Drexel President Gets Five-Year Contract Extension

John Fry of Drexel has a new contract, and a new beard.

John Fry has a new contract, and a new beard.

Drexel University has extended the contract of President John Fry for five more years. The Drexel Board of Trustees announced the move at its latest meeting.

Fry has had serious fundraising success at the school since starting his presidency in 2010 — helping to raise $455 million and $425 million in separate capital campaigns. Read more »

A Sneak Peek at Drexel’s World-Class Costume Exhibition Opening Tomorrow

Drexel Costume Collection

Intricate beading and craftsmanship from the collection. | Photo by Lauren McGrath.

Fashion junkies, aspiring designers and blogger wannabes alike: The greatest fashion resource in this city is about to open its doors to the public. Starting tomorrow, you can now view treasures from the expansive Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection in a free exhibition, Immortal Beauty, running through December. We got an exclusive look at the exhibit to see if all the hype and mystery surrounding Drexel’s costume collection was worth it. The short answer: Absolutely. Read on to catch a sneak peek at some of the highlights. Read more »

Drexel Food Truck Bill Tabled

spot-burger-400In June, Councilperson Jannie Blackwell introduced legislation to limit food truck numbers and movement on and around Drexel University’s campus. Earlier this month critics called out the legislation for its potential to kill the area’s food truck culture, as it would limit competition and mobility. Josh Kim, owner of SpOt Burger has been a particularly vocal critic of the plan, citing the staleness of the food truck landscape at Penn which has similar restrictions to what was planned for Drexel’s campus.

An online petition to combat the legislation was signed by more 3,000 people this month. And there has been success. Yesterday, Blackwell took to Facebook to announce that the bill would not go forward.

Full statement »

Foot Orgasm? Drexel Prof Says Yes, Explains Footgasms

Dr. Marcel Waldinger being interviewed with a female patient. (Photo via mennospiro.blogspot.com)

Dr. Marcel Waldinger being interviewed with a female patient. (Photo via mennospiro.blogspot.com)

It wasn’t so long ago that we all had a few chuckles over Drexel University’s virtual butt, a hysterical-looking tool that allows medical students to perform prostrate exams without a real patient. (Seriously, you have to see this thing.) And now, we are learning about a new Drexel professor and his unusual area of expertise: the foot orgasm, also known as a footgasm. Read more »

New Legislation Could End Drexel’s Food Truck Culture


Legislation would limit and lock down Drexel food trucks.

When Philadelphia city councilman Mark Squilla’s legislation to modernize Philadelphia’s code regarding food trucks and carts passed earlier this year, the Philadelphia Mobile Food Association saw it as big first step to making Philadelphia, the East Coast’s most food truck friendly city. But now, new legislation from Jannie Blackwell looks to stifle food trucks in the area the movement began, on and around Drexel University.

The bill, which was introduced on June 18th, would create a special Drexel University District which would limit the number of vendors and lock them to a single spot. The legislation would keep the number of trucks and carts on and around Drexel’s campus to 25 and would require them to vend from a single spot and requiring continuous operation—stifling the churn of food trucks which is so much a part of food truck culture, and a big reason for the success of locations like 33rd and Arch. Additionally, each truck would be charged an annual fee of $2,750 to cover the loss of parking spaces and the cost of regulation.

Read more »

Headlines: Big Plan to Cap the Railyards at 30th Street Station Needs You

30th Street Station. Photo | Jeff Fusco

30th Street Station. Photo | Jeff Fusco

After the planning process for the 175-acre area surrounding 30th Street Station officially kicked off in January, the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan is starting to take shape.

A team lead by Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, PennDOT and SEPTA (plus additional public stakeholders) will release three conceptual diagrams at an open house scheduled for tonight from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 30th Street Station.

Each one is an ambitious view into what one of the busiest transportation hubs in the nation could look like in the not-too-distant future. Amtrak gave PlanPhilly’s Jim Saksa a sneak preview of the trio of concepts, which call for capping parts of the railyards or the highway in some fashion.

Read more »

University City Science Center Plans Massive Live-Work Innovation Hub

The central public square | Rendering: Wexford Science + Technology, Photos: James Jennings

The surge in development in University City is showing no signs of slowing down, especially now that Wexford Science + Technology has unvieled plans to help the University City Science Center expand into a massive live-work neighborhood anchored by office and lab space, at least 300 (and potentially up to 600) apartments, plenty of retail and restaurants, new walkable streets and even a public square designed to give the 14-acre campus a sense of place.

Last week, the Science Center announced that they were looking to beef up their footprint to nearly 4 million square-feet as University City continues to position itself as an innovation hub in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region. A major part of that is a partnership with Wexford, who will develop 10-acres worth of the former Univsersity City High School site.

“It’s the culmination of ongoing success among the anchor institutions in University City,” Science Center CEO Stephen Tang told BizPhilly’s Jared Shelly last week. “The growth of Penn, Drexel, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia — and the success we’ve had lately in nurturing startup companies that graduated from our incubator and wanted to stay in our facilities — makes this project possible.”

Here’s more on the plan

Drexel’s Virtual Butt Draws National Attention — Again

Photo courtesy Dr. Benjamin Lok

Photo courtesy Dr. Benjamin Lok

Last week, as I scrolled through my Facebook feed on my phone, I kept seeing the same photo of a seated man with his gloved hand inside a plastic dummy’s butt. It looked like a CPR class gone terribly wrong. I didn’t read the accompanying articles because, well, there were other things to do. But when I was told today that the dummy had been developed, in part, by a professor at Drexel, I got interested. A Philly connection? I had to learn more. My priorities are in order.

Turns out, the photograph is of a medical student giving a virtual patient a prostate exam. It’s part of a project called the Virtual Patients Group, which includes computer scientists, medical doctors, pharmacists, psychologists, and educators all doing research and development into improving interpersonal skills in healthcare environments. They provide tools for medical school curricula and public health exhibits—tools like Patrick, pictured in the photo, a virtual human who is half-onscreen and half-mannequin. The interpersonal interaction with Patrick (voiced and controlled by an instructor) includes taking his history. When it comes time for the physical exam, the actual mannequin—which has sensors inside—allows the student to perfect the hands-on technique. This combination of onscreen virtual patient and mannequin for hands-on application is also in use for breast exams, another intimate scenario in which medical students need practice with bedside manner and a gentle, precise touch.

Read more »

Hotel News: The Study at University City Breaks Ground

The Study at University City | Rendering: Study Hotels

The Study at University City | Rendering: Study Hotels/DIGSAU

Drexel University is making some noise this week. Hot off of announcing their big plans for the Korman Quadrangle, Study Hotels and Hospitality 3, a hotel development company, broke ground on a new project called the Study at University City today.

The hotel will have a prime location on northwest corner of 33rd and Chestnut and feature 212 rooms, 7,000-square-feet of banquet/meeting space, a 105-seat corner restaurant and bar and a state-of-the-art fitness center, according to a press release. It will replace the James E. Marks Intercultural Center.

Philly’s own DIGSAU handled the design of the building, which follows Study’s first brand at Yale, aptly named The Study at Yale, in New Haven, Connecticut.  The project was announced in May, when Drexel agreed to a “long term ground lease” for the location with developer Hospitality 3, who own the hotel to be operated by Study Hotels. The project on Drexel’s campus is expected Read more »

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