Villanova University receives $2.5 million commitment from John G. Drosdick (’65 COE) towards Engineering Innovation Lab for College of Engineering

John “Jack” G. Drosdick ’65 COE

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has received a $2.5 million commitment from College of Engineering alumnus John “Jack” G. Drosdick ’65 – retired chief executive officer and president of Sunoco, Inc. – as part of the University’s $600 million Comprehensive Capital Campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change.” Designated for the College of Engineering, Drosdick’s gift will fund a new Engineering Innovation Lab in the Center for Engineering Education and Research (CEER).

“The Engineering education I received at Villanova had a tremendous effect on my life and professional career,” said Jack Drosdick. “With this gift, I wanted to add to the impressive education that students are receiving at Villanova’s College of Engineering. It is my hope that the hands-on work students do in this lab will greatly influence their future careers and impact as engineers.”

Villanova launched the public phase of its Campaign in Oct. 2013, and to date has raised $320 million towards its $600 million goal. The most ambitious in the University’s 170-year history, Villanova’s Campaign is aimed at cultivating academic innovation across its schools and colleges, investing in recruiting and retaining the finest teacher-scholars, dramatically enhancing financial aid and student opportunities, and continuing to build a premier living-learning environment on the University’s 260-acre campus.

“A gift of this magnitude from Jack Drosdick is significant to Villanova in a number of ways,” said Michael J. O’Neill, Villanova’s Vice President for University Advancement. “For many years Jack has been among the University's most involved alumni, serving in critical leadership roles. His continued involvement and support is impactful and inspirational as we look toward Villanova’s future.”

Part of a planned expansion of the CEER building, the Engineering Innovation Lab will enhance the College’s ability to provide increased student opportunities for hands-on, experiential and collaborative learning in a space that supports scalable real-world engineering projects. The lab will feature a two-story, 3,330 square foot open garage/high-bay space, complete with a large, overhead crane that will enable engineering work that cannot be taught in a classroom, and expand the undergraduate research program and space for co-curricular projects.

“This space is an important cornerstone to our strategic plan for providing one of the best engineering education experiences in the country,” said Gary Gabriele, PhD, Drosdick Endowed Dean of the Villanova University College of Engineering. “This Engineering Innovation Lab will provide valuable new space for our students to work on more challenging hands-on projects and quality space for increasing our engagement with industry.”

John “Jack” G. Drosdick, ’65 College of Engineering, retired from his position as chief executive officer and president of Sunoco, Inc. in August 2008.  At the end of that same year, he also retired as non-executive chairman of Sunoco, Inc., chairman of Sunoco Partners, LLC, a subsidiary of Sunoco, Inc., and as general partner of Sunoco Logistics Partners, L.P.

Drosdick began his career with Exxon in 1968, where for 15 years, he held a wide variety of management positions in New Jersey, Texas and Louisiana.  In 1987, he was named president of Tosco Corporation and, in 1992, president of Ultramar Corporation.  Four years later, he became president and chief operating officer of Sunoco and was elected chairman and chief executive officer in May 2000.

A member of the Steering Committee for Villanova’s last campaign, Transforming Minds and Hearts, Drosdick served as chair of Villanova University’s Board of Trustees from 2001-08.   

Drosdick is a native of West Hazelton, Pa., and currently resides in Bryn Mawr, Pa.  After earning his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Villanova, he received a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1968.

Villanova University’s Comprehensive Capital Campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change,” is the most ambitious in its 170-year history. The University’s Campaign priorities include: Endowment ($250 million); Academic and Programmatic Priorities ($125 million); Facilities ($150 million); and Annual Fund ($75 million). For more information on the Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change, visit www.forthegreatergreat.com

About Villanova University College of Engineering:  Founded in 1905, Villanova University College of Engineering is committed to an educational program that emphasizes technical excellence and a liberal arts education within the framework of the University’s Augustinian Catholic tradition. The result: “Whole-Brain Engineers,” who pursue both knowledge and wisdom, and aspire to ethical and moral leadership within their chosen careers, their community and the world.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others.  There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.