An annual report is by nature a chronicle of change. What makes me especially proud of Drexel is that our biggest transformations flow from the constants of our institutional character, the things that have made Drexel unique for well over a century.
Drexel students are self-directed, ambitious and intent on gaining real-world experience as a pathway to leadership. We’re helping them build on those traits through a University-wide focus on entrepreneurship, most directly manifested in the new Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship.
Our innovative, engaged faculty are focused on impact. We continue to foster their work through new interdisciplinary research institutes in fields like energy and the environment and cybersecurity. We’ve also developed new vehicles like Drexel Ventures to leverage the clinical and commercial potential of Drexel-created technologies.
The advantages and challenges of being an urban university are part of Drexel’s core, and we’re helping strengthen nearby neighborhoods that have been too often neglected. Our strategy includes not just robust collaborative initiatives like the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, but a hard look at how Drexel affects the community through operations like student housing. At the same time, we’re developing 12-plus acres of underutilized land near Amtrak 30th Street Station into an “Innovation Neighborhood” that will help put Philadelphia on an equal footing with the nation’s best technology commercialization centers.
Even as we celebrate our achievements, a relentless drive for excellence and relevance is also part of Drexel’s DNA. We face rising challenges like increasing the affordability of a Drexel education while continuing to invest in academic quality and student aid and retention. Fortunately, our culture of innovation and collaboration is ideally suited to meeting any challenge, and I look forward to what we will accomplish together as an institution.
John A. Fry