and Geri Skirkanich's $10 Million Gift:
A New Home for Bioengineering
J. Peter Skirkanich W '65, and his wife, Geri, have pledged $10
million to build Skirkanich Hall, Penn's new home for bioengineering.
the largest by an individual donor in SEAS's history, will help
finance a 58,400-square-foot bioengineering laboratory facility
in the School of Engineering and Applied Science complex. The
facility, to be located near the School of Medicine, will house
faculty, staff, students and researchers as part of SEAS's $57
million bioengineering initiative.
a Penn trustee and engineering school overseer, is founder and
president of Fox Asset Management, a New Jersey investment management
and counseling firm with more than $2 billion in assets.
Hall is the latest in a list of gifts that include the Skirkanich
Professorships of Innovation to hire young faculty and the Peter
and Geri Skirkanich Endowed Scholarships for engineering undergraduates.
generosity and vision "have provided Penn Engineering with
the opportunity to grow and prosper like never before in its history,"
said Engineering Dean Eduardo Glandt.
believes that the investments in bioengineering and biomedical
engineering will yield path-breaking achievements in medicine
and physicians working together will have a direct impact on the
health and welfare of individuals. With aging populations around
the world, that work takes on added significance," he said.
Judith Rodin said the Skirkaniches' gift "is a vote of confidence
in Penn's ground-breaking bioengineering efforts. Close collaboration
between the engineering and medical school faculty at Penn provides
a huge basis for these efforts. We are grateful to Pete and Geri
for their generosity and their vision."
for Skirkanich Hall accompanies a $14 million, five-year grant
from the Whitaker Foundation to support programs and faculty in
bioengineering. Seven new faculty will be added in the next five
years in the core areas of injury bioengineering, neuroengineering,
orthopedic bioengineering and cardiovascular bioengineering. At
the same time, the number of bioengineering graduate students
will nearly double from 18 to a target level of 35 a year.
was one of the first to award an undergraduate degree in bioengineering.
Today Engineering's partnership with the School of Medicine exposes
students to open-heart surgery, epilepsy treatments and other
procedures that rely on technology in what Dean Glandt calls "the
ultimate field trip for bioengineers."
financed his Penn education with savings from jobs during high
school, summers and college along with educational loans. At Penn
he played varsity football and belonged to the Kappa Sigma fraternity.