Higher Education Leader John Fry Named as 15th President of Temple University
Temple University

Temple University is pleased to announce the appointment of John Fry as its 15th president, following a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees. This decision culminates a comprehensive national search overseen by the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, which included robust community engagement. Fry will officially begin his tenure after new leadership is established at Drexel University.

“I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to serve as the 15th President of Temple University, a globally recognized, mission-driven R1 university. Temple stands as a cornerstone of our region’s vitality—a vibrant and accessible anchor institution that provides transformative opportunities and positively impacts countless lives through its mission,” said Fry. “I am grateful for the trust of Chair Mitch Morgan and the Board of Trustees, and I am especially thrilled to succeed President Richard Englert and the late former President JoAnne Epps, both of whom I highly admire.I would also like to convey my warmest thanks and admiration for the entire Drexel University community, where I will continue to serve until our board of trustees has appointed new leadership.”

Mitchell L. Morgan, Chair of the Board of Trustees, expressed his enthusiasm: “This is a great day for Temple University. With his demonstrated success as a higher education leader and his expertise in academic and research excellence, community engagement, global impact, and fundraising prowess, John Fry embodies the experiences and qualities that our community sought in the university’s 15th president.Following decades of positively influential work in higher education, economic and community development, this appointment is also a gain for the city of Philadelphia, as John now brings his experience and fresh vision to Temple University.”

Since 2010, Fry has served as the innovative president of Drexel University, where he elevated Drexel’s global presence through academic and research partnerships, major NIH and NSF research programs, and hubs for collaboration. Under his leadership, Drexel formed partnerships to enhance its global connections in China, Turkey, Israel, Brazil, Chile, India, and South Korea. In 2019, Fry was named to the Fulbright Specialist Program by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and World Learning, and he served as a Fulbright specialist in Italy in 2023, collaborating with education leaders at the Politecnico di Milano (Polimi) on innovation and economic development opportunities.

Fry oversaw a significant merger between Drexel and Salus University in 2023, bolstering Drexel’s position as a leader in preparing future inter-professional health sciences practitioners by incorporating renowned Salus graduate degree programs such as optometry, audiology, blindness and low-vision studies, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, and orthotics and prosthetics.

Fry has championed high-impact academic initiatives to increase opportunities for students and faculty, prioritizing their success. Under his leadership, Drexel advanced university-wide initiatives to improve the teaching, learning, and research framework, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and program innovation.

In 2013, Drexel established the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship to integrate entrepreneurial learning into the curriculum. In 2019, Fry led the launch of Drexel Ventures, a subsidiary connecting faculty and students to the private sector to spur and scale innovation. This initiative is part of the innovative $3.5 billion Schuylkill Yards mixed-use development, which has become a hub for technology and life sciences companies on Drexel’s campus.

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