Almost six months have passed since John A. Fry started as the 14th president of Drexel. In this short period of time, he has already proven himself to be an assertive and visible leader who aims to move our University forward into a strong future. The inaugural events, which took place last Thursday and Friday, were a worthy celebration of what Fry has already accomplished, and his speech provided promising insight into his vision for the future of Drexel.
The Editorial Board has previously written several editorials lauding Fry’s continued efforts to remedy the lack of service and poor attention to detail that Drexel has been known for in the past several years. His inauguration speech was honest, realistic and genuine, and we urge all students to listen to his speech (it’s available to watch or read at www.drexel.edu/inauguration) and appreciate the message he’s trying to send — and the changes he hopes to make.
“Despite many centers of excellence, some of our schools are not as mature, or in some cases, not as well supported, as they need to be,” Fry said. Major speeches often boldly promise improvement without acknowledging mistakes and pitfalls of the past. Fry’s speech, while wonderfully optimistic, was also realistic. “I have a message for all of our faculty, students and professional staff, regardless of your school or program: I cannot deliver the moon, but I will do all I can to equip you with the resources that you require to flourish and excel,” he said.
We appreciate Fry’s candid attitude. At Drexel, our student body is often known for being collectively whiny. While this is true, we whine because for years our complaints went unheard, our questions went unanswered and our suggestions went nowhere. That’s why Fry’s touches of realism are met with excitement and appreciation from students — after years of being shafted, all we really wanted to feel was that someone was listening.
Fry’s speech was also hugely successful because it has become quite apparent that his rhetoric is backed by action and backbone. His frequent and year-long office hour sessions with students prove his dedication to hearing student-concerns. That’s why Fry had us before he even spoke.
So often in today’s society, we hear empty rhetoric and false promises from those in power (just look at the U.S. government). But Fry has spent almost a full school year backing up his promises before he even took the podium at the inauguration. We have every reason to believe in his abilities and dedication to our school.