By Rachel Waxman, Philadelphia PA
Its not every day you hear someone say they’re gonna move the center of this city away from Rittenhouse Square. Actually, when John A. Fry, President of Drexel University and keynote speaker at December’s JBN, made this claim at the luncheon last month, my mouth dropped wide open. I’m only mildly embarrassed to admit that I whispered to my neighbor about the sheer awesomeness of that statement.
As soon as Mr. Fry started illustrating all his big plans for Drexel’s campus, I was immediately his biggest cheerleader. In fact, I can barely believe the Amtrak and Septa railyard and the abandoned stretch on JFK Boulevard between 30th and 31st haven’t been renovated yet. To me, Mr. Fry’s ideas about expansion and revitalization for the eastern-most regions of University City seem like common sense. Undergraduates, grad students, med students, law students, and young professionals – not to mention tourists! – will flock to Mr. Fry’s newly-refurbished streets.
After attentively listening the JBN presentation and practically drooling over the projection slideshow of Drexel’s development over the next thirty years, I was brimming with pride for this underdog city. Philadelphia is right on the brink of greatness and I’m excited to see how John A. Fry’s passion, determination, and innovation helps our city take our next leap forward.