higher education

Salve Regina awarded $1 million gift to endow academic program in memory of Noreen Drexel

NOREEN STONOR DREXEL championed preservation of Salve Regina University
NOREEN STONOR DREXEL championed preservation of Salve Regina University's historic buildings until her death in 2012. On Friday, the university announced that it will endow its first named academic program -- the Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Program -- using a $1 million gift from the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust. COURTESY SALVE REGINA UNIVERSITY
11/15/13

NEWPORT – Salve Regina University will use a $1 million gift from the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust to endow its first named academic program in honor of the late preservationist Noreen Stonor Drexel.

Drexel, who died in 2012, was a longtime Salve Regina trustee and had been awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters during the university’s 1999 commencement. She was instrumental in many of the university’s efforts to restore buildings on campus.

The gift and the naming of the Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Program will be formally announced to the university community during a private reception on Tuesday at the university.

“In naming and endowing the Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Program, we are stewarding the progress of this institution toward ever-increasing excellence,” said Sister Jane Gerety, the university president, in a statement. “Mrs. Drexel will continue to be, as she always was, Salve Regina’s guardian angel.”

Drexel championed preservation and adaptive reuse of the university’s historic buildings, said Donald Christ, chairman of the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust, during the university’s 2008 dedication of Stonor and Drexel Halls and of the Alletta Morris Archway.

Salve Regina’s Cultural and Historic Preservation program is one of 13 undergraduate programs nationwide that has been certified by the National Council for Preservation Education. Funding from the endowed program will, among other things, establish a program of visiting lecturers and scholars, and develop an archival component to the curriculum to train students in the terminology, methodology and techniques used by archivists.