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Drexel’s Special Bond With an Icon

October 12, 2011

In the coming days and weeks, Steven P. Jobs, co-founder and former chief executive officer of Apple Inc., will be eulogized as perhaps the supreme emmetrope of tech visionaries. From the iconic denim-and-black outfits to his compulsive commitment to aesthetics — a devotion that delivered hardware and software on which the world now so dutifully relies — his legacy was tenable long before the advent of the tablet.
For Drexel University, Jobs will be remembered as the man who delivered the personal computer to the classroom. In January 1984, Drexel students were among the first in the country to use the Macintosh, forging a special bond with the man named “Person of the Year” in 2010 by Financial Times.
At the time, Apple Inc. had been prospecting universities interested in making personal computers a requirement for freshman enrollment. Drexel was chosen as the first member of the famed Apple University Consortium, a select group of 24 institutions that were granted discounts on purchases of the Macintosh 128K system. Originally priced at $2,495, Drexel students paid a discounted rate of $1,060. The front of each unit was stamped with a blue “D” for Drexel — a model that fetches nearly $3,000 today on ebay in its original packaging.
Ralph Walkling, Ph.D., executive director of LeBow’s Center for Corporate Governance, called Jobs a creative genius. “He greatly enriched the world and forever changed the way we communicate, the way we process information, the way we work and the way we play,” says Walkling. “Moreover, he inspired by example and taught us to expect greatness. His legacy is felt throughout our lives, our universities, our corporations and certainly our boardrooms. He will be greatly missed.”

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