Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Presents 2007 William Penn Award to Constantine Papadakis
April 15, 2008
The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce announces that Constantine Papadakis, Ph.D., President, Drexel University, will receive the 2007 William Penn Award and will be honored at a gala event on April 18 sponsored by Wachovia.
The William Penn Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a business executive in Greater Philadelphia. Awarded annually since 1949, recipients are chosen for their outstanding contributions toward the betterment of the region, their professional accomplishments, and their commitment to charity as well as to the community. The selection committee is comprised of past honorees.
Since assuming the presidency in 1995, Dr. Papadakis has capitalized on Drexel’s traditional strengths and taken bold actions to build it into a national comprehensive research university and a major contributor to the regional economy. At the same time, he also has worked tirelessly to promote the economic strength of Greater Philadelphia. He is a member of the GPCC Executive Committee and the CEO Council for Growth, chairman of Select Greater Philadelphia’s Finance Committee and a member of the Select Oversight Committee.
In addition, Dr. Papadakis serves on the Board of Directors of the Schuylkill River Development Corp. and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia. He has been
involved with many philanthropic and charitable organizations, including the March of Dimes, the Wilma Theater and the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
“I am honored to receive The William Penn Award and to be recognized by the business leaders of Greater Philadelphia,” said Dr. Papadakis. “Drexel’s close partnerships with the business community, through co-operative education, research collaboration and technology transfer, contribute to our University’s success.”
Under his leadership, Drexel acquired the nation’s largest private medical school in 1998, founded Drexel University Online in 2003 and opened a law school in 2006. The full-time undergraduate enrollment has more than doubled while the endowment has grown sevenfold. To accommodate its growth, Drexel employs 7,300 people and has an annual budget of more than $650 million.
Mark S. Schweiker, President & CEO, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, said Greater Philadelphia is fortunate to have benefited from the energy and vision of Constantine Papadakis, or Taki, as his friends call him.
“Dr. Papadakis’ contributions to the economic and civic well-being of our community have been enormous and long-lasting,” said Mr. Schweiker. “Taki is a true civic leader who has devoted countless hours to making Greater Philadelphia a more competitive place. He envisioned a resurgent Drexel University and is making it happen. Similarly, he sees opportunity to grow the economic base of our region and is working to make that happen.”
Dr. Papadakis has used the historic strengths of the University (cooperative education, Drexel’s focus on technology and the rich resources of its Philadelphia location) to grow enrollment, endowment and research funding. In 1998, Drexel took over the bankrupt Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, which included the consolidated: Hahnemann Medical College and Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. Today, Drexel University includes the College of Medicine, School of Public Health, and the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Its online subsidiary, Drexel University Online, is one of the largest providers of top-quality online education in the nation. Building on Drexel’s strengths, in 2006 Dr. Papadakis spearheaded the creation of a law school focused on intellectual property, health care, and entrepreneurship law, and cooperative education.
“Drexel’s transformation into a comprehensive university has increased the ways in which we can help grow our region,” said Dr. Papadakis. “Our colleges and schools are important resources for a prosperous Greater Philadelphia.”
His business leadership roles include serving as Co-Chair of Select Greater Philadelphia’s new Ambassador Program that encourages regional business executives to advocate the attractiveness of doing business in Greater Philadelphia when talking with peers, vendors, and clients.
Dr. Papadakis received his diploma in Civil Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens in Greece. He holds a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a doctorate from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Prior to coming to Drexel, Dr. Papadakis served as dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and as head of Colorado State University’s civil engineering department. Before serving as an academic leader, he held executive engineering positions with Bechtel Power Company, STS Consultants, and Tetra Tech, a Honeywell subsidiary.
“I have had the pleasure to work very closely with Dr. Papadakis on a wide range of initiatives both here at the Chamber and elsewhere in the region,” said Hugh Long,
Wachovia Bank’s Northern Group CEO. “I have been greatly impressed with Taki’s vision, leadership, and devotion to making this a better region for everyone. Constantine
Papadakis heads one of this region’s thriving institutions, and he demonstrates what every businessperson should aspire to be—a leader who uses his skills to better the community and chart its course for the future.”
Dr. Papadakis will be honored at the William Penn Award Gala on Friday, April 18, 2008 at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue. The gala is sponsored by Wachovia and co-sponsored by Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young LLP.
Past William Penn Award recipients include William R. Sasso, Esq., Chairman of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young LLP; Nick DeBenedictis, Chairman and President of Aqua America Inc.; Rev. Leon Sullivan, Founder of OIC; Eugene Ormandy, former Director of Philadelphia Orchestra; Willard G. Rouse, III, Chair, Liberty Property Trust; G. Fred DiBona, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, Independence Blue Cross; Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg; Ronald Rubin, President, Pennsylvania Realty Investment Trust; Judith Rodin, former President, University of Pennsylvania; and Ed Snider, Chairman of Comcast-Spectacor.
News Media Contact:
Mary Flannery, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
215-790-3813 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Niki Gianakaris, Drexel University News Bureau
215-895-6741 or email@example.com