Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business has recently been given a generous gift of $10 million from the Wilbur C. and Betty Lee Henderson Foundation. This donation will contribute towards the establishment of the Wilbur C. Henderson Real Estate Institute, paying tribute to the late Wilbur Henderson. Henderson was a Drexel University graduate of 1947, a WWII veteran, and a respected real estate developer in the Philadelphia region. Expressing gratitude for the foundation’s contribution, Drexel University President John Frye said, “We are deeply grateful to the Wilbur C. and Betty Lee Henderson Foundation for this generous and innovative gift.” Chancellor John Frye also added that the institute will enhance the university’s ability to advance urban development equitably and provide thought leadership to real estate practitioners and leaders who promote the welfare of their communities.
The establishment of the Wilbur C. Henderson Real Estate Institute will serve as a central hub for research and connection with the industry, according to Professor Drexel. Additionally, the Henderson Foundation’s donation will create an endowment that allows students to actively participate in real estate investment and development, enabling them to co-invest with the university and its partners. Moreover, a seed fund will be established to help jump-start student projects. Steve Buxton, the executive director of the Henderson Foundation, reaffirmed their commitment to supporting educational initiatives, stating, “In honor of Mr. Henderson’s social accomplishments, the Wilbur C. Betty Lee Henderson Foundation is dedicated to the communities in which Mr. Henderson worked, including continued support of Drexel’s innovative, industry-leading real estate.” In light of these developments, the university plans to begin a nationwide search for a director to lead the institute, with the expected opening scheduled for 2024.