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Wharton Alumnus Endows Term Professorship for Excellence in Teaching

Wharton alumnus Evan Thompson, '64, has pledged $1 million to endow a professorship that recognizes teaching excellence. The chair will be called the Evan C Thompson Endowed Term Professorship for Excellence in Teaching.

"All of us who are lucky enough to come across a dedicated classroom teacher know how significantly the experience influences us," said Mr. Thompson. "This endowment demonstrates our appreciation for the commitment of those teachers."

Chairholders will serve for a term of three years and the incumbent must be a tenured member of the standing faculty. The teaching activities for which the awards are granted must include components of the undergraduate degree programs of the University.

Candidates must consistently demonstrate excellence in teaching; accessibility to students; exceptional leadership skills; innovation; fairness and reverence for learning. He/she must be an effective supervisor of student researchers, skillful in leading seminars and discussions; and comfortable in large groups as well as small settings. Recommendations may come from undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty colleagues. Those nominating candidates should look for teachers with an enduring record of superior teaching skills and the capacity to consistently inspire students.

Chairholders will be chosen by a special committee, led by the Provost or his designee, that will consider nominations from students and faculty in the four undergraduate schools—Engineering, Nursing, the College in the School of Arts and Sciences, and Wharton. The first nominations are due by December 15 and the first recipient will be named in the spring semester of 2004. Each newly appointed chair will present a lecture highlighting his or her goals as the Thompson Endowed Term Professor. The first Thompson Endowed Term Professor will present a lecture to the University community in the latter part of the spring 2004 semester.

"We're very grateful to Evan Thompson for his generous contribution," said Provost Robert Barchi. "Penn is only as great as its finest faculty and this endowment reinforces the critical idea that teaching is central to our mission at Penn."

Nominations should be sent by December 15 to: Anita Gelburd, Office of the Deputy Provost, 122 College Hall/6303, gelburda@pobox.upenn.edu. For more information, call (215) 898-7225.

 

 


  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 12, November 11, 2003

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