Since beginning his appointment as president of Drexel University in 2010, Fry set out to transform Drexel into a private research university with a strong public purpose to harnesses its strengths in cooperative education, translational research, online education and entrepreneurship to serve students, its neighborhood, the city and nation.
Previously, Fry was president of Franklin & Marshall College, executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania, and a management consultant for the higher education and nonprofit sectors.
Under Fry’s leadership, Drexel has helped lead the continuous revitalization of West Philadelphia, spearheading the designation of this area as a federal Promise Zone, and initiating Schuylkill Yards, a 14-acre, $3.5 billion mixed-use development underway on University real estate adjacent to Philadelphia’s Amtrak 30th Street Station. Fry led the creation of Drexel Applied Innovation to serve as anchor tenant and a place for faculty and students to partner with the private sector to build businesses around their inventions.
Fry has championed major neighborhood revitalization initiatives, including the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, extensive economic development efforts, and significant partnerships to support local neighborhood schools. He negotiated a groundbreaking affiliation with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia; launched the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship; and forged a series of academic and research partnerships to enhance Drexel’s global connections in China, Turkey, Israel, Brazil, Chile, India and South Korea. During Fry’s tenure, Drexel has seen a significant increase in fundraising and a growing number of philanthropic partners.