The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce honored Drexel University President and Leadership100 Member, Dr. Constantine Papadakis, with the 2007 William Penn Award before a packed crowd at a gala event on April 18. The gala had a Greek theme and featured a performance by Greek dancers honoring Papadakis’ Greek heritage. He was joined at the celebration by his wife Eliana and their daughter Maria. The William Penn Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a business executive in Greater Philadelphia. Awarded annually since 1949, recipients are chosen for their outstanding contributions toward the betterment of the region, their professional accomplishments, and their commitment to charity as well as to the community.
Since assuming the presidency in 1995, Papadakis has maximized Drexel’s traditional strengths and taken bold actions to build it into a national, comprehensive, top-tier research university and a major contributor to the regional economy. He also has worked tirelessly to promote the economic growth of Greater Philadelphia.
Papadakis is a member of the Chamber’s Executive Committee and the CEO Council for Growth, Chairman of Select Greater Philadelphia’s Finance Committee and a member of the Select Oversight Committee. Papadakis serves on the Board of Directors of the Schuylkill River Development Corp. and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia. He has been involved with many philanthropic and charitable organizations, including the March of Dimes, the Wilma Theater and the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
“I am honored to receive The William Penn Award and to be recognized by the business leaders of Greater Philadelphia,” said Papadakis. “Drexel’s close partnerships with the business community, through co-operative education, research collaboration and technology transfer, contribute to our University’s success.”
Under his leadership, Drexel acquired the nation’s largest private medical school in 1998, founded Drexel University Online in 2003 and opened a law school in 2006. The full-time undergraduate enrollment has more than doubled while the endowment has grown sevenfold. To accommodate its growth, Drexel employs 5,300 people and has an annual budget of more than $650 million.
Mark S. Schweiker, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, said Greater Philadelphia is fortunate to have benefited from the energy and vision of Constantine Papadakis, or Taki, as his friends call him.
“Dr. Papadakis’ contributions to the economic and civic well-being of our community have been enormous and long-lasting,” said Schweiker. “Taki is a true civic leader who has devoted countless hours to making Greater Philadelphia a more competitive place. He envisioned a resurgent Drexel University and is making it happen. Similarly, he sees opportunity to grow the economic base of our region and is working to make that happen.”
Past William Penn Award recipients include Nick DeBenedictis, chairman and president of Aqua America Inc.; Eugene Ormandy, director of Philadelphia Orchestra; G. Fred DiBona, Jr., president and CEO, Independence Blue Cross; Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg; and Ed Snider, Chairman of Comcast-Spectacor.
(left to right): Mark Schweiker, Chairman of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Eliana Papadakis, Dr. Constantine Papadakis, Drexel University President, Maria Papadakis and Manny Stamatakis, Chairman of the Drexel University College of Medicine Board of Trustees