On May 21, 2014, Mrs. Andrea Kaufmann, the Mayor of Dornbirn, the largest town in the state of Vorarlberg, visited Drexel University in Philadelphia as head of a high-ranking delegation. Drexel University was founded in 1891 as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry by the banker and philanthropist Anthony Joseph Drexel (1826-1893), the son of Dornbirn-born painter and banker Franz Martin Drexel (1792-1863), who immigrated to the U.S. in 1817.
Anthony Joseph Drexel is regarded as one of the founders of modern American finance. Drexel University, which was originally founded as a technical college, has become one of the most important universities of Pennsylvania. Mayor Kaufmann was welcomed by University President John Fry. The two discussed the potential of cooperation with Austrian institutions, especially the Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences in Dornbirn. In the course of their trip through the U.S., the delegation also visited Dornbirn’s partner city Dubuque in Iowa, which was a center of immigration from Dornbirn in the 19th century.