3, 8, 50, 94, 100.
As students, faculty, staff, and the whole PhilaU community prepare for the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester, I repeat these numbers to myself . They are the numbers that define how we at Philadelphia University fulfill our mission as a 21st-century institution that provides students with real-world experience and prepares them to be leaders in their evolving industries.
3 PhilaU students in the past five years have won the prestigious and coveted Fulbright Research Fellowships. For a relatively small school, this is a remarkable achievement. Our recipient from this past year is alumna Libby Nichols ‘14, a star lacrosse player who is traveling to Munich in September to study the cognitive effects that “heading” soccer balls has on youth soccer players.
8 of PhilaU’s programs have been nationally and internationally recognized: fashion design, physician assistant studies, midwifery, interior design, the online B.S. in professional communications, graphic design, occupational therapy, and the online B.S. in business management. This number is ever-increasing as PhilaU’s reputation grows.
50 years had passed since President John F. Kennedy’s assassination when PhilaU’s Single Bullet exhibition opened in October 2013. The first major project of the Arlen Specter Center for Public Service, the exhibition was the result of the collaborative work of architecture, graphic design, and law and society students and professors. Using documents donated by the late Senator Arlen Specter, this team constructed an interactive exhibit studying the various theories surrounding JFK’s assassination. The incredible public success of the very first project completed through the Specter Center has made the PhilaU community eager to see what the next project will be.
94% of the PhilaU Class of 2013 reported that within a year of graduation, they had jobs in their industries or had been accepted to graduate school. This percentage says it all: the PhilaU educational model is working. We treat students as creative and critical doers and professionals beginning with their very first day of college. Our students are provided every opportunity to nourish their innovative impulses by working with transdisciplinary teams and engaging in fast-paced industry projects that mimic the professional world. They become juggernauts in their industries.
100 individuals and teams have visited PhilaU’s Blackstone LaunchPad, part of our Entrepreneurship Center, since its opening earlier this year. The LaunchPad provides expertise and resources for student businesses to transform ideas into successful ventures. A number of the visitors have already launched businesses since visiting the LaunchPad. PhilaU does not just give students the tools to succeed – we show them how to use those tools.
PhilaU’s accolades never stop rolling in. I am overjoyed nearly every morning when I wake up, check my email, and see that yet another wonderful thing has happened in the PhilaU community. Students win prestigious competitions; professors are awarded fellowships to pursue research that benefits their industries as well as PhilaU; alumni earn leadership positions in influential companies. As our community grows, so does our reputation. By the numbers, and by all other methods of measurement, PhilaU is fulfilling its mission.