windows from the old gym and carried them around to the front—a beautiful and subtle use of the old building to characterize the new.
—John Cunningham C’38, author of University in the Forest

21 – Mead Hall
is the epitome of Greek Revival, a wonderful mansion and a magnificent entry to the campus. The building as a whole is fantastic. And Mead Hall, even as large as it is, is cozy, much the same way Drew is cozy.
—Nancy Priest C’83, P’86, chair, Friends of Mead Hall

22 – For most alums, Hoyt-Bowne Hall
was the weekend destination for raucous parties—the gluttonous reward for a grueling week of scholarship. But for me, Hoyt’s fourth floor—my senior-year residence high above it all—was a quiet (yes, quiet) respite from the chaos of upperclass life. It had a romantic, almost Brontë-esque, quality—which might explain why the legendary ghost of the lovelorn coed who hanged herself is rumored to have taken up residence in the attic.
—Kristen Daily Williams C’98

Short Talks

23 – Full Professors
I had heard T.A.’s were rampant in certain schools, but here even core classes are taught by professors.
—Stephanie Palermo C’98

24 – Giving Back
In the last four years, the men’s basketball team raised more than $15,000 for the cancer wing at Morristown Memorial Hospital, which makes me really proud.
—Kevin Codey C’07, former co-captain of the basketball team

25 – The Good Life
Playing croquet on the Tolley/Brown circle.
—Lori Pfeifer C’93

26 – My Roommate
I was military bred and my roommate was a theater major. Though I wasn’t a country bumpkin, she exposed me to the arts.
—Nora Boyer C’79

27 – Automatic Friends
All I do is show up every September, and I am introduced to absolutely smart, kind, thoughtful, creative people.
—Lillie Edwards, chair, Pan-African studies

28 – A Cappella
The best thing about Drew are the three a cappella groups. Each one is a real contribution to Drew, but I love the way 36 Madison Avenue does the alma mater.
—Edye Lawler G’79,’81, dean of educational affairs and acting dean, Caspersen School

29 – The Commons
We complain about it constantly, make scathing jokes about it, but we all end up there. It’s amazing to see how many students—the same ones who complain about the lack of traditions at Drew—come together, fearing finals and eating way too many eggs. It’s also the place where my friends and I can get together and just chill out, eat some shifty-looking food and keep our Drew friendships strong. It’s like sitting down to dinner as a family, one large family of Drewids.
—Michelle Caffrey, sophomore

30 – Light Bulb MomentsAs a teacher, you live for those moments when the light bulb turns on—when a student’s facial expression or body language tells you: “I never thought of it that way.” What makes it even more meaningful is when the student acts upon it. Years ago, I had a student in my Vietnam Experience class who read Fred Wilcox’s devastating book, Waiting for an Army to Die, the story of Agent Orange, the defoliant used in Vietnam, and the horrible damage that it caused. When he graduated, he attended law school and did terrific pro bono work representing veterans who had suffered severe health problems as a result of exposure to the chemical. And it all began with a three-page book report.
—Doug Simon, professor emeritus, political science

31 – Changing with the Times
One Saturday night during my sophomore year, Lynne, my date, and I missed the end of Bonnie and Clyde at a local drive-in because she had to beat the midnight curfew at Welch Hall and avoid racking up “late minutes.” Through today’s eyes, the Drew I entered in 1966 looks like a ’50s sitcom college: women’s curfews, freshman beanies, no closed-door coed visiting. It was all part of in loco parentis, the institution as surrogate parent. Explain that to a student today and you’ll get a look like you just walked in from the 13th century. Yet by the time I graduated in 1970, the university was closer to coed dorms than women’s curfews, and the conduct policy had pretty much become “whatever.” The merits of those changes can be argued. But it said something about Drew: It could adjust. I suspect that’s part of the reason Drew was among the first schools to give every freshman a laptop, why it could develop unique writing programs, how it hooked up with the Shakespeare Theatre or the U.S. Field Hockey Association. Call it institutional agility. I liked that in a university. I still do. Even if I never did see the ending of Bonnie and Clyde. I sure hope nothing bad happened.
—David Hinckley C’70

32 – The Forum Series
It brings international players, from Rudy Giuliani to Al Gore and Colin Powell, to Madison—one of the beauties of having a university in your town.
—Woody Kerkeslager, mayor of Madison

33 – My Little Sister
For as small as Drew is, there are a lot of parents, kids and their siblings who all go here—it’s like this little secret. After visiting me on campus, my little sister, Sandra, decided to come here. It was awesome. We spent a lot of time together, but we each had our own niche and did our own things.
—Wendy Menendez C’95

34 – Matriculation Book
The very first students to enter the seminary in 1867 wrote their names in this beautiful book. No one knows why it wasn’t used from 1883 to 1975, but Theo students continue to sign it today. It represents the beginning of Drew history, 140 years and counting.
—Cheryl Ostreicher, university archivist

35 – Concert Hall
When you go to a concert, you should be in a place that feels better than your normal environment—it should feel special. The people who built this hall have done that. It’s intimate, with beautiful lighting and comfortable seats. But what really makes it stand out is the sound. As a musician, when I play here, I can hear individual lines of music. Like the voice of a baritone, my cello is like a cushion, a mattress, supporting the rest of the parts—and here it sounds so right, so good. For a hall of its size, the Drew Concert Hall is among the very best—on a scale of one to 10, it’s a 10.
—David Finckel, cellist, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

36 – Going the Extra Mile
My grades coming out of Texas State were not what Drew would have liked for a transfer student. But CLA Dean Cucchi invited my wife and me to his house one July afternoon. (How many deans invite low-end prospective transfers to their house?) Three years later, my diploma in political science is in a storage unit in Texas, and I’m in graduate school in England. It’s all because Cucchi gave me the shot of a lifetime. What’s more, there are many more Paolo Cucchis at Drew. They’re kindhearted and devoted to every student from the time they walk onto campus until long after they walk off.
—Johnny Tyrrell C’06

There’s More: London Semester, S.W. Bowne Hall, The Arboretum, The Other End, Brothers College courtyard, DUDS Ball, Aztec stairs, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, long Sunday mornings in the Commons over French toast sticks, Anthropology department dinners, Daniel Drew (despite the fact that he was a scoundrel), spicy fried ravioli, squirrels, The Space, BC Chapel, Daffodils, Duh! WMNJ!!!

What? We missed something? Tell us at magazine@drew.edu.

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