President John Fry to Lead Drexel University for an Additional Five Years

The following message, about the Drexel University Board of Trustees voting to extend President John Fry's contract for an additional five years, was sent to the Drexel community.

Dear Members of the Drexel Community,

I am pleased to announce that the Drexel University Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday, May 4 to extend President John Fry’s contract by another five years. This will extend his tenure through June 2028, making him the longest-serving university president in Philadelphia.

Since being appointed Drexel’s president in 2010, President Fry has implemented a dynamic vision for how an urban university can attract and inspire excellent students, conduct pathbreaking research and serve the surrounding neighborhood.

He has championed major neighborhood partnerships, negotiated the groundbreaking affiliation with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and launched the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship to foster entrepreneurial learning. Through a partnership with Wexford Science & Technology, the University will relocate the College of Nursing and Health Professions and academic and administrative functions of the College of Medicine to University City, enhancing opportunities for interdisciplinary education.

Under his leadership, Drexel has also seen a significant increase in fundraising and a growing number of philanthropic partners. Landmark gifts in recent years include $50 million from Thomas R. Kline to support the Kline School of Law and $45 million from Dana and David Dornsife to support the Dornsife School of Public Health. Most recently, “The Campaign for Drexel,” surpassed its $750 million goal in support of scholarships, faculty chairs and other academic initiatives.

His vision for Drexel to become an even greater economic engine for Philadelphia is creating a vibrant presence and ecosystem of innovation in and around University City. With Schuylkill Yards and uCity Square well underway, and through recent partnerships with Spark Therapeutics and with Gattuso Development Partners, the University is bringing an innovation district, state-of-the-art gene manufacturing center and what is expected to be the largest life sciences facility in Philadelphia to campus.

The accolades for President Fry are many. He continues to transform the University, while also navigating the University through a pandemic, creating a more inclusive institution and confronting the many challenges of the rapidly changing higher education landscape.

Our Board knows he is the ideal leader to continue to build on these achievements and move the University forward successfully in the coming years.

Richard A. Greenawalt

Chair, Drexel University Board of Trustees