John A. Fry is Drexel University's 14th president. Since his appointment in 2010, he has focused Drexel’s energies on becoming the most civically engaged university in the nation, bringing its interdisciplinary strengths to bear on society’s biggest challenges and increasing the university’s global presence. He also launched a comprehensive strategic planning process including a campus master plan, academic plan, and enrollment plan. Fry has served higher education for his entire professional life. He came to Drexel from Franklin & Marshall College, where he served as president from 2002 and was instrumental in the college’s academic growth, campus and neighborhood development, and improved finances. Prior to that, Fry served as executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania. At Penn, Fry was a major force in developing and implementing Penn’s Agenda for Excellence, a comprehensive plan that guided strategic initiatives from 1996 to 2001. He also built a coalition of not-for-profit, business, neighborhood, and governmental organizations in support of a multi-pronged strategy to address the key challenges facing the University City neighborhood in West Philadelphia.
Before joining Penn, Fry was a higher education consultant, first with KPMG Peat Marwick and then with Coopers & Lybrand’s National Higher Education Consulting Practice, where he was partner-in-charge of the national practice. Fry served as chair of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council as part of six years of service to the Council. He also served for three years on the Executive Committee of the NCAA. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Commission that planned the celebration of Franklin’s 300th birthday. Fry also served as a co-chair of the transition team of Governor-Elect Edward Rendell of Pennsylvania. Currently, Fry serves on the boards of the Haverford School, Lafayette College, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Select Greater Philadelphia, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation and US Squash. He was the founding chairman of the University City District and served in that capacity for five years. He is also a director of Community Health Systems, Delaware Investments, and NASDAQ-OMX. He studied American civilization at Lafayette College and received the George Wharton Pepper Prize, the highest honor awarded to a graduating senior. He received his MBA from the New York University Stern School of Business in 1986.