The first phase of Penn’s new Life Sciences Complex will be named the Carolyn Hoff Lynch Biology Laboratory. The pond located in the James G. Kaskey Memorial Park adjacent to the new complex will also be named in honor of Mrs. Lynch, a Penn Trustee and SAS Overseer.
The namings recognize a $10 million gift from Carolyn Hoff Lynch and her husband, Peter S. Lynch, to the building, as well as Mrs. Lynch’s service for the past ten years as chair of the Advisory Board for the Biology Department. In that role, Mrs. Lynch led the effort to bring the ambitious building project into being. In 1998 Mr. and Mrs. Lynch, through the Lynch Foundation, gave $2.5 million, launching the $15 million drive for this new facility (Almanac October 27, 1998).
“Carolyn Lynch was one of the first to recognize that updated facilities are essential for Penn to excel in the rapidly evolving field of life sciences,” said President Amy Gutmann. “The Lynches’ support of this building, on both a financial and personal level, enables Penn students and faculty to have the resources needed to play a leading role in the revolution that is transforming the biological sciences.”
Dr. Rebecca W. Bushnell, SAS dean, added: “Carolyn Lynch has worked tirelessly to make this project a reality. I am delighted that the new building will bear her name in recognition of her remarkable dedication to the School and to the department of biology.”
In addition to offering technologically advanced facilities, the Carolyn Hoff Lynch Biology Laboratory is designed to allow for the kind of interdisciplinary collaboration that is essential to research in the life sciences today. A key feature of the new building will be flexible research modules that can be reconfigured to accommodate emerging research priorities and cross-disciplinary collaboration. The building will also house Penn’s Genomics Institute, wet laboratories for biology and genomics research, plant growth chambers and greenhouses, conference rooms, faculty offices, and animal, plant, and fish facilities.
“My education at Penn, particularly in the field of physical science, has had a lasting impact on me,” said Mrs. Lynch. “It has given me a more complete appreciation and understanding of the world and made me better able to benefit from life’s experiences. I am happy to repay my alma mater for all the good fortune I have received. The University of Pennsylvania has the finest group of research scientists and professors in the world. This new facility will expand the effectiveness of their work. It will help students learn, and it will improve our ability to recruit other top academics to expand the teaching and research capacity of the University. In the past, those pursuing knowledge in the life sciences have been forced to cope with mediocre equipment. Now with such a preeminent lab, the potential for growth is unlimited. I am happy to be a part of this successful venture.”
Groundbreaking for the Life Sciences Complex occurred in the fall of 2003. Work is scheduled to occur in two phases: construction of the Carolyn Hoff Lynch Biology Laboratory, projected to be completed by fall 2005, then demolition of two existing buildings and construction of the remainder of the complex. When complete, the Life Sciences Complex will span 193,000 gross square feet and will support state-of-the-art research and teaching in biology and psychology.
Carolyn Hoff Lynch, CW ’68, is president of the Lynch Foundation, located in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Mr. Lynch, WG ’68, is vice-chairman of Fidelity Management and Research in Boston, Massachusetts. The parents of a Penn junior, Elizabeth, the Lynches co-chair the University’s Parent Leadership Committee.
Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 21, February 15, 2005