Drexel LeBow graduate students along with a few undergraduates are participating in a real-world project, gaining valuable experience that may one day be implemented by their client, Girard College. The students with varying backgrounds in finance, marketing and management are lending their business experience to the Philadelphia institution, a boarding school for academically capable students, grades 1-12, who come from families with limited financial resources and headed by a single parent or guardian.
Founded in 1848, the school was constructed and endowed from the fortune of Stephen Girard (1750 - 1831), a French immigrant who was probably the richest man in America at the time of his death. Since its inception, Girard College has subsisted almost exclusively on the founder’s endowment, however, in the last few years, Girard has experienced financial woes, and the school’s administration has sought the assistance of Drexel LeBow to help Girard improve its financial status.
Under the leadership of Paul Jensen, Ph.D., associate dean of experiential education, and facilitated by Patricia Connolly, executive director of LeBow’s Center for Corporate Governance, students were recruited to participate in the consulting project. Since the project was first started in early January, the dozen or so students have visited Girard College several times, touring the 43-acre campus in the Fairmount Park area to learn about its facilities and operations. They have also meet with key members of the school’s administration and other members of the management team to brainstorm and collect data. While the project is still in its preliminary discovery stages, the students are investigating several cost-cutting and containment measures, as well as looking at new opportunities for revenue generation and marketing.
The students will present their findings at the end of Drexel’s winter term to Girard College’s administration. More information will be shared as it becomes available.