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March 3/10, 1998
Volume 44 Number 24


Penn Law: A Record Gift of $15 Million Launches the School's 'Leadership Initiative'

Alumnus and Trustee Henry R. Silverman has made a gift of $15 million to the University of Pennsylvania Law School-- the largest outright gift ever to an American law school, President Judith Rodin announced last week.
Mr. Silverman, L'64, is president and chief executive officer of Cendant Corporation, Stamford, Conn., and Parsippany, N. J., a global leader in consumer and business services.
His record-breaking gift will support a professorship, legal scholarships and research, in addition to restorations and renovations of the original Law School building, which Dr. Rodin called the School's "intellectual and ceremonial heart."
The classic building on 34th Street between Chestnut and Sansom, dating from 1900, will be renamed Henry R. Silverman Hall in recognition of his generosity. "We are enormously grateful for Henry's commitment, both to the Law School and to the University," Dr. Rodin said, adding that "this leadership gift will enable us to continue to build on our distinguished past and improve ourselves in the present to benefit future generations of students and faculty."
Mr. Silverman responded, "As a graduate, and having realized the benefits and rewards of a truly world-class education at Penn Law School, I am particularly gratified to make this gift and trust it will help both students and faculty build on the institution's rich history of academic excellence."
The Leadership Initiative: The Law School has recently developed an ambitious plan for a leadership program that will combine the strengths of legal education with perspectives drawn from management and other sister professions and academic disciplines. "This gift launches the Leadership Initiative in the most fitting way imaginable," said Dean Colin S. Diver, calling it the "linchpin of the school's plans. It is the largest gift to an American law school; it will be used to establish a home and an endowment for the leadership program; and its donor, Henry R. Silverman, is the perfect embodiment of the lawyer-leader whom we seek to educate.
"We have a vision of legal education as preparation for leadership," he continued, "a combination of interdisciplinary studies and strong disciplinary training designed to prepare our students for the challenges of a changing legal profession in a rapidly changing society."
Consistently ranked among the top schools in the U.S., Penn Law is known as a leader in teaching law as a field of knowledge related to other academic disciplines, the Dean pointed out, with instructional programs that consider not only the theory and practice of law, but also the place of American law among the other leading legal systems throughout the world.
About Mr. Silverman: In addition to serving as a trustee of the University, Mr. Silverman, 57, is executive vice chairman of the board of trustees of the New York University School of Medicine and the NYU Health System, a director of the NYU Child Study Center, a trustee of the Hospital for Joint Diseases and a trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Cendant Corporation, ranked among the 100 largest corporations in America, with a market capitalization of more than $30 billion and operations in more than 100 countries, was formed through the 1997 merger of CUC International, Inc., and HFS, Inc., which Mr. Silverman founded in 1990 and served as its chairman and chief executive officer.
Cendant has three principal segments: Membership Services, which provides access to travel, shopping, auto, dining and other services through more than 66.5 million memberships worldwide; Travel Services, the leading franchiser of hotels and rental car agencies worldwide, the premier provider of vacation exchange services, and the second largest fleet management company; and Real Estate Services, the premier franchiser of residential real estate brokerage offices, a major provider of mortgage services to consumers, and a global leader in corporate employee relocation.


Return to: Almanac, University of Pennsylvania, March 3/10, 1998, Volume 44, Number 24