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John Anderson Fry ’82, executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Lafayette Board of Trustees, was named the 14th president of Franklin & Marshall College today.

Fry, 41, serves on the Lafayette Board of Trustees Athletics and Student Affairs Committee, Easton Initiative Committee, and Admissions Selectivity Committee. He was a recipient of the George Wharton Pepper Prize, awarded to the graduating senior who most closely represents the “Lafayette Ideal.”

A native of Queens, N.Y., Fry earned a master’s in business administration from New York University Stern School of Business in 1986. During his early professional life, he worked closely with some of the nation’s premier colleges and universities, first with KPMG Peat Marwick in its educational consulting practice, and then with Coopers & Lybrand’s National Higher Education Consulting Practice, where he was elected a partner in the firm and eventually attained the rank of partner-in-charge of the national practice.

It was during this period that Fry worked with colleges and universities on strategic planning, governance and organization, enrollment management, financial analysis, and facilities planning. In 1995, he became executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania. As chief operating officer of the university, he is responsible for finance, investments, human resources, facilities and real estate, public safety, information systems, computing, technology transfer, corporate relations, auxiliary enterprises and internal audit and compliance.

Fry led Penn’s nationally recognized neighborhood revitalization initiative for West Philadelphia. Faced with deteriorating housing stock, declining business opportunities, and an unsafe environment, Fry built a coalition of university, business, and governmental support for multi-million dollar investment program. In a comparatively short period of time, residential property values around the university have gone up, while the crime rate in the surrounding neighborhood has dropped significantly.

At Penn, Fry helped develop and implement the university’s “Agenda for Excellence,” a comprehensive plan that guided the university’s strategic initiatives from 1996 to 2001. He now co-chairs the university-wide committee charged with planning the next five-year phase of the plan. He also is president and chief executive officer for “Penn to Business,” a university subsidiary that funds and incubates faculty and student ventures. In addition, he is a senior fellow in the Institute for Research on Higher Education at Penn.

Fry also serves on numerous civic, educational and business organizations, including the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and Sovereign Bancorp.

Fry succeeds Richard Kneedler, who announced in April that he planned to leave the presidency after 14 years. Kneedler steps down from the presidency at the end of this year.

Fry is married and has three children with his wife, Cara: Mia, Nathaniel and Phoebe. Fry was the top choice of a 10-member search committee representing students, faculty, trustees and alumni. More than 160 applicants and nominees were considered by the committee.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles