PHILADELPHIA, April 7 (UPI) -- Constantine "Taki" Papadakis, the president of Drexel University in Philadelphia, has died of pneumonia after a long battle with lung cancer.
Papadakis, 63, remained active in his job after being diagnosed with cancer last year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The cancer was in remission at the time of his death but he suffered pulmonary complications after developing pneumonia.
His wife and daughter were with him when he died at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital.
During 13 years as head of Drexel, Papadakis spurred significant growth. The university added a medical and law school and expanded its campus significantly. Papadakis recently proposed building another Drexel campus in Sacramento, Calif.
"Taki more than anybody I know did not want to be a diagnosis. He wanted to be a leader," said Donna Gentile O'Donnell, a member of the board of trustees. "He was in every sense a Greco-Roman warrior, and he stayed focused on what was best for the university until the very end. His leadership and courage and fortitude were beyond measure."