Drexel In China
Part 3 – President Fry Visits Philadelphia's Sister City of Tianjin
June 5, 2012
Article by: Heidi West
Photos by: Karl Seifert
Drexel University President John Fry visited Tianjin, Philadelphia's Sister City and one of the world's largest and fastest growing economic centers. Tianjin is a base of China's advanced industry, financial reform, and innovation. This important visit by prominent city representatives such as Fry and Allison Vulgamore, President and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra, marks the beginning of a renewed and strengthened Sister City relationship between Philadelphia and Tianjin.
Tianjin Eco – City: Drexel Delegation with representatives from the China Partnership of Greater Philadelphia, White and Williams LLP, Winners Law Firm.
President Fry and the Drexel delegation including Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, Julie Mostov, met with local and international officials including the Mayor of Tianjin, Huang Xingguo; Vice Mayor Zhang Junfang; and U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Platt. The cultural and educational engagement exemplified by this historic visit fosters the people-to-people diplomacy envisioned by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong.
One of the highlights of the visit was the tour of The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, future home to a population of 350,000 and a fully green community built on the site of a former industrial wasteland. The Tianjin Eco-City's vision is to be "A thriving city which is socially harmonious, environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient – a model for sustainable development.".
Following the tour and visioning session at the Eco-City, White and Williams LLP, Winners Law Firm, and the China Partnership of Greater Philadelphia hosted a reception at the new Tianjin Cultural Center. Terry Cooke of the China Partnership read a letter written by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to Mayor Huang and the people of Tianjin honoring our Sister City relationship and pledging a visit in the next year.
The Philadelphia Orchestra (hyperlink to Orchestra website) performed a historic concert as the first foreign symphony orchestra to play in the concert hall at the Cultural Center which is also home to the Tianjin Museum, an art gallery, library, Natural History Museum, and the Science and Technology Museum as well as a public transportation hub.
The delegation travels next to Shanghai where in addition to Orchestra concerts and activities, they will celebrate the opening of the Drexel-SARI Center, the release of the Chinese version of The Man Who Made Wall Street: Anthony J. Drexel and The Rise of Modern Finance, and meet with distinguished partners.
Readers interested in the unique connections between Philadelphia and Tianjin should also read this recent article by the Global Philadelphia Association highlighting a unique partnership in the arts:
Ambassador Nicholas Platt speaks with Tianjin representatives about The Philadelphia Orchestra Residency and Tour..