May 19/26, 1998
Volume 44 Number 34


Click here for more about the sculptures at Gimbel Gym




In the Houses

Interim Provost Michael Wachter has announced the selection of a Director of College Houses and Academic Services Dr. Brownlee; of Faculty Masters for three College Houses Dr. Lucid for Gregory, Professor Nichols for Stouffer and Dr. Smith for Ware; and of a Faculty Fellow for Du Bois College House Dr. Franklin.

President of Lehigh: Dean Farrington

Lehigh University has announced the selection of Penn's Dr. Gregory C. Farrington, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, as its 12th president, effective August 15.

"We set out to find a proven leader, an individual who could advance our fine institution into the 21st Century, and we have found that individual in Greg Farrington," said Ronald J. Ulrich, chair of the Lehigh board of trustees. At Penn, President Judith Rodin called Dr. Farrington "a catalyst for interdisciplinary teaching and research. His bold, innovative vision for the School will continue to guide us into the next century. He is a wonderful choice for Leigh," she added, and we will miss him here."

As dean of SEAS since 1990, Dr. Farrington was prominent in the development of the Institute for Medicine and Engineering and of other collaborations with Annenberg, GSFA, Law, Medicine, Nursing, SAS and Wharton. He also led fund-raising efforts that doubled the number of fully endowed chairs and nearly tripled the School's endowment in six years.

Leaving with Dr. Farrington will be his wife, Jean, head of the materials acquisitions and current periodicals at Van Pelt-Dietrich, who will join Lehigh as a special projects librarian.

$40 Million to Wharton: A Huntsman Gift Breaks a Record

The Wharton School has received a $40 million unrestricted gift-the largest single donation ever made to a business school-from alumnus Jon M. Huntsman, founder, chairman and CEO of the Huntsman Corporation. "This is an extraordinary commitment and a real tribute to the tremendous generosity of Jon Huntsman and his family," said Dean Thomas P. Gerrity of the Wharton School. "Jon is one of the most exceptional business leaders of our time whose values, ideals, public service and philanthropy make him a shining example for all of our thousands of Wharton students that we send out each year into leadership positions around the world."

"The Huntsman Family is truly one of the great 'Penn' families," said University of Pennsylvania President Judith Rodin. "This family is a model of generosity and an inspiration to all of us. We are deeply grateful for their friendship and for this gift, which will have an enormous impact on the educational programs, the research, the faculty and students of the Wharton School. It will support Wharton's global vision, which is such an integral part of Agenda for Excellence, the University's strategic vision for the future."

The new gift brings the recent contributions of Jon Huntsman and his family to more than $50 million, according to Dr. Gerrity. In January 1997, the family gave $10 million to Wharton and the School of Arts and Sciences to endow for undergraduates the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, the first of its kind in the U.S. to integrate international studies, foreign language and business education.

Director of AIDS Research: Dr. Nathanson

Dr. Neal Nathanson, a PennMed microbiologist and world leader in viral pathogenesis who until last year was Vice Dean for Research and Research Training here, has been named director of the Office of AIDS Research of the National Institutes of Health, NIH Director Harold Varmus announced last week.

"Dr. Nathanson brings a powerful scientific intellect, great compassion, and long administrative experience to the task of leading the NIH AIDS research program at this critical time," said Dr. Varmus.

The OAR coordinates scientific, budgetary, legislative, and policy elements of the NIH AIDS research program, as well as promoting collaborative research here and abroad. A comprehensive evaluation of the NIH AIDS research program resently led to the restructuring of the research program to streamline it, strengthen high-quality programs, eliminate inadequate programs, and "ensure that the American people reap the full benefits of their substantial investment in AIDS research," Dr. Varmus noted. Based on a key recommendation of that report, OAR has made HIV vaccine development a high priority, restructuring and revitalizing the program, and providing significantly increased resources.

The recruitment of Dr. Nathanson-who is also a member of the NIH AIDS Vaccine Research Committee headed by Dr. David Baltimore-marks NIH's commitment to "continuing efforts to develop an effective vaccine, improve treatments for HIV disease, and prevent transmission of HIV," Dr. Varmus said.

Dr. Nathanson took his B.S. and M.D. at Harvard, followed by clinical training in internal medicine at Chicago and postdoctoral training in virology at Johns Hopkins. Early in his career, he spent two years at the Centers for Disease Control where he headed the Polio Surveillance Unit. Later he joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health where he became Professor and Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Epidemiology.

In 1979 he moved to PennMed, where he chaired the department of microbiology for 15 years, and served as vice dean for two. He became emeritus professor in 1995.

Dr. Nathanson rose to prominence for his definitive work on the epidemiology of polio. Among his important contributions have been the clear delineation of the two major routes by which poliovirus could be disseminated in its host, the introduction of immuno-suppression to understand the role of the immune response in recovery from primary viral infections, the demonstration that lymphocytic choriomeningitis could be prevented or enhanced by immune manipulation, and the detailed genetic analysis of bunyavirus virulence. He did some of the early studies of visna virus of sheep, the prototype of the lentiviruses, of which the AIDS virus is another member. In recent years, his NIH-sponsored work has included studies in the mechanisms by which HIV causes disease.

Almanac, Vol. 44, No. 34, May 19/26, 1998