Drexel gets $3 million from Lenfests for co-op salaries

Susan Snyder, Staff Writer

Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 3:05 PM

Drexel University campus, 33rd and Market Streets.

Drexel University said Wednesday that the Lenfest Foundation has pledged $3 million to supplement the salaries of students working cooperative education jobs in the nonprofit cultural sector.

The university has heard concerns over the years that co-op students working in those jobs earn less than their counterparts — or in some cases nothing — in the corporate. health sciences, technology, and other for-profit settings, who are traditionally paid $15,000 to $30,000. Under the co-op program, Drexel students typically spend several semesters working full-time jobs, usually related to their field of study.

The donation from philanthropists Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest will allow the university to fund eight co-op jobs a year.

“This gift will offer Drexel students meaningful, substantive interactions with our community’s cultural sector,” president John A. Fry said in a statement, “while providing cultural organizations with much-needed insight from a young demographic, as these organizations consider how to sustain themselves and thrive in the future.”

The university has named its Center for Cultural Partnerships in honor of the Lenfests.

Susan Snyder, Staff Writer

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