Three alumni were elected to the Board of Trustees May 20 and began five-year terms July 1. They are James R. Birle Jr. ’83, senior managing director at Evercore Partners in New York City; John A. Fry ’82, the 14th president of Drexel University, and Douglas R. Marvin ’69, a partner in the law firm of Williams & Connolly, Washington, D.C.
Jeffrey P. Feather ’65 and Michael H. Moskow ’59, who have served on the board for 15 years, retired and were elected to emeritus status. Feather is vice chairman of National Penn Bancshares Inc. and chairman of Lehigh Valley Industrial Park. He is the co-founder and former chairman of Pentamation Enterprises, now SunGard Pentamation. Moskow, the former president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, is vice chairman and senior fellow on the global economy of the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs.
Margaret G. Axelrod ’74 concluded a five-year term as alumni trustee. She is an attorney in the law firm of Muchnick Golieb & Golieb, New York, N.Y.
Birle leads Evercore’s efforts to advise its clients on equity capital markets issues. Evercore is a leading independent investment banking advisory firm that provides advice on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings, capital markets, and other strategic corporate transactions. Evercore also provides institutions with equity research, sales and trading execution, asset management, and private equity.
Prior to Evercore, Birle was head of global equity capital markets at Merrill Lynch from 2001 to 2008. He spent the majority of his 20 year career at Merrill Lynch in equity capital markets. Birle began his career at Merrill Lynch in the high yield and restructuring investment banking group. He also worked at the Philadelphia National Bank from 1983 to 1987.
For Lafayette, Birle has served as an Alumni Associate since 2008, assigned to the board’s Financial Policy Committee. He also served the College through his participation on the Lafayette Leadership Council, the Alumni for Gateway & Mentoring Program, as a class fund agent, an employer liaison volunteer, and as the New York City regional campaign volunteer for the Lafayette Leadership Campaign.
Birle received an A.B. in history from Lafayette in 1983 and an M.B.A. in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. He is a resident of Summit, N.J., and he and his wife, Judith, have three children.
Fry has served higher education for his entire professional life. Through his roles as a consultant, administrator, chief operating officer and chief executive, he has acquired a deep and broad understanding of the challenges of leading a major educational institution.
Fry came to Drexel from Franklin & Marshall College, where he served as president since 2002 and was instrumental in the college’s growth, campus development, and improved finances. He raised the college’s national profile and brought a renewed confidence to the institution. Under his leadership, Franklin & Marshall made a long-term strategic move to increase its financial aid to attract and enroll highly qualified students. Fry forged new partnerships with the city and neighbors, improving the surrounding business economic district and neighborhoods.
Previously, Fry was executive vice president of University of Pennsylvania, where he was a major force in developing and implementing Penn’s “Agenda for Excellence,” a comprehensive plan that guided strategic initiatives from 1996 to 2001. As the university’s chief operating officer, he was responsible for finance, investments, human resources, facilities and real estate, public safety, computing, technology transfer, research administration, corporate relations, auxiliary enterprises, and internal audit and compliance.
Fry serves or has recently served on the boards of the Haverford School, Lancaster General Hospital, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Lancaster Country Day School, where he was board president. He is also a director of Community Health Systems, Delaware Investments, and Ecore International.
In 2009, Fry completed his second term as chair of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council and stepped down after six years of service. He also served for three years on the Executive Committee of the NCAA. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Commission that planned the celebration of Benjamin Franklin’s 300th birthday. Fry also served as a co-chair of the transition team of Governor-Elect Edward Rendell of Pennsylvania.
Fry’s service to Lafayette includes previous membership on the Board of Trustees from 1998-2002, participation in the Lafayette Leadership Institute, membership on the Philadelphia Regional Committee of the Lafayette Leadership Campaign, membership on the Easton Initiative Committee, and he was a member of the Alumni Continuing Education Committee. As a Lafayette senior, he was awarded the George Wharton Pepper prize.
Fry received an A.B. in history from Lafayette in 1982 and an M.B.A. from NYU Stern School of Business in 1986. A resident of Bryn Mawr, Pa., he and his wife Cara have three children.
Marvin began his legal career at the Department of Justice, serving in the Office of Legal Counsel. From there, he was appointed as counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and, shortly after Edward Levi’s confirmation as Attorney General, returned to the Justice Department as Counselor to the Attorney General of the United States.
In 1977, Marvin left government and joined Williams & Connolly where he has practiced law ever since except for two periods – once when he left the firm to assist in the transition from one administration to another at the U.S. Department of Justice (1981) and the other when he served as general counsel to a major international holding company (and client of the firm) as well as a director of several of the companies within the group (1997-2001). He has been a partner with Williams and Connolly since 1981. He is also a member of the American Law Institute.
Marvin currently represents major companies in mass tort litigation. He has served as national coordinating counsel in several of the largest pharmaceutical proceedings in the country. As the MDL Lead Counsel in the Vioxx Litigation — which involved more than 60,000 claims — Marvin helped devise litigation strategy and led the negotiations which resulted in a settlement that has been praised as a model for mass tort litigation. Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2008) recognized Marvin as a leading products liability lawyer, noting that he is considered by some as “the best field general in the business.” He has also been recognized by The Legal 500 as one of seven leading lawyers in Product Liability Defense (Pharmaceuticals); Vault, which ranks Marvin in its top tiers; and BTI, which counts him among the top 300 lawyers in the country based on unprompted, unequivocal recommendations from corporate counsel.
Marvin was a member of Lafayette’s Board of Trustees from 2005-2009, and a Board Associate from 2001-2004 when he served on the Financial Affairs Committee. He has chaired the Lafayette Leadership Council and he also was a member of the Washington, D.C. Regional Campaign Committee of the Lafayette Leadership Campaign. He also has served as an alumni admissions representative and a phonathon volunteer.
In 1969, Marvin received an A.B., cum laude, from Lafayette in government and law and a J.D. from University of Virginia in 1972. A resident of Fairfax, Va., he and his wife Judi have four children. His daughter, Jill, graduated from Lafayette in 2004.