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Urge to Merge Moves Forward At 2 Universities In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - In another step toward an odd couple union, the Boards of Trustees of Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University have approved their definitive agreement to merge.

Both institutions call it a "forward thinking transaction" to combine the Center City health sciences university with the design, architecture and fashion school in East Falls.

Stephen Klasko, president and CEO at Jefferson, says the partners "discovered their inner"

"And by definition, the fact that makes us different makes us perfect partners."

Philadelphia University President Stephen Spinelli adds "we're taking the market and brand power of a 194-year-old university and a 132-year-old university and saying 'how do we bring that together in the best way'."

PhilaU Student Government Association President Naomi Sampat, a senior who majors in Fashion Merchandising and Management, says the campus culture is unlike any other:

"Students here are so career driven and focused on what they do."

Pending all regulatory and accrediting agency approvals, they hope to complete the merger in 2017.

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