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Charles A. Chada —72

Charles A. Chada —72

Building a Better Future

For Charles A. Chada '72, being a student at Drexel's College of Engineering was defined by lifechanging, real-world experiences that shaped his future. Now, he's committed to furthering the dreams of a new generation of aspiring engineers.

When Charles A. Chada '72 left his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania nearly 55 years ago to pursue an engineering degree at Drexel University, he did so without a second thought.

"Drexel was head and shoulders above the rest because of its focus on engineering and the co-op program," he says. "Not only did Drexel have a great reputation, but the opportunity to gain real-world experience right away was one of the key decision criteria."

Now, as he looks back on his career — which includes five decades at Xerox, currently as a vice president of Lean Six Sigma — he can trace the foundations of his success back to his time as a Drexel student. Chada, who completed his first co-op in construction engineering with U.S. Steel, moved on to work in product design and development at Xerox, where he returned for his remaining co-op, and ultimately, the rest of his career.

Chada credits his co-op for providing the time to learn from, and with, the organization, allowing him to make contributions that brought real value to the company.

"Xerox had summer interns, but I always felt that when you came in for six months as part of a co-op, you were really viewed as part of the team," he says. "I found that my first year after graduation was more productive because I had already gained so much experience."

Beyond helping students secure jobs in the short-term, building and retaining those skills are essential for the development of industries which will contribute to the growth and development of our country, according to Chada. Having attended Drexel with the support of scholarships, Chada understands firsthand that this kind of continuous improvement is only possible by investing in the education — and experiences — that will enable success among the next generation of engineers and innovators.

Along with his wife, Joanne, Chada established the Charles A. Chada '72 Endowed Scholarship Fund at the College of Engineering with a bequest pledge in 2023, providing support for students majoring in mechanical engineering and mechanics who have a demonstrated financial aid.

"Our technical skill set will always be crucial to our growth in this country," says Chada. "I felt that by supporting scholarships, I could directly contribute to that evolution of thought that is so critical to the success of our most essential industries."

Supporting the education of undergraduate students is certainly personal for Chada, but he hopes it will inspire students to do more than obtain a degree — he hopes it will empower them to build a better future.

"These students have the power to achieve not just their own personal goals, but to lead our progress in the tech arena," he says. "I feel strongly that Drexel will play a key role in enabling their success."

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