Drexel University President John Fry will be inducted into the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame in a ceremony to be held April 2. The induction ceremony will coincide with the grand opening of the Peggy & Leo Pierce U.S. Squash Hall of Fame in the Arlen Specter US Squash Center on Drexel’s campus.
“John Fry’s impact on squash in the U.S. and internationally is truly unparalleled. His leadership and advocacy are really second to none – from the creation of college programs to the promotion of excellence at the highest level through the Drexel – US Squash partnership,” said Kevin Klipstein, president and CEO of US Squash. “Hosting the U.S. Open for more than a decade on Drexel University’s campus provided the event the strength and stability it needed to lead the world tour towards full parity in prize money for men and women, and elevate the presentation of the sport considerably. During this period, John also served as US Squash chair of the Board for three years. Combined, these contributions of time and effort are themselves remarkable. Yet beyond all of this, John’s willingness to explore opportunities for an ambitious collaboration to create a national center for US Squash on Drexel’s campus led directly the what is now the Arlen Specter US Squash Center. The Specter Center has elevated US Squash and our ability to fulfill our mission to an entirely new level.”
Receiving this honor alongside Fry will be esteemed American players Tom Page, Gail Ramsey and Nancy Gengler-Saint. They will join the ranks of 65 inductees representing the greatest players coaches and contributors in American squash history.
“I am moved beyond words to receive this honor,” said Fry. “My passion runs deep for this beautiful game that has given so much joy to my family and me. I have loved learning and playing squash with family and friends. I have enjoyed building several programs at the intercollegiate level. And I have been so honored to partner with Kevin Klipstein and his amazing team at US Squash on so many important ventures over the past decade. It has been a privilege to give something back to squash by helping it to grow into a more inclusive, diverse —and, as a result — a more popular sport that is accessible to everyone. The spectacular Arlen Specter US Squash Center on Drexel University’s campus has already become a showcase and catalyst for diversifying the sport, and working with US Squash and all our University and community partners to bring this project to fruition has been its own reward.”
Fry has been instrumental in transforming squash at Drexel and nationally. As president of Drexel, he created a varsity program at the University and built seven new courts. Since their inaugural 2012–2013 season, Drexel’s men’s and women’s squash teams have continued to climb the national rankings and both programs have earned bids to their respective national postseason tournament.
In 2011, the University began hosting the U.S. Open Squash Championships, bringing the nation’s top squash competition to Philadelphia for the next decade. In 2013, Fry played a central role in the U.S. Open offering prize-money parity for its men’s and women’s champions — a first for a major squash tournament and a groundbreaking move that led to parity across all major events worldwide and the merger of the women’s and men’s pro tours in 2015.
He served on US Squash’s board from 2010 to 2017, chairing it from 2013 to 2017. During this time, he articulated the plan for a national squash center on Drexel’s campus. Fry’s dynamic, visionary leadership led directly to the creation of the Arlen Specter US Squash Center, which is now the world’s largest community squash center.
The U.S. Squash Hall of Fame was founded in 2000 at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia, it then moved to Payne Whitney Gymnasium at Yale in 2006. The opening of the Pierce U.S. Squash Hall of Fame at the Specter Center now returns squash’s place of honor to its birthplace in Philadelphia.
More information about the induction ceremony is available at this link.