John Fry officially appointed as Temple’s 15th president

Fry will remain on Drexel’s Board of Trustees until new leadership has been named, and then will begin his tenure as Temple’s president.

John Fry will begin his role as Temple's 15th president after new leadership is named at Drexel, he announced in a news release Wednesday. | ISAAC SCHEIN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Former Drexel University president John Fry has officially been appointed Temple’s 15th president following a vote by the university’s Board of Trustees,  Temple announced in a statement Wednesday morning.

Fry will remain on Drexel’s Board of Trustees until new leadership has been named, and then will begin his tenure as Temple’s president, he wrote in the release.

The Board identified Fry as their choice for president on June 28, The Temple News reported.

“I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to serve as the 15th president of Temple University,” Fry wrote in the statement. “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.”

Fry has served as Drexel’s president since 2010, and served as the head man at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania from 2002-10. He also served as the Chief Operation Officer at the University of Pennsylvania from 1995-2002.

Fry received an undergraduate degree from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and a Master of Business Administration from New York University.

Drexel completed its most ambitious fundraising campaign in school history under Fry’s leadership. The university raised more than $800 million from more than 42,000 alumni from 2017-22. Funds were specifically earmarked for university improvements like student success, academic support and endowed professorships and chairs for faculty. Temple has prioritized improving its fundraising efforts in recent years.

“This is a great day for Temple University,” said Board of Trustees chair Mitchell Morgan. “John Fry embodies the experiences and qualities that our community said they were looking for in the university’s 15th president. This appointment is also a big win for the City of Philadelphia as John now brings his experience and a fresh vision to Temple University.”

Leadership advisory firm Spencer Stuart supported the university’s search, alongside a 17-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee composed of trustees, deans, faculty, staff and one student. Research and strategy firm The Collective Genius was also part of a series of community conversations, the release said.

“John Fry is the right leader at the right time to launch Temple into a new chapter of its history,” Morgan wrote in a separate statement emailed to the Temple community Wednesday morning.

Fry will succeed President Richard Englert, who served his second tenure as Temple’s president following the passing of President JoAnne Epps in September 2023. Englert is looking forward to working with Fry to ensure a smooth transition, he wrote in the release.

“John Fry has built a reputation as one of the most distinguished higher education leaders in the history of Philadelphia,” Englert wrote. “This is truly a great day for Temple, and I look forward to working closely with John to ensure a seamless transition.”

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