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Alumni Group Visits Drexel’s High-Tech Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento.

Universities are well-known for urging alumni to come back for a campus visit. 

But for alums of Philadelphia-based Drexel University living in Northern California, they saw the unusual happen on February 19: the campus being brought to them. 

Earlier this year, Drexel officially opened its Center for Graduate Studies at One Capitol Mall. Drexel officials welcomed some of its Northern California alumni to show off its new high-tech facility in Sacramento. 

Education was presented in an entirely different fashion when Irvin Lownes Jr. of Roseville, Drexel class of 1967, attended the stoic classrooms on the Philadelphia campus. Long lectures, taking notes from a blackboard, and reading from textbooks were all standard learning practices when Lownes attended ‘evening college’ for eight years and finally earned his BA degree in Engineering. 

Lownes and his wife Linda departed the upscale Sacramento facility on Thursday evening wide-eyed over the high-tech capabilities of the 20,000 square-foot Graduate Center, which has $1 million worth of cutting edge audiovisual/collaboration technology in its nine classrooms, all of which are equipped with high-end, fully integrated e-learning systems.   

Following a tour of the facility by Carl ‘Tobey’ Oxholm III, the inaugural dean and chief executive officer of Drexel Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento, the retired engineer was among a group of alumni who were given a display of the Center’s high-tech capability, which included video teleconferencing from the Philadelphia campus, and a display of the many ways in which Drexel Graduate students now learn, including:  

ย•     High-definition Polycom video teleconferencing that will at times connect SmartBoards, whiteboards acting both as the projection screens and as interactive displays where faculty and students can write over applications, images or video, saving the experience for on-demand playback.

ย•     Echo360 automated class capture system that can record lectures and convert them into podcasts and video that students can play back at their convenience.

ย•     The Sympodium, an interactive pen display that connects to a computer and projector, giving educators the ability to write over any content in digital ink, save notes, access websites and multimedia files as well as project content onto large screens; giving faculty and students a total interactive experience. 

Drexel will be holding an Information Session on Thursday, February 26 from 6-8 p.m. at the new facility.

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