Residential Life: $11.5
Million Gift from Alan Hassenfeld,
and Jerome and Anne Fisher
historic Quadrangle--site of the oldest
dormitories on campus--has received a joint
$11.5 million commitment from Penn alumni
Alan Hassenfeld, C'70, and Jerome Fisher,
W '53, and Mr. Fisher's wife, Anne. In
recognition of their gifts, the University
will rename Woodland College House as Fisher
Hassenfeld College House and name an entrance
to the Quad, the Fisher Hassenfeld Gate
at Memorial Tower.
to President Judith Rodin, the Fisher-Hassenfeld
commitment is the lead gift in the transformation
of the Quadrangle into three distinct College
Houses that provide an exceptionally warm
and inviting residential experience for
undergraduates. "Alan Hassenfeld and
Jerome and Anne Fisher have made a magnificent
investment in undergraduate life at Penn.
Generations of students will share our
gratitude for their generosity."
photo by Gregory Benson
the four-year Quad Renewal Project, which
was completed in September 2002, buildings
originally constructed from 1895 to 1955
have been reconfigured to create spaces
supporting College House life. There are
new lobbies, computer labs, fitness rooms,
music practice rooms, lounges with kitchens,
libraries, and seminar rooms.
architectural features of the historically
landmarked buildings in the Quad have been
restored and the systems updated, including
the installation of air conditioning. In
addition, the landscape has been enhanced
to provide welcoming outdoor spaces for
each College House and for all Quad residents.
to Jerome Fisher, the quality of life engendered
by these changes inspired his gift. In
the new common areas in the buildings,
students and faculty see more of each other
outside the classroom and have "close
bonding experiences" that will lead
to lifelong friendships, he said.
Hassenfeld College House is the oldest
part of the Quad and has undergone the
most dramatic changes. It had only one
public space before renovation; now it
has extensive common spaces--a hallmark
of the College House system. Located at
the westernmost part of the Quad, it is
noted for its triple arches, which have
become part of the House's student-designed
coat of arms.
Hassenfeld Gate at Memorial
by Gregory Benson
Hassenfeld Gate at Memorial Tower is an
icon of the University's architectural
heritage; its silhouette is one of the
most familiar Penn forms. It is dedicated
to the memory of Pennsylvanians who died
in the Spanish-American War. The real and
symbolic gateway to the Quad, it represents
something even more to Alan Hassenfeld.
For him, "It is like walking into
a new world--a world I would love to have
been part of," he said.
he was at Penn, Mr. Hassenfeld said, there
was little sense of community, with no
activities in the dormitories. Like Jerome
Fisher, he sees the College Houses as a
way of giving students a sense of belonging. "They're
about community, belonging, and diversity," he
Director of College Houses and Academic
Services Dr. Philip Nichols is thrilled
with the Fisher-Hassenfeld gift. He says, "Their
contribution goes to the very heart of
the Penn experience--enriching students'
campus homes so that they are even more
satisfying and supportive of academic life."
Fisher is a former Penn Trustee and a current
member of the Wharton School Board of Overseers.
His wife, Anne, is a former Overseer of
GSFA. She was presented the Dean's Medal
in 1999. She is a Trustee at Strang Cancer
Prevention Center of New York and a long-standing
member of the New York Cornell Medical
Center Advisory Board, where she endowed
the Dr. Willibald Nagler Chair of Psychiatry.
they have made gifts to the University
that named the Fisher Fine Arts Library
and the Jerome Fisher Management and Technology
Program. They are members of the College
House Advisory Board, and the Academy of
the University of Pennsylvania--recently
established for donors whose extraordinary
generosity of at least $1 million has helped
to shape Penn.
Fishers are residents of Palm Beach, Florida.
Mr. Fisher is the founder and chairman
emeritus of the Nine West Group. Through
the Jerome and Anne C. Fisher Charitable
Foundation, he and his wife have been major
benefactors of the New York Hospital-Cornell
Medical Center, the Israel Museum (in Jerusalem),
the Strang Cornell Cancer Center, the Children's
Medical Center of Israel, the Norton Gallery
and Kravis Center in Palm Beach.
Hassenfeld is a current member of Penn's
Board of Trustees and an Overseer of the
School of Arts and Sciences. He too is
a member of the Academy of the University
of Pennsylvania, and chair of the College
House Advisory Board.
resident of Bristol, Rhode Island, he is
Chairman and CEO of Hasbro, Inc., the international
toy company. Mr. Hassenfeld is a trustee
of the Hasbro Charitable Trust and the
Hasbro Children's Foundation, both of which
provide major funding to Rhode Island institutions.
He is founder and chairman of the Right!
Now Coalition, which fosters government
ethics and campaign reform, and is also
chairman of the World Scholar Athlete Games.
Committed to ending childhood hunger, he
has been a leader in rallying corporate
executives to work with elected officials
on this cause.
Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 16, December 17, 2002