The College President With the Sterling Redevelopment Résumé
Susan Snyder recounts the career of John A. Fry, who has overseen sweeping redevelopment programs now at three universities: the University of Pennsylvania, Franklin and Marshall College, and now Drexel University—the latter two while in the position of college president.
Snyder describes the current plan at Drexel University, as spearheaded by Fry:
In March, the university, along with developer Brandywine Realty, announced a decades-long, $3.5 billion project to turn parking lots and industrial buildings between its campus and 30th Street Station into a dense neighborhood of businesses, retailers, parks, and residential towers, to be called Schuylkill Yards.
Supplementing that proposal is a plan to potentially partially cap the 30th Street Station, working with SEPTA and Amtrak. The article includes a particularly snazzy rendering from SHoP Architects.
Fry is an outlier among college presidents. "He does not have a doctoral degree, has never been a dean or provost, and has not conducted research," according to Snyder. What Fry does have, however, is a proven track record to earn the headline "College president as urban planner."