John Fry

Drexel University President's Blog

University City District at 20: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

The University City District was founded 20 years ago under the basic principle of clean and safe streets. But today’s UCD now offers so much more, far surpassing its motto of “Changing places, changing lives.”

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Drexel Square Groundbreaking The Start of Something Big

The vision of Schuylkill Yards officially became a reality during the groundbreaking Wednesday for a new public park that will serve as a gateway to Drexel University and University City. Continue reading

Tax Bill Will Increase College Costs

The tax reform plan released last week by House of Representatives will have a negative impact on all higher education institutions, including Drexel University. There are several harmful provisions, including: an excise tax on private university endowments; elimination of tax-exempt municipal bonds, which would increase construction costs; elimination of the student-loan interest deduction; elimination of tax-free tuition reimbursement from employers; and an excise tax on private university endowments. Continue reading

Drexel Professor On Trauma From Terror Attacks

Yasmine Awais, an assistant professor in Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, was in New York when a 29-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan mowed down bikers and pedestrians in a rented truck on Halloween, killing eight people. Meanwhile, a lone gunman shot and killed 26 people inside a church near San Antonio on Nov. 5, including eight members from one family. Continue reading

Schuylkill Yards Is Prime For Amazon

We believe Schuylkill Yards makes a lot of sense for Amazon to locate its HQ2. But this piece in Forbes by Lauren deLisa Coleman makes a powerful case as to why Schuylkill Yards is a perfectly suited for Amazon. Among the many interesting details is a reference about work towards micro-grids that would enable Schuylkill Yards to have its own self-sustaining electrical system.  Continue reading

The Faces Of Urban Change

The Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University has chosen three extraordinary Philadelphians to be its inaugural Urban Innovation Fellows. Michael O’Bryan, Chris Spahr and Priya E. Mammen are working at the cutting edge of urban change. Harris Steinberg, the executive director at the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, details their projects in this recommended op-ed in The Inquirer. The fellows will also discuss their projects at the first Drexel Dialogues event on Nov. 1 from 6-8 p.m. at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Upping Our Game

After an intense year, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia has stepped up its efforts to bolster the region’s economic strength and enhance its competitive advantage. I detailed some of the efforts – including our pitch to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to Philadelphia – in a speech at the Chamber’s annual meeting on Tuesday.


Welcome back Drexel students

This is an exciting time to be on a vibrant university campus in the middle of a bustling city that is home to such rich history and innovation. Drexel University has a lot to offer. That’s why I encouraged students to take advantage of their time here in an op-ed published in The Triangle.    

Crossroads to the world

One my favorite times of year is Convocation, when we welcome everyone back to campus. In addition to many new developments on campus, this year’s speech underscored Drexel’s efforts to connect students to the world locally and globally. Continue reading

Philadelphia has what Amazon wants

Amazon is looking for a location to build a second headquarters. Philadelphia plans to submit a bid. The Philadelphia Inquirer business section graciously allowed me to make a pitch for why Philadelphia and Amazon are a perfect fit. Continue reading

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